Legal advice when buying a new build home
Buying a newly built home direct from the builder is seen as an attractive option by many homebuyers. They imagine that repairs will be few and far between for a number of years, re-decorating is not an issue and in some cases, they will have chosen fixtures and fittings that suit their needs.
There are, however, some pitfalls which are not immediately apparent, and it is important to take legal advice to address these. If you are looking at some of the many new build developments in the capital and need a conveyancing solicitor London offers many options.
Below we look at some problems you may need to address.
Get your mortgage in place early
Some developers set a tight completion schedule and this may put pressure on your lender to approve your loan. Make sure you have got your application in early and that the offer is valid for as long as possible.
Make sure you know whether the property you are buying is freehold or leasehold. If it is the latter a ground rent may apply.
Some 4.5 million homeowners in England and Wales pay ground rent to a freeholder. A scandal came to light a few years ago when it was revealed some developers were setting a typical low ground rent, but including a clause allowing doubling the payment every 10 years, meaning homeowners would be stuck with huge outgoings over time and unable to sell their property on, since they would be considered un-mortgageable.
The government has promised to review this situation, but you should take legal advice on this matter before exchanging contracts. If you are looking for a conveyancing solicitor London is a good place to start if you are buying in the area.
Check the construction
Your first step should be to check whether the property has a Home Quality Mark, an independent assessment of the standard of new homes. You can also check your developer by looking at the National House Building Council and the Home Builders Federation websites.
Finally, although it may be a new build, you should consider having a full survey of the property, and discuss this with your legal adviser.
Book a snagging appointment
Snagging is a process of checking for minor faults which should be rectified by the builder. You can find professionals such as architects who will carry out an inspection, and a simple search online will provide contacts. Ironing out these problems before exchanging contracts can save you money in the long run.
Check any promises made by the builder
Explain any verbal promises from the developer to your conveyancer, and ensure they are included in the contract. Also make sure the finishes are those you agreed in the purchase price. Remember any significant upgrades could affect the final price. There is also the possibility that any upgrades could take you into a different stamp duty band.
Finally, remember that it is essential to use an experienced conveyancing professional.