Buying a home is the biggest purchase you’re likely to make in your lifetime, so you’ll want to make sure you consider all your options carefully, including whether you should buy a new build or an older property. Depending on your decision, there are some slight differences in the buying process. Read on to find out more about the stages of buying a new build property.
Get your finances in order
Before you begin the search for your perfect home, it’s crucial you have an idea of how much you’re able to afford, so you can narrow down your search to properties within your budget. You should seek advice from a mortgage adviser, who will give you an idea of how much you might be able to borrow. If you’re a first-time buyer, it is also worth getting an agreement in principle from a mortgage lender, confirming they will lend you a certain amount. This demonstrates to developers that you can afford the property and are serious buyers.
Find your new build
With your finances in place, it’s time to start searching for your new home. In addition to the look and size of the property, be sure to consider other factors like the transport links and local amenities available in the area. Thankfully, developers construct new builds with these factors in mind, so you shouldn’t have too much of a headache finding one which is perfect for you.
More often than not, new build properties will be part of a government scheme offering financial help to first time buyers, such as the First Homes scheme or Help to Buy. These schemes can ease the burden of purchasing a home, so ensure this is high on your list of priorities during your property search.
View and reserve your home
When it comes to viewing a new build property, it’s quite likely the full development will still be under construction, but you will be able to view the show home. This is a completed example property, which is fully furnished to help you envision what your new home will look like.
Once you’ve viewed and settled on a new build, you can make a reservation. This is similar to making an offer in the traditional home buying process, just without the risk that your offer could be trumped. You pay a small reservation fee (usually around £500), which is taken off your total costs upon completion. By paying a set fee, your chosen property is reserved for a certain amount of time, giving you a bit of breathing space by preventing any other offers being accepted on your desired home.
Complete the legalities
Now your home is reserved, you need to secure your mortgage and appoint a conveyancer to deal with the legalities. It is advisable to choose a legal professional who is experienced in new build purchases, particularly if you plan to use the Help to Buy scheme, as there are some additional legal processes they will need to carry out. Your conveyancer will negotiate a date for you to exchange contracts and arrange your move-in date with the developers of your new home.
Exchange contracts and move in
Unlike a traditional property purchase, with a new build you often exchange contracts months before you can move in. It’s at exchange that you’ll pay a deposit and your conveyancer will liaise with the developer to arrange your completion date.
There are usually two dates given: a ‘short-stop date’, which is when the developer expects your new home to be completed by; and a ‘long-stop date’, which is the final date when your home has to be finished. Your conveyancer should keep you and your mortgage lender up to date to ensure everything runs smoothly from this point until you’re able to complete and move into your new home!
Now that you have a better understanding of the process, learn all about the benefits of buying a new build home here.