“I have been making comparisons and do not understand why I have additional expenses because I am buying a new build house from a builder. Can you explain this?”
The legal costs in connection with buying and selling properties include not just the fee that your solicitor will charge but also other necessary expenses. The general costs associated with buying a house are one thing; in this article, we dig a bit deeper in one property type and consider what are the costs to buy a new build house.
Basic additional costs explained
Your solicitor will need to see Land Register and Local Authority reports to check that, when you buy the property, you will have a good title that can be registered at the Land Register. You need to be sure, for example, that there are not any Repair Notices affecting the house you will be buying.
If the seller is a Company, a Company Report is also required, so that the purchaser’s solicitor can be certain that the Company is not about to be wound up and is not affected by a Bank Security which would prevent you getting a good title. Usually, it’s up to the seller to provide these reports but, if you are buying a new build house, traditionally, the builder will provide the appropriate documentation – including a plan for the title – but they will not pay for any Land Register or Local Authority or Company Reports. These are the additional costs when you are buying from a builder.
But there are factors which can benefit you
However, you should also remember that often a builder will provide an incentive such as –
- reduction of the purchase price,
- cash back payment to cover Land and Building Transaction Tax, or
- extras, such as carpets which are not charged.
There is a real possibility, therefore, that what you are buying is a new home at less than the valuation figure, with the added benefit of pristine fittings and decoration. When a valuer is valuing a property they take the bricks and mortar into consideration but, in most cases, not the fixtures or decorative condition of the property.
Solicitor fee levels
Although you may have these additional legal expenses to pay, due to the nature of the transaction, it may be that when your solicitor has given you a fee quote they have already taken into consideration that there are not likely to be any complications such as contamination issues or problems with the title. For that reason, the solicitor’s fee element for the purchase of a new build house which is part of a larger development is often substantially less than the fee would be for an older property of the same value.
The purchase of a new build property does include some element of complexity, for example –
- dealing with notification of builder’s incentive,
- ensuring NHBC or other builders’ guarantees are in place, and
- ensuring the house is passed by the Local Authority as being completed.
These elements should also be taken into account when your solicitor is providing a fee quote.
Please remember that you will have other costs such as –
- mortgage set-up costs,
- Land and Building Transaction Tax (formerly Stamp Duty Land Tax), and
- having the title of the new home and your mortgage registered at the Land Register.
How we can help
If you have any questions about matters covered in this article or about any aspect of our House Sales / Purchase and Estate Agency services, please contact us.
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