LoginSubscribe to Alerts

Housebuilder’s Five Top Tips To Buy A First Home In Sunderland

Posted 1 December 2023 by Keith Osborne

Barratt and David Wilson North East’s sales director, Steven Ball, explains his five top tips on purchasing a first new build home...

In recent research conducted by Barratt Developments North East, more than two in five Brits are said to be powering through the house-buying process despite the current challenges, as many consider buying a home with a friend or family member, shining a spotlight on the different ways first-time buyers could take that step onto the housing ladder.

To support first-time buyers in Sunderland and help to make the process clear, Barratt and David Wilson North East’s sales director, Steven Ball, has published his five top tips on purchasing a new build home.

1. Available financial support

Purchasing your first home can feel like a moving target, especially with the changing housing market, rental costs and cost of living.

It’s important to remember when buying a new build, you can often take advantage of a mortgage broker who can let you know how much you can afford to borrow, estimate your monthly repayments and advise you what mortgages are available to you. To help make this easier, Barratt and David Wilson Homes can refer you to a nominated mortgage broker who specialises in new builds.

From there, you can review what financial incentives are available to you, with many housebuilders offering schemes for new builds that are not available on existing second-hand properties. These can include:

Deposit Unlock Scheme [https://www.whathouse.com/guides/what-is-deposit-unlock-/] – which allows buyers to acquire a new home with only a 5% deposit and a 95% mortgage on specific plots

Deposit Boost scheme – where buyers can augment their 10% deposit by an additional 5%, resulting in a total 15% deposit.

For key workers in the area, Barratt Developments also offers its Key Workers Deposit Contribution scheme, which sees buyers receive a £1,000 contribution towards the deposit for every £20,000 spent on a brand-new Barratt property purchased by a key worker.

2. Reserving your first home

Drive around your desired area to discover what amenities are available to local residents, and pop into the sales office of your nearby new-build development to speak with the advisors on the best options for you.

It’s important to work with a solicitor that specialises in new-builds and conveyancing, to ensure they have the expertise to prepare the property transfer documents. Your sales advisor will be able to recommend an independent solicitor with expertise in your housebuilder.

Following reservation, you will exchange contracts within the timeframe stated as part of your reservation agreement, and also pay the deposit.


Find retirement homes developments in the North East of England
Find affordable homes developments in the North East of England
Find luxury homes developments in the North East of England


Doxford GreenDoxford Green development from David Wilson Homes

3. Choosing your home options

A new build home is a blank slate for you to make your own. Once you have reserved, your sales advisor will invite you to the development to choose your design options, where you will be able to discuss your upgrade options, and what’s already been included in the build.

With Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ homes, these choices include upgrades such as kitchen designs, bathrooms tiles, upgraded sockets and light switches, and eco-friendly options, some of which come as standard with your new home or have an additional cost.

If you reserve your new home at a later stage in the building process, some options may have been chosen for you such as the kitchen. However, not choosing still has its benefits including everything still being fitted and ready for moving day and the possible luxury of integrated appliances without the extra cost.

4. Legal 101

The legal fees, as well as exchanging and completing on your new home for the first time, can be the hardest part of the home buying process, with lots of legal jargon and additional costs to understand.

These include:

  • Mortgage arrangement fee – paid to your mortgage provider either upfront or included as part of your mortgage. Cost: £0 to £2,500
  • Property valuation fee – your mortgage lender will conduct a valuation of your new-build home to ensure the amount you’re borrowing reflects the true value of the property. This can also be included as part of your mortgage. Cost: £150 - £300
  • NHBC Buildmark Warranty – ahead of moving in, you will receive this warranty which covers your home for up to 10 years with Barratt and David Wilson Homes.
  • Mortgage broker fee – to secure the best mortgage possible, you can seek advice from a broker who can give you expert information for your circumstances. Cost: £0 to £500
  • Stamp Duty – only applicable to first-time buyers on properties priced over £425,000
  • Conveyancing fee – this will be paid to your solicitor or conveyancer to cover their time and any costs incurred during the process. Cost: £0 to £1,500
  • Land registry fee – HM Land Registry will charge you a fee to register you as the legal owner of a home. Your solicitor or conveyancer will arrange this payment for you and it’s significantly cheaper to complete online. Cost: up to £500

5. Moving Day

The final part of the process is the completion. Once your new build is ready, the developer will send your solicitor a notice to complete 10 working days prior to completion. On this day, your solicitor will transfer the funds from the mortgage provider, making you officially a proud homeowner.

To help you settle in, there is a whole team of people working right on site who can answer questions. Six to eight weeks after move-in day, the customer care team will take care of you until you have been in your home for two years. After that the NHBC Structural Warranty will give you complete peace of mind until your home is 10-years-old.


Find out more about current Barratt Homes developments in the North East of England.

Find out more about current David Wilson Homes developments in the North East of England.


Find retirement homes developments in the North East of England
Find affordable homes developments in the North East of England
Find luxury homes developments in the North East of England


Wayland Fields (Barratt Homes)
27 February 2024
Barratt Developments is inviting house-hunters in Norfolk to find out more about several developments in the county...Read more
Centurion Village (David Wilson Homes)
14 February 2024
David Wilson Homes has some excellent deals on new homes across its current developments in Lancashire...Read more
Merchants Gate (McCarthy Stone)
12 February 2024
We take a look at current new homes developments in Glasgow to discover those that rate best overall for their location...Read more
Sign up for email alertsGet the latest properties and updates sent directly to your inbox daily, weekly or immediately you are in control.
Subscribe to Alerts
Search news and advice

Click here to see your activities