Purchasing a new-build differs in many ways to the purchasing of an older, pre-established property; from your first meeting, when you see the initial plans for the home, to collecting your keys, there are several additional stages you need to consider.

Granville Developments’ Managing Director, Matthew Firth, has composed a timeline, outlining the predicted stages that every new-build owner can anticipate. It’s worth noting that this timeline is always subject to adjustment, however Matthew’s insight will undoubtedly help to prepare you as you enter the world of property ownership.

  1. Making contact.

Once the development plans have been approved, they will be viewed by the developers. Some will commence work immediately, whilst others may take some time to begin. It is, therefore, important for the buyer to make early contact with the developer of the site; this will allow for important discussions to take place before building work starts.

It typically takes around 6 months to build and complete a new home. This could mean you’re moving into a development site that is still active around you. Meanwhile, some developments may continue for several months after the first homes are completed. 

  1. Choose early.

It is often a sensible decision for the buyer to choose their new home early. This is due to them then having the potential option to change some elements of the interior layout or configuration, whilst giving them the option to choose the plot on which the home is situated. For example, they may have the option to choose between having a sunny garden that backs onto a field, or a home that overlooks the new village green.

  1. Fees and contracts.

Once the buyer has chosen their plot on the development that they love, the developer will ask for a reservation fee. This could range from anything between £500 to a few thousand; this is non-refundable but will usually be deducted from the purchase price once the build is complete. The developer will also ask for the buyer’s solicitors to act on their behalf. The solicitors will begin to go through the legal paperwork to formalise the purchase by way of an exchange of contracts, usually within 4-6 weeks after reservation.

  1. The choices process.

After contracts have been exchanged, the home builder will likely invite the buyer to their show home development, or their offices to start the choices process. This is the chance for the buyer to have their say in what they would like, and not like, to see in their new property; for example, choosing fittings and parking preferences. Developers may offer these options as incentives, where a charge would usually be applied. This could take a couple of hours, or all day; depending on how indecisive the buyer is.

  1. The snagging meeting.

The development site’s sales/estate agents will then run through a series of meetings with the buyer, examining various aspects of the build, before arranging a walk around snagging meeting a couple of weeks before completion. The buyer will often not be allowed to visit the property whilst construction is underway, which is why a snagging meeting is important. This is the opportunity for the buyer to identify any errors or defects (which can range from cosmetic to serious structural problems), itemising these in a list which will be submitted to the builder for subsequent repairs.

If you’re interested in more information or are thinking of purchasing a new-build for yourself, visit: www.granville.co.uk.

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Daniel Peacock

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