Bideford conveyancing lawyer, Liam Harris, looks at the legal and practical considerations of buying a new build property.
While the thought of owning a brand-new house is an appealing one for many of us, there are a number of legal and practical considerations that you should bear in mind when buying a new build property.
Top of the list of concerns for a lot of new build purchasers is ‘snagging’.
While developers strive to hand over their properties in tip-top condition, there will inevitably be building issues that need ironing out. It is advisable to undertake a detailed inspection to identify any defects that need remedying or work that has not been fully completed. If you are particularly concerned about the finish of the build, you may even wish to consider having a specialist snagging report prepared by an independent expert.
Of crucial legal importance are the warranties and guarantees that come with the property. Is there an NHBC warranty or something similar that will cover any structural issues that might arise in the future? Are all the guarantees for things such as the windows, heating system and appliances be assigned to you? You should also make sure you know what is covered by the warranties and guarantees and how long they run for.
Most developers provide an excellent after-sales service and will put right any issues that are encountered post-completion. However, as our litigation team will testify, new build disputes do arise, so it is important to do your research before you buy to ensure that the developer is reliable and known for building quality properties.
Once you are satisfied about the developer’s credentials, take a look around the show home if there is one. Get a clear indication of what is included in the price and what the cost of any extras will be. Ask whether you have a choice of finishes or fixtures and fittings.
While you may be told that the price is fixed, there might still be scope for negotiation, so it’s always worth asking. Flexibility on price is closely related to market conditions, and developers are often prepared to throw in extras and upgrades if they are keen to get the deal done.
Choosing the right solicitor to look after your best interests is also paramount when buying a new build property. Our conveyancing team is experienced in dealing with these transactions and are familiar with the contracts that developers use. Our lawyers will give you guidance on payment schedules and any pre-completion conditions that need to be met. We will also advise on timescales, especially if the property has not been built when you agree to buy it as building delays do occur