What am I talking about? Half-year and yearend completions. They are a nightmare not only for new build home buyers but professional snaggers as well. Listen to our podcast to learn more about rushed year-end or half-year completions.
It’s nearly over for another year… well, six months at least.
House builders do not play fair at this time of year. They are bullish and demand new home buyers complete with less notice than they need. Whereas normally you would expect 2 weeks’ notice before completion, I have seen and experienced notice and completion within 24 hours – don’t forget you also need to have a home demonstration as well. Reasonability goes through the window and new house buyers are treated extremely badly by developers.
Undue stress anxiety, disappointment and sleepless nights are common when buying newly built houses at this time of year. As the expectations and excitement of collecting the keys to your brand-new home are shattered when you are coerced, bullied and put under unrealistic stress to complete a half-year or yearend plot.
Why do developers do this?
Usually, it is greed. Developers are bonused on the number of houses they complete and sell in the year. The importance of employing the services of a professional snagger at this time of year can’t be stressed enough. My advice is to search for a professional snagger with experience and knowledge to inspect your new house properly. It is not about how many snags they find and log it’s about the quality of what they identify and include within their report.
Professional Snagging can give you peace of mind
As professional snagging has taken off within the industry some but not all builders have embraced it and now look upon good professional snaggers as another pair of eyes looking at their house ensuring newly built houses are finished to a good standard.
Others see it as an inconvenience and don’t like it when they are presented with a professional snagging list. The number of times I have heard from my customers that the salesperson has told them: “oh you don’t need to spend money getting a professional snagger, we snag the houses”, and the warranty provider has signed it off. My advice is buyer beware! Do not listen to them or think what they are telling you ensures you are getting a good house because it doesn’t.
Let’s look at warranty providers such as the NHBC and their key stage inspections. Your brand-new house will have taken anywhere from 18 – 24 or more weeks to build. There are 5 key stage inspections:
- Drainage – if they are doing building control.
- First fix
- Final Inspection (CML).
There are five inspections, so how long in total do you think they spend on-site looking at your house? This will shock you, probably just 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Why only 40 minutes to 1 hour? Simple, each key stage is prepared and ready for the inspector to look at by the site manager. Site managers do not want warranty providers’ inspectors finding reportable items because they are bonused on the number of reportable items they get. Low reportable items = more bonus.
So, when the salesperson or site manager tells you, oh it’s passed its CML and been signed off, take this with a pinch of salt. If it has passed and as good as they think it is we still find a large number of snags both the site team and warranty provider miss.
What happens on your completion date?
Well if you are one of the lucky ones and have had the full 2 weeks’ notice, everything should go smoothly. The house will hopefully have been finished to a good standard, there will be snags but hopefully, these will be minor (we still recommend getting it snagged by a professional).
On the other hand, if you are one of the unlucky ones and have been bullied and rushed to exchange with a short notice period, that should ring alarm bells that the house has been rushed and the quality and finish are more than likely going to look like it has been rushed as well.
During the build-up to Christmas, we have seen some of our customers over the moon with their new house and the enjoyable experience of buying a new home, but also some customers who wish they had never bought a brand-new home and have had the most terrible of experiences.
Having worked in the house building industry for over 40 years, I regularly apologise to newly built home buyers for the way they are treated and the quality and standard of new homes they are expected to take completion on.
This industry is broken beyond repair.
What can you do about it?
On the 4th of October 2022, the New Homes Quality Board went live along with the new homes Ombudsman. Houses completed after the developer has registered will fall under the New Homes Quality board and Ombudsman for any recourse they have against their developer.
But what about the homeowners who don’t have this to fall back on? You are on your own and have only your warranty agreement to go to when your developer fails you.
Time will tell if the NHQB and Ombudsman are going to make a difference. In my opinion, they won’t unless the culture within the house-building industry changes and more drastic action to regulate the industry is taken by the government.
For all new-build home buyers, my advice is always to get a professional snagger to inspect your new house to help protect your investment.
However, before you engage their services check them out. How long have they been in business are they vat registered; this shows they have been in business for a while and have been successful. Ask them questions, and do they give advice freely even if you don’t use their services?
Most professional snaggers are there to help newly built house buyers and will give their advice freely.
Lively Professional Services Ltd is here to help newly built home buyers, protect their investment and give them peace of mind.
This is what we have successfully built our business on over the last five years.
Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.
If you would like more information or just want to have a chat about your new home, give me a call or check out our FAQ page where you will find more useful information about buying and owning your new home.