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  1. Hi Everyone, I could do with some help, this is my very first time investing in a property. I have decided to purchase two new build flats in Luton, due for completion at the end of June. I have already paid the reservation fee to reserve both plots for a £1000 EACH. I have also instructed my solicitor to carry out the searches on the property and check through all of the finer details. My solicitor has notified me of the following. The property or an area within 25m has been assessed to be at Moderate risk of flooding. The JBA Insurability Index is Amber for this property. Guidance The property has been rated as Amber within JBA's Insurability Index. Amber indicates a level of flood hazard such that (subject to terms, applicant's status and individual insurers' approach to risk, exclusions to the Flood Re scheme and any other factors which may be relevant), insurance covering flood risk may be available but may be subject to increased premiums and non-standard and/or additional terms. This rating is calculated by JBA and is based entirely on JBA's modelled river, coastal and pluvial flood risk data. This data is used by a large number of top insurance companies in order to assess flood risk, though individual insurers may also have recourse to further information not used in this assessment such as claim history, and is indicative rather than definitive. On the 4th April 2016 the Flood Re scheme was implemented. The scheme is designed to provide affordable household insurance for residential properties within the UK, which are perceived to have a high flood risk. Insurance companies are able to cede residential properties they consider to have a flood risk into the Flood Re scheme. Annual premiums and excesses are then capped depending on the council tax band for individual properties. There are some exclusions to the Flood Re scheme and these include; commercial properties (including buy to let), new homes built after 1st January 2009 and blocks of flats with three or more units. Flood Re is designed to run for 25 years, to allow time for the Government, local authorities, insurers and communities to become better prepared for flooding. After this period, the market is expected to return to risk reflective pricing, and properties with flood risks that have not been mitigated may face significantly increased premiums and/or difficulty in obtaining cover. The JBA Insurability Index is categorised on a fivefold scale and also includes a statement of the possibility of insurance companies ceding the property into the Flood Re scheme (subject to terms, applicant’s status and individual insurers’ approach to risk, historical flooding events at the property, exclusions to the Flood Re scheme and any other factors which may be relevant),- • Green indicates a level of flood hazard such that insurance covering flood risk may be obtainable relatively easily as part of a standard household insurance contract. Very low possibility of insurance companies ceding the property into the Flood Re scheme unless the property has flooded in the past. • Amber indicates a level of flood hazard such that insurance covering flood risk may be available but may be subject to increased premiums and non-standard and/or additional terms. Low possibility of insurance companies ceding the property into the Flood Re scheme unless the property has flooded in the past. The property or an area within 25m has been assessed to have a Moderate-High potential for natural ground subsidence. 5.9 Natural Ground Subsidence What is the potential for natural ground subsidence* within the search area? Moderate - High Guidance: The natural ground subsidence rating is obtained through the evaluation of six natural ground stability hazard datasets, which are supplied by the British Geological Survey (BGS). These datasets indicate the hazard posed by the occurrence of: Swell-Shrink Clay, Landslide, Compressible Ground, Collapsible Ground, Dissolution of Soluble Rocks and Running Sand. Many factors may contribute to ground subsidence problems. For instance, significant problems can arise in conurbations underlain by clay rich bedrock, such as over clay strata in the South East of England, or South Wales. Whilst surveyors are normally aware of local problem areas, data provided by the BGS can highlight areas where a significant potential for natural ground subsidence exists and which may need particular consideration. Where moderate - high potential is indicated, this means that there is the potential for natural ground movement to occur that may be of concern. Such ground movement could cause damage to domestic or other properties. However, properties designed, constructed and maintained in compliance with modern building regulations should be unaffected by most minor subsidence. Therefore, if thinking of buying a property in the area, you should seek professional advice from a professional property surveyor and also look at the property yourself in more detail to look for any signs of existing damage. If you already own a property in the area, and you think natural ground movement may have damaged it, you should contact your insurance company for advice. You should also take professional advice before changing the ground in any way, for example, by planting or removing trees, changing drainage or carrying out building work. *The term “Subsidence” refers to ground movement that could cause damage to foundations in domestic or other properties. As this is a new build property, would these be something I should worry about? Plus the flats are located on the first floor and the third floor, therefore I doubt they are likely to be affected. Any recommendations, anyone? Your advice would be much appreciated in this matter. Many Thanks, Naeem
  2. Good evening, all. My thanks in advance to anyone who can provide any guidance on the below. I own a new build property, which is subject to latent defects cover. I purchased this property in 2016 and opened claims under the late defects insurance policy with my adjoining nextdoor neighbor in 2017. These claims have been kicked around by the insurer for several years now but have been accepted and will be actioned in the next year or so. The works relate to structural defects. In short: the property will need to have its ground foundation strengthened. The open insurance claim will see rectification works take place at both my property and my neighbor, at some point in the future. The claims for each property are identical, but individual to each property, and have been parcelled together by the insurer for their ease. My ambition is to sell the property as soon as this work is complete, due to my financial position. I would also like to know whether I might also be able to sell the property ahead of the completion of this work (say, via auction), without jeopardising my neighbour's claim. Am I correct in believing that I could, hypothetically, sell now, since the claims are individually unique to each property? Grateful for any steer. Best wishes, Jon
  3. Hi. I have been looking at a new build development (just 9 properties) which are a timber construction. I know this is becoming more popular for speed of build and energy efficiency. I would be really keen to know people’s point of view about whether they hold their value in the long run and whether they are as robust as brick over the long term. They are very reasonably priced presumably because of this, but have some concerns. Pros and cons from anyone experienced in this area would be v helpful Thank you.
  4. Hi, We have just completed on out first new build property. I just wondered if anyone could give a list of key documents we should insure we get from the developer. I imagine Gas safety certificates. Do we need FENSA certs? Are there any other important documents or things to be aware of? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Chris
  5. Hi Everyone, I have a question for any new build developers out there: Do you think now is a good time to start developing? I ask as I am hoping to develop out a small plot of land into residential housing with a view of the development taking around a year to complete, but with the increased whispers of a crash I am unsure whether now, or the coming months, would be a good time to start such a project. Be great to hear your advice. Cheers Jake
  6. Dear Property Hub community, My name is Luis, I'm a Spanish Construction Engineer that has lived half of his life already here in the UK. I'm passionate about property investment, for now I've done mainly buy to lets and a couple flips. I'm MCIOB, so charted construction manager and I've got my own small design and build company in partnership with an architect and a Surveyor. I'm also working my way into becoming a residential valuer through RICS. almost there, but not just yet! I would be very happy to help anyone interested in investing in property so I can learn about what kind of projects other people do so please do not hesitate to contact me if you've got any worries or queries regarding current or future projects, building works on the go, issues with a fellow builder (we can be a handful sometimes but with patience and beer you might get a smile!) or any others that you think I might be able to help with. I specially love looking at projects to be, feasibility studies to explore the potential of a deal. I'm happy to give rough estimates free of charge and also my opinion as a construction professional on how easy - challenging the idea you've got in mind can be. Bests, Luis
  7. Hello, I am currently in the process of buying a new build house. We Exchanged contracts with the builder in November 19 with the estimated completion date being 28/02/20. This was then delayed to 28/03/20 because of bad weather. Then it was delayed to 24/04/20 because of health and safety reasons (reason being the scaffolding on the house next door needs to be completely down before they can allow us to move in). Then on the 24/03/20 Covid 19 happened and the builder shut. No work on site or anything. We had a mortgage offer granted in October 19 in which it would expire 6mnths time - 17/04/20. We contacted the lender March 09/03/20 to put in place an extension as we knew that the mortgage offer would expire before the delayed anticipated completion date of 24/04/20. A mortgage extension was given to the 24/04/20 which we had to pay a fee for. Due to Covid 19 and the builder shutting we now have no idea when the house will be finished .. they are starting a phased return this week however they are not giving any dates for completion or any indication of how long it will be. Our mortgage lender will only grant a mortgage offer extension a month at a time. Therefore we are having to apply for another extension on the 17/05/20 for another month for just in case the builder decides they want to finish house/build. Having been to the development for a look, the house is no way near complete and it will most likely be July before it is ready. My question is.. What happens if the lender decides they do not want to grant two further extension and we are left without a mortgage.? would we be able to withdraw our purchase of the property without loosing our deposit/ life savings we have worked hard to get. What happens if we are unable to secure another mortgage with a new lender What happens if the house is valued less to what we originally agreed to pay, due to covid 19 crashing the market. If we have to re-apply for another mortgage we will be subject to more fees from solicitors, lenders etc.... would we be able to recoup these fees from the builder. The builder has delayed the completion of the house 3 x times prior to Covid 19. This has left me and my other half in a very vulnerable position financially and it has been extremely stressful. Are there any other people going through the same thing...that have exchanged contracts and have no idea what is happening.
  8. Hi Property Hub, I'm an Architect with three properties in London. I'm new to the forums, although, I have been a podcast listener for years. I would like to offer my professional skills to unlock potential development sites across the UK. I have worked for small and large London architectural practices creating one to hundreds of homes at a time and would like to help other forum members with any of their projects. I'm also looking for a little advice/mentoring on growing my own portfolio. Happy to talk. Sav.
  9. Hi All I am looking for recommendations for an architect in the Bristol area. I have a 3-bed end of terrace with large enough land for another, same size, property with parking. I'm looking for someone to produce plans and give me some direction/advice on what to build (e.g. flats/house etc). Any help would be very much appreciated. Paddy
  10. Hi All, First post so I am hoping I have posted in the right forum section. Please tell me to move it if it's in the wrong place! I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction... In short, I am just coming to the end of finishing my new build property (detached, 3 bed in Dorset). Built on garden of my current property. Both properties have mortgages on them. I am unsure whether to keep the new build to rent out or sell it and pay off a chunk of my current mortgage. I realise there are a multitude of inputs that would go into this calculation (and many of them would be assumptions or guesses eg capital growth), however can anyone point me in the direction of a good spreadsheet to use or a good accountant to talk to who can help my decision? Many thanks, Thomas
  11. Hello all, I am recently been looking at some new build flats that are being constructed in Liverpool. I have also been looking through companies such as RW Invest. Just wanted to know if any one on here has brought an off plan property? If so what should i look out for? Do you guys think a new build is better than an older property? Any advice would be much appreciated.
  12. Hi All, I'm wondering about new builds. The advantages to me are that I can get help to buy and that they have guarantees for 10 years, I'm thinking with the intention to live there at first and later turning into a rental once I buy other buy to lets. What are your experiences with new builds and help to buy? I'd like to take advantage of putting 5% down however the numbers on new build don't work for rentals, the rentals don't even cover the mortgage. Also, I have seen a few new builds on the market after 5 years at steep discounts. Let me know your experiences with new builds investment and personal wise.
  13. Hi all, Just joined the property hub after becoming addicted to the ever helpful podcasts! I'm after some advice or thoughts on buy-to-let properties in the Manchester area. This will be my first investment property and due to current situation will need to be very hands off. For that reason I've been looking at the mass of new build developments that are cropping up across the city centre and Salford (walking distance to city centre, i.e. Middlewood Locks). Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the amount of new build developments imposes a risk on both rental opportunities and re-sell later down the line? I'm looking for a property that has good capital growth potential and reasonable rental yield. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Hannah
  14. Hi all, Ive just completed my first flip wich has just gone on the market Monday now im looking towards my next project so im after as much information on this topic as i can please Im looking at all of my options and this is 1, buying land and building either 2 houses maximum or flats not sure on amount yet. My question is what is the start to finish process on this? From checks to buying the land then getting a shovel in the ground to selling and also the tax side to. Ino there will be plenty of hidden problems. If anyone could help with this then that would be great any info i get now will speed me up and eliminate certain problems, im in the trade myself and ide like to think i no the bulk of the info but ide rather do my research over and over again to make sure!!! Many thanks!!!
  15. Myself and another individual are looking to set up a limited company to jointly invest in property development. It is our full intention to seek professional legal (and taxation) advice in order to have correct and optimal structures in place from the onset. Further to this however, it would be good to have some initial scrutiny of our basic strategy before taking things further from you lovely people. Our intention is to buy a suitable plot of land with existing planning permission, with the view of building anything in the range of 4 – 8 properties at a time. Naturally finance will be the biggest constraint, so we will either seek to secure a plot of land and build the properties in phases (maybe even one at a time). Alternatively, we may seek a smaller initial project (a plot suitable for one or two properties), in order to build up a better track record, build some additional capital, as well as hopefully increase lender confidence in obtaining additional finance levels. Both of us have £30k cash in place to putting towards the project, and our thinking was to use our personal homes as collateral to secure further lending, which would be made through the company but with personal guarantees etc (we are also considering the possibility of taking out personal loans of up to £25K each to boost this initial capital). I understand there are (a limited amount) of self-build lenders out there that will provide finance to cover 75% of the land acquisition costs, as well as up to 95% of the build cost. We have identified potential suitable sites available within the £120,000 price range, so there is no problem there. We also recognise that payments are usually made in arrears, therefore the remaining £30K would be to see through getting the foundation and roof height structure in place to release the first payment. Would a self-build mortgage as above with interest rates of circa 6% as currently available in the market be a feasible option for us in our situation, or are we likely to require something more specialist hitting interest rates of 10 – 12% with higher arrangement fees? In terms of experience, my business partner currently works for a small property renovation firm, where over the past 3+ years she has directly project managed renovation projects with construction values of over £3.1M, as well as played a role in managing over £8M of projects within the same company, including conversions of commercial premises to blocks containing 14 individual flats as well as building substantial extensions to private domestic dwellings. I work in procurement and supply, where for 6+ years I have dealt extensively with a number of sectors, including assisting SMEs within the construction industry to meet the quality, health and safety and management standards expected by major construction firms, as well assisted in implementing and monitoring internal KPI measures etc. I’m also conversant the NEC and JCT contracts. While our direct experience of property building in our personal capacities may be limited, we have experience of the sector and excellent industry networks in place – surely that will be of value in obtaining funding as a “first time” developer? We would appreciate any tips, advice and warnings, particularly regarding the wider costs and considerations such as NHBC warranties, or duties and obligations that arise due to being developing on a commercial level rather than building our own homes.
  16. Hi, I have a conundrum and would really appreciate some help. I would like to know whether you think I can afford to complete on the purchase of a new build property, or if I need to sell (re-assign before completion), and if so, how I should go about it. The detail: My wife and I have joint income of £105k (this has gone down since purchasing the properties some years ago). We have £15k in savings. The properties are: Property 1 - where we currently live. In both our names. Mortgage details: Amount outstanding £429k. Value estimated at £750k (by me) Repayment mortgage currently at 1.69%, lifetime tracker. No early repayment fee so can remortgage at any time. Property 2 - BTL in both our names Mortgage details: Amount outstanding £331k. Value estimated at £500k (by agent) Interest only mortgage currently at 2.19%, tracker for 2 years, ending Aug 2019. Early repayment fee is 1% of outstanding amount. Rental income £1950 per month. Property 3 – new build purchased off-plan in Jan 2017. Completion set for September 2018. Purchase price £375k in Jan 2017 Deposit paid £37.5k Expected rental income £1500 per month My conundrum is: Can I even afford Property 3 or is my lending maxed out? I have been given mixed messages by mortgage brokers which is why we are in this situation. We ideally do not want to sell either Property 1 or 2. The estate agent for Property 3 thinks we should be able to sell/re-assign (through them of course!) easily and we might be looking at over £400k. How complex/difficult is this process and should I consider selling via a high street agent/online provider (purple bricks etc) Any idea of the kind of deal I should be looking for through this agent? They sold us the flat in the first place so I am keen to get their fees down as low as possible. Any idea of the fees I should be aware of from solicitor? Once we get Property 3 sorted, I plan to remortgage Property 1 to give us some certainty for a few years. Many thanks in advance for your help and advice. It is greatly appreciated. Jim
  17. Hi all Does anyone have any experience good or bad with, or know of how Advantage new build warranty provider are considered? I'm currently looking at an off plan opportunity with MCR Properties and Advantage are the insurer so conducting some due diligence. https://ahci.co.uk/ Appreciate any insights hubbers may have. Thanks James
  18. Hello Hubbers, I own a small plot of land in Addiscombe (Croydon) which is likely to receive planning permission for a small 2 bed property in the next few weeks. I am currently juggling options around whether to sell the land with planning, pay a contractor to manage the build or set up a joint venture. Specifically with the JV i would be looking for someone to project manage the entire build with some form of profit split at the end of the process. I suspect that a joint venture will prove the most profitable - does anyone have any good contacts in the local area who may be interested in something like this? Alternatively, any guidance on locating good builders / project managers in the area would also be a big help. Thanks in advance for any help...
  19. Hi I was wondering whether there was anyone building new builds in South Yorkshire or West Yorkshire that would be willing to let me observe the process? This is a completely different process to a refurb and I just wanted to gain some knowledge about it.
  20. Hi all, Looking at two developments up north where the developers are asking for 25% and 35% deposit respectively. Is this standard for a development? Lawyers have said developers shouldn't require more than 10%... Pretty much everything I'm seeing on the market is 25%+ however. Sincerely, Confused member
  21. Hi Everyone Great to be here. Been listening to R&R for a while a just wanted to say how awesome and inspiring you guys are thanks a lot. Well this is me, I'm 36 from Doncaster and been a builder since leaving school in 94. Iv seen so many people over the years get in to property and do well and built many new builds as well as convert property for so many and always planned on doing myself, but unfortunately Iv always found excuses like money, time, children you name it Iv used it. 1 month ago a friend of mine also a builder in the same predicament asked if I fancied going in 50/50 on a new build project, it took all of 60 seconds to say yes. So the next day we set out looking for plots, I pretty much new every development in my head as I spend 4 hours a night on rightmove. After viewing half a dozen we settled on a plot with planning for 3 (5bed detached) The area is all semis and doesn't suit theses so we are going back to the planner with proposed 4 semi detached that fits the street perfect. The land was £225k in total and we managed to get them down to £170k with £40k down and £32500 on the sale of each plot maximum of 12mth. The next job for me was to find funding for my half as I'd finally taken the leap without actually having the funds. After a few conversations I finally got the father in law on board for the £20k lent to me until we sell the first unit. So after many years I'm sat here 1month later about to purchase land with the deposit in my bank and the architect on with the drawings, it's amazing when you actually get off yours butt and go for it how quick things can move. Plan is get these for up in 6-7mth £430000 build cost taking them to £150k each plot and should easily achieve £200-£225 each so coming out with £100k each by the end of the year. The plan for me would be to put half back in to the next project and the other in to property flipping and do 2-3 a year as that's my dream and in my area there's plenty of doer uppers for £40 - £50k So next 5 years goal 1 development a year and 2-4 flips. First drawing attached let me know what you guys think Positive action, clear goals and taking action shouldn't be an issue :-)
  22. Hi, my names Mark and I work in Mortgages, STOP! Don't go, That's not why I am here. I have recently purchased a new build property from Bloor Homes and thought I would share my findings here. Needless to say, it has been an emotional experience and not in a good way. Please have a read http://plot548-kingswoodheath-bloor.co.uk Thanks for reading. Mark
  23. Hello Property Hubbers, My name’s Tom and I am a first time poster on here. I am hoping to get in touch with a few people who may be able to help / get involved in a project I’m looking to start in the Spring next year. I bought a house in Croydon last year and with it came a small strip of land (circa 20m x 5m). As it’s in a relatively built-up area I went to a pre-planning meeting with the Council earlier this year to discuss viability of building on the plot. The outcome was essentially positive in that the planners are happy with us building a property there (in principle) but it will have to be a bungalow. We also just got a services survey completed and it looks like there is nothing major running under the plot which is great news. By my (somewhat novice) calculations we can squeeze a 2 bed bungalow on to the plot which would currently sell for somewhere between 350-380k. I am not in the trade at all and have relatively few contacts who can help me with finding a suitable contractor who’d be interested in building a single dwelling from scratch. This brings me on to my questions: 1. As a novice, would people suggest trying to sell the land with planning permission rather than getting involved in the build itself? If so, what kind of price would I be able to get? 2. My preferred option would be to maintain ownership and build the bungalow. Does anyone know of suitable contacts who may be interested in this kind of work in the South London/Surrey area? 3. Would a prefabricated-style build be a sensible option to minimise risks and speed up the build? Many thanks all Tom
  24. Hello all. Me and my friend end have been in he process of buying a new build and nearly became victims of the recent spate of developers looking to charge £250 ground rent on the leasehold which doubles every 10 years. For anyone unaware of the problem with this have a quick read of this article from the guardian: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/money/2016/nov/05/ground-rent-scandal-engulfing-new-home-buyers-leasehold We have been advised by our solicitors to pull out of the deal but are of course hesitant because it is a great location and we are so far down the line. Has anyone any experience with this and can offer any advice? Has anyone managed to buy the freehold? How Much did that cost? Has anyone been able to re-negotiate the ground terms? Thanks very much for all your help! James
  25. Yo I have bought a few new build properties off-plan in recent years. If you buy early enough off-plan, one potential strategy is to think about investing in new build as a sort of property tracker bond. i.e. invest your deposit at Exchange, forget about it for a year or so, and then get your cash return post-Completion. An annoyance with this approach is that most lenders will lend at Completion against the purchase price rather than the market value at the time of Completion, which is annoying because you can't realise the equity that is now "baked in" other than through taking a mortgage product with no early redemption penalties or one that allows additional borrowing. It does, of course, also dampen your cash flow between Exchange and Completion, so not an approach for those looking to pull their cash fast and keep recycling it. The foregoing wasn't actually my top tip! My top tip is to make sure that your deposit is never released to the developer between Exchange and Completion except where the NHBC or equivalent warranty protects your deposit against the risk of the developer's insolvency during that period. Prior to Exchange, check that the NHBC or equivalent warranty coverage offers this protection. If it does not, the deposit should be held by the developer's solicitor as stakeholder (NOT agent) for the developer and the purchaser until such time as this insolvency protection is put in place. This is market standard, and you are well within your rights to make a fuss about this, and ensure that it is drafted into the Contract. Cheers, M
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