Going Solo…

The savvy single is on the rise… With a growing proportion of singletons choosing to make the most of the carefree lifestyle and set up home on their own, many housebuilders have developed a range of properties and tailored incentive packages that are perfect for single purchasers, and guaranteed to get them moving on… So what’s out there?

It’s not just the ‘Bridget Jones’ phenomenon, solo purchasers have a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances so if you are ‘going solo’ in 2007, forget grotty bedsits and box-like one bedroom apartments – with a new property, you can take your pick from a number of different types of new builds. These range from cosy ‘coach houses’ in the country, to classy apartments, so whether you are a sophisticated urbanite or seeking something traditional in a countryside setting, you are sure to find something to suit.

A staggering 47%* of newly built homes are aimed at the singleton, with flats, apartments, coach houses and maisonettes springing up on most new developments. These one and two bedroom designs offer an easy, open plan design, often with the kitchen, living and dining area all combined – perfect for those with a busy lifestyle.

Some developers also offer a well equipped kitchen including built in oven and hob, dishwasher and fridge freezer, which all help to minimise the need for additional expenditure when you move in.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to shop for a new home …. Builders recognise the demand for their product is high however they are also aware that competition is stiff and they will often offer you a cash clincher to seal the deal at the last minute.

With the average house price now breaking the £200,000 barrier and still rising, you may find financing a struggle, particularly if you are a first time buyer, so be sure to shop around as developers also offer a range of tailored incentive packages.

Many offer a deposit paid offer or a cash back deal, allowing you to furnish the property, and often a furnishings package can be negotiated, including fully fitted carpets and curtains throughout your new home. It’s worth getting the Sales Managers on side as they can help you to find the right mortgage broker, and it’s their job to take the strain out of your move.

Before you sign on the dotted line, take some time to consider the practical elements of living alone:

  • Parking: Is there a garage or carport with the property? If not, make sure you have well-lit off street parking at the very least.
  • Security: Consider access to your property. If it is an apartment block, is there a communal hallway with a secure post-box? Make sure there are some security provisions in place to ensure your safety when returning late at night on your own. Does the property come with a burglar alarm? If not consider getting one installed.
  • Is the property freehold or leasehold? If you buy a freehold property you own both your home and the ground it stands on. Most flats and some older houses are sold leasehold. This means you own the home for the period of the lease and you have to pay ground rent to the freeholder (or their managing agent). The lease may be as long as 99 years but it reduces over time and may be much less at the time you are buying or selling.
  • Maintenance: There’s no dodging the issue, it’s down to you and you alone, so make sure you are a DIY lover with deep pockets or buy a new build property that looks after itself
  • Neighbours: Friend or foe, you may well need them to look after your property whilst you are away, so make the effort to get to know them straight away

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Source: NHBC

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