Being the owner of a fresh new build property can be a fantastic way to purchase a home with all the latest mod-cons. But, is a new build home acceptable to equity release lenders?
First, it is important to know that a new build property is one built in the last ten years, not just one currently being constructed.
You can get equity release on a new build property. Any discounts given and extra payments made for luxury finishes may impact the property value the lender will use. The lender must also see the new build warranty, most commonly provided by NHBC, or an architect's certificate.
Before starting your equity release application on a new build property, you must know the process and the documents you will need to provide. It could save you time in the long run.
In this guide, you will learn:
In this guide, I will focus on the most common type of equity release, lifetime mortgages.
Although broadly similar to getting equity release on an older property, a new build property can have a couple of extra steps.
Below is the typical time scale for an equity release on a new build property.
Equity release applications usually take around 8 weeks:
|Equity release advice & submitting your application
|Your property valuation
|The formal mortgage offer
|Equity release legal advice
Note: 1 week extra allowed for contingency.
However, the new home must be fully built with the appropriate building control inspections having been signed off before your equity release can complete.
Let's look at this in more detail.
Equity Release advice and submitting your application
It is a requirement that you receive equity release advice from a qualified professional. Typically, you will have two meetings with your advisor, but it can be split over more meetings if needed.
The first is for them to gather information about you and the property and answer any questions you might have. The second is for them to present their research findings and recommend a product.
Assuming you are happy to proceed, you will need to sign some documents and provide proof of identity and address for any applicant.
Your Property Valuation
Once you have applied to a lender, they will instruct a surveyor to visit your home to conduct a valuation.
The surveyor will create their valuation report and supply it to the lender.
If your new home is still under construction, the surveyor can work from plans, but they will need to revisit the property once it has been fully built.
A re-inspection will add about one week to the application process; however, the most significant addition of time will be the time it takes for the home to be fully built.
The Formal Mortgage Offer
The lender will issue a formal mortgage offer after the valuation and property underwriting. A copy will be sent to you, your equity release solicitor, and your equity release advisor.
Equity Release Legal Advice
Your equity release solicitor will book an appointment to meet you to sign the mortgage deed and discuss the legal implications of the equity release plan you are taking.
Once returned, your equity release solicitor will communicate with the lender's solicitor, and after a few weeks, the equity release will be ready for your new build.
If not previously supplied, the lender will need to receive the building warranty, most commonly provided by NHBC, or an architect's certificate.
The lender will also need the builder to confirm if there are any discounts or payments for luxury finishes built into the purchase price of your new home. This will be referred back to the surveyor to confirm that this does not impact their property valuation.
Once all special conditions and requisitions are satisfied, exchange will occur. The solicitors will request that the lender release the funds, which usually takes a couple of days but up to a week to be in place.
If you are purchasing your new home and have the deposit money in your bank account, you will also need to transfer the money to your solicitor.
If you are selling your current home to purchase the new property, the solicitors will transfer all the money on the day you move into your new home.
Even if your new home is not yet fully built, you can use equity release to purchase the property. However, the property must be fully constructed and signed off before the equity release lender will loan any money.
The surveyor will base their valuation on what has been constructed and the building plans. However, before the completion and move-in date, the surveyor may need to revisit the property to ensure the works have been completed as planned. The lender may request that you pay for this re-inspection upfront, typically costing around £75.
Important: Commonly, for new builds, the valuation will be the same as the property's purchase price. However, it is essential to let us know if any of the purchase price is for fittings / or if there have been any special discounts to ensure the valuation is fair market value.
For more information on using equity release to purchase a property, you can read our guide here.
If you have got your deposit ready, whether in savings or from selling your current home, but are short of funds to purchase your dream new build, you can use equity release to help you top-up the purchase price.
The most popular type of equity release, a lifetime mortgage, is very similar to a residential mortgage.
However, you do not need to make monthly payments unless you wish, and the amount you can release is based on your age and property value.
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As part of your equity release application for a new build property, you will need to supply an NHBC / architect certificate.
An NHBC certificate is a ten-year warranty provided by the National House Building Council. It is the most common type of builder's warranty, and to attain one, the construction of the new build must meet specific criteria set by the NHBC.
Different lenders accept various certificates and warranties - but typically, they must be from a respectable and known company.
Apart from NHBC, the most common acceptable ones are:
- Build Zone
- Checkmate/Castle 10 Warranty Certificate – separate endorsement needed for unattached garages
- Ark Residential New Build Latent Defects Insurance – separate endorsement needed for unattached garages/outbuildings
- CRL Limited Warranty – where Ark Insurance Group Ltd have underwritten the policy
- PCC/Architect's certificate, subject to criteria
- Premier Guarantee
- One Guarantee
- Build Assure (New Home Structural Defects Insurance)
- Global Home Warranties (Structural Defects Insurance)
If you have already purchased your new build property but still need to get one of the above warranties, don't worry. You can get a retrospective builder's warranty. Not every lender will accept a retrospective warranty, but options should exist.
I will always recommend that you speak with an equity release advisor before spending any money upfront on a warranty to ensure it meets lender requirements.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our equity release advisors, call us on 0207 158 0881.
You could be refused equity release on a new build property. The most common reasons are because of onerous maintenance agreements, with high or escalating maintenance charges, and for non-standard property construction methods.
With a shortage of houses and limited space in the UK, many new builds nowadays have shared gardens, roads, or other communal areas. The developer may levy charges to maintain such areas.
Maintenance charges include:
- Service charges
- Ground rents
- Estate charges
All equity release lenders have limits on the amount they deem acceptable, typically ranging from 0.25% to 2.5% of the property value. This includes changes to the charges in the future, should they escalate over time.
Tip: If you have any maintenance costs, tell your equity release advisor immediately so they can provide you with a suitable plan.
The construction type of your new build
In recent years, we have seen numerous modern construction types. Some are designed only to last 50 years until the builder will need to replace the house.
Lenders are always looking for properties that can stand the test of time, as the property is the only security to ensure they will receive their money back.
An example of a modern construction method we often see is structural insulated panels (SIPS); it has a short lifespan of only 50 years.
Important: When considering equity release on any new build property, find out precisely what construction method the builders used to save you time later.
Lenders are constantly reviewing modern construction methods, so even if you have previously been told the method is unacceptable, it is worth checking to see if there is now a happy lender.
Some lenders will refuse your application if your new build is age-restricted, but there are usually options available.
Legal & General lend on age-restricted properties but reduces the loan amounts available by 5%.
You can expect there to be maintenance charges, and possibly sell-on clauses on age-restricted properties too.
You must discuss age restrictions with your equity release advisor so they can research appropriate plans.
You can apply for equity release immediately if you have recently moved into your new home. However, the land registry must be updated to show you as the new homeowner before an equity release lender will give you any money.
A select few lenders may require that you have owned the property for at least six months. So, if you have been told you must have lived in your home for six months, we can find a lender from the whole market who is happy to accept your application.
If the title deeds are not updated when you apply, your equity release solicitor can request the land registry to update them imminently. Usually, this will be completed within ten days.
Alternatively, you can release equity from your home the same day you buy it by using equity release to purchase the property. Completion of the purchase and equity release happens simultaneously.
If you have further questions, why not speak with one of our qualified advisors?
Call us on 0207 158 0881 or use our online form to book your FREE consultation.
While a qualified equity release advisor has written this guide, it is not intended to be used as financial nor legal advice and should not be relied upon.
To understand the full features and risks of an Equity Release plan, ask for a personalised illustration.
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