Written by Susan Ward, Partner at Spire Solicitors LLP.
In an attempt 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 a number of reasons, however more often than not we 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.
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.
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.
If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.