Buying a house or flat off-plan means buying it before it’s been built. In a market where more homes are needed and prices are on the rise due to scarcity, buying off plan can have its rewards by guaranteeing you get into a home.

Interest in buying off-plan has been buoyed by government schemes such as Help to Buy equity loans and First Homes, which are only available on new-builds.

1. Choose your development

Research the developer and review their plans and timelines.  Visit the show home at the location to get an idea of the level of finish you can expect.

2. Speak to a mortgage adviser

A mortgage adviser will be able to confirm how much you’ll be able to borrow. Let them know how much you’ve saved for the deposit and that you’re buying off-plan so they can find a lender who provides off-plan mortgages, as not everyone does.

3. Find your property and reserve your home

Once you’ve found the development and plot you like, you’ll need to reserve your home and pay a reservation fee – this is usually between £500 and £2,000.

4. Appoint a conveyancer to deal with the legal side of the purchase

A conveyancing solicitor carries out all the necessary legal work for purchasing a new home, so make sure you find one with experience in working with off-plan properties.

5. Arrange your mortgage

Your lender will usually want to organise a surveyor’s valuation based on the plans and development specification to make sure your home is worth what you’re paying for it. Once this is done, they can issue you with a mortgage.

6. Complete the paperwork and pay your deposit

There will be contracts to sign and also a deposit to pay which is usually 10% of the final price.  You will pay the funds to your conveyancing solicitor, who will transfer them to the developer’s solicitor on your behalf.

7. Get your finances lined up for completion day

Your developer will give you a completion date when your new build home will be ready. On this completion date, you’ll need to pay the remaining balance on the property, as well as any Stamp Duty if applicable, and you’ll be given the keys to your new home.