Buying any house is exciting. But moving into a new-build home brings a unique range of benefits.
Everything’s brand new and the prospect of being the first to live there feels great. You can also decorate and fit out the home to your exact taste – from the carpets and curtains, to the kitchen worktops and floor.
You won’t face the maintenance costs and repairs that are part and parcel of moving into older properties. Plus, modern building standards mean that your general costs and energy bills should be lower.
However, buying from a developer also has its own complexities.
Often, your home will be only part built, or maybe just a plot of land. So, you need to know exactly what you’re buying. If you loved the show home, make sure it’s an accurate representation of your property, and be aware of any differences.
The deadlines and schedule for buying new property can also be tricky to keep to.
The developer will ask you to reserve the property and pay a fee for doing so. They’ll usually give you just a month to exchange contracts. If you can’t don’t stick to this deadline, you could lose your fee and dream home.
And even after you’ve exchanged contracts with the developer, it could take many months to complete the purchase. This has a bearing on your mortgage offer, because they normally expire after six months. If your mortgage is withdrawn before you complete, you risk losing your deposit and could also be forced to pay the developer’s expenses.
You’ll also need to factor in time for final checks of the home, once it’s ready. For instance, the mortgage lender will need to inspect it, and you’ll also want to make a list of any problems that the builder needs to sort out (what’s known as snagging).
There are also strict rules around planning permission for new properties and the estate it’s built in. Any problems should’ve been ironed out by the developer long before, but you should do your own checks to avoid any disastrous last-minute hitches.
With this in mind, it makes sense to get in touch with a specialist new-build property solicitor as soon as you can.
They can help you with every stage of your purchase, including:
- Arranging schedules and deadlines
- Negotiating contract terms and clauses
- Checking planning permission and conveyancing details