Posted:5th June, 2023

The New Build Dictionary

We’ve put together a collection of some of the most common jargon words used when buying a new build home. Read on and get clued up.

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Buying a house can be a daunting business.

You’ve spent a long time working hard to save, putting all your energy into looking for the perfect house in your ideal area. You’re exhausted and excited in equal measure. Then, when you find your perfect newbuild home and the process starts to take shape, you discover a lot of it is in language and terms you’ve never heard before. You could find yourself asking, “What does it all mean? Am I missing something? Why have I never heard this term before?” We don’t want you to feel intimidated or uneasy, so we’ve put together a collection of some of the most common jargon words used when buying a new build home. After all, we want you to feel comfortable, confident, secure about your new build home.

Read on and get clued up:

Conveyancing. This is a general term for the legal purchase and sale of property, which is carried out by a qualified conveyancer such as a lawyer.

Notification of Sale. Sometimes called the sales letters or memorandum of sale, is a document which outlines the agreement of the sale between the buyer and seller. It clarifies the agreed price, personal details of both parties, and other important details such as any conditions to the sale.

Missive. Also called the contract, it’s the legal agreement that sets out the terms of sale.

SDLT. This stands for Stamp Duty Land Tax, often just called Stamp Duty. It’s a tax payable by you as a percentage of the house price. At the moment, the government has reduced the amount of SDLT to help first time buyers. Work out how much you’ll be paying with the Stamp Duty Calculator.

Local Search. More commonly known as ‘Searches’ is a search of public records to make sure the buyer is aware of any planning applications and restrictions, important to know if you wanted to build an extension in the future for example.

Title Deeds. Or simply ‘the deeds’, this is the legal documentation that proves the ownership of the land or building.

Completion Date. This is the day you get the keys! All the legal transactions, documents and paperwork have been completed.

Building Warranty. All responsible homebuilders will sign up to a warranty scheme to protect buyers after the sale has completed. Russell Homes’ new builds are covered by 10-year warranties with the industry leading National House Building Council (NHBC). This reassures buyers and their mortgage providers that the property is protected against defects.

Defect Liability Period. This is the period immediately following completion where contractors are liable to rectify building defects, prior to the warranty period beginning. Russell Homes extends this for two-years, providing buyers with added reassurance.

Seller’s Pack. Like your car’s handbook, this contains all the information about the property and legal documents including the deeds, missives, contents list and everything in-between.

Land Registry. This is the department of the government which records who owns a piece of land and the conditions of its ownership.

EPC. Stands for Energy Performance Certificate which details the energy efficiency, CO2 emissions and other important information about the property and will impact on your energy consumption and bills. All Russell Homes properties are EPC B as standard.

PEA. Stands for Predicted Energy Assessment. If you’re buying off plan we will provide you with a PEA to show you how the building is expected to perform. This is replaced with an EPC as soon as it is complete.

Substructure. Essentially, this is any part of the building which is underground like the foundations and drainage.

Superstructure. This is the part of the building from the ground up to, but not including, the roof. It includes internal and external walls.

Roof Stage. As you might expect, this refers to the roof installation part of the build programme.

First Fix. This refers to installation of wiring, plumbing and internal features such as door and window frames before any plastering and finishing begins.

Second Fix. After the plastering but before the decoration, second fix is installation of finishes like light fittings, baths, sinks, windows and doors.

Surface Finishing. This provides the finishing aesthetic touches, like tiling, painting and wood staining.

Key Stage Inspections. These checks are carried out by the project manager to make sure each stage of the build meets the necessary standards of safety, compliance and specification.

Home Demonstration. This is when the building is complete and before legal completion when you collect your keys. You’re invited to go through your new home and we will make a list of any final minor defects that might be spotted which will rectified by Russell Homes.

Aftercare. This refers to any information or assistance available after you have the keys and move in.

So, that’s it for now, you’re fluent in the language of buying a new build home. We hope you’ve found this glossary helpful, but if there’s anything else you’re not sure about please don’t worry about asking one of our friendly sales advisors.

We know it can be overwhelming but, here at Russell Homes, we want to support your homebuying journey and we’re happy to help you every step of the way.

Get in touch today to find out more and view one our fantastic new build homes in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.