Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
We aim to make this website intuitive and easy to use, but if you are having any difficulty or would like to know how to get more from your visit to SmartNewHomes then please consult our frequently asked questions below.
Q: What is SmartNewHomes?
A: SmartNewHomes is part of Trinity Mirror Digital Property which manages several leading digital property brands including, email4property, Zoomf, Homesoverseas.
SmartNewHomes.com is the UK’s leading website for new homes and represent over 85% of all new homes for sale from the best in the business.
For complete information on SmartNewHomes please visit our about us section.
Q: I'm having trouble finding information, or need help using the website?
A: If you are having problems or have any questions or suggestions for improvements, then contact our customer services team they will be ready to help.
Q: What is an affordable housing scheme?
A: Affordable housing schemes provide a fantastic solution into home ownership whilst credit is in short supply. The most widespread is the 'New Build HomeBuy' scheme (also known as shared ownership). It is government-funded, and allows buyers to buy part of a newly built property, normally a share of between 25 and 75 per cent, by taking out a fixed-rate mortgage with an ordinary lender and paying a subsidised rent on the rest, click here for more information.
Q: What is a 'completion'?
A: The finalising of the sale when all the monies are passed over and the buyer has legal right to the property.
Q: What is Conveyancing?
A: The legal transfer of a property from one owner to another.
Q: What is a Deposit?
A: If you're a first time buyer, most lenders insist on a deposit of five or ten per cent of the purchase price. Some will lend 100 per cent of the price, but they'll usually lend less and will charge a higher interest rate or 'higher lending charge'.
Q: What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
A: Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are being introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. From October 2008 EPC's will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' ratings for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least, click here for more information.
Q: What is Exchange of Contracts?
A: At this point, all the solicitors in the chain will exchange the contracts they have drawn up for each property and then a date is fixed for the completion of the sale. This is the date that the property is legally yours and you can move in.
Normally, 10 per cent of your property purchase price will be needed in advance and paid at the exchange of contracts. You are also bound to go through with the purchase or lose the deposit.
Q: What is 'Freehold'?
A: The full ownership of both the property and the land on which it stands.
Q: What is a 'Home Information Pack'?
A: The Home Information Pack (HIP) is no longer compulsory for homes England and Wales. For more information on HIP's click here.
Q: What is 'Leasehold'?
A: Land held under a lease for a number of years, on which ground rent is paid.
Q: Who are the 'National House Building Council'?
A: NHBC, the National House-Building Council, is the standard setting body and leading warranty and insurance provider for new and newly converted homes in the UK, click here for more information about the NHBC.
Q: What are Searches?
A: The term used to denote the physical and written procedure for determining any adverse effects in/on a particular property, whether already in effect or planned to take place.
Q: What is Stamp Duty?
A: If the purchase price the Stamp Duty threshold you pay Stamp Duty Land Tax of between one and four per cent of the property value. However, if the property's in a designated 'disadvantaged' area, you may not have to pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax at all. With some new builds the developer will pay your Stamp Duty Land Tax for you.
Q: What are Surveyor's Fees?
A: You'll usually need to pay for the lender's basic valuation survey - the cost varies by lender and property value but is usually a few hundred pounds. To check the property's condition you'll need a more detailed survey for which you'll need to compare quotes.
Q: What are the solicitor's or conveyancer's fees?
A: These cover searches and legal paperwork. Costs vary by area and/or the property value (or loan amount if it's remortgage) and include: legal fees, land registry fees, local authority searches, drainage and environmental searches, administration costs. Your solicitor will confirm the cost of the above fees.