New home buying process

Completion Certificate  "CML"           Completion day             Post Occupation

New home buying process:

Home Demonstration

You will normally be invited by the builder to view your new home during normal office hours (Monday to Friday). During your visit you will be shown by the site manager or his assistant, how to use the various appliances, fixtures and fittings and how to 'run-in' your new home. You will have an opportunity to mention anything you are not happy with and this is an ideal time to do so. It is also a good opportunity to take measurements of window openings for curtains and alcoves for furniture, so remember to take a tape measure and pen and paper with you. Following your demonstration the builder may require you to sign a form confirming you are happy with your new home. You are advised to sign this "without prejudice".

Completion date

When you have been advised of a fixed completion date, you can arrange for the telephone service to be connected and for a TV aerial or satellite dish to be fitted. You may require both of these services very soon after moving in. You can now confirm a date with a removal company and book time off work. Arrange for final meter readings at your current address. See also the Who to contact checklist.

Do not forget to advise your solicitor of the completion date so he can attend to all the legal paperwork and advise the mortgage lender to release the funds by electronic transfer when the day comes.

Once completion has taken place, the property is no longer covered under the builder’s insurance policy and you should arrange for Buildings and Contents insurance as soon as the completion date is known.

Completion certificate

Under rules introduced in April 2003, to help eliminate the practice of builders allowing occupation before the home is completely finished, the Council for Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) initiative now requires builders to obtain a completion certificate. This is issued by an independent Building Inspector, normally the NHBC, following a satisfactory final inspection of the property. The lender requires this completion certificate, along with confirmation that the new home warranty is in place, before they release the mortgage funds.

It is common for the Final Inspection to be made 14 days before the completion date. This will give the solicitors and mortgage provider time to arrange for the funds and provide you with an opportunity to inspect your finished home.

Completion Day

When the funds have been transferred the builder will normally call you to invite you to collect the keys to the property and sign the 'Key Handover' Form. During this procedure you will be invited to witness the meter readings (including water) and inspect the main fixtures and fittings one more time - especially the kitchen units and sanitary ware and sign the form to confirm they are undamaged. Signing this form does not relieve the builder from his obligations under the new home warranty. If there are any problems NOTE THEM ON THIS FORM.

The builder will normally notify the service companies of the meter readings and arrange for the accounts to be transferred.

Post Occupation

It is now common practice for the site manager to pay a courtesy visit a few days after you move in to check that all is well with your home. Should you have any problems with your new home, the sales advisor will normally pass this on to the site manager for him to action. However, some builders require you to write in to their office before they will deal with the matter, but still inform the site manager – after all he will be organising any remedial work.

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