Home Buying Guide

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Buying a new home can sometimes be a daunting experience. From the first time you speak to a member of our staff, to the day you move into your new home and beyond, we want to ensure that you receive the best possible customer service. This guide is intended to explain the different processes and stages that you will experience when you purchase a home at Knockroon.


Reserving your new home

When you first express an interest in a home at Knockroon, Cumnock, we will provide you with a brochure and up-to-date price list and other information you may require.

Once you have made the decision to reserve a new home, you can do so by visiting our Visitor Centre (opening 6th May 2011) and Showhomes. Opening times and directions can be found by
clicking here.

 

Deposit

In order to reserve your chosen plot, you must pay an initial deposit of £500. Upon receipt of this payment, we shall immediately remove the plot from the market and reserve it for you for fourteen days. Another payment of £500 is then due. Both these payments must be made by cash or cheque as we do not have the facilities to accept card payments.

If you do not pay the second deposit within this time, we may cancel your reservation and retain any monies paid. Should you for any reason, decide to cancel your reservation, any deposit paid is non-refundable. This £1,000 payment will be deducted from your total purchase price on your day of entry.

When you first reserve a property, our sales adviser will provide you with a Reservation Pack. The items included in this pack are for your information and include a copy of the detailed floorplans and kitchen plans for your new home, a list of customisation options that may be available for your home, information on the local area, details of any communal areas within the development and a copy of your receipt for payment made.

 

Missives

You may already be familiar with the term 'missives'. These are the contract between a buyer and seller to purchase a property and can sometimes be referred to as an 'offer'. When you first reserve, we ask if you can provide us with the details of the solicitor who will act on your behalf during the purchase. If you are unsure as to whom this will be, we ask that you provide these details no later than when paying your second deposit.

Once these details have been confirmed, our solicitor (Sprang Terras) will contact them directly and provide them with a copy of the missives. Your solicitor will discuss the content of the missives with you and once all parties are happy, these are finalised and concluded. We ask that missives are concluded within 6 weeks of your initial reservation date.

 

Entry Date

When you first reserve, we shall let you know the date that your new home shall be completed and ready to handover. Initially, we may only be able to advise which month the handover shall take place but as the build progresses, we will be able to confirm on which day it shall take place.

 

Mortgages

Although we cannot provide you with a mortgage to buy your new home, we can provide you with details of an independent financial adviser who would be able to assist you with this. To find out more about mortgage options that may be available to you, contact

Andrew Thompson
City Financial
01358 726236
www.city-financial.co.uk

 

Customising your new home

We all want to be able to customise our homes to be as individual as we are and tailor them exactly to our needs and requirements. When you purchase a new home at Knockroon, Cumnock you can do exactly that.

A list detailing a wide range of customisation options is included within the reservation pack you receive when you first reserve. We try to incorporate all options available but if you would like us to do something that isn't included in the list, just ask a sales adviser if it is possible. Copies of this list are available within our Visitor Centre.

Some options can only be requested at the earliest stages of construction. It is a good idea to mention any alterations you may be considering, to our staff as soon as possible.

When you reserve, our sales adviser will ask you to start thinking about customising your new home and ask you to make an appointment to complete the customisation paperwork within a few weeks of reservation.

At your customisation appointment, you have the opportunity to choose which style of kitchen your new home will have, the tiling for the kitchen and bathrooms and also the positioning of your electrical sockets. We would recommend you set aside a few hours for your customisation appointment and visit the Visitor Centre and Showhomes a few times before the appointment date to help you make your decisions.

Many of the alterations we offer can be carried out at no additional cost to you. However, as we are sure you will appreciate, some will cost extra. The cost of any additions or alterations you request will be added to the total purchase price of your new home and paid on your entry date through your solicitor.

At the end of your customisation appointment, our sales adviser will review all the information covered and ask you to sign and date the paperwork completed during the appointment. A copy of this paperwork, including any additional costs agreed, is provided for your own records.

To give you some extra time to think about the alterations you have requested, we allow a 7 day period from completion of the customisation paperwork before we consider the choices you have made to be finalised. If during this time, you wish to reconsider or add more alterations, let us know and we will make the necessary arrangements.

Once the 7 day period has passed, we conclude that we have the necessary details to begin construction of your new home. It is at this time that our marketing team shall compile the tradesheets relating to the construction of your particular home. The tradesheets contain all the information that will be required by our tradesmen to ensure your new home is constructed to your specification. To avoid confusion or delay to construction, we cannot accept any requests for alterations to the paperwork agreed at your customisation appointment, after the 7 day period has passed.

In some instances, a home may be partly or fully completed before it is reserved. When this happens, the amount of customisation options is greatly reduced due to the stage of construction. Please speak to a sales adviser who will be able to confirm what options, if any, are available.

 

Site Visits

We are sure that you will be curious as to what is happening with your new home during its construction. With this in mind, we are happy to offer site visits on an appointment-only basis at weekends, once your home has reached a stage of construction such it is safe to view.

As we are sure you will appreciate, these visits can only take place by appointment and strict health and safety procedures must be followed when on site. Under no circumstances should you visit the construction site without being accompanied by a member of our marketing team.

Whenever you visit our site, our sales adviser will provide you with a high visibility vest and a hard hat. You must wear these at all times. We would also recommend that you wear sturdy footwear and be prepared that you may get a little dirty, as not all roads and footpaths will be completed at this time.

Please contact a member of our marketing team to book a 30 minute appointment to view your home.

 

Familiarisation Visit

In the week leading up to your entry date, the finishing touches will be being made to your new home. We shall have already contacted you to arrange a familiarisation visit for one or two days before your entry date.

This visit usually takes place after all works have been carried out and the house has been cleaned. It gives you the opportunity to have a good look round and to receive instruction from our sales advisers on the operation of all the appliances in your new home and ask any questions you may have.

We ask that this visit is carried out before access is given to your own tradesmen for the purposes of fitting carpets and blinds etc and before your move begins.

In some instances, carpets and blinds can be fitted prior to the entry date, provided the familiarisation visit has been completed. To find out if this is possible for your new home, please contact our marketing team on 01292 590442, 7-10 days before your entry date.

During your familiarisation visit, the sales adviser will give you full details of the procedure on your entry date and also request a contact number (usually a mobile) that we can use to get in touch with you on that day.

 

Date of Entry

We know that you will be keen to start moving into your new home as soon as possible and we are happy to accommodate this.

Quite often, the funds to purchase the property do not transfer from your solicitor to ours until later in the afternoon. This is not uncommon however we do ask that you settle in full no later than 2.30pm. Although the funds may not yet have transferred, we are happy to give you access to your new home from 9am. This allows you to get floorcoverings and window dressings fitted and start moving in your belongings.

When we have received confirmation from our solicitors of the funds being transferred, our sales adviser will call you to arrange a convenient time to give you the keys to your new home and carry out the official handover of the property.

At this time, our sales adviser will also provide you with a Welcome Pack which contains the instructions for all the appliances in your new home along with some information on the local area.

 

Gas & Electricity Supply

The gas and electricity supply to your new home is connected prior to your entry date and the account is set up in our name. On the day of entry, our sales adviser will provide you with details of the current supplier and all other necessary information relating to your meters (such as meter numbers etc).

During the handover, our sales adviser will take a final meter reading from any energy meters. These readings will be noted on the handover document we give you and also noted in our own files. We pay for all energy charges up to these readings with you being liable for all future charges.

Although we provide you with the contact details for the current energy supplier, we DO NOT recommend that you call them until a few weeks after you have taken entry. Although we have set up the account, utility companies often take some time to update their databases and they may have difficulty finding any record of the existing account.

 

TV Points

During your customisation appointment, you will have finalised the positions of all TV points within your home. All points are connected to a communal digital aerial and digital satellite dish, giving you the choice of Freeview Digital Television or Sky Digital Satellite Television. Although your home will be connected to the communal satellite dish, you must contact Sky direct to arrange your subscription and required in-home equipment, if you wish to take advantage of their service.

 

Refuse Collection

We will provide you with the contact details for the local authority to arrange delivery of your refuse and recycling bins. They will also be able to provide you with details of collection days.

 

Professional Consultant's Certificate

Your new home shall be inspected regularly during construction by an appointed firm of charted architects. Upon completion of the build, a final inspection takes place and a Professional Consultant's Certificate is issued in relation to your new home. This certificate is valid for a period of 6 years from issue and confirms that at times of inspection, the property has been constructed to a satisfactory standard and is in compliance with drawings approved under building regulations. The original certificate is forwarded to your solicitor to prior to the entry date, to allow them to complete the purchase on your behalf.

 

Notice of Acceptance of Completion Certificate

Upon completion of the build, your new home will also be inspected by a Building Control Officer from the local authority. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that the build has been completed in accordance with the approved plans and that all building regulations have been met. Following this inspection, a Notice of Acceptance of Completion Certificate (sometimes referred to as Completion Certificate or Habitation Certificate) is issued by the local authority. Again this information is forwarded to your solicitor prior to the entry date, to allow them to complete the purchase on your behalf.

 

Aftersales

When handing over the keys to your new home, we shall provide you with details of our snagging procedure and will advise the dates that we require access to carry out any snagging you may have. A copy of the procedure is detailed below.

SNAGGING PROCEDURE

On the 3rd Tuesday after entry you will be visited by a co-ordinator and tradesmen who will correct any snagging problems. It is imperative that they can have access on this day between the hours of 8am and 5pm, otherwise we cannot give any guarantee as to when any snagging will be carried out. If it is not possible for you or a friend/ relative to be there to give access please feel free to leave a key with the site manager.

ACCESS REQUIRED: Date

Please ensure that you have had a good look around your property before the date of the tradesmen visiting, so that you know exactly what work is required. We will not accept any requests to carry out snagging after this date unless it is something which would not have been possible for you to detect before this date.

The tradesmen who will visit on this day, if required, are:

  • Joiner
  • Groundworker
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Roof Tiler
  • Roughcaster
  • Ceramic Tiler
  • Bricklayer
  • Painter (to follow up from the other trades only)

The painter will visit on this day but only to carry out any necessary touching up required following the above trades carrying out snagging.

The painter will visit 3 months after entry to carry out his snagging when the drying out process in your new home should be complete. Again it is imperative that he can have access on this day between 8am and 5pm.

ACCESS REQUIRED: Date

After having any work carried out, we would request that you sign the tradesmen's job sheet to assist us with monitoring.

Please note that when touching up the painter will not repaint entire walls or rooms.

In the unlikely event that you experience an emergency, please telephone the office on 01292 590442, and we shall make the necessary arrangements.

On the day that your snagging has been carried out, a member of our marketing team will call you in the afternoon to check on the progress and that arrangements have been made for access for any work not completed on snagging day. As part of our snagging procedure, we will ensure that any warranted defects are made good. Warranted defects are defined as faults in materials or workmanship outwith what would be considered as normal drying out shrinkage or wear and tear. It is worth remembering that all new homes go through a "settling" period and you may therefore notice some shrinkage or find nails popping. This is normal and not regarded as a defect.

 

Your new home

Buying a new home is often the largest investment anyone will make and one they will want to look after and want to see increase in value over time. To make the most of your home, it is worth taking a few steps that may reward you with substantial savings in the long term.

The first few months

It's worth remembering that your new home needs time to be run in during the first few months. This means that the materials used in the construction of your home (bricks, timber etc) need time to dry out. This shouldn't give you any cause for concern if you follow a few simple steps.

Try to maintain an even temperature throughout your home and avoid extremes of hot and cold.

Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when cooking, washing up, bathing or drying clothes. You should also use the extractor fans situated in each of these rooms to remove excess moisture from the air.

Increase the ventilation in your home by opening the windows a little whenever possible and using the trickle vents fitted to your windows. It is also a good idea to leave the internal doors open where possible to ventilate your home evenly.

 

Utility Services (gas, electricity and water)

Electricity

The mains electricity to your home is supplied via a two-core service cable and sealed meter units. Maintenance for these falls to the electricity company. The cable passes from the meter unit to the consumer unit, where it is divided into a number of circuits, each having its own circuit breaker. The electricity meter and consumer unit is usually located in the hall store of your new home.

All circuit breakers within the consumer unit will be clearly labelled allowing you to easily see which circuit is served by this breaker. There shall also be labelled isolator switches for each kitchen appliance within this cupboard or above the worktop in the kitchen.

In the event of an overload, the circuit breaker will switch off and cut power to the circuit it serves. If after switching back on, the circuit breaker reacts again, you should call an electrician.

In the consumer unit, there will be a residual circuit device (RCD) next to the socket outlet circuit breakers. These are installed for your protection against electrical shock. Small kitchen appliances as irons and kettles are the most common cause for the RCD to trip. When this happens, power will be lost from all socket outlets. To reset the system, you should push the switch back up to the on position. If the fault persists and does not reset, you switch off all appliances, reset the RCD as above and switch on each appliance one by one until the faulty appliance is identified.

During a power cut, you should switch off all electrical appliances. This is to prevent an accident occurring due to a power surge when the electricity supply is restored. Keep your fridge and freezer door closed as much as possible to protect the contents.

Gas & Heating

The gas supply enters your house at the rear and will be concealed in a brown plastic box. The main gas tap is located here along with the gas meter. Should you ever need to turn off the gas supply, you should open the "gas box" and move the tap to the off position. You will be given a key for the gas box on your date of entry.

All gas appliances require adequate ventilation. Without a good supply of fresh air, toxic fumes can build up in a room. NEVER block or cover ventilators for gas appliances.

Always use a GasSafe registered engineer for any maintenance or repair work carried out to any gas appliances. All gas boilers and appliances should be serviced on an annual basis for your own safety and optimum performance.

Our homes are normally fitted with a gas central heating system powered by a gas condensing combination boiler. This system is used to provide both heating and hot water. Condensing combination boilers are more energy efficient than conventional boilers as there isn't a large water tank that needs to be heated before use. When you turn on any hot water tap, the condensing combination boiler will fire up and provide instant hot water.

Your boiler is fitted with a timer to allow you to regulate the system to best suit your needs. This timer allows you to decide when the heating system is switched on or off.

All homes at Knockroon shall have two wall thermostats installed. One will be situated upstairs and one downstairs, allowing the heating system to operate as two separate zones. Each thermostat will shut down the entire heating system for its allocated zone should the temperature at its location exceed the thermostat setting. When the temperature falls below the setting, the heating system will automatically restart.

You should set the wall thermostat to the temperature you find most comfortable. It can be easily adjusted to suit your needs. If you feel that your home is comfortable at the current setting, try reducing the wall thermostat by 1o. This small change can reduce your annual gas bill by as much as 6%.

Individual room temperatures can be controlled with the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) fitted to each radiator. All rooms in your new home, except one (normally the bathroom) shall have a TRV fitted. This is a requirement to ensure optimum efficiency of the heating system.

If you find that only the lower section of any radiator is warm when the heating is on, you may need to release trapped air by bleeding the radiator. You can do this by following these simple steps.

  • Turn your central heating system to the off position on your boiler.
  • Use a radiator key or screwdriver to open the air release valve which can be found at the top of the radiator.
  • Open the valve slowly, using a piece of cloth to catch the water which could cause staining until water begins to drip out. This should be enough to release the trapped air.
  • Close the valve.

If you boiler has a fill loop system, you will need to top-up the system after bleeding your radiators. Please refer to your instruction manual for detail on this procedure. The pressure gauge on the boiler should read between 1 and 2 bar. If you need assistance to top up your system, you should contact a GasSafe registered plumber or heating engineer for further advice.

Water

The mains water supply will be situated close to the house and be at least 750mm below ground level to protect it from frost.

There is an internal stopcock close to the point where the water supply enters your home. This is usually situated below the kitchen or laundry room sink. Turn the stopcock clockwise to turn the water supply off.

In an emergency if a pipe bursts, you should turn off the water at the main stopcock, turn on all taps and call a plumber.

 

Care & Maintenance

Generally we all know how to take care of our home to ensure that we attain the optimum performance from it. However, we have detailed below some additional points that we feel may be of assistance to you in the care of your new home.

Gardens

We shall landscape the front garden of all new homes at Knockroon. The finish of each garden will vary from plot to plot, please speak to a sales adviser for further details.

The rear gardens will be finished in top soil, allowing you the opportunity to tailor the landscaping to your needs and requirements. We shall also provide rainwater butts and compost bins for your use.

Planning permission requirements may necessitate that we plant some trees or shrubs within the garden area of your new home. Generally they also require that these trees or shrubs are maintained or replaced for a specific period of time. This obligation transfers to the owner of the property.

Chrome finish surfaces

To keep any chrome finishes (door handles, chimney hoods, etc) in your new home bright, we recommend that you do not use any abrasive cleaning products but instead wipe them with a mild detergent, such as washing up liquid, and polish off with a soft dry cloth.

Stainless Steel Sinks

The stainless steel sinks and draining areas fitted in the kitchen and laundry room of your new home are manufactured to a very high standard and should require little or no maintenance. Wiping with a soapy cloth and rinsing with clean water should be enough to keep them in good condition. You should avoid scratching or marking your sink and draining area with hard or sharp objects such as knives etc.

 

How to contact us

Our Visitor Centre at Knockroon, Cumnock (SAT NAV KA18 1AN) is open Saturday & Sunday 11am to 5pm. You can speak to a sales adviser here on 07817 281559.

Our head office is based in Watson Terrace, Drongan and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. You can speak to a member of our marketing team based here by telephoning us on 01292 590442 or sending an email to enquiries@knockroon.co.uk.

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