Buying a new build in a housing development comes with its own peculiarities. The first issue is the most obvious; the house you are buying often does not exist. As such you will be relying on specifications, maps, plans and documents.

Unlike a buying a pre-owned house, a new build will usually come with two “contracts”, one for the land, and one “building agreement” which deals with the relationship between you and the builder.

In general there is less to go wrong from a “title” point of view when buying in a new build. The title to a housing estate will generally be well researched by the builder and its solicitor. There can however be certain pitfalls a potential buyer needs to be aware of. There is also a slight difference in the process in buying a new build.

Key things to watch out for:

Check the specifications, if it not included in the specifications, it may not be included at all. If you are buying a new car you will read the specifications carefully, a house is a much bigger deal!

Price Cost (PC) Sums are often given in place of a kitchen, tiling and bathroom. You can then use this allowance towards the ultimate cost of your fitout. Always check the PC sums being allowed. It’s not unknown for the PC sums to barely cover the real cost of having a usable kitchen, decent tiles, and anything but the most basic bathroom

Check the whether the price of the build is fixed or can vary. It might also vary according to the rate of VAT.

The building agreement will specify a completion period which can vary from 6-18 months, but really the completion date is a moveable feast at the whim of the builder. Try and tie it down early on.

The Steps to buying a new house