Buying a new build property

Unlike existing or second-hand properties, most new build houses and flats are sold at a fixed price. Builders will often advertise the properties for sale before they have even been built and will normally have plans, drawings and perhaps a show home for potential purchasers to look at.

Most builders have a standard form of offer that sets out the conditions on which they are prepared to sell. They will not usually vary these as they are designed to impose similar conditions on all properties in a development. You should make sure you have arranged your loan and taken legal advice before you accept the builder’s offer, because your acceptance is legally binding.

You may be able to reserve a home until you are ready to accept the offer by paying a small deposit. If you later decide not to go ahead, it is at the builder’s discretion whether to return the deposit. You should check this before paying a deposit.

Normally, you will be asked to accept the deed of conditions, without adjustment. This sets out what you can and cannot do with your home, with the aim of protecting the appearance and use of the development.

When you offer to buy a home that is not yet built, a builder may ask for stage payments. If you are buying with a mortgage, the lender will usually agree to release payments at certain stages, depending on the lenders policy and / or the type of construction. The lender’s surveyor will inspect each stage before payment is released and you will have to pay the surveyors fees. You should make sure that the stage payments requested by the builder and offered by the lender coincide with one another.


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