Kickstart

The New Build Con.

100 posts in this topic

It's good to see someone on the inside admitting it's a con. This country seems to be full of firms looking to pull a fast one over individuals and the taxpayer but they don't seem to realise that if everyone is doing this then all your ill-gotten gains can buy you is also crap. ie. new build crap properties, crap chain restaurant food etc. It makes me so I angry... I could almost punch my fist through the wall... although in a new build you don't even have to be angry to punch a hole in the wall.

I was reading on the BBC about some floating houses they have designed in Holland which will float up should the water level rise...

[topic=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6405359.stm]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6405359.stm[/topic]

I especially like the bit where the article says...

At a starting price of 260,000 euros (£180,000 or $310,000), the houses are not a cheap option.

Um, £180k expensive? For an interestingly designed detached house that floats? What are the BBC on? Last month they were telling me I should be buying identikit new-build 1-bed flats for 220k to get on the ladder cos it's a bargain.

Have the architects all gone to sleep in this country? They don't seem to be working for Bovis, Barrett, Redrow etc.

Anyway, I'm going to try and float a few over from Holland and stick them on a flood plain near the Thames... anyone want to buy one?

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On the whole thing of new builds, i think they are pants.

My friend bought 1, a couple of years later moved kept the 1st, but into another larger new build house, I did my best to disuade him without him resenting it, but he still went ahead. He's not complaining, but his 2nd buy (235k) was 30k overpriced, seeing as the nextdoor slightly smaller house sold 2 years later at 200kish.

I was strongly recomended to buy one a while ago, did i listen? no, I've bought a 1920s terraced house, yes it needs some work doing on it, but the walls are solid, its got character, good size rooms, a basement, option to convert the loft if I want, a 70+ft garden.

Yes it cost mariginally more that a new build flat, but, when there is any sort of correction, they will be the 1st to drop like stones IMO....

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I may not have been reading properly (the wife is nagging about buying a house to start a family :() but is this shoddy work being seen in newbuild houses as well as 'luxury' apartments?

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I went shopping for some trousers - I tried them on in the shop, I looked very nice in them - tall and slim. I bought the trousers and was delighted with my choice. :rolleyes:

The a few days later I heard Kilroy_Silk was going to take Marks and Spencer. Why you may ask? Because they use convex mirrors in their changing rooms. What a bunch of rip off deceiving scumbags. (I'm sure M&S aren't the y only culprits). :angry:

Edited by Bearback

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I've been looking on right move at rentals in the Swindon area just to compare with my current rent.

There are plenty of these new builds and they all seem to be of a combined 'open plan' kitchen and lounge (ie a living room with kitchen cabinets) as well a two tiny bed??rooms.

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I recently stayed the night in a three bed new build, (I was drunk, she looked great in the pub :lol: ) the double bedroom had a normal 4ft 6" double bed that was pushed against the wall one side, with just enough room for a bedside cupboard the other, there was less than a foot spare at the end of the bed, and if you opened the fitted one door wardrobe it would not open fully and hit the bed.

285k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even more worrying, at 35 she paid cash for the house and thought it was marvelous!!!.

Solicitors are not the only people to profit from divorce!!!.

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That's exactly what every supermarket does with its "finest" or "taste the difference" ranges. You pay more money for products which are of the same quality as regular products 20 years ago. Since this is happening very slowly (stepping stones) it is barely noticeable until one day you wake up and find that you can't buy anything quality any longer without paying through the nose for it.

So well put barrelshifter.

We used to take this "quality for granted" now its at a premium and its the same with new builds V old.

In some countries you would still get a carpenter to make your furniture and at a cheaper price better quality than ur IKEAs. And it will be custom designed instead of that mass produced soul destroying stuff. Moreover builders, plumbers and joiners are still versed in the ways of the old rather than trying to make a fast buck. I tihnk another poster said that the labourers are told to cut corners so they can work on more houses rather than having pride in quality. Its capitalism son and we all bought into it!

Moreover in those countries you think nothing of buying some land and building what kind of house you want with the BEST materials and fittings knowing that it will be a quality product.

Learning a trade in this country is a waste of time im afraid as it is well and truly dead unless u can call customer care a trade. :(

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Working for a New Build developer selling over priced properties in Central Lonsdon can be quite amusing. I have done this job for the last 10 years and feel it is time to air my views from the inside. Of course I a may talk myself out of a job but the few people on this site that read this will not make a toss of difference. I would love to write an 'expose' for a national newspaper but they are so tied up with the Big Budget developer spenders in their property supplements ( including my company) that they would never print what really goes on. Have you ever seen a negative article about new build in 'ES' or the Sunday Times property supplement --- of course not, far too much os a vested interest in the very lucrative advertising. They never talk about constant leaks or poor build quality on developments. I have worked on developments wher people have paid 3 or 4 million pounds for apartments that have had to vacate for weeks because os leaks that have lasted for weeks.

So why are people taken in by that crap that is printed in the advertising ? After 26 years working in the City selling very regulated instruments, what an eye opener working in this unregulated world. And that is the problem 'Unregulated' ! People seem to be under the illusion that an NHBC guarentee means something and that having a survey for a mortgage means something ... Wrong ! it means shit. A surveyor before approving a mortgage comes to site , asks the salesa team a few simple questions about sale prices of comparative properties, apartment dimensions and goes away. In the office for ten minutes and charges 150 quid. Wish I was a surveyor. What an easy job.

Investors who you think have some semblance of a brain ask me time after time ' What discount am I getting when I buy off plan?' How can people be so thick !!! You do not get any discount when you buy off plan , the developer asks as much as he can for a peoperty if some mug will pay it. It is normally the sales Director or the board that set the prices and they do a bit of market research in the area add a lump on , create a load of hype with clever marketing and sell from as much as they can get. Of course on a rising market the investor will make money ,but if it turns they will loose far more money.

So where is their brain ? --- lost in a world of hype. They never question the fact that with each new development the bedrooms get smaller and smaller , what they call a double bedroom now meeans that as long as you can put a double bed in it and it does not touch all four walls you can call it a double bedroom. Second bedrooms are usually more 0f a joke. I have sold apartments for well over a million that have a Master bedroom of 14 x 11 and bed 2 11'6 x 10'6. Why do idiot buyers accept this ? because they very rarelly even question it. Absolute proof what a gullible lot they really are.

If idiots buy -- the developers will just make the apartments smaller and smaller to squeeze every last pound out of the buyer.

These clever investors ask 'what discounts are you giving ? I respond 'None, we are selling so well we do not need to'. This is great to get someone on the hook.They nearly always fall for it. Of course the truth is that builders who give a discount mark the price up to include the discount. Funny how this savvy load of investors do not manage to notice that little point. Next the investor looks at the specification and does not realise that the wonderfull showflat kitchen they have seen probably cost the developer a few thousand and suddenly magically forget they are probably paying tens of thousands more for their apartment than nearby older properties all because of a shiny new kitchen and bathroom. In the business we call it the 'shiny kitchen syndrome'.

No more for now , lets see the response from all those gullible and often very arrogant investors.

Not one word of this surprises me in the least. I'd NEVER buy a new home anyway. They quality of the building materials is shite and the tradmen who build them are just in it to make as much money as possible for shoddy workmanship.

All symptomatic of the spiv culture we live in and celebrate I'm afraid.

Not for me. I'll be out of the UK for good by the end of the year

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It's good to see someone on the inside admitting it's a con. This country seems to be full of firms looking to pull a fast one over individuals and the taxpayer but they don't seem to realise that if everyone is doing this then all your ill-gotten gains can buy you is also crap. ie. new build crap properties, crap chain restaurant food etc. It makes me so I angry... I could almost punch my fist through the wall... although in a new build you don't even have to be angry to punch a hole in the wall.

I was reading on the BBC about some floating houses they have designed in Holland which will float up should the water level rise...

[topic=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6405359.stm]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6405359.stm[/topic]

I especially like the bit where the article says...

Um, £180k expensive? For an interestingly designed detached house that floats? What are the BBC on? Last month they were telling me I should be buying identikit new-build 1-bed flats for 220k to get on the ladder cos it's a bargain.

Have the architects all gone to sleep in this country? They don't seem to be working for Bovis, Barrett, Redrow etc.

Anyway, I'm going to try and float a few over from Holland and stick them on a flood plain near the Thames... anyone want to buy one?

I know, the BBC make me sick with their constant perpetuation of the housing obsession. 180k sounds cheap when you look at some of the crap people are buying at £200k+

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I recently stayed the night in a three bed new build, (I was drunk, she looked great in the pub :lol: ) the double bedroom had a normal 4ft 6" double bed that was pushed against the wall one side, with just enough room for a bedside cupboard the other, there was less than a foot spare at the end of the bed, and if you opened the fitted one door wardrobe it would not open fully and hit the bed.

285k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even more worrying, at 35 she paid cash for the house and thought it was marvelous!!!.

Solicitors are not the only people to profit from divorce!!!.

If you were a builder and could build 8 shoehorned houses for £285,000 and sell each of them for that price each rather than build 4 houses for the same amount but a higher finish. The mathematics dont come into it! :blink:

Pile them high sell them cheap.

My friend bought a house in 96 and cracks started appearing underneath the bay windows and ceiling etc etc... house was only 8 years old. Was told by NHBC that it was only property bedding in.... oh well at least the roof never flew off

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somewhere in this comment,

we can find the roots of 21st century slavery

the wife, the nagging. the house or the family? curses. I'm already a slave I might as well go get a mortgage to buy a crappy newbuild 3-bed semi and be done with it.

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somewhere in this comment,

we can find the roots of 21st century slavery

an infatuation with expensive to maintain fanny? .......mmmmmmmm that might be lost on an American ;)

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Interesting post Kickstart. New build does seem to be where the real gouging is going on.

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Here is a real life example from Southampton.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...2206&st=180

'Hi everyone,

I'm a new member to this site, but i have been reading your posts for many months now and have found them very useful. So anyway i've have been looking to buy a flat in Southampton (to live in, i hate gardening!!). My search has been focused around the city centre so here's my views on the following developments:

Telephone house: yes £179,950 is great starting price, however you should try buying one, all sold off-plan to investors. So what can you buy? 4th floor £219,950 two bed. Nice flats a bit small and poor lay outs.

The dell: what happened!! it looked to be very nice to start with looking bad now give it a few more years.

Ocean village WB development. These are the most over priced flats in Southampton, very nice, a good size but not a great size. Are they a good buy? i found a 3rd floor 2bed flat up for £199,950. However with a closer look, and i have found about 45 for sale in these 3 blocks alone, most have ever been lived in!! service charges over £1,800 a year. A nice flat if you plan to keep it for life!! run a mile!!.

Oceana Boulevard: Have yet to start building a 3rd of this development, the rest of the development looks to be mostly finished. However the best the developer could or for me was £215,950 for a ground floor two bed flat (£205,950 after discounts). Again small flats and over priced!! Also i hear that these flats are having major water leak problems and first buyers are now jumping ship!!

Charter house: Good size flats and excellent prices. I know these flats have been talked about before on this forum. I looked at very large 2bed over 850 sq ft in good condition bought for £250 down to under £200. So a good buy at the bottom of a crashing market? sorry guys read this letter sent to lease holders:

As you will be aware the service charge accounts for the above development have now been sent out for the forthcoming year. Whilst CPM endeavour to maintain service charge budget costs to a reasonable level, the previous two years maintenance costs for “Charterhouse New Build” have proved to be unsustainable.

This, in part can be attributed to damage incurred through water ingress via the roof and poor plumbing installation during building construction affecting the fabric of the building and the lifts.

It is understood that Persimmon Homes have now instructed a consultant to carryout an independent survey of the roof. However, during last year, other major forms of service charge expenditure have been incurred notably to the communal entrance doors, water charges, external/ internal lighting and the electric entrance gates.

The sheer volume of Insurance claims for Charterhouse New Build, over the same period has meant that CPM will experience difficulty in obtaining insurance cover for this building.

Further to our conversation this morning regarding the above development I can confirm that over the last two years the insurers have incurred approx £250k worth of claims costs. This is going to make it extremely difficult/almost impossible to obtain any sort of insurance cover from June onwards taking this in to account.

Although the roof being repaired/replaced will help the situation unfortunately a large amount of the claims seem to be due to the sub standard plumbing that has been carried out on site and nothing that is done is going to change the horrendous claims experience that all insurers will take in to account when offering terms & deciding on a premium for a particular policy.

Potentially if no insurer is willing to offer any sort of cover on the development the management company may find themselves in a situation where the damage from these claims is not paid for and thus for cannot be repaired making the situation progressively worse as time goes on.

The substantial increase in insurance premium costs for the forthcoming year is mostly responsible for the severe “hike” in the budget. CPM were advised by the brokers to almost treble the anticipated premium costs in the hope that at least one insurance company would take on the “risk”. However, this by no means confirms that we will be able to obtain a Buildings Insurance policy.

Both Persimmon Homes and your Freeholder have been made aware of our concerns, together with the detrimental effect these costs are placing on the service charge budget. It has been suggested to your Freeholder that perhaps in the light of the above information they would prefer to seek their own Block Buildings Insurance Policy, however, we have still to receive an acknowledgement of our letter.

In the light of the above situation, CPM have now requested that our brokers seek to obtain a separate Block Buildings Insurance policy cover for Maritime Chambers, Provincial House, Neptune House and White House, when the insurance policy is due to be renewed on the 1st of June 2007. The reason being is that these residents are being severely compromised in relation to the increase in the overall budget for the Management Company, due to the number of claims being submitted by residents of Charterhouse New Build.

Whilst it is understood that the N.H.B.C are still very much involved with your development in their attempts to address inherent defects, these matters are very much outside of CPM’s remit and because of this, we are solely reliant upon the information being reported back to us by third parties.

Currently the service charge arrears for your Management Company have reached an all time high, and, as a consequence it has become virtually impossible for CPM to undertake any form of maintenance work of late due to the severe shortage of funds.

If the Management Company cannot operate due to lack of funding, it will become unlawful for CPM to continue to provide contract services in the knowledge that there are no funds available to meet the invoice payments required.

At this point in time we wish to make it clear that CPM will not be compromised in any way, nor undertake any Act in the knowledge that it is breaking the law and therefore, should the Management Company become devoid of funds, all services including Maintenance Contractors for the above development, will undoubtedly be withdrawn and will not be resumed until such time as the service charge account can support the Contractors' payments.

Failure to meet your service charge obligations will place you in breach of your Covenant and therefore there will be a possibility of a legal prosecution being made against you, which I am sure you would choose to avoid.

Charter house looks to be that they call a lemon in the car world!! By the way from what i hear this letter has been turned down many levels from what it should be.

So now i'm looking at the Parkview development i'll let you know how it goes!!

Rich wink.gif'

What a nightmare for these people.

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the wife is nagging about buying a house to start a family

Do storks only deliver to owner-occupiers? Or does renting act as a form of contraception? :P Me and the wife must be wonders of science - we rent and have one no the way. In fact some friends at church also rent and have a baby. Hallelujah, it's a miracle!

Seriously, I can understand that when you've got a family you don't want the risk of moving at the whim of a landlord. However, I don't think it's essential to own, especially to begin with. We're happy to get our family going whilst still renting - to be honest it's another headache we can do without while we're busy getting ready for our arrival. It helps that we rent off friends and that they bought long enough ago to be cash positive. Renting isn't the best option in some cases, but don't dismiss it - sometimes it makes a lot of sense.

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Mr FedupTeddiBear works in the building industry & has connections to developers, architects, etc. As a result I can comment on the following:

Can someone prove this to me and let me know where you can buy 3/4 sized furniture?

Many developers DO use this – One company I can think of had some custom made – more like 4/5 size, not ¾; that would be too obvious. This company sells smaller “upmarket” developments and moves the furniture from one show flat to the next with subsequent developments.

The crime is that the cost of building a house is actually quite small, yet because of the bargaining power of these building collectives like Persimmon, you have all the good land snapped up and then planning permission pushed through suspiciously quickly. These developers charge top whack for substandard goods simple because there is no alternative. If you want to self-build you are forced to jump through multiple hoops and negotiate with unfriendly and unsympathetic NIMBY planners working for inefficient local councils. My alternative would be to adopt true free market economics and to release land that has pre-approved planning (within reason) and to sell plots off to self-builders and small developers to create some diversity and real choice.

In Germany, local councils are forced to set aside a minimum number of self-build plots each year. There are restrictions on these that allow only for private self-build with only one house per plot, strictly no commercial developers or “investors”.

Why can’t the UK do something similar?

On the continent here you get one simple price per square metre and are then easily able to check that with the going rate for the area.

A friend went to view some flats for sale about a year ago: some were 2 – bed flats, some advertised as 4- bed. It turned out that the floor area of both flats was about the same – the 4 bedrooms and lounge were absolutely tiny compared to those in the 2-bed flat but the 4-bed flat was on sale for almost double the price! :D

Have the architects all gone to sleep in this country? They don't seem to be working for Bovis, Barrett, Redrow etc.

They are not! These developers do not have to employ qualified architects to design their houses and flats. For most it is cheaper and easier to employ their own “technicians” to do the job the way they want them to.

Large developers only need one or two designs approved (which they reuse ad nauseum) which is not a problem since most of them have a lot of clout or inside help from the council planning departments.

Most newbuild houses now have truss roofs where many small sections of timber held togeather with nail plates are used to build the main frame because they wont payout for a professional joiner to costruct it properly. What this means to you is that you cant use your loftspace for storage as there is simply no room and if you ever wanted to expand and convert it into a extra bedroom/dormer it would be virtualy impossible.

This is not really true. Using gangnail truss roofs is a new technology – yes, it is cheaper, but also easier to construct without losing much in the way of quality. The old system of using professional joiners is only used today where listed buildings need repair matching the way they were built. (Much the same as tiles are used today rather than thatch). Gangnail truss roofs can be used for storage quite easily and can also be converted into loft rooms (but yes, this is more difficult than converting traditional truss roofs.)

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Do storks only deliver to owner-occupiers? Or does renting act as a form of contraception? :P Me and the wife must be wonders of science - we rent and have one no the way. In fact some friends at church also rent and have a baby. Hallelujah, it's a miracle!

Seriously, I can understand that when you've got a family you don't want the risk of moving at the whim of a landlord. However, I don't think it's essential to own, especially to begin with. We're happy to get our family going whilst still renting - to be honest it's another headache we can do without while we're busy getting ready for our arrival. It helps that we rent off friends and that they bought long enough ago to be cash positive. Renting isn't the best option in some cases, but don't dismiss it - sometimes it makes a lot of sense.

Forget the 80's/90's crash, this is my Mum and stepDad circa 1976 with me an 8 yr old and a new born half sister. Not remotely interested in owning a house, just wanting an affordable place to live, and they got it.....and a HA place after that, and a shared ownership gaff in Coventry later on in 1983.

The point I'm trying to make is don't put off having kids because of the housing shambles, you'll find a way. My mum did, I remember her having cleaning jobs in the early 80's and we had a chart on the wall in the kitchen detailing the meals for the week within the monthly budget.

My mum had the monthly household budget right down to the last penny!

Easy credit.....blah ...blah....today...... BLOODS BOILING!!!!

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With regards to the OP's inside information.. well state the obvious why don't you. This is hardly inside information.

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Great thread!

I used to rent in Kew Riverside, a new build complex on the banks of the Thames. Prices ranged from about £450k for the smaller flats to £4m for the larger houses. The cracks are starting to show now, metaphorically and physically.

While I was resident there was a major plumbing leak on the top floor which affected about half of one block, and I heard that another block had had a similar incident. And don't forget this was within two or three years of completion in a luxury development with £1m+ selling prices.

We were right underneath the Heathrow flight path, so if you sat out on the balcony on a summer's evening you'd be deafened every few minutes as a plane landed. Then there was a big fall out with the management committee over non-payment of the £2k per year service charges, so the swimming pool was closed and cleaning staff were laid off, which in turn led to the grounds falling into disrepair.

Best of all, the planners only got permission to build by incorporating some local authority housing, so there's packs of feral yobs p1ssing in the flower beds and staging drag races in stolen cars. Most of the properties are owned by BTL landlords or companies for overseas staff, so they can take their lumps and like it, but I do feel sorry for the one or two genuine owner occupiers who were becoming increasingly desperate while I lived there. I guess they're even more desperate now, I see masses of Kew Riverside properties up for sale, nothing's shifting, and prices seem to be steadily falling. This is exactly the type of development that will halve in price over the next few years.

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Great thread!

I used to rent in Kew Riverside, a new build complex on the banks of the Thames. Prices ranged from about £450k for the smaller flats to £4m for the larger houses. The cracks are starting to show now, metaphorically and physically.

While I was resident there was a major plumbing leak on the top floor which affected about half of one block, and I heard that another block had had a similar incident. And don't forget this was within two or three years of completion in a luxury development with £1m+ selling prices.

We were right underneath the Heathrow flight path, so if you sat out on the balcony on a summer's evening you'd be deafened every few minutes as a plane landed. Then there was a big fall out with the management committee over non-payment of the £2k per year service charges, so the swimming pool was closed and cleaning staff were laid off, which in turn led to the grounds falling into disrepair.

Best of all, the planners only got permission to build by incorporating some local authority housing, so there's packs of feral yobs p1ssing in the flower beds and staging drag races in stolen cars. Most of the properties are owned by BTL landlords or companies for overseas staff, so they can take their lumps and like it, but I do feel sorry for the one or two genuine owner occupiers who were becoming increasingly desperate while I lived there. I guess they're even more desperate now, I see masses of Kew Riverside properties up for sale, nothing's shifting, and prices seem to be steadily falling. This is exactly the type of development that will halve in price over the next few years.

I want to sell my three bedroom detached in Warwicks (built 50 years ago and good quality) and move South (Sussex, Dorset, Devon) and buy a flat for around £200K (would never buy a newbuild). Looking through Rightmove the amount of rubbish up for sale is abolutely amazing - price as well as quality. I'm seriously thinking of buying a small house rather than a flat; you really have to search for anything that's a reasonable price and quality. Really quite depressing.

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Is it true that in the show houses the furniture is fake or somehow reduced in size from normal furniture to make the illusion of the room being bigger than it really is?

Yes it is true, and that Roast Dinner on the table, and the loaf of bread in the kitchen is also not real, I know this because I veiwed a property at 8:00am as I was due to start work at 9am, there is now way the girl got up at five to cook a 50lb turkey and it was ready by 8am.

Edited by laurejon

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I recently looked around a newbuild flat. When we left the place, I tried to open the door and the door handle came off in my hand (this was before I'd even pulled on it).

The girl from the estate agent just laughed, and said "of course, that'll be fixed before you move in!"

I don't know how she could realistically expect me to be interested in somewhere where things were falling apart before they'd even been used. :blink:

I looked around another house (not a new build, but refurbished in new-build style) where the kitchen had been put in over the boiler, so that all the counters would have to be ripped out before it could be serviced, the skirting boards were falling off because they were just propped up, and "new floorboards" had been put in - judging from the moving lumps under the carpet, "new floorboards" probably meant thin sheets of mdf or cardboard chucked down without any fixing. The "developer" had the cheek to put these on sale for £3k more than comparable houses in the same road in much better repair, and with far nicer, albeit slightly older, decor.

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you really have to search for anything that's a reasonable price and quality. Really quite depressing.

Crouch, you've put your finger right on the key issue. During a boom everyone's so desperate to trade up or get on the ladder that they lose sight of the fact that a large percentage, perhaps even the majority, of UK housing is blighted in some way. When the slump comes we all become much more discriminating and suddenly realise that many properties, and this applies within every price band, just aren't worth owning at any price.

One simple example. Everyone talks about a garden being the most important "room in the house". I'd tend to agree, sitting outside on a summer's evening is one of the best moment's of the day. But you need a garden that faces south or west. So at a stroke that rules out the 50% of British houses where the garden faces north or east.

During boom times we regard a south facing garden as a "nice to have", as prices fall and we all get more selective we won't even look at a house with a north facing garden unless it's had tens of thousands of pounds sliced off the price so that it's priced alongside properties in the next bracket down.

And we suddenly discover what we've known all along, badly built extensions, undersized garages, outdated plumbing and wiring, cramped or gloomy rooms, mismatched bedrooms and bathrooms, badly dimensioned kitchens, lack of off-street parking, no access to public transport or local amenities, the slightest evidence of subsidence or damp, etc etc, any one of these means you'll just look somewhere else.

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Excellent post.

Very true.

Agree. New builds are already being filled with DSS - they are the poor build quality modern equivalents of all the nasty tower blocks. they won't last. They're expensive (to buy and for tax-payers to subsidize). The number of adverts in newspapers by the developers has increased hugely - all lovely stylized photographs of "happy people". Exactly like last crash when Barratt helicopter was whizzing around on the telly.

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CHRIS BROGAN is director of property firm Sell Quick. He owns several hundred properties but steers clear of new builds, having lost money on apartments he bought off-plan in 2003
.

He owns "several hundred properties"? Has he lost count?

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