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John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes, discusses the reasons why house buyers should consider buying a new home rather than a second hand property and the best ways to get on the housing ladder.

Why buy new?

A new build property offers you a fresh start with no upgrading costs and a blank canvas for you to make your house a home. Today’s new build homes are designed with the modern family in mind and often include open plan living, extra storage facilities and security features.

New research carried out by the Home Builder’s Federation (HBF) has found that the cost of upgrading an older property to the same standard of finish and functionality they could expect from a new build home, the cost could be up to £51,643. Whether it’s the price of buying and fitting a new kitchen or having a house rewired, the costs for people moving into an older home can quickly mount up. And the savings continue: while just 26% of second hand homes achieve an energy efficiency rating of A to C, 94% of homes built in 2016 could boast such standards.

What are the main benefits of a new home compared to an older property?

New homes come in a variety of designs and styles, a range of prices and lots of different house types to suit modern lifestyles. Whether it’s a first time buyer looking to take that first step onto the property ladder with a city apartment, a second stepper moving out to a house in the suburbs to raise a family, or a downsizer hoping to free up some equity from their empty nest, new builds offer something for all house hunters.

The running costs of new properties are often far less expensive than second-hand properties. New homes on average give owners 6.5 times more energy than an older style of property. Our homes come with highly efficient gas-fired central heating systems, double glazing and energy efficient appliances which will save buyers money – no more drafty windows or faulty boiler problems. Conversely, around six out of 10 second hand homes have experienced condition problems such as damp, leaking roofs and windows, and gas/electrical problems, due to lower standards and fewer regulations.

New builds are also quality-guaranteed with a 10 Year warranty from the New House-Building Council (NHBC) which covers any structural issues that might arise after completion. Millwood Designer Homes also has a dedicated Customer Aftercare Department which provides peace of mind for two years following a purchase.

What schemes are available to help you buy a new home?

There are more ways than ever now to help you get onto the property ladder or to take another step. Help to Buy is a government-backed initiative designed to help people buy a home and there are a number of different options available, such as Help to Buy Equity Loans, Shared Ownership and Mortgage Guarantee. Visit to see if you are eligible.

How can you move quickly?

One of the biggest plusses of buying a new home, if you are first time buyer, or have already sold your home, is being able to move in as soon as it’s complete. There’s no need to wait for existing owners to move out, reducing the house buying chain and the stress and uncertainty that often comes with it.

For those who still have a house to sell, it’s worth checking if Part-Exchange is available, as this can also be a viable solution of you need to move quickly.

What is the best way to save for a deposit?

Be realistic about how much you can afford. Use a savings calculator to work out what you will need to put away each month and then decide where the best place to store your savings. A government Help to Buy ISA is available from a range of banks, building societies and credit unions and means you could be eligible for a government bonus once you are close to buying your first home.

Where to buy?

There are a number of factors to consider once you have found a potential buy. Accessibility, facilities, noise, schools, crime, local area and amenities should be researched thoroughly to ensure your home meets all of your requirements. It would also be a good idea to check whether house prices in the area are rising or falling using an unbiased website such as Zoopla.

Current developments available

With many of our new homes are available through the government’s Help to Buy scheme, Millwood Designer Homes offers a fantastic range of properties for all buyers throughout Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Our recently launched collection of three individually designed developments named ‘The Kent Collection’ has already received significant initial interest, offering an excellent opportunity for those wanting to jump onto or up the Kent property ladder.

A beautiful selection of new two bedroom apartments and three, four and five bedroom houses is also currently available across our current developments; Woodlands View in Hastings, Standgrove Field, Ardingly, Lavender Fields in Isfield, The Paddock in Antsy and Little Logmore in Dorking.