Hopefully, by following these simple steps we can help you make the right choice and you can secure your dream home:
Firstly, it is important to remember that most house builders will only take a Reservation to secure a property if you are in a position to proceed. This means that if you have a property to sell this would need to be Sold (subject to contract) with a completed chain.
Many new builds are sold ‘off plan’ and therefore if you are selling a property it is important to make it very clear to your buyers that there may be a delay before your property is built and ready to move into. In our experience, we have found that most people in property chains are willing to wait if they understand the timescales and are informed from the outset. Alternatively, some people prefer to complete on their sale and move in with family, friends or take a short term rental whilst their new home is completed.
Some house builders offer incentives to help you sell your property including part-exchange, easy mover or early bird reservations and it may be worthwhile exploring these options further if they are available.
It is important to know how much you can afford when looking for a property so that you can make sure you are looking in the right price range.
If you need a mortgage we would strongly advice that you speak to an independent financial advisor in the first instance, they will assess your personal finances and tailor a solution to meet your individual circumstances
Mortgage lenders generally seek a minimum 10% deposit. However, subject to availability, there are schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’ offered by the Government, which enables you to purchase with as little as 5% deposit. Again your independent financial advisor will be able to advise you on this scheme and its eligibility, plus you can find out more about this scheme on our incentives page.
It is important to use an independent financial advisor who understands the new build process and has access to lenders who offer the most competitive deals on new build properties. This is especially important if you are considering using the Help to Buy scheme as this involves complex paper work which has to be filled in correctly. RPC Land & New Homes Ltd does not provide this advice but we can recommend a range of independent advisors if necessary.
As a final note, if you are considering purchasing a second home please remember that Stamp Duty levels differ for purchases of properties that are not your main residence. Further information can be found on our Stamp Duty information sheet to avoid any surprises.
New properties are very popular and often sell quickly. Therefore, you need to decide on what kind of property and location you want or need. It is recommended you research the local property market online and talk to local agents. Once you have narrowed your search down perhaps also have a drive around and look around several properties to get a feel for the area and research things like local schools, train stations, journey time to work etc.
Many new build developments have a Show Home available to view which can often be visited without an appointment so check with the agent or house builder for opening times.
As previously discussed, if you have a property to sell make sure you discuss this with the house builder so that they are aware of your current situation before making an offer.
Often the house builders will also require that you are financially qualified by one of their preferred financial advisors. There is no obligation to use this financial advisor and this is normally a relatively straightforward process.
If your offer is accepted the property is Reserved and a deposit is taken. This varies from house builder to house builder but will be at least £500. At this stage your sale is still ‘subject to contract’ which means that the sale is agreed but is not legally binding until exchange of contracts has taken place. Most house builders expect an exchange of contracts within 28 days of reservation, with completion on notice if the property is still under construction, so once again you will need to make sure everyone involved is aware of this. Up to the point of exchange either side can withdraw from the sale, but if you do the house builder is entitled to retain some, or all, of your deposit to cover their incurred costs in the failed sale.
Once again it is very important to use a solicitor/conveyancer who understands the new build buying process, especially with the time constraints for exchange and completions. This is even more important if you are thinking of using the Help to Buy scheme as there is slightly more paper work involved, some house builders may even request/suggest that you use one of their preferred solicitors.
Once the reservation has been taken we will write to all parties with the terms of the agreement and following this, your solicitor will write to you requesting full instructions to proceed and monies on account to apply for local searches. It is imperative that you return all the forms and documents requested as soon as possible as they will not be able to act on your behalf until they have received these.
Our sales teams are on hand throughout the process, making sure that the sale progresses by liaising with all parties and keeping up updated at every stage. At this point your chosen financial advisor will also need to make your formal mortgage application and the lender will instruct a survey to be carried out and your formal mortgage offer should follow shortly after. Once your solicitor has received the searches & mortgage offer they will be able to report back to you with their findings and contracts for you to sign.
When returning these they will also request that you put them in funds with your exchange deposit. If you are selling a property that will cover all, or part, of your deposit then this will be sent up the chain and it is recommended you discuss this with your solicitor.
When exchange of contracts has occurred a completion date will be agreed. However, if you are buying off plan the house builder will only be able to give you an indication of the anticipated completion date which may change depending on the build. This is called a completion on notice and once your property is ready the house builder will serve you notice and you have a period of up to 2 weeks to complete. Normally, at this point, the house builder will arrange for a ‘Home Demo’ where you will have an opportunity to have a final viewing of your home before completion to make sure you are happy with everything.
You will complete on the agreed date when the balance of the purchase price is transferred to the house builder. If you are involved in a chain completion may take a few hours to work its way up to the house builders solicitor, but once received we will be able to release the keys to your new home and you will be free to move when you are ready.