Author Topic: End of year house move  (Read 5004 times)

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Cramdock

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End of year house move
« on: July 15, 2015, 11:27:25 am »
I have been reading through the forums for quite a while but wanted to ask a question.

We have started the process of purchasing a new house (Miller) in East Kilbride in Scotland. Initially they were talking of the building being completed in February 2016 but this has been brought forward to December 11th now.

I had a look over the year-end page that has been created on this website and it has me thinking that now I will be moving into a sub-standard new build which I am not best pleased about, so I am looking for some advice.

What should I be doing to make sure that I am not getting a sub-standard new build from Miller Homes?

I am not using any services that they have provided, I am going with my own solicitor and I have a very close family friend who acts as my financial advisor, currently have everything worked out and a decision in principle on the table.

I have also decided to get a professional snag done, Hopefully prior to me closing.

Any advice on this matter is appreciated.


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Re: End of year house move
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 07:59:33 am »
You are right to be wary of house buildrs year-end.
Howvere you have been sensible, taken your time and thus far protected yourself for the many pitfalls of buying a new home.

Firstly, your solicitor is NOT one of Miller choices.  Indeed a family friend that will most definitely have only your best interests in mind. 

Secondly, you have chosen Miller, who are in my opinion, one of the better housebuilders. They have a very low homes built per : NHBC Quality awards won ratio.  Indeed, the best builder on this score for many years until this year (pipped by Cala)
They are rated five stars by their purchasers and have been for each year since 2012.  That is nto to say youwill get a good site manager or a well built house - but you have minimised the risk.

Finally, you have stated that you are going to use a Professional Snagging Inspector. Could I suggest Martyn Maxwell of Brickkickers.co.uk

To avoid a rushed house, ask your solicitor now to write to Miller Homes and tell them that:
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"My client has stated he intends to have the home  independently and professionally snagged and inspected by Brickkickers prior to legal completion.  I have advised my client not to complete until he is fully satisfied the home is 100% finished to a reasonably good standard, with any and all items noted by the inspector rectified prior to legal completion." 

This will mean, given there is still plenty of time, that your home will be started earlier, giving Miller more time to do a better job. It will also mean Miller site team is forewarned what you expect and that a professional will be inspecting prior to legal completion, which could delay this beyond Miller Homes' year-end.

This should give your home a priority (if one is needed) with the better tradesmen on site working on your home in preference to the others and more inspections by site management during the build.

In the nine years I have been running my websites, this is the first occasion where I have come across a new home buyer that has done research and is taking every possible, sensible step to protect himself.  I am sure you will end up with a better new home as a result.

Perhaps as you have obviously made good use of the information and advice provided, you would be kind enough to make a donation.
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Cramdock

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Re: End of year house move
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 10:04:28 am »
Thank you for the response.

I have made a donation as without this forum (and your old one) I really would of struggled on what to look for.

It has opened up my eyes to the world of buying a new home and really helping me prepare and set expectations on what it is going to be like once I move in.

With regards to what you said about an amendment to the contract, I have actually already asked my solicitor this and we will put something in once we sign the missives. He has suggested that they might just ignore it completely however.

I went up to the site yesterday and managed to speak to one of the residents living there, there was the usual issues as I will now list:

Monoblock driveway pooling water.
Lose window frame (where I am moving to is high up and will be windy)
Nearly all fixtures were weeping
Nearly all of the windows (glass) have been replaced due to de-lamination
And a problem with the bay window roof (on several properties) I will go into this below.

All in he said his snaglist was totalled at 28 which I think is very low?

So to elaborate on the bay window roof problem:

The bay window roof is flat and as a result pools water and again as a result started to leak into the interior ceiling causing it to fall down, this has been a problem on a few of the properties on the street.

So what I am thinking is negotiating for a monetary discount so I can pay for some sort of fibreglass or GDRP roofing to be bought by myself and fitted when I move in, any advice on this would be appreciated.

The documents have been sent to my solicitor this week so I expect them to be with me next week for myself and partner to sign, this is where I will add in the part about snagging prior to closing on the property.

And further to your comment above about the first in 9 years, I am surprised, this is a lot of money that we are spending and I want to make sure that I get what I expect for the money, I am quite organised when it comes to my money and I have been obsessing over various outcomes for the last few weeks to try and get all bases covered.

Thanks again

Marc

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Re: End of year house move
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 12:20:25 pm »
Many thanks for the donation.
And well done for speaking to existing buyer/residents. Another thing I always recommend.

Miller Homes site managers won three NHBC Quality Awards in Scotland in 2015:
David Mathie : Dalmore Mills Penicuik - Jim Martin : Roselea, Rosewell - Kris Aitchison : Liberty Park, Bathgate

It is concerning that the defects you mention appear to be due to materials such as the sealed units breaking down (most likely because the sealed units were not diagonally blocked (shimmed) to the frame) and the design - a leaking bay window flat roof.

I am certain that no housebuilder will leave a roof so you can fit a (GRP) better one after you move in. 
You may be able to convince them to change the materials, design or check the workmanship of yours though.
Upgrading to something different may have planning implications although this should be a formality.
Depending on the size lead or a sloping roof may be better and you could possible pay Miller more to fit a different roof.
In most cases, flat roofs are best avoided.  they are always an ongoing maintenance issue at some point, even in a new home.

Considering Miller Homes are based in Scotland and should be well aware of the weather (rain and wind) I would have thought they are experienced enough to have ensured the design will withstand the expected Scottish weather conditions.
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Cramdock

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Re: End of year house move
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2015, 09:24:39 am »
Just wanted to provide an update as I don't want to be one of those people that posts then magically never come back.

Everything is going well, I have no complaints so far about any of the process so far

We have our "pre-plaster" on the 2nd November and looking forward to it, have been up most weekends watching the progress of the house being built and its exciting to see the house take shape.

Managed to get someone through a friend to do the snagging for me and ironically he used to be a site manager for Miller and had some decent things to say about the quality of the houses that they build (I guess that reflects on how many horror stories you see on these forums!) so he is going to snag for me for a lot less than I thought it would cost, I know this in itself is a minor red flag "you get what you pay for" etc but I had a good chat with him and he knows his stuff.

Thanks

Marc


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Re: End of year house move
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 09:45:39 am »
Quote
Just wanted to provide an update as I don't want to be one of those people that posts then magically never come back.
There is nothing "magical" about it. It is downright rude if help and advice is given and there isn't even a "thank you"

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Managed to get someone through a friend to do the snagging for me and ironically he used to be a site manager for Miller Why isn't he still a site manager fro Miller?
and had some decent things to say about the quality of the houses that they build (I guess that reflects on how many horror stories you see on these forums!)
Also reflects on the fact that he is loyal to his ex employer and maybe even knows the site manager on the site. Perhaps not as independent as he should or needs to be. 
Quote
so he is going to snag for me for a lot less than I thought it would cost, I know this in itself is a minor red flag "you get what you pay for" etc but I had a good chat with him and he knows his stuff.
As you say cheap doesn't mean best!

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