How Long Does It Take To Buy a House?
Buying a new house is an exciting journey, but it’s also a process that can take months to complete. You may be wondering just how long each step can take and when you can expect to move in, which is why we’ve written this blog. Of course, there is not one specific answer to the amount of time it will take, as there can be delays and different factors impacting your journey. Despite this, we will provide a general overview of how long the process takes from start to finish.
The Differences Between a New Home and Existing
Buying a new build house is usually a faster process than an existing property. The key difference with purchasing a new build home is that you’re not relying on a previous homeowner to move out. Because of this, as quickly as the admin allows and as soon as your home is built, you can move in. This also means that there is no risk of a previous homeowner backing out of the deal.
Buying A New Home
The first step to you moving into your house is reserving the home that you want. Finding your perfect home may not be a quick process since it is a massive life decision, so you may want to browse homes over a few months and go for viewings of show homes to see the quality of the workmanship the developer will deliver.
For new build homes, like ours at County Town Homes, the next step is to reserve your ideal home by paying a reservation fee. At this point, if you’re buying a new build home the development may be at completely different stages depending on how early your reservation takes place. This means that your house may not even be fully built yet at the time of reservation.
Construction and Completion
This phase of the house-buying journey will completely depend on what stage of the development process the house was in when you purchased it. Some buyers will purchase their home when there is simply a plot of land visible, whereas others will have a fully built house to look around. New build homes can take from six months to a year or more to be completed, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Secure a Mortgage
In order to minimise stress, you may want to choose a mortgage provider or solicitor when you’re still searching for houses. Getting pre-approval for a mortgage is useful to determine how much you can afford. The lender will evaluate your financial situation and creditworthiness to determine the maximum mortgage amount they are willing to offer you.
Securing a mortgage can be a straightforward process, usually taking 2 – 6 weeks to be approved. After a valuation and survey are complete, the lender will issue a mortgage offer which includes the terms and conditions of the loan. You and your solicitor will need to carefully review this document to ensure you understand the terms and are comfortable with proceeding.
You will need to hire a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the house-buying process.
The time between appointing your solicitor to the point of exchanging contracts is part of the process that usually doesn’t involve you too much, so it can feel frustrating not knowing what’s going on. During this time, your solicitor will conduct all the appropriate enquiries including what are known as “Searches” which ensure the property you are buying doesn’t have any planning issues and that there are no historical problems in the area which might affect the home you are buying.
You should, however, put your trust in your solicitor to take care of the legal side of house buying but you may need to give them a nudge every week or so, to ensure your purchase stays a priority to them. In the run-up to the exchange, you will need to let them have the deposit monies needed, which is usually 10% of the full purchase price. However, sometimes in negotiation with your developer, this could be as low as 5%. If you don’t get the deposit to your solicitor on time it could delay the exchange and ultimately the date you move in, so it is important you get your deposit to them prior to the intended exchange date. Your solicitor will then exchange contracts.
The process of getting to the exchange of contracts should take around 6 weeks.
If your home is still under construction, it is common to exchange contracts with no set completion date. This means you will normally exchange “on notice” with what is called a “Long Stop Completion Date” agreed which can be up to 6 months from exchange. This is to give the builder sufficient time to complete the build, carry out all the checks, and make sure it complies with Building Regulations prior to handover. Once the property meets the required standard, the developer will give you 10 day’s notice (known as “serving notice”) to complete. This can be earlier by arrangement.
Completing the Purchase
If, at the point of exchange of contracts, your home is built and signed off as ready for you to move in, you will agree on a set completion date with your solicitor. This date can be from as little as a week but not longer than 4 weeks after the date of exchange. The gap between exchange and completion provides you time to create a Moving House Checklist, arrange removals, and start preparing a list of who to contact with your new address. Importantly, this time also allows your solicitor to do what is known as “Drawing down the funds” from your mortgage lender. At the point of Completion, this is where the remaining monies (the difference between the deposit you paid at exchange and the full purchase price) are transferred from your solicitor to the developer’s solicitor. Now you have the keys to your brand-new home, it’s time to enjoy it!
Navigating Your New Build Home Journey
Buying a new build home is an exciting journey, but it’s important to be prepared for the process’ timeline. By staying organised and working closely with your solicitor and developer, you’re sure to have a smooth journey to owning your new home. At County Town Homes, we aim to make the home-buying journey as streamlined as possible. If you’re still searching for your ideal new build home, check out our modern properties.