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Things to consider when buying a new build property, says expert

In today’s challenging property market, the dream of homeownership can seem increasingly out of reach for many. However, with the surge in shared ownership schemes, the path to owning your own home is becoming more accessible, especially for first-time buyers. Allison McKee, Senior Conveyancer at Howells, sheds light on this transformation.

McKee emphasises, “With the rising cost of living, saving up to buy a property can be difficult. However, the increase in shared ownership schemes has made homeownership more attainable for first-time buyers.

“There is a common misconception that purchasing a new build is the same, or even easier than a standard home purchase, but that is not the case.

“When buying a new build, there is less flexibility in negotiating certain aspects of the purchase, such as fixtures and fittings.

“Additionally, developers may have specific requirements or procedures that need to be followed during the purchase process, including stricter timelines for the exchange of contracts, additional legal paperwork related to planning permission and building regulations, and potential involvement of government schemes like Help to Buy.

“We encourage all first-time buyers to see beyond the niceties that come with a new home and consider the added steps and potential added costs that come with buying a newer home.”

To help potential buyers navigate this process smoothly, Allison McKee shares essential tips:

  1. Thorough Legal Preparation: Time is of the essence in any property transaction, particularly with new builds where strict deadlines often apply. Having a reliable conveyancer who understands the nuances of new build acquisitions is crucial.
  2. Additional Legal Considerations: Beyond traditional property purchases, new builds come with additional legal considerations. Ensuring compliance with planning and building regulations and accurately reflecting the builder’s commitments in the contract are essential.
  3. Prompt Documentation Submission: Expedite the process by promptly submitting required documentation and addressing potential issues such as completing necessary forms and obtaining relevant certificates.
  4. Navigating Potential Delays: Various factors, from local authority searches to mortgage application discrepancies, can impact transaction timelines. Proactive communication and collaboration with all parties involved can minimise disruptions.
  5. Established Relationships with Developers: Solicitors with established relationships with major developers can facilitate smooth and efficient transactions.
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