As the government pledges to build one million homes nationwide over the next three to five years, they have also developed incentives to help potential buyers make a purchase. Schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’ have assisted first time buyers and those struggling to get on the property ladder. First time buyers also have a lot of benefits when buying their first property with sweeteners such as Help to Buy ISAs, nil rate Stamp Duty Land Tax for properties below £300,000, Armed Forces Help to Buy and Lifetime ISAs.
If your finances are sorted and you are considering a new build property, it is important to be fully aware of exactly what you are buying from a developer. Your new home may not be complete when you purchase the property, as you may be purchasing ‘off plan’. This means you will be relying on the plans and specifications prepared by the developer. It is vital that the sizes, dimensions and location of the plot are checked in detail and are what you envisaged they would be.
How can you ensure your new build property is your dream home?
As with any property purchase, your conveyancer will check the contract documentation, planning conditions, whether or not the roads and drains will be maintained by the Local Authority, and what defects warranty the developer is providing. Most reputable developers will offer an insurance policy or warranty against major structural defects for a ten year period. Your conveyancer will check this meets your mortgage lender’s requirements and is suitable for the property you are buying.
Your developer should provide you with timescales for the new build property, and you should ensure that your mortgage offer remains valid throughout the time you are committed to purchase the property. Most new home developers do not allow you to delay completion due to ‘minor defects’ or more commonly known as ‘snagging’. You should always visit the property before completing to ensure there are no major issues with the build and to inform the developer of what the snagging issues are.
For most people buying a brand new home is the biggest purchase they will make in their lifetime but can be very daunting. Finding a specialist solicitor early on, who will act in your interests, will help to avoid any potential issues.
This will give you peace of mind and leave you the time to focus on checking local schools, amenities and perhaps the local gastro pub!