New build top tips

Buying a new build home is a great option for many people, whether you have a growing family or you’re right-sizing in your later years. Even for first-time buyers, a newly-built house can seem like a less stressful option since you are able to move straight in.

But, it’s incredibly important to be careful when buying a new build, as there are many things that may come back to haunt you if you don’t check them earlier on. Here are our top tips:

1) Make sure the plan of the property is correct

Always check that the plan has a scale, north point and is based on the surrounding Ordnance Survey detail, otherwise it is likely to be rejected by Land Registry.

Plans can be a major problem if they are wrong, so it is importance to look at it carefully and make sure it is the same as the property on the ground.

Compare the plan with the developer’s Land Registry Title Plan.

If your plot is on the edge of a development, this is especially important; find out who’s going to be responsible for maintenance of boundaries.

2) Check the price and any extras

Believe it or not, there can actually be a lot of confusion about exactly how much you are paying for the property, especially if the developer has offered you incentives or if you have negotiated to pay for extras.

Usually, the developer will expect you to pay for the extras up front, but DO NOT do this until contracts have been exchanged, otherwise you may have great difficulty in getting your money back if the developer feels you have broken faith with them if you don’t proceed to purchase.

3) Ground Rent, Service Charges and hidden costs

Always check the detail around the payment of ground rent, service charges and any other payments you will be required to make once you purchase the property.

On new developments, it’s not just leasehold properties than can incur service charges; developers often insist that owners pay towards cleaning, maintenance and repairs of common parts or particular features on the development.

Above all, never complete your purchase until you are clear about the payments you’ll need to make following completion.

It is particularly important to look at any list of fees which can be charged for providing information or for late payments and also when you want to sell the property; some of these fees tend to put buyers off, which may make it more difficult for you to sell the property in the future.

4) New build guarantee or architect’s certificate?

All new build properties should come with either a 10-year new build guarantee from a reputable and recognised guarantee provider for these types of properties, such as the National House Builders Council Guarantee (NHBC) or an Architect’s Certificate.

Be sure to check the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders’ handbook to see whether your mortgage lender will accept the 10 year guarantee being offered.

Remember, an Architect’s Certificate is NOT a guarantee. If you wanted to make a claim under an Architect’s Certificate, you would have to start by proving that the statement was inaccurate in some way.

In order to be accepted by Mortgage Lenders’, the Architect Certificate must be in the form of words at Appendix 1 of the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook with a copy of the Architect’s current Indemnity Insurance schedule.

5) The Snagging List

Normally, you will be invited to view the property a matter of days before completion to make sure everything is working and that you are happy with the finishing touches of the building. Often, there can be things which need to be finished off, such as lawns to be seeded or turfed, fencing to be erected, etc. These things can be agreed with the site office.

Sometimes, there are physical defects which need to be addressed e.g. door handles missing, double glazing units have failed, inappropriate colours or finishes. Similarly, these aspects can usually be sorted out by talking to the site office, rather than solicitors.

If there are any significant defects or deviations from the sales brochure or the paperwork provided by solicitors, you should contact your solicitor immediately to explain the issues and agree a way forward.

6) It’s not all over once you’ve got the keys

People often think that the job is done when they’ve got their keys. This is far from the truth. The Land Registry spends many months completing the registration of your title and, in the meantime, your solicitor should arrange payment of stamp duty land tax, register you for the new home warranty and liaise with the developer’s solicitors to ensure that any charge or restriction has been discharged or complied with.

Make sure that you do get a copy of the Title Information Document from the Land Registry and a copy of any documents referred to.

You should pay particular notice to the Land Registry file plan and make sure that it matches with the property on the ground; the Land Registry will often exclude land if it wasn’t in the developer’s title in the first place.

7) Are searches on a new build really necessary?

Simply put, yes!

The searches that solicitors do are actually even more important for a new build property.

The local search shows all planning permission and building regulation approvals for the subject property but not properties in the surrounding area.

It is particularly important to check with the developer that all planning conditions have been complied with and to see the Building Regulation Completion Certificate which proves the property has been built in compliance with Building Regulations.

A mining search will reveal whether there are any shafts and adits within 20 metres of the property.

An environmental search highlights whether previous use of the land is likely to have caused contamination.

There is also usually a section showing what the likelihood is of flooding at the property in the future.

8) Rights and Covenants

You should ask your solicitor to talk you through the rights being granted with the property and any rights being reserved.

You will want to know about your rights and the rights of others; they should all be shown on the plan, usually by colouring or hatching.

Read through all the covenants and regulations- these are often listed in the Transfer or Lease and make sure you will be able to follow all these rules. The developers include these in order to keep the whole estate pleasant for all residents.

9) Roads and Sewers - who is responsible?

Developers are not obliged to construct the roads and sewers on a new development, so it is very important to check that legal agreements have been put in place to force the developer to make up the road and sewers.

You can even negotiate holding back some of the money, which will only get paid to the developer once the roads/sewers have been built and signed off.

10) When will it be ready?

When you are buying ‘off-plan’, all you can usually see when you agree to buy the property is a patch of grass or just soil. The developer’s sales office may have shown you an artist’s impression of what your house will look like and perhaps even shown you around a ‘show home’.

If money is tight or other factors intervene, it could take a long time for developers to finish the job. Anyway, it’s common knowledge that it’s almost impossible to get a builder to commit to a date!

So, to avoid getting your hopes up and later shattered, make sure there is a longstop date for completion of the property in the sale contract. This means that if the property isn’t complete by a particular date, you are allowed to withdraw your offer without incurring a penalty.

You should get a solicitor to advise on any get-out clauses or conditions which would allow the completion date to slip even further.

Could not have had nicer people dealing with my case

The whole team were very helpful, all questions were answered quickly which gave me peace of mind! I could not have had nicer people dealing with my case.

Mrs Johnstone

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T12:30:18+01:00

Mrs Johnstone

The whole team were very helpful, all questions were answered quickly which gave me peace of mind! I could not have had nicer people dealing with my case. 

My first port of call for all legal work


Mrs Richardson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-07-04T11:45:24+01:00

Mrs Richardson

Very Friendly and Efficient Staff


Mr Wilson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-07-01T13:17:59+01:00

Mr Wilson

Pleasant and Patient Staff


Mrs Howarth

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-07-01T13:16:53+01:00

Mrs Howarth

Clear and Understanding

The file handler was very understanding and explained everything clearly!

Mrs Yoxall

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-20T15:43:13+01:00

Mrs Yoxall

The file handler was very understanding and explained everything clearly!

Quick, Polite and Professional

Particularly impressed with the quick responses received; as well as polite and professional staff

Mr & Mrs Shah

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-06-25T11:58:45+01:00

Mr & Mrs Shah

Particularly impressed with the quick responses received; as well as polite and professional staff

Consistently Professional

Always very satisfied with the service provided, consistently professional

Miss Laver

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-09-13T11:01:17+01:00

Miss Laver

Always very satisfied with the service provided, consistently professional

High Level of Service

We didn't expect such a high level of service, well done!

Mrs Holloway

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-28T12:02:29+01:00

Mrs Holloway

We didn't expect such a high level of service, well done!

Outstanding service!


Mrs Pillay

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-01-31T10:41:51+00:00

Mrs Pillay

Impressed with communication

I was impressed with communication, letters, phonecalls and meeting deadlines.

Mr Lindley

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-01-22T12:45:13+00:00

Mr Lindley

I was impressed with communication, letters, phonecalls and meeting deadlines.

Impressed by the Professioanlism


Mrs Pidd

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-23T10:21:57+01:00

Mrs Pidd

Excellent Service from Beginning to End

Excellent service from beginning to end; the friendly welcome, pleasant atmosphere whilst being dealt with. It is without hesitation that  we would recommend Wosskow Brown Solicitors.

Mr & Mrs Sampson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T12:01:12+01:00

Mr & Mrs Sampson

Excellent service from beginning to end; the friendly welcome, pleasant atmosphere whilst being dealt with. It is without hesitation that  we would recommend Wosskow Brown Solicitors. 

Perfection

The service received couldn't have been any better, it was excellent. I was impressed with how smooth it all went and am completely satisfied, thank you very much!

Mr Banks

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-07-04T11:42:13+01:00

Mr Banks

The service received couldn't have been any better, it was excellent. I was impressed with how smooth it all went and am completely satisfied, thank you very much!

Great Communication

Communication was great between myself and the office, I was always kept informed during the process

Miss Handley

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T11:26:30+01:00

Miss Handley

Communication was great between myself and the office, I was always kept informed during the process

Very Helpful

We were kept up to date at all times. Very helpful and professional, we would recommend to anyone.

Mr & Mrs Sagar

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-11-21T11:13:24+00:00

Mr & Mrs Sagar

We were kept up to date at all times. Very helpful and professional, we would recommend to anyone.

Impressive Customer Service

Impressed with overall service and customer service, very assertive

Mrs Rhodes

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T10:46:49+01:00

Mrs Rhodes

Impressed with overall service and customer service, very assertive 

Highly Satisfied

Impressed with the wonderful friendliness and professionalism. I was highly satisfied.

 

Ms Monney

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-11-26T10:41:33+00:00

Ms Monney

Impressed with the wonderful friendliness and professionalism. I was highly satisfied.  

Dedicated, Committed & Professional

Impressed with the dedication, commitment and professionalism;  I will be using you again in the near future

Mr Hazel

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-28T11:56:37+01:00

Mr Hazel

Impressed with the dedication, commitment and professionalism;  I will be using you again in the near future

Very Pleased, Would Recommend

I was highly satisfied with the work carried out. Every time I called there was someone there to help and advise me. I was very pleased and would recommend you.

Mr Barton

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T10:41:20+01:00

Mr Barton

I was highly satisfied with the work carried out. Every time I called there was someone there to help and advise me. I was very pleased and would recommend you. 

Would Recommend

Excellent service would recommend and use you again! The help we received to sort out our issue was excellent.

Mrs Thompson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-09-27T10:12:05+01:00

Mrs Thompson

Excellent service would recommend and use you again! The help we received to sort out our issue was excellent.

Friendly and Professional


Ms Proud

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-02-25T09:51:53+00:00

Ms Proud

Exceptional from start to finish

Kimberley Cooke was exceptional from start to finish. Very very impressed with her.

Mr Clayton

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2018-11-12T14:22:21+00:00

Mr Clayton

Exceptional from start to finish.

Made things easy

We will always praise you as you made things so easy for us, thank you.

Mr Koc

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-11-26T10:38:53+00:00

Mr Koc

We will always praise you as you made things so easy for us, thank you.

Kept Informed

Always kept me informed, very professional

Ms Pinder

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-08-22T10:46:14+01:00

Ms Pinder

Always kept me informed, very professional

Recommended

I have already recommended to a few people!

Miss Parker

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-01-15T13:52:18+00:00

Miss Parker

I have already recommended to a few people!

Prompt and Professional

The speed of service was very prompt and professional

Mrs Kang

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T12:20:07+01:00

Mrs Kang

The speed of service was very prompt and professional 

Impressive Experience

Impressed with the whole experience, couldn't fault anything

Mr & Mrs Shirtcliffe

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T11:01:33+01:00

Mr & Mrs Shirtcliffe

Impressed with the whole experience, couldn't fault anything 

Very Efficient and Quick

Work was very efficient and quick! The file handler was brilliant, informative and very helpful! Will recommend

Mr Hobson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-06-25T12:15:13+01:00

Mr Hobson

Work was very efficient and quick! The file handler was brilliant, informative and very helpful! Will recommend

Very Good Service

Very good service

Mr Akram

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T10:26:31+01:00

Mr Akram

Very good service

Always There

Someone always there at the other end of the phone

 

Mr & Mrs Fenwick

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-11-26T10:43:02+00:00

Mr & Mrs Fenwick

Someone always there at the other end of the phone  

Efficient

The service received was very efficient, thorough and professional

Ms Proud

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-02-25T09:53:15+00:00

Ms Proud

The service received was very efficient, thorough and professional

Fantastic Service

Thanks for all your help with buying our house and being so quick with it all, I think the service from start to finish has been fantastic and would definitely recommend you.

Mr Whitaker

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2018-12-19T16:33:51+00:00

Mr Whitaker

The service from start to finish has been fantastic.

Very Helpful & Communicative

Impressed with very helpful, communicative and professional manner - Top work!

Mr Fox

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-24T11:59:04+01:00

Mr Fox

Impressed with very helpful, communicative and professional manner - Top work!

Most satisfied, and will use again

All staff were very informative, and dealt with any problems quickly! I was most satisfied, and will use you again

Ms Spence

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-06-25T12:01:21+01:00

Ms Spence

All staff were very informative, and dealt with any problems quickly! I was most satisfied, and will use you again

Above and Beyond

Service was above and beyond expected; impressed with the sheer determination to help us in every way!

Mr Martin

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-29T12:14:25+01:00

Mr Martin

Service was above and beyond expected; impressed with the sheer determination to help us in every way!

Attention to detail

Impressed with the attention that was given to any problems that arose during my property transaction. Thank you for all your help!

Ms Wadsworth & Mr Wragg

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-08-14T10:06:29+01:00

Ms Wadsworth & Mr Wragg

Impressed with the attention that was given to any problems that arose during my property transaction. Thank you for all your help!

Excellent Support and Advice

I'm so very grateful to Wosskow Brown, and Claire, for the excellent support and advice.

Ms Walsh

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-11-11T10:47:23+00:00

Ms Walsh

I'm so very grateful to Wosskow Brown, and Claire, for the excellent support and advice.

Committed Staff

Impressed with the commitment of the file handler to get the work done

Mr & Mrs Denton

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T11:19:30+01:00

Mr & Mrs Denton

Impressed with the commitment of the file handler to get the work done

Absolutely Amazing

Absolutely amazing, don’t change anything!

Mrs Atkinson

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2018-12-21T11:17:04+00:00

Mrs Atkinson

Absolutely amazing, don’t change anything!

Very Professional

Perfect service and very professional. Each member of staff I dealt with was compassionate and understanding.

Mrs Hadfield

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-10-10T10:26:05+01:00

Mrs Hadfield

Perfect service and very professional. Each member of staff I dealt with was compassionate and understanding.

Extremely Helpful

Extremely helpful information provided at each step of the purchasing process
Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-03-02T10:07:40+00:00
Extremely helpful information provided at each step of the purchasing process

Supportive and Helpful

I was impressed with the help and advice throughout the process, supportive at all times. The service was perfect for me and I would happily recommend your firm to all.

Mr Senior

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-10-11T10:46:43+01:00

Mr Senior

I was impressed with the help and advice throughout the process, supportive at all times. The service was perfect for me and I would happily recommend your firm to all.

Thank you

We would recommend without hesitation. Thank you for all your support and hard work over he last 3 months! You made my house sale straight forward!

Ms Rippon

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-01-13T16:12:22+00:00

Ms Rippon

We would recommend without hesitation. Thank you for all your support and hard work over he last 3 months! You made my house sale straight forward!

Considerate, concerned manner

I really felt at ease with leaving Sue Painting to sort everything and being confident she had by best interests at heart in whatever I did. Her considerate, concerned manner whilst I was under a lot of stress never made me feel rushed with anything.

Mrs Woffenden

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-01-22T12:49:37+00:00

Mrs Woffenden

A considerate, concerned manner whilst I was under a lot of stress never made me feel rushed with anything.

Great Service


Mr Shaw

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-06-25T12:06:31+01:00

Mr Shaw

Definitely Recommend

Friendly expertise, made us feel very comfortable through the whole transaction. Would Definitely recommend.

Mr & Mrs Hawley

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-16T12:25:02+01:00

Mr & Mrs Hawley

Friendly expertise, made us feel very comfortable through the whole transaction. Would Definitely recommend. 

Helpful and Professional

Very pleased with the service provided - everyone was helpful and professional.

Mr Keyworth

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2018-11-12T14:07:26+00:00

Mr Keyworth

Everyone was helpful and professional.

Friendly and Professional


Mrs Cook

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2020-01-22T09:38:51+00:00

Mrs Cook

The Work was Fantsastic

The work was fantastic and I would recommend to other people!

Mrs Horsfield

Wosskow Brown Solicitors
2019-05-22T12:03:13+01:00

Mrs Horsfield

The work was fantastic and I would recommend to other people!
0
0
Wosskow Brown Solicitors

Meet the team

Anees Rehman - Hillsborough Office Manager & Residential Conveyancer
Anees Rehman
Assistant Head of Dept
StJohn Wright - Commercial Property Solcitor - Woodseats - Sheffield
StJohn Wright
Solicitor
Taiba Choudhry - Solicitor - Wills & Probate - Property - Conveyancing - Abbeydale Road - Sheffield
Taiba Choudhry
Solicitor