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Things to Consider When Buying a New Build Property

New build properties offer an exciting allure because they are a blank canvas that no one else has ever put their stamp on before. However, new build properties tend to sell for around 10% more than typical homes, meaning that new builds can end up causing you a serious headache. So, rather than taking everything at face value, consider the following before you buy so that you end up with the best deal!

Negotiation is Par for the Course

If you buy a property before it has been built or finished, then the asking price will be up for negotiation. New build developments rely on early buyers to confirm further developments. Offering a lower price or asking for things to be included in your deal could help you afford a better finish than you had imagined.

Take some time to check out local prices or look at other developments and speak to housing experts to get advice before you start negotiations.

Warranty Schemes are Essential

If you are tempted to purchase a new build property without a warranty scheme, then don't! Warranty schemes are the protection you need if the builder is unable to finish the job after you've paid out your deposit.

Warranty schemes also provide assurances that your new home will be built to a specific standard and can even provide dispute resolution if you have any issues that need to be worked out.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

One of the best parts of buying brand new is that you can often have a say in the way the interior of your house is finished. Tiling, cabinetry, flooring and colour schemes are all possibilities, but you will need to speak to the builder or development lead to get your requirements met.

If you are buying early on in the development, you will have more say over décor, and you may even manage to get additional items added in free!

Mortgage Offers Have a Shelf Life

Remember that mortgage offers tend to come with a shelf life of between 3 – 6 months, meaning that you may need to reapply if your home isn't completed in time. This may sound like a paperwork issue, but there is always a possibility that you may be refused the second time you apply, making it important to get your timings right and keep on top of the progress of your new house.

If you think that you may need to reapply, it is important to avoid changing jobs or taking out lots of credit as this can reduce your chances of getting a new offer.

Check Everything Before You Move In

Finally, when a house is finished, it will need time to settle, and you may find that minor issues appear. This is normal and can be fully rectified via the snagging process, where you complete a survey of everything that needs to be addressed for the builder to resolve.

There are lots of online surveys you can print off for this job, or you can employ a snagging specialist to come and do the checks on your behalf.

New build companies may tell you, you need to use their conveyancers, however this is not the case, you are free to use your own. For the best quotes for your conveyancing needs, you can use our free tool here.

Mortgage Payment Holidays – Are They Worth it?

When times are tough, many of us look to find ways of saving cash so that we can keep our heads above the water. One way to do this is to apply for a mortgage holiday so that you can increase your cash flow without the fear of losing your home. However, before you proceed with this money-saving step, it is vital that you are aware of both the pros and the cons – we've shared some here for you!

What’s Great About Mortgage Payment Holidays

Whilst the pros of a mortgage payment holiday may seem obvious, it is well worth considering what you are trying to achieve by taking one:

  • Your Financial Pressure Will Be Reduced – if you face a short-term financial loss, then a mortgage payment holiday may be perfect for you as it will give
  • you the reduction you need until your income increases again.
  • You Will Have Breathing Space to Make a Plan – a mortgage payment holiday can also give you the time you need to make a longer-term plan without having your finances negatively affected.

What’s Concerning About Mortgage Payment Holidays

Despite the obvious pros, there are several cons to taking a mortgage payment holiday. Being aware of these cons will help you make the right financial decision for your circumstances:

  • Holidays Mean Higher Repayments – taking a payment holiday means that your outstanding balance will be higher at the end of the break than when you started, meaning higher repayments each month to cover the break.
  • Payment Holidays Can Affect Your Credit Rating – even if you have an excellent credit rating, a payment holiday will have a negative impact on your credit score. It will be reported on your credit file, making future credit much harder to obtain.
  • Payment Holidays May Not Solve the Problem – if your financial problems are not short term, then a mortgage payment holiday may not solve the problem but delay it instead. If you are facing a serious financial problem, speaking to a financial advisor or debt charity is the best step before agreeing to any repayment holidays. The good news is that debt charities provide free advice and will help you resolve any issues you are facing.
  • Your Mortgage Interest Will Keep Accruing – even when you have agreed to a repayment holiday, the interest on your mortgage will continue to grow on the remaining balance.

Making the Right Choice for You

Ultimately, if you are in a position where you need to solve some of your financial concerns urgently,, then a mortgage payment holiday may be the only solution. If this is true for you, then it is important that you make yourself aware of the implications and only take the absolute minimum break needed to get yourself back on track.

How to Buy a House at Auction

Buying a house at auction is a great way to get a good price and find something affordable. Many houses that go to auction need some TLC or additional input in terms of redesigning space, but if you are up for a challenge and want to create something that reflects your design goals, this is a great way to do it. Check out our top tips so that you can buy your auction property with ease!

Research Any Property That Takes Your Fancy

Taking the time to research the properties up for auction and the auctioneers that provide sales is important when choosing who to go with. It is also important to note that most auction catalogues are only published four weeks before the date of sale So, you will need to become good at checking them out quickly to give you enough time to explore any specific places that interest you.

Organise Viewings Before the Auction Date

Once you have trawled the auction guides and found a property that you like, contact the auctioneer to arrange a viewing. If the property will need a lot of work, then it is a good idea to take a builder with you or someone that can help you work out whether the investment is worth it or not. Failing to view a property can result in financial loss, and so it is essential that you check out any property you like before placing a bid.

Get a Copy of the Auction Particulars

Whilst the auction catalogue will provide you with an idea of what is for sale, the auction particulars will give you a fuller picture of the property you are interested in and can be requested from the auctioneer. If you find that the legal information lacks searches, then get these done before the auction date and make sure to ask your solicitor to check for loopholes, covenants or issues that may cause you more hassle than you had considered.

Decide on Your Budget

The thrill of bidding can result in the downfall of many auction-goers, and so it is important that you decide on your budget before the big day and then stick to it, even if you are tempted to go over! When working out your budget, think about the cost of the property plus any work that will need to be done to get it up to a liveable standard, rather than spending all your cash just buying the place.

Have Your Finances in Place

Before you can buy at auction, you will need to have your finances in place in case you are successful. You do not need to be a cash buyer, but you will need to arrange any finance swiftly after the sale and have a deposit in place and ready to go. From traditional mortgages to auction finance, make sure that you check out all lending options before making your decision.

How Auctions Work

Finally, take the time to read the guide to auction etiquette provided by the auctioneer so that you act within the rules and achieve the outcome that you want to get. If you are new to auctions, it is worth visiting a few before you are ready to buy so that you are aware of what happens. Finally, take the time to read the guide to auction etiquette provided by the auctioneer so that you act within the rules and achieve the outcome that you want to get. If you are new to auctions, it is worth visiting a few before you are ready to buy so that you are aware of what happens.

When you are ready, we can provide you with a free, no obligation conveyancing quote from our panel of leading solicitors.