Beresfords Estate Agents

PUBLISHED: 13:23 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:23 24 May 2013

Terry Holmes,director of Beresfords Estate Agents

Terry Holmes,director of Beresfords Estate Agents


Terry Holmes from Beresfords’ Land & New Homes division gives us the inside track on buying a new home

In profile

Terry Holmes is a main board director of Beresfords Estate Agents, which has offices throughout Essex and into Greater London. One of Terry’s roles is overseeing the company’s Land & New Homes division. He has worked in the Essex property industry for almost 40 years and is a fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents.

Think New!

Last year Beresfords agreed sales on £50m worth of new build properties, so while I have been extolling the virtues of new homes for the last 15 years, it would seem I’ve been preaching to the converted. The appeal of new homes is easy to understand.

Firstly, they are easy to maintain, economic to run and boast ever-improving green credentials. The average new home is up to four times more energy efficient than a second-hand home, with excellent insulation and the latest energy saving devices.

Developers will often offer part-exchange to those wanting to purchase a larger property, possibly because of a growing family, and of course if the new home has already been built, you can move in in no time at all.

First-time buyers also find significant advantages when buying new. The Government-backed NewBuy scheme is available on many developments meaning buyers may require as little as a 5% deposit to secure their dream home.

For those who like to have a say in how a property is finished, new homes also offer the perfect solution. The earlier in the build process you buy, the more choices you have.

And if you need to move quickly, then it is the builders that are at the end of the property chain so there will be no potentially complicated forward chains. What’s more, if you have been let down in the past by the owners of a property you were purchasing, builders will not change their minds about moving.

Picture this

Cherry Tree Park is a new community of two to five-bedroom homes brought to you by the highly-respected developer Banner Homes. The development, situated in the heart of Billericay, offers a variety of sizes and styles from terrace to detached, but all come with Banner’s signature attention to detail both in building excellence and quality of internal specification.

Dos and don’ts


Check out the developer. It pays to do your research to ensure you are buying from a reputable developer.

View their previous work. If buying off-plan you can often view other developments they are building, you may even be able to see the same or very similar property types to the one you are interested in.

Speak to former purchasers. You are likely to bump into existing owners when you are walking around. Why not ask them for their views?

Buy in a good location. As with a resale property, when it comes to buying a new build, location should be top of the list.

Research the developers NHBC standard. This is the leading warranty and insurance standards setter for the UK house-building industry.


View the development just once. Instead view it at different times of day to find out what it’s really like.

Underestimate how important it is to get independent mortgage advice. There’s a bewildering choice of mortgages out there and having an independent mortgage adviser on your side, with access to the whole of the market will make sure you get the right mortgage for you, not the bank!

Be afraid to talk to developers about price. They’re in business to sell homes so trust me, they won’t be offended.

Be scared of buying off plan if it’s a reputable builder. You not only get full choice of décor, kitchen and bathroom but you can often specify non-standard extras which are far more expensive when retro fitting. Best of all though, you can cherry pick the best plot or position with maybe an open outlook, a bigger garden or a long driveway.

Be nervous about asking what incentives are available.

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