What happens when the developer calls you to say that your new build completion date has been delayed by a month?

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Well, this happened to me only last week and being a first time buyer, I was unsure of what to do next and where to go for advice.

Firstly, inform your conveyancer (solicitor) as soon as you can. The developer should also notify them on your behalf, but it's good practice to let them know, they will also have some good advice about what to do next.

Secondly, speak to your financial advisor, in my case, my mortgage would expire now that the completion had been moved by a month. I was informed that some lenders will extend a mortgage offer by a week, but not all will, so it's important to check and get the ball rolling as soon as possible, to avoid any delays from your side. If you do need to extend your mortgage, it might be the case that you have to apply in full for a new mortgage but your financial advisor will be able to confirm this.

I personally, did have to apply for a new mortgage (with the same lender). This can be quite a stressful time, as you feel and start to question, 'what if they say no', at this stage! As long as your financial circumstances haven't changed since the first application/offer, then I was told you should be fine. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that some lenders will charge for a new application and depending on when you first had your mortgage offer, interest rates can also change which potentially could increase or better still, decrease your monthly mortgage payments. So, write down all the costs and review your budget accordingly. In the event that your mortgage payments have increased beyond where you feel comfortable (think longer term if they were to increase again) then your financial advisor should also offer to apply to a new lender who may have a better rate for you. It's vital that you get this right at the beginning, as so much can change over the coming years and remember with a mortgage you could be committing for 25+ years.

Thirdly, if you have incurred or are due to incur any charges as a result of the delay, keep all receipts or invoices and talk to the developer and your conveyancer in person or over the phone, in some cases they may cover these costs, but it's important to check.

Lastly, and in my case, I had to speak to the management company for the flat I am currently renting to extend the date for check out, fortunately there wasn't an issue with this, and better still I did not incur any further fees. Also, make sure you inform your removal company of the change of date, (if you are using a removal company). They don't normally charge for moving dates, but again, it's important to check. Plus, don't forget if your building and contents insurance is due to start automatically and or your life insurance, do remember to update these dates with your providers as well.

All being well, you should, within a few days have a new mortgage offer (valid for 6 months - but do check) have changed the removal company date and insurance start dates and be ready to move in (again!).

Until the next hiccup, bye for now!

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