New Build Conveyancing
We pride ourselves on working with developers, estate agents, and financial advisors to make your dream of owning a new build home a reality.
Our extensive new build conveyancing experience ensures we can meet the tight 28-day deadline set by most developers.
"Purchasing a new build property can be a stressful and confusing process. As a qualified conveyancer we want to make sure that we break this process down into easily digestibly bite-sized chunks to help you gain clarity over the legal steps involved. We take you through the entire process all the way from considering planning permissions, to completing your land registry, to landing your formal mortgage offer and exchange contracts on your new build"
1) A Reservation Fee is paid for the New Build Home
2) Buyer Reserves the New Build Home
3) Buyer proceeds to Instruct a New Build property lawyer, licensed conveyancer or Solicitor
4) New Build Conveyancing Process is carried out
5) Exchange Contracts
New Build Conveyancing Process FAQs
1: Is the plot cost included?
"When you’re exploring new construction options, you’ll see that each plan comes with a base cost. This is the cost of the structure itself, as well as base interior and exterior features (we’ll get into those in a little bit). What may not be included is the cost of the land, so be sure to ask if the plot cost is figured into the base.
If the plot cost is included, ask if there are premium costs for certain plots. It’s possible that the base cost does include the lot, but the remaining lots in the development all have added costs for certain features that you can’t opt out of, such as look-out windows in the basement or wider yards. If the plot cost is not included, ask what it is (and whether there are additional premium costs) and factor those into the base price for the house"
2: How long will the building work take?
"It's important to know what you're getting into timing-wise with new build properties. If you have an existing property to sell first or if you're planning on staying with family or renting as a stop-gap until the new property is complete make sure the game plan is clear from the start"
The building process is prone to delays and you will be unable to get a finite schedule for how long the build will take, you will get a general idea of what you can expect.
Find out, if the build purchase time includes the time it takes to get the permits, this could take up to 45 days to obtain. While there are non-compliance clauses to account for developers failing to meet pre-set deadlines, the paperwork involved at the start of the process means that buyers of a new build have very few legal steps available in cases like these.
In addition, even if there are no structural defects once the property completes, the snagging survey may find numerous issues with the new house that will further delay the completion date"
3: What warranties are provided with the new build property?
"Just because a home is new doesn't mean there are no problems and that there will be no future maintenance. This is why new build purchases come with a few warranties that protect you in the event of a mishap early on, including a short term whole-house warranty and a longer-term structural warranty. Ask your developer what warranties are included and their expiry date"
It is possible to buy your own home warranty, but why should you when the builder should cover you for at least the first several years? This is where organisations such as the National House Building Council (NHBC for short) are very useful to involve. Their aim is to improve the house building quality in the UK through NHBC Inspections and warranties. A failure to arrange NHBC inspections is a serious missed opportunity as their warranties offer a lot of safety and peace of mind
4: What are the standard finishes?
"Shortly after entering a reservation agreement make sure to ask what types of finishes are included in the property and go through the model unit with the sales representative and ask them to point out what's standard and what is not"
It is more common for you to meet with the designers after you've gone under contract. So get your designer cap on and start thinking about what finishes, i.e. carpets and worktops you want as well as appliances otherwise you could find that there is a difference in the price you wanted to pay and what you are requested to pay"
5: Are you allowed to purchase your own appliances or materials?
"Had your eye on an Aga MasterChef? It's possible that you may be able to have it and the builder installs it. However, there are builders who will allow you to purchase your own appliances, but you cannot purchase your own materials like paint etc.
Keep in mind that, in terms of appliances, you probably will have to make some purchases, such as dishwashers and refrigerators"
6: Will you get credits if you bring in your own materials or appliances?
"For example if your base price of your new construction home includes a fridge worth £400, but you'd like to upgrade and purchase the fridge of your dreams, an American style fridge, costing £800. Will you get £400 off the purchase price for not having the fridge that's included in the base price?"
Some builders offer credits for any upgrades or self-purchased materials or appliances, while with others you will need to negotiate the originally included item. Credits are a nice touch, but they're not usually standard, so it's best not to go in expecting that you'll get money off the contract price for purchases like these. In general, builders don't like to lower the base cost, but if they do offer credits, that's a win for you"
7: Is landscaping included?
"Depending on the size of your garden, landscaping, including sodding and putting in trees and plants, can set you back a fair few pounds. Is that a cost you'll have to factor in on top of the home purchase? Some builders include your basic garden work, while others leave you with unfinished land that becomes your responsibility to landscape.
There is also a set amount of time, per the contract to complete this work. Ask what is included in the landscaping and the warranty on the materials so if your grass dies or something else occurs you're not responsible for fixing it.
It is also possible that the developer will be willing to take care of the public facing portions of your property in exchange for yearly management fees"
8: Does the contract include a cost escalation clause?
"New builds are renounced for last minute hiccups, to avoid being on the hook financially it is wise to ensure your contact does not have a cost escalation clause which allows the builder to charge you for any unanticipated costs that arise as a result of necessary labour or materials."
So, if timber prices go up before the builder has purchased the materials for your flooring, or an unexpected delay adds a few weeks onto the build, you're libel for those costs.
If you want peace of mind and would rather not deal with the stress of unanticipated costs, find a builder that doesn't include a cost escalation clause
9: Are there any homeowners rules or regulations?
"Even if there is no homeowner's association for the development, the builder may still set some guidelines as far as what is allowed and what is not on your property which are called restrictive covenants. For example, you may not be able to use a particular type of fencing or install a shed in your backyard"
It's better to ask these questions early on in the new build conveyancing process and have peace of mind rather than move in and find out that you can't turn your property into your dream home.
10: Are there any financial incentives for using the builder's preferred mortgage lender?
"Some builders offer discounts on closing costs if you obtain your mortgage offer through a company that they have a relationship with. Ask if these sorts of financial incentives are available, but make sure you shop around and get the best advice from a financial advisor before making your decision about where to get your mortgage offers and do not base it on a discount alone – you may still be able to find a better deal through other lenders"
It's still good to know however if there are benefits to working with the builder's preferred mortgage company then make a note of exactly what they are and then compare before choosing your mortgage offer
If you'd like to talk to us Get in touch here Or you may require one of our other conveyancing services. See below.