Buying a new build with Persimmon – my experience so far

Buying a house is a scary thing. It’s the most expensive purchase you will probably make in your life. For those of you that are…


Buying a house is a scary thing. It’s the most expensive purchase you will probably make in your life. For those of you that are thinking about it and have no idea where to start, here’s my experience.

*Update* Read this post to see how our house is doing after 18 months:

Buying a new build with Persimmon - my experience so far

Before finding your new home.

We knew we wanted to move house this summer two years ago when we moved into our old house. It was always a starter home – a small two-bedroomed semi-detached house in an area we knew we didn’t want to stay in. It was a ‘get your foot on a property ladder’ type of place.

Since then, we’ve been looking at different areas and how much things cost to get a realistic idea of what we can get for our money.

It’s important to look at houses in the areas you want to live in. Some can be more expensive than others so you need to decide what you are willing to pay for a nicer area. We had a few areas in mind and knew the average price for a three-bed, four-bed, with garage etc.

The next step was to find out how much we could afford. We got in contact with our mortgage advisor, sent across some financial information and he told us what we would be able to lend.

Looking around.

When we first started looking, we weren’t sure if we were going to get an old house that needed work or get a brand new house. We decided we wanted a new build as we wanted to enjoy our free time doing other things rather than working on the house for the next year or so. My boyfriends Mum has just re-done an old cottage in Whitby and although it is beautiful now, it was a lot of work to get it where it was.

We researched new builds in the area and visited some show homes.

I had seen a house on Rightmove that I fell in love with. We found out that it was a new build development so went to see it.

We went into the sales office and spoke to the sales rep. We spoke about our situation and we had seen one we liked. He explained the process to us, that we could reserve it for a week without putting any money down while we checked affordability, had our house valued for part-exchange and decided.

No homes were built yet, but there was a show home that was basically the same as the house we wanted 10 miles down the A64, so we went to visit.

It was beautiful.

Then the stress of buying a new home started. We were desperate for the house and wanted it confirmed. We wanted things signed so we knew it was our home. That’s the most frustrating part of the process of buying a home – the fear of something going wrong until you exchange contracts.

Reserving our home.

We had reserved our home for a week, without paying anything. During this time we confirmed our affordability and got a mortgage decision in principle. Persimmon sent three estate agents around to value our house and we had our own come around.

Each estate agent gave a different valuation. We were offered less than what we paid for it. After saying that this meant we couldn’t afford the house, we were offered incentives. Our Persimmon incentives were: They paid all our stamp duty, upgraded our carpets, flooring and kitchen, turfed the garden and added a tap.

After we got that sorted, we paid a reservation fee of £200 (in 2019).

As of 2023, the Persimmon Homes reservation fee is £500.

Part exchange.

We decided to go with the Persimmons Homes part exchange – the main reason for this was it meant there wasn’t any stress in regards to selling our old house.

If we didn’t go part exchange, we could have gotten a bit more for our house. But we also would have had to pay estate agent fees, have a buyer for our house, risk it falling through and we just didn’t want that stress.

Instead, we took a bit less for it but after working out the estate agent fees plus the incentives, we probably broke even.

They took care of everything and quickly found a buyer for our house.

Another major positive of going part exchange is that we didn’t have to worry about when we moved. We kept the house until the new house was ready. Simple as that. There was no worry whether we would have to move out before it was ready.

We also applied for a licence to occupy which was granted. This meant that when we completed on Friday, we had until Monday to give the keys back to the old property. This was a great help as it meant we could our main move on Saturday and clean the old house on Sunday.

Getting a mortgage offer.

This part was stressful, it started out really optimistic and when we started to narrow down banks that would lend to us, we struggled to find a lender that would lend us 90% of the mortgage with a new build. We also had to pick between a 2-year, 3-year and 5-year fixed term. We decided to go with a 5-year fixed term as it’s possible interest rates may fluctuate because of Brexit, so in 2 years we might struggle to get a good rate. You can’t predict fluctuations, but at least we know what our mortgage will be for the next 5 years.

Getting our mortgage offer was a painful wait of almost 4 weeks as we had been selected for a random audit where they had to do further checks, including a check with our employers.

We finally got the offer and it felt great!

The wait.

This was the hardest part. Our solicitors were slow at replying and we often had to email a few times about the same thing. Because of our Persimmon build timeline and the build stage we were at, we were given an estimated completion date as the end of May and requested the 28th May as our completion date. We exchanged contracts about a week before so were just waiting. We were then told it had been delayed slightly because the street wasn’t yet safe for us to access, even though the house was done. We would be told it would be before the end of June.

On the 31st of May, while sat in a bar in Manchester before seeing the Spice Girls live in concert, we got the email and the call to say everything was ready and we were given the notice to move on the 14th June. We agreed to this date, got our licence to occupy approved and could finally breathe.

The day finally came around and I got up, went to the gym and then waited for the phone call. At 12:04 pm, I got the call to say everything had gone through and I could go and collect my keys.

Having the keys in my hands was an amazing feeling. It felt like we had done it and nothing would get in our way now. Everything was in our control of moving our things over, not waiting for other people.

The day of the move went pretty quickly, too. We had help from family and 90% of our things were packed in the van by midday. It wasn’t raining either which was lucky as it had rained all week.

When we finished unloading the van and sat down in the kitchen at around 5 pm, the heavens opened and it chucked it down!

persimmon home review persimmons kitchen


We have a month to fully snag our house. All new builds will have some problems. It’s unrealistic to expect everything to be perfect. We had a few minor things such as:

  • Bathroom lock didn’t work
  • Glue on the outside door
  • Hinge coming off on a door
  • Screw exposed in the shower
  • Mark on the carpet
  • Chip on a window handle

We reported it on Monday and everything was fixed by Thursday.

Persimmons have some bad press, but I feel like we’ve been treated really well. We love our house, things were fixed and we have been looked after. I’m confident that if other issues arise, they’ll be just as prompt in fixing them. Overall, I’m happy with my Persimmon part exchange.

If are you considering buying a new home from Persimmons, then read my blog post – should I buy a new build home?


  1. Thank you for this. We are looking to buy a persimmon. Which one did you get? We are thinking of getting a Lumley.

  2. Thanks for this, was good to see the insight on the part-ex experience.

    We reserved a plot with Persimmon last week as we had sold our house privately – then yesterday morning the buyer pulled out because they had “changed their mind” after 3 weeks since having an offer accepted.

    We’re now in the process of setting up part-ex valuations – there is some small margins on figures so praying that the figures come in nicely from the valuations and Persimmon. We was listed at offers over 130 and got 128 privately, so not sure what Persimmon will end up offering.

    It was nice to see someone’s positive experience from the process though as Persimmon get a lot of bad press – but as I always say you don’t hear about the good stuff just the bad with everything.

  3. Can anyone tell me what is required in order for you to qualify for part exchange with Persimmons. I already own a Persimmons home, and want to move, and have possibly seen another Persimmons home ( not inside) that I would be interested in buying. It would mean though that the home I want to buy is priced at about 20,000 less than my present one. Do Persimmons do part exchange on that type scenario? I had understood that your onward buy had to be a certain percentage more expensive.???

    Can anyone explain?

  4. I am thinking about buying a house from them. How long did you wait since putting money for reservation until getting a key?

    1. Hi, I reserved my house in the middle of February in 2019 and got the key in the middle of June. It all depends on what stage the house you are reserving is – ours was 80% built – the house was built, the windows were in and they were just doing the electrical/plumbing.

  5. Hi, congratulations for buying your house!

    A quick question, how much you offered for the house? Did you offered them the asking price or?

    Currently look at a 300K house with PX, however they are not offering any incitives, the house is already on the market for 4 months with no offers.


    1. We paid the price it was listed as. They won’t budget on the price.They offered incentives and paid our stamp duty when we said we couldn’t afford it.

  6. Hi,

    Can someone help. We have just mortgaged 100% on our shared ownership property. We want to move quite quickly – Solicitor advised couple of months to wait for Title Deeds to be updated (there is a back log) and also partners wage increases in march/april.. We are off to view a persimmon new build next weekend. I presume there are different houses at different stages. Are you able to reserve a house until ready to move?

    It would be gutting to see one and not be able to reserve a little while for it to be ours. Hope someone could help.

    Thank you xx

    1. When we got ours, there were houses at various stages. Reserved ours in April for a June/July completion, ours was the first on our estate to be finest so others had to wait more months. They give you a 3-month window for completion. Once we found a house we were interested they reserved it for us for one week to decide if we wanted to go ahead. I believe in this time we had to contact a mortgage broker run our numbers to make sure we had affordability, we could proceed to reserve it once we had this. You have to move when the house is ready and has been signed off.

    1. I believe we paid £3500 for carpet in all the rooms and vinyl in the bathrooms and kitchen via persimmons. We had the option to get it down ourselves but this meant we would have had to move in with no flooring and have to move things around to get it done after.

  7. Could I please ask a question?

    We have bought a house and the vendors are waiting on their new build persimmon to be finalised.

    We have spoken with Persimmon who have advised that the property will be ready in a weeks time.

    My question is can the vendor choose their move in date once the property is ready?

    We have been told we can’t move until June but by my calculations the property will be ready by the end of May.

    Thank you

    1. They have control over when it is ready. We were told June to start with, then given a date of May but then there was a delay so we moved in the middle of June. Sometimes delays happen to make it longer or sometimes it’s finished early. They will give two weeks notice for the exact date – the rest is just an estimate.

  8. Hi, did you pay a reservation fee and if so, was it deducted from the fee of the house?

    1. I believe we paid £50, I can’t remember if that was given back to us or deducted from the fee for the house.

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