A show home is an example property of a new-build development and helps you get an idea of what you can expect your new home to look and feel like.
Visiting a show home is an important part of buying a new-build home as it will give you a chance to see what’s on offer, find out more about the specification, and understand the kind of place you will be investing into.
However, there can be a lot to consider when looking around a show home. Our short guide will help you make the most of your visit to help you decide whether a new build home is right for you.
It’s worth noting though that the show home may have had special attention to ensure it paints the developer in the right light. We often see showhomes that are actually worse than other plots because of the fact there is such a rush to get them built so they can start selling on site.
Start your visit by looking at the building site when you first arrive at the showroom. The condition of the site is a good indicator of what you can expect to find inside the showroom and the quality of the houses being built. Your first impression of the street that the house is on can tell you a lot about the home builder.
If the site is kept clean and tidy with swept roads and no rubbish, tools, or construction materials lying around, this is a good sign of a well-managed site and a house builder that works to high professional standards. The housebuilder is proud of the work they are doing and is a good sign that your home will be built to a high standard of workmanship.
Also look out for NHBC and HBF flags and signage, as this can be a good indicator that the home builder is reliable and trustworthy. You can also look into the developer’s track record and visit homes they have built nearby to make sure they always build to the highest possible standard to build a home with no snags.
Whilst the inside of your home is important, so is its location. When visiting the showroom, get a feel for the local area and check out local amenities, the wider community, the plan for the whole new-build site, parks, nearby schools, GPs, shops, transport links, restaurants and bars, and crime statistics for the area.
Inside the Show Home
Once inside the showroom, it is important to look beyond furnishings, appliances, and surface details as these will be different and interchangeable for every homeowner.
Instead, focus on the building itself – is it well-built, does it have good layout and flow, and will your belongings fit in the space? Focus on whether the build and interior are of high quality and whether it would suit your needs and furniture.
Customisation and Extras – What is Included?
Ask which areas of the home you can personalise to your specific requirements. You will most likely be able to customise the kitchen and bathroom to your taste with your chosen design features such as colours, textures, and materials.
You also need to make sure you know exactly what is included in the home you’re getting. Showrooms often display extras, so find out how much these extras cost. Ask what is included as standard and which are extras that cost more as certain features such as flooring, countertops, light fittings, curtains, fitted wardrobes, white goods, a landscaped garden, and parking may be a more expensive upgrade.
Space and Layout
Measure the space for furniture, the main pieces being beds, sofas, and a dining table, and think about where your furniture could go. Also, check that there is sufficient storage such as cabinets and cupboards. Try to visualise yourself living in the space and whether the layout works for you and your belongings.
Assess the quality of the showroom. Make a visual scan for decorative damage such as cracks and chips in paintwork or surfaces. Make sure finishes are free from blemishes and scratches. Check that fittings and fixtures are undamaged and clean.
A professional snagging survey further down the line will more closely inspect your new build property for issues if you choose to make a purchase, but a quick quality check of the show home will help you to examine the standard of the build to make sure your home will be built with the same high levels of workmanship and care.
Why not speak to a resident. Ultimately, this is the best possible way you can find out if there are problems on-site and learn more about the home-buying experience from the people who have walked the path you’re potentially about to undertake.
You may want to ask them questions like what was the quality of their home like when they moved in? Have they been having any ongoing problems? How responsive are the homebuilders in regards to rectifying raised defects?
Whilst looking around the showroom, use this as an opportunity to ask any questions you need to know about the property. A few helpful questions include:
- Is the building covered by a building warranty and what does this warranty include?
- When is the house likely to be completed – how long will the building work take?
- How much council tax will I pay on this property?
- How energy efficient is the home? – you can ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate.
- Are there any plans to extend the development further?
- Is the property freehold or leasehold?
Follow these top tips next time you visit a new build show home to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
For more help and advice on buying a new build home and what to look out for when viewing new builds, get in touch today and our experts will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.