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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buying in England and Wales

The last couple of years, British house builders and developers have been making regular visits to Malaysia to promote and sell their properties. Some of them sold off plan, others offered completed projects.

Sales and marketing director Paul Bennett of St James Urban Living says England and Wales has three models when selling residentials. The Scottish system is totally different and not covered here.

St James Urban Living sales and marketing director Paul Bennett

St James Urban Living is part of The Berkeley Group Holdings plc, one of Britain’s largest house builders and in the FTSE 250 top UK companies by market value. It has various brands Berkeley Homes, St George and St Edward and has been marketing properties in Asia for over a decade.

● To buy off plan

When buying “off plan” you pay a Reservation Fee (normally £500-£2,000) to secure your property. At this point, you will be given a date when the developer expects the property to be completed. You have the opportunity to choose your kitchen design, bathroom tiling, accessories and finishes.

You appoint a solicitor to work on your sales contract.

Once the contract is agreed between your solicitor and the developer you can exchange contracts with a 10% deposit payable by the purchaser on exchange of contracts (normally three-four weeks after you reserve) with the remaining 90% being paid in one payment when the property is completed and ready for occupation.

Buying off plan allows you to take advantage of market growth during the construction process.

● Buying a completed unit

The process is the same as above: you pay a reservation fee; 10% when you exchange contracts; the remainder to complete the sale and you will then be handed the keys to your new property.

The main difference being you do not get the early choice of the prime plots and you have to accept the builders pre-selected kitchen and bathroom selections.

● Trust funds

In England and Wales, solicitors have special, secure client accounts specifically for holding funds from mortgage lenders or individuals between exchange and completion. The solicitor transfers the funds to the developer’s bank account.

By The Star

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