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House buying - A couple of things

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House buying - A couple of things

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- Is it my job as the buyer to iron out any niggles with a new build property or will the surveyor deal with these? I know there was an issue with a door not closing properly when I went to view the property. If I am supposed to highlight and request these niggles get fixed - at what point in the reservation - mortgage application - house buying process do I do it?

- Is the date you officially take ownership of a property out of your control? I am currently renting on a rolling 1 month contract, so in an ideal world I'd officially take ownership and start paying the mortgage, council tax etc on the property towards the end of a month so that I don't end up having to effectively pay an extra months rent if ownership happened on say the 2nd of the month and therefore have mortgage payments and rental payments overlapping for 1 month which would be a waste of money. Is this just pot luck as to the date the transfer of ownership happens or is there some flexibility here as long as you are completing within the timeframe agreed?

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  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    1. You do it. Members have been suggesting getting a professional snagger in, they go through everything, give you a list and you pass it on to the developer to fix.

    2. Yes, the property needs to be built and kitted out. Don't think it's a case of you complete tomorrow, but it's not going to fall inline with your rental notice and you will have overlap. Overlap is good, just in case there are issues that need resolving eg leak, something not working etc.
  • GixerKateGixerKate Forumite
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    - Is it my job as the buyer to iron out any niggles with a new build property or will the surveyor deal with these? I know there was an issue with a door not closing properly when I went to view the property. If I am supposed to highlight and request these niggles get fixed - at what point in the reservation - mortgage application - house buying process do I do it?
    In a word - yes.  It would need to go on the snagging list to be fixed either before you move in or sometime after.  I'm in the same boat as you in that I'm in the process of buying a new build and am finding out about all these things.  I am planning on paying for a snagging list so that I can get everything fixed.

    - Is the date you officially take ownership of a property out of your control? I am currently renting on a rolling 1 month contract, so in an ideal world I'd officially take ownership and start paying the mortgage, council tax etc on the property towards the end of a month so that I don't end up having to effectively pay an extra months rent if ownership happened on say the 2nd of the month and therefore have mortgage payments and rental payments overlapping for 1 month which would be a waste of money. Is this just pot luck as to the date the transfer of ownership happens or is there some flexibility here as long as you are completing within the timeframe agreed?
    The date to move is relatively flexible and can be discussed with your solicitor to agree a moving date.
  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    GixerKate said:
    The date to move is relatively flexible and can be discussed with your solicitor to agree a moving date.
    Not if you're buying a newbuild property off-plan, which I presume is what the OP is doing - generally the contract will say that the completion date is x days after the builder gives notice that the property has been signed off as complete. So assuming they've already exchanged, they should read their contract (or speak to their solicitor if they still don't understand it).
  • Sammyd159Sammyd159 Forumite
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    homeless9 said:
    - Is it my job as the buyer to iron out any niggles with a new build property or will the surveyor deal with these? I know there was an issue with a door not closing properly when I went to view the property. If I am supposed to highlight and request these niggles get fixed - at what point in the reservation - mortgage application - house buying process do I do it?
    At what point are you in the purchase process? You normally get the opportunity to do a home demonstration before you move in. This is not a snagging opportunity but it is worth informing the sales person that you wish to stay in the property after the demo, in order to inspect the property.  You are well within your rights to do this even if they tell you otherwise.  And a developer who builds good houses should really welcome this.  If they tell you that you can only snag it after moving in, and you are buying from a developer with a poor quality record (persimmon for example), then I would either get a professional snagger (although they can be a little tiresome and put on snags that aren't really snags) or get someone with some construction or new build knowledge.  The developer has to put right the snags, and a good house should have very few snags.  If you spot anything on your home demonstration, you must point it out, and it should be rectified before you move in. Unless something needs ordering like a scratched kitchen cupboard door for example. 
    - Is the date you officially take ownership of a property out of your control? I am currently renting on a rolling 1 month contract, so in an ideal world I'd officially take ownership and start paying the mortgage, council tax etc on the property towards the end of a month so that I don't end up having to effectively pay an extra months rent if ownership happened on say the 2nd of the month and therefore have mortgage payments and rental payments overlapping for 1 month which would be a waste of money. Is this just pot luck as to the date the transfer of ownership happens or is there some flexibility here as long as you are completing within the time frame agreed?
    The developer should have given you an estimated completion date at point of reservation.  This is subject to change.  But they should keep you informed as you go along.  When the house is ready, the building inspector / warranty provider (commonly the NHBC) will come and issue their certificate and this will go to the solicitor to serve you notice to complete.  Notice period is 10 working days. The developer should not spring this on you, they should be keeping you informed. If you have a tenancy and need to give notice, please inform the sales person so they can make sure you know when to give notice.  In some instances there may be some flexibility with your completion date, it's a case of communicating with the sales staff.  But if you have bought a plot which is in for a financial half year or year end, then there will be zero flexibility.  You can complete any time during the notice period and must agree this with the developer, (developers often use this time to do final snagging jobs though, so it's probably best to take the 10 days if you can), you do not have to move in on the day of completion as the house is yours and you can move at your leisure. Make sure you are insured from completion date.  You normally have to show a copy of your insurance to your solicitor.


  • homeless9homeless9 Forumite
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    davidmcn said:
    GixerKate said:
    The date to move is relatively flexible and can be discussed with your solicitor to agree a moving date.
    Not if you're buying a newbuild property off-plan, which I presume is what the OP is doing - generally the contract will say that the completion date is x days after the builder gives notice that the property has been signed off as complete. So assuming they've already exchanged, they should read their contract (or speak to their solicitor if they still don't understand it).

    The properties are built, I have viewed the one I am trying to buy. I believe there is at least 1 other buyer that has moved into one of the other properties.

  • With regards to mortgage payments, what does the paperwork say?
    Ours said that our first mortgage payment was due on the 16th of the FOLLOWING month after we completed (and would be 6 weeks, 4 weeks repayment+interest and 2 weeks interest only). Our normal repayment day is the first of the month.
    As for council tax payment, there shouldn't be double bubble. I successfully argued that whilst I'd completed, we hadn't moved in because we were making changes to the house, so if you have a whole month where you have both, you only need to pay Council Tax in your old place. As it happens, the tenant is liable for Council Tax up until the day that the tenancy ends, so don't try arguing with your old place that you shouldn't have to pay them. You're liable right up until the end of the tenancy.
  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
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    If the house is already finished you'll actually have a bit more flexibility over the completion date.

    When the house is being built, you exchange contracts with "completion on notice" rather than a fixed date. When the house is ready, the builder gives notice, and you complete two weeks later (no choice).

    If you're going to exchange with a fixed completion date then when you're about ready to exchange, you and the seller (builder) will agree a completion date. You can say you want a particular date. They can refuse if they want - it's a negotiation. Ultimately though, they're not going to lose you if you want completion a couple of weeks later than they do.

    Re snagging: if it's a big developer, ask what their process is in terms of when snagging is done. As the house is finished you could say you want to do a snagging viewing now and want anything on that list resolved before you'll exchange. (Again, they could refuse this). We've moved into a new-build and did the snagging list ourselves - we didn't bother with a professional snagger. We made a list 2.5 A4 pages long!
  • edited 28 February at 7:43PM
    homeless9homeless9 Forumite
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    edited 28 February at 7:43PM
    Seems all is well. I should be offered a mortgage subject to property valuation which happened today. Property valuation should be a formality.

    As it's the end of the month tomorrow I think I'll hand in my notice to my landlord. I am in a HMO and there are 3 rooms empty as it is, my room will be the 4th room vacant, so it's likely if the sale wasn't completed in March then I'll likely be able to continue renting my room or one of the other rooms for an extra month.

    From this point onwards it's likely I'd complete by the end of March - right?

    LATEST:

    Latest from Broker: I have been told that by Wednesday March 4th the mortgage offer should be issued.

    Latest from Solicitor: I have sent my solicitor payment to do Local, Drainage, Environmental, Riskview and PlanSearch searches.

    I am purchasing with the help of the Help To Buy loan so not sure if this adds extra time to the process?


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