Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions and investments you’re ever likely to make. And, whether you’re a first-time buyer or making a move on the property ladder, it’s nice to know that you can rely on some support and assistance along the way. That’s why we’re here for you from the moment you choose your new home to the moment you move in – and beyond.
Inside your Essential New Home Guide we’ve outlined everything we think you’ll need to know about buying your new home. It explains how we can help make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. I trust you will find this useful in the months leading up to your big move.
Remember, no matter what you want to know our team are here to help. Just ask. We make a point of keeping you informed along the way, so you can rest assured that advice and information are never more than a phone call away. We take as much pride in looking after you as we do in building your home because, at Westpoint, we want you to feel at home with us.
Thank you for choosing Westpoint Homes.
Stephen W. Cullis, Chairman, Westpoint Homes
Westpoint Homes have been at the forefront of quality inspired development since 1989. We originally began by building a small number of bespoke, luxury homes in some of Scotland’s most desirable suburbs.
We’ve undergone considerable growth since then and are now one of Scotland’s leading home builders.
We remain committed to those core values that have long underpinned our success. We take pride in everything we do – whether it’s building homes to the highest possible standards, or taking extra special care of each and every customer.
We know that we’re creating something special – your home. A home that we want you to enjoy for many years to come. That’s why we make every effort to ensure that the process of buying your new home runs as smoothly as possible.
Our commitment to you begins the moment you visit one of our developments. From taking you through the building process to welcoming you into your new home, we’re here to help – every step of the way.
Our customer service programme extends well beyond the day you move into your new Westpoint Homes home. Because, here at Westpoint Homes, we’re building something more than your home; we’re building a relationship with you.
At Westpoint Homes we are committed to the Consumer Code for Home Builders and take the good-practice guidance seriously, thus committing us to:
All our Sales Advisors are very familiar with the Consumer Code, a copy of which is always on display within our various Sales Offices and which can be made available to you on request.
By endorsing the Code’s good-practice, the team at Westpoint Homes are focused on making sure that any purchase decision made by you is an informed one, based on a clear understanding of the reservation process, the home warranty cover, the implications of property management / factoring, and the standards to which your home is being built. If purchasing off plan, you can be assured that all floor plans and marketing materials, which explain dimensions and scope and quality of fixtures and fittings, will be accurate to the extent that they can be relied upon.
In many respects, The Essential New Home Guide and its contents, dovetails with the Consumer Code, since our in-house Guide will advise you on where to direct questions pre-purchase, during construction and post completion of your new home. Also, our reservation procedure and associated reservation forms have been designed to tie in with the Code’s good-practice guidance, and our after-sale commitment to you is clearly documented.
Further information can be obtained from the Consumer Code website www.consumercodeforhomebuilders.com
Now that you have reserved your home, it is important that you appoint a solicitor, who will ideally specialise in property, to help you with your purchase. They will act strictly on your behalf throughout the home-buying process and liaise with our solicitors to ensure that all related matters progress smoothly.
If you don’t already have a Solicitor, don’t worry! There are a number of firms that specialise in property purchase. If you require some guidance on this matter, just ask.
Your Solicitor will check all the relevant documents relating to the purchase of your new home. They are there to look after your interests and will be fully involved throughout, keeping you informed about key dates for signing and completing various legal documents.
One of the main things your Solicitor will be involved in is the exchange of Missives*. This will take place now that you have reserved your new home. Once your Solicitor has confirmed that everything is in order, they will arrange for you to sign a missive with Westpoint Homes. At this point, you will be required to pay a deposit* to secure the property. This usually takes place two weeks after reservation*. Once this happens, the contract between you and Westpoint Homes becomes legally binding.
At the reservation stage you will be advised of a target date of entry for your new home (otherwise referred to as the Completion Date) and should this proposed date vary as a result of construction works either progressing even quicker than originally forecast, or being delayed for example, due to weather conditions, be assured that Westpoint Homes will keep you fully informed. Your Solicitor will also contact your lender (i.e. the bank or building society providing your mortgage – if applicable) to ensure that the mortgage funds will be released on that day. Thereafter, in exchange for payment of the balance of the purchase price, our Solicitor will arrange with your Solicitor for the Title* to the property to be transferred into your name, making you the legal owner.
*Definitions can be found in the glossary.
People on site
Everyone at Westpoint Homes is here to help you. However, it is likely that the Sales Advisor* who took you through the reservation procedure, will be your main contact throughout the process of buying your new home. Your Sales Advisor is an integral part of the on-site team, and together with the Site Manager*, they will ensure that your new home meets our high standards. Your Sales Advisor will keep you fully up-to-date regarding what stage your new home is at. And, whether you are choosing the tiles for your bathroom, or simply seeking clarification on the smallest detail, your Sales Advisor will be with you every step of the way.
* Definitions can be found in the glossary.
As safe as houses
We want you to be involved with every aspect of your new home – after all it is being built for you. We are happy for you to visit us at the Sales Office at any time to discuss your new home’s progress.
However, we ask that you do not go onto the actual building site without first arranging it with the Sales Advisor. Health and Safety regulations on a building site are strict – for a very good reason.
Be safe. Remember the following:
The art of communication
At Westpoint Homes we are committed to keeping you updated with the progress of your new home. As well as regular phone calls to keep you up to date, we will invite you to the Sales Office:
To make your Colour Choices
To discuss any Clients Extras or design variations
To carry out a “walk through” of your soon to be completed new home (otherwise known as a Familiarisation Visit)
Your home your choice
With missives now concluded and your deposit paid, your Sales Advisor will invite you to visit the Sales Office to make your Colour Choices for your new home. The timescale for this consultation will vary depending on the build programme of your home.
Now for the fun part! You’ll be asked to choose the style and colour of your kitchen units and worktops, bathroom and en-suite wall tiling. You will also be asked to select paint colours for walls and, where applicable, floor coverings. This is your opportunity to make your home your own. Westpoint Homes are renowned for offering a wide range of choices to ensure that every single home we build is unique. Feel free to bring along fabric samples or magazines with home décor ideas for inspiration. You may also wish to bring along a friend for an all-important second opinion.
Everyone has a different idea of what makes a house a home. Styling your home around a particular concept is a personal thing. After all, the interior of your home says a lot about you. There are those who wish to surround themselves with traditional fixtures and fittings, whilst others prefer the minimalist approach. That’s what makes choosing these items a pleasurable experience. It gives you the opportunity to create a unique home that reflects your personality.
If the standard specification does not contain that elusive, “must have” item, feel free to let us know. Our dedicated Sales and Construction team will make every effort to source, wherever possible, the item(s) you desire. And should these “Extra” fixtures and fittings be sourced (subject to agreeing a cost and payment made by you), we will install these into your new home.
Keeping you informed
While we always set out to give you every indication of when your new home will be ready, things may happen outwith our control which result in a change to your move-in date. We feel that we should point out that “blips” can occur. In the following section, we highlight some of the reasons why dates may change. Remember that we’re building your new home especially for you and are committed to keeping you fully informed.
Keeping you in the picture
It may be the case that, for reasons beyond our direct control, we are unable to finish your home on the date we originally specified. If this happens, we will advise you of the situation as soon as possible and give you a revised move-in date.
One of the main factors that could delay the completion of your home is the weather, and predicting it in Scotland can be especially difficult!
In very wet weather our builders are unable to work outside for quality control and safety reasons. Cold weather can cause similar delays.
Rest assured that, whatever the situation, we will notify you and explain the reasons for the delay and the impact on your move-in date. Remember that it is in both our interests to complete the building of your new home just as soon as possible.
As your new home nears completion, we will reconfirm your move in date and invite you to the Sales Office to visit your new home prior to purchase. This is called the Familiarisation Visit and, as the name suggests, it is your opportunity to walk through and fully inspect your new home with your Sales Advisor and / or a member of our Customer Care Team.
We would take this opportunity to stress that under certain circumstances, a number of external works may not have been completed before your move-in date.
If you are buying a home which is part of a phased development, then it is normal for the construction team to remain on-site and continue with planned development works. To achieve the high standards which you expect from Westpoint Homes, we may not have applied the final road finishes or completed pavements, paths and communal areas prior to you moving in. This is because it is best practice to complete these works when there is no longer a need for heavy-duty construction traffic
Ready for your approval
Before you move in, it is important to note that your home will be inspected and approved by the National House Building Council* (NHBC) and Building Control*. In addition to our own stringent quality control systems, both will ensure that your home is built in accordance with the latest building standards and regulations.
Once your new home has been approved, your Solicitor will be contacted and advised that legal settlement* is pending. We will also contact you directly so that you can make final arrangements for your move. Prior to you collecting your keys, your Sales Advisor will cast an experienced eye over your new home and thoroughly check that everything is ready.
* Definitions can be found in the glossary.
Counting down to your move
Some people say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you are ever likely to do. Buying a new home is rarely stress-free, but we can offer you some handy tips to help make things run as smoothly as possible.
In the following section, we have put together some useful suggestions about things that you could be doing in the run-up to your move. Our countdown starts at four weeks and takes you right up to your move-in day.
Preparing for a change of address
It’s important to let people know you’re on the move. Some things you may wish to do this week include (if applicable):
3 weeks to go…
To ensure that your move goes as planned, now is the time to consider the following.
Make sure your current home contents insurance policy covers your belongings during the move and that it is transferred to your new address.
It should be noted that in flatted developments, and some housing developments, Westpoint Homes will appoint a Property Manager* who will arrange for communal buildings insurance.
You’ve got the power
Let your services and utilities suppliers know you’re on the move. The following suppliers will need to be advised of your moving date:
Remember, when we hand over your new home we’ll let you know who all your new suppliers are.
*Definitions can be found in the glossary .
Start planning your packing
It may be too soon to start packing, but there are plenty of things you can do in preparation.
Clear out the clutter
Get rid of anything that you no longer use or want. When it comes to clothes, if you’ve not worn something for a year, you probably never will again. Your local charity shop will be happy to take items that are in good condition. This is the ideal time to clear out cupboards, sheds, garages and attics, all of which are easy to overlook. This could take longer than you expect as you may come across long forgotten and intriguing items.
If the removal firm don’t supply boxes as standard – or if you are undertaking the move without professional assistance, it’s time to start collecting boxes in preparation for your big move.
Organisation is the key
Think about what you’ll need right away and work out where to pack these items so that they can be easily found during your move. Work out a system for labelling things that allows you to advise the removal firm, or friends and family involved in the move, which boxes go where.
2 weeks to go…
This is when you need to make sure that everyone knows about your move. The following people and companies will need to know your new address and when you are moving:
There may be other people and organisations that you need to advise about your move, but the above list should be a good starting point.
One week to go…
If you’ve followed our countdown so far, this is the week when everything should come together as planned. However, there are still a few things to do before you move house.
One week to go…
Remember also to make time for your Familiarisation Visit which will be scheduled to take place this week.
It’s move-in day and by now you should be all packed up and ready to go. Before you leave your old home remember to:
Moving into your new Westpoint Homes home
On move-in day, your Solicitor will make final arrangements for the outstanding balance on your new home to be paid. Once Westpoint Homes are in receipt of this final payment, we will call you to arrange for the transfer of keys.
Your Sales Advisor or a member of our Customer Care Team will take you on a final guided tour of your new home. They will show you how to operate your appliances and heating system. This gives them an opportunity to demonstrate that everything is in good working order and that your home is ready to be lived in.
As we leave you to settle in, we will give you your handover box (Your Essential New Home Pack).
This contains lots of useful information about your home. It will include manuals for heating and other systems and appliances and also guarantees which should be filled in and sent to the manufacturers by you to activate the warranty period. This pack also contains an NHBC handbook, Guide to Your New Home, which provides useful tips on how to get the most from, and care for, your new home. You should take the time to thoroughly read it as soon as you can.
At this time you can bring anything that you are unsatisfied with to our attention. Your Sales Advisor will make a note of these items on your handover certificate and provide you with a copy for record purposes. Thereafter, every effort will be made to address all outstanding matters just as soon as possible.
Looking after you looking after your home
Having now received the keys to your new home, another chapter of customer care begins. Your Sales Advisor will contact you within 14 days, and a further call from our Customer Care Department* will follow a month later.
*Definitions can be found in the glossary.
Within fourteen days your Sales Adviser will call you. We want to make sure that you are happy with your home and to answer any further queries you may have.
Anything that is less than perfect can be raised with us at this point. We will bring it to the attention of the Customer Care Department who will aim to have any teething troubles remedied by the end of your first month.
Around this time, you will also be invited to answer a few questions about your new home and the quality of service you have received to date. We value your Feedback!
After a month…
At this point, our Customer Care Manager will be in touch with you and make arrangements to visit you in your new home.
It would be our intention to have remedied any snagging* matters prior to this visit taking place.
This is an opportunity for our Customer Care Manager to assess at first hand whether any remedial work has been carried out to your satisfaction and ensure that it meets with our own high standards of workmanship.
If any outstanding work remains, our Customer Care Manager will liaise directly with the relevant contractors and ensure that it becomes a priority matter, and will keep you routinely updated.
In order to allow us to carry out this work, we will require access to your home. As far as possible, every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary disruption.
*Definitions can be found in the glossary.
Running in your new home
Rather like a new car needs to be “run-in” your new home also needs a little tender loving care during the first few months.
The NHBC Guide to Your New Home booklet (contained in Your Essential New Home Pack) offers lots of relevant advice and information about how to successfully settle into your new home.
Drying out & condensation
When we were building your home, it would have absorbed a lot of moisture. This is due to both the weather and the fact that some building materials, such as plaster and mortar, contain water. This is perfectly normal and totally unavoidable.
During the first few months of living in your new home, it will still be drying out. Normal household chores such as cooking and washing may create moisture, which can cause condensation. So it is important to consider the following useful tips:
Keep your home well ventilated and keep windows open as much as possible.
If you have to close windows at any time make sure that the trickle vents (slotted vents on the window frames) are open instead.
In the first year, it is a good idea to try and keep your home properly heated. Rooms that are not in constant use should still be heated, although at a lower temperature than rooms you use all the time. Remember that heating can be set a few degrees lower and turned up when you return home.
Try to avoid overfilling wardrobes and cupboards and leave as much space as possible for air to circulate.
When cooking, remember to make use of the cooker hood’s extractor fan to avoid too much steam building up.
The NHBC also advise that it may not be wise to carry out any redecorating (especially wall papering) within the first 9 – 12 months, as this may delay the drying out process.
By following these simple tips, you can expect to enjoy maximum levels of comfort in your new home.
Below is a short list of some legal and property related terms that you will come across either in discussions with your Solicitor, the Sales Advisor or as you read through your Essential New Home Guide:
Local Authority Building Control is a publicly accountable independent building control provider dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in building, design, and construction.
Westpoint Homes Customer Care Department is here to make sure we follow our in-house Customer Service Programme, and deliver the highest possible levels of service at all times.
A nominal payment that you make to secure the property. It is due to be paid when you enter into missives. The sales advisor will provide details of the level of deposit required.
Legal Settlement will take place just before you move into your new home. The settlement price will be the agreed value of the property, minus any payments – such as the deposit – that you have already made.
A legally binding agreement. There are usually two copies of this document, one for you and one that we will keep on file. Both copies are signed by you and by Westpoint Homes. These documents commit you to buying the property and us to building and selling it to you.
The date on which you are scheduled to move into your new home. You will be advised of this date via your Sales Advisor.
The National House-Building Council. The NHBC are the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK. They aim to help raise and maintain standards in regulation, construction and consumer protection within the industry. They register house builders, set standards, inspect properties as they are being constructed and provide insurance cover on new and converted homes.
They may also be referred to as “the factor”. The Property Manager, as their name suggests, provides a management service to deal with all matters of common interest including the placing of common building insurance and instructing common repairs. They will also be responsible for organising maintenance, cleaning, gardens and (if applicable) lift maintenance contracts. These costs will be divided up and invoiced to each owner by the property manager. These bills will be issued every four or six months.
The reservation process involves the payment of a fee that entitles you to “hold” or “reserve” the property for a limited period of time, prior to concluding a missive with Westpoint Homes.
You would have met the Sales Advisor for your development when you reserved your property. They are the first person you should contact with any questions and queries. They’ll keep in touch with you throughout the building period and advise you on progress on a regular basis.
They are responsible for co-ordinating on-site construction work and making sure that all workmanship is of the highest standard. They are also responsible for health and safety on site.
You may notice some minor things that you think we should be made aware of. A snagging list is a list of the things that you would like us to put right for you. The snagging list should be compiled after consulting your NHBC Handbook – Guide to your New Home. The snagging list is agreed between us. We will also advise you on how long it will take to put things right. We aim to put things right within an agreed period; however, some items may be deferred to a later date.
The document that provides evidence of your ownership of the property.