Top Tips for Buying a New Build Property

It is safe to say buying a new build property is very different from buying an old one. There are several things you should consider, if you want to be successful. The first thing is to ensure that you are protected by the right law, should in case something goes wrong. One important legislation to consider is the section 38 of the Highways Act of 1980, which says the developer of the property is responsible for maintaining the roads in the estate.

Under this agreement the site developer is responsible for the upkeep of the estate roads’ until they become adopted (maintained by public funds). The developer will normally take out insurance against your agreement.

Another important tip is the consider the planning permission – your solicitor will check that planning permission has been received for your property and find out if any conditions have been attached to this grant. If the permission is accompanied by conditions (as they often are) you should check that the developer has abided by these.

Building regulations – building regulation consents need to be obtained by the developer for your property. Building regulations provide a set of standards for the construction industry to adhere to regarding the use of certain materials and the methods employed.

What else is needed prior to the exchange of contracts for new builds?

Your conveyancing solicitor will draft a contract of sale for you. The contract should contain provisions that ensure that the property is finished to the agreed standard by completion. You should try to make sure that these rights incorporate; a right of access, a right of way, a right to sewerage, water and drainage and a right of usage over all pipes and cables for utilities.

Given the differences in purchasing newly built property, it is particularly important that when choosing your conveyancing solicitors, you pick solicitors who have particular specialist experience of buying new build property.

Although not contained in the contract, the following agreements should be obtained in most cases to protect purchasers of new builds. Structural guarantees – a structural guarantee should be given by the developer and/or his building contractors. This means that if unfortunately, the property suffers structural problems, you are able to seek compensation. A structural defect does not just cover the external composition, but also internal problems such as bad plasterwork and decoration. This has to do with having a detailed snagging report before buying the new build property.

New building insurance – such as the NHBC Buildmark scheme. Insurance such as this will cover any problems the property has for up to 10 years. It is also a good idea where possible to obtain a certificate of approval from a professional supervisor present on site (such as the architect); this person should be able to guarantee the property’s structural quality. You can have a professional snagging company take care of everything for you. Homesnag is the right company with professional services at affordable rates. Get a snagging report at


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