Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about buying a new home.

An Arrangement Fee is an administration charge made by lenders for arranging credit.

A mortgage in principle is a written estimate from a bank or building society indicating the amount of money you can borrow.

The term used to describe the time when the deeds of your new house are handed over in return for the agreed price. At this stage, legal completion takes place and your new home becomes yours.

The agreement that constitutes all terms under which you are buying your new home. Two copies of this are issued, one signed by you and one by us. When these have been exchanged by your solicitors and ours, we have legally exchanged and are legally bound to complete the transaction.

The work undertaken to legally transfer ownership of a property from one owner to another.

Covenants are a legal obligation outlined in your deeds and recorded at HM Land Registry to ensure that certain things occur or do not occur.

A percentage of the purchase price of your new home that you are required to pay at missives/exchange.

The period when the contracts are exchanged between buyer and seller, thus creating a legal agreement to complete the purchase/sale of your new home.

The annual service charge payable to a management company who is responsible for maintaining the communal areas of a development. These may include communal hallways and stairways in apartment buildings, landscaped areas and in some cases, roads, footpaths and open spaces.

A legal document that transfers ownership of your new home to you.

A term used to describe a property where the land and the property are both owned by the same owner.

Help to Buy* is a product in the Government’s HomeBuy range designed to help buyers in England buy your new home in an affordable way. Help to Buy will enable an eligible buyer to purchase a brand new home, funded by an affordable mortgage and with assistance from Homes England.

Help to Buy gives you the chance to buy a new home with the assistance of an equity stake. The value of the stake is a maximum of 20% of the full price of the property.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is a trade association representing private sector homebuilders in England and Wales.

The set fee payable to register your ownership of your new home. This will be handled by your solicitor on your behalf.

A leasehold property is one where the land is owned by another owner and a lease is granted for a number of years. Annual ground rent is payable.

The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a tax applied to residential and non-residential land and buildings transactions. LBTT is administered by Revenue Scotland, with support from Registers of Scotland (RoS)

Conducted by your solicitor, this search provides all information on planning consents, infrastructure, preservation orders, rights of way and any other item that may affect your home.

These are legal letters exchanged between you and us, confirming your offer for your new home and our acceptance of that offer. 

A home loan used to buy your new home, provided by a lender for an agreed period of years.

There are several types of mortgage available, do please speak to an independent financial advisor to select the one most suited to you.

Some lenders require this one off payment if your loan is in excess of their parameters. It can usually be added to your mortgage and the amount varies depending on lender, term of mortgage and amount borrowed.

The NHBC are the UK's leading provider of warranty and insurance for new homes.  All Stewart Milne Homes come with a 10 year NHBC warranty.

Part Exchange is a scheme where we as the housebuilder purchase your home whilst you purchase one of our brand new homes.

We'll arrange two independent valuations, provide you with a fair market price for your property and once you've accepted, we'll liaise with solicitors to complete the purchase alongside the purchase of your new Stewart Milne home.

The term used to describe the time when the deeds of your new house are handed over in return for the agreed price. At this stage, legal completion takes place and your new home becomes yours.

Sold STC (Subject To Contract) indicates that the property owner has accepted a buyer's offer, but the paperwork and process necessary to make the sale legally binding has not yet been completed.

A tax imposed by the Government on the purchase price of properties above a certain price. This varies from time to time and will be handled by your solicitor.

A valuation survey taken out by your lender prior to their offer of mortgage, on which they will base their mortgage offer.

The legal documents that confirm you as owner of your new home.