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While the new build industry has not been immune to the slowdown, there is no question that there are still activity hotspots in certain parts of the market. Savvy investors are busy snapping up properties at discounted rates and chain-free, first-time buyers are in a great position to negotiate.

But there is another, darker side to the current marketplace. And that is for the under-informed amateur buyer of a few years ago who bought off-plan, when in some cases prices were up to 20 per cent higher than they are in todays market.

Now, as the development they bought into nears completion, some find themselves in a precarious financial position. These are buyers who did not do their due diligence at the time and in todays market are paying the price.

A developer might not discount the price, but they might be prepared to offer extras such as Stamp Duty incentives, furniture packages, and contributions towards legal fees

Weve put together a series of advice points for buyers – of any property, but particularly new build – to ensure they protect themselves against future market falls:

1. Speak to other reputable local agents not connected to a project and ask their advice about the development and its current and projected values. Compare and contrast the feedback.

2. Compare the price of the development youd like to buy in to other like-for-like products in the area. If there arent any, pick a similar area in terms of quality and transport links.

3. Use the portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. All of them offer valuation tools that are free to use.

4. If you are planning to rent out your property, speak to the developer, selling agent and local agents to get rental comparables. Check for any restrictions that might require extra cost and paperwork.

5. Take responsibility and stress test your own situation. A good agent will help you think through realistic scenarios that you can stress test against.

6. Use your common sense and understand what you are paying for. If you have a riverside view or a five star, hotel-style concierge service, then you will pay a premium price of up to 15 per cent. Be prepared for a premium, but dont pay over the Read More – Source

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