Buying a New Build Home

Our friendly and experienced New Build team can guide you through every step of buying a new home. From finding the perfect property, to getting your keys, we will be on hand to answer any questions and ensure a smooth and timely transaction.

When it comes to buying your new home, the decision of whether you buy a new build, or an older house is a very personal choice.

Advantages of a New Build

The advantages of buying new over old are:

  • Maintenance costs are usually low for the first few years as all the fixtures and fittings are brand new.
  • Double glazing and modern insulation can mean your energy bill is much lower than an older house. Today’s building rules and regulations require the property to be built as energy efficient as possible.
  • A new build home will often come with a warranty on the construction of the property, this is usually 10 years, but can vary between providers. This can allow for defects to be fixed at little to no cost to the buyer.
  • New homes can be personalised, some developers allow you to choose the finish of the property and add extras to make it your own.
  • Some developers may provide extras such as white goods, covering your legal fees, or stamp duty.
  • The government have introduced Help to Buy and some shared equity and ownership schemes, which allow you to purchase the property or a percentage when you are not able to cover the full purchase price.
  • Most new build developments have management companies to manage and maintain communal areas. This will usually come with an estate charge for freehold properties and service charge for leasehold properties.
  • There is no upward chain which means you can move into your new house when you are ready.
  • Some developers have part-exchange schemes, removing the hassle of selling your home and purchasing your new one.

The New Build Conveyancing Process

Once you have decided on a plot or house and had an offer accepted, the developer will set a deadline for exchange of contracts, which is usually around 4 weeks. It is important you instruct a solicitor at this point to ensure you meet this date. Your solicitor will need to review the contract pack and advise you on any important information or issues and raise any queries relevant to the property.

When you are happy with the contract pack and have a full picture of your purchase, your solicitor will be ready to exchange contracts. As the property may not be built, the completion date may need to be agreed weeks or months in the future. It is only when completion takes place will you need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax and the property will be registered in your name at the Land Registry.

Important Considerations

To try and tackle the national shortage of property, the number of new build developments across the UK is increasing rapidly. New build homes can be appealing for several reasons, however, we often hear stories about nightmare builders and new-build developments. To lessen the risk of buying a property which you later wish you hadn’t it is important to consider the following:

Who Are the Developers?

There are many different companies in the UK offering everything from affordable housing to luxury apartments. The choice might seem bewildering and so it is important to carry out some research to see which developer matches your requirements. Look online to see what other people are saying and visit the developer’s other sites to see the overall finish. We can assist you through this process and provide guidance on what to look for in a developer.

What Guarantees Do They Offer?

If you move into a newly built property, you’re going to want reassurance that the developer will fix any problems that occur. New build homes will often come with a 10-year warranty which is essentially an insurance policy for newly built homes. It is taken out by the builder or developer but is in place to protect you, the buyer, from having to pay to fix any major structural defects affecting your home. It is also important to make sure there is a “snagging” provision in your contract to allow you to get little issues sorted easily.

The National House Building Council (NHBC) is the UK’s main warranty and insurance provider, with its Buildmark guarantee covering 80% of new homes. There are other providers available, such as Build-Zone and Premier Guarantee, who offer very similar (but not identical) terms.

We can provide further information and discuss the guarantees available to you to ensure you and your property are protected.

What Information Does the Developer Provide?

When purchasing a newly built home you will want to get as much information as possible about the property you are buying. The developer should provide: a general description of the property and who is selling it; a copy of the title deeds; information about the property held by local authorities; information on water, drainage and the environment, and copies of any planning documents.

How Much Say Do You Have In the Building Process?

If you commit early enough in the development, you may be able to customise certain aspects such as the decoration, fixtures and fittings, and flooring.

What Costs Are Involved?

The costs can vary between each developer and whilst some developers may be able to negotiate on price, others may look to offer more incentives or financial assistance. These can include free furnishings or paying your legal fees or stamp duty.

Our highly regarded and friendly solicitors are on hand to guide you through the process of buying a new build home and to answer any questions you have. Find our simplified and easy to understand process infographic for buying a new build home here.

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