Conveyancing for New builds

New build conveyancing is often one of the most complicated conveyancing processes due to an increased chance of things going wrong.

Why a conveyancing solicitor is important when buying a new build

It is possible to do your own conveyancing in simple transactions, although it can be a significant time sink and require some understanding of legal jargon. However, in the case of buying a new build home there are a number of issues that may arise during the conveyancing process that it is prudent to hire a professional conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer to handle your case. Check your solicitor is regulated by the solicitors regulation authority. Things that have the potential to go wrong include:

  • Non compliance issues with planning regulations
  • No NHBC Inspections
  • No Agreements for roads and Sewers
  • No plan for common area maintenance.
It is important to find a conveyancing solicitor who has experience in handling these sorts of cases. Hiring a professional independent solicitor will ensure that you have someone to fight your corner as the developers of the new homes will likely be exerting pressure on you to complete as soon as possible.

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What Steps will my solicitor take when purchasing a new build?

Your solicitor will likely:

  • Inspect the title for the property you are buying
  • Ensure the property is as described and sold to you
  • Liaise with the developers to discuss future developments on site
  • Check with the developers about drains, sewers roads and utilities
  • Discuss the new build guarantee with you and how this related to your interests
  • Ensure you fully understand the terms of the contract for your property
Before buying a new build property you should ensure that you have the finances in place to make the purchase usually by having a mortgage agreed in principle. Most mortgages have a 6 month expiry period after which point, if the sale is not complete, you will be required to request an extension from the lender. Alternatively, you could apply for a new build mortgage which, typically, have longer expiry periods to allow for any hold up during the conveyancing process.

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What else should I request from my solicitor?

You should also request the property specification, plans and drawings so you can be assured of exactly what you are getting for your money. New build houses are often customisable with the buyer being able to choose what fixtures and fittings they want, whether they require appliances and other extras such as a parking space. Be sure to have your choices noted in your specifications. Having a snagging clause written into your contract is also a good idea. Once the builder is finished with the property you will be able to run a snagging survey which will flag any areas which require remedial work (this could be either cosmetic or structural). It is a good idea to have this survey completed before final payment has been made and before moving in.

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What about after I have moved into my new home?

Once you have moved in your house should be covered under a NHBC warranty which usually lasts for 10 years. However, the NHBC are notoriously slow to action any issues and are more likely to side with the developers on certain issues, which is why a snagging survey is an important step in the buying process of a new build home.
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