How to choose the perfect plot

Longniddry Village Home Selector

One of the biggest advantages of buying a new home over a resale property is the sheer choice on offer. Unless you’re enquiring about a former showhome or the final plot in a largely-completed estate, there’s likely to be a selection of homes available across a development. They will vary in size, price, position and completion dates. As such, choosing a new-build plot brings a number of challenges. And while making sense of a two-dimensional site plan or a floorplan sketch may be challenging, these documents are made to help buyers choose a perfect property well in advance of it being completed...

Site plans

The first thing to get to grips with is the site plan. Every development has paper copies available, while Cruden Homes’ website hosts interactive online maps where you can zoom in on specific plots to see them in more detail. Generally speaking, site plans are oriented with north at the top of the page (or screen), so south-facing gardens will be ‘underneath’ a particular property rather than ‘above’ it.

Some site plans include street names, landscaping detail, parking bays and plot boundaries. If your family has three cars, you’ll naturally be drawn towards plots with driveways rather than allocated parking bays. Site plans also illustrate which homes are currently available, which are sold, and which haven’t been released yet.

Choosing a flat

Apartment blocks often have more than one flat of each type being constructed, so consider your lifestyle and preferences when selecting a plot. People with mobility issues will naturally prefer ground-floor properties, whereas anyone who loves a view will favour top-floor flats. First-floor flats have historically been the most sought-after, but would stairs be challenging for visitors, or even for you if you have a small child?

Different floors of an apartment block may offer distinct approaches to outside space; a Parisian balcony on the ground floor with walk-out terraces on higher storeys, or vice versa. Similarly, study floorplans for each apartment style to determine if a certain property or plot offers enough living space and storage. If it doesn’t, are there larger apartments being constructed elsewhere within the estate?

Choosing a house

If you’re purchasing a house, its position within the estate might be a significant factor. Some people aspire to cul-de-sacs where children can play out safely, while others prefer busier roads where there’s more life and activity. Sun-worshippers may be drawn to south or west-facing back gardens, though a southerly back garden means the front of your property will be in permanent shade.

End-terraced homes are effectively semi-detached, while site boundaries mean some end-terraced or corner plots may stand in larger gardens. Also consider the estate’s topography – sloping ground could mean sloping driveways and gardens, which might not suit families with young children, for instance.

Choosing a completion date

If your ideal plot won’t be ready for nine months, is it worth choosing an alternative that’ll be ready sooner? New jobs, the end of a tenancy and the start of a new school term/year may steer you towards plots which are scheduled to be ready at specific times. Some people might revel in being the first occupants of a new street, whereas others may prefer to have a community around them as they move in.

Remember completion dates are only estimates. While Cruden Homes will always aim to have properties ready on schedule, delays can arise due to unforeseen events such as materials shortages or extreme weather.

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