Buying Your Pure Home

A glossary of Home Buying

The home-buying, construction and legal purchase process can contain much technical and industry-specific jargon and language. If you are a first-time buyer, or simply not familiar with some of these terms we have compiled and explained a list of key words and phrases that may help you.

Build complete

Construction of your new home is now finished and once inspections are undertaken you will be notified of a legal completion date


The legally binding document drawn up by solicitors that details a property sale and lays out all the agreed terms and conditions to which both parties must agree, sign and date. Once the contract is signed, exchanged and a deposit paid, the sale becomes legally binding


The legal process of buying and selling a property

Courtesy visit

An appointment arranged during the Pre-Move Inspection for a time a few days after you have moved in. At this visit the site manager will attend your home and discuss any minor ‘snags’ that you have identified, those covered under your warranty are usually fixed within the next 28 days


Expenses incurred by your solicitor when paying for local searches, stamp duty, land registry fees and other associated legal costs


Legal papers relating to a property which transfer legal ownership to you.

Draft Contract

Prior to the contract being signed, a draft contract is prepared by the seller’s solicitor and passed to the purchaser’s solicitor. Once the contract has reached its final form it is known as an ‘engrossment’ and is ready for both parties to sign


See ‘draft contract’

Exchange of contracts

This is when exchange of contracts takes place between your solicitor and our solicitors and a deposit is paid to us for your new home. This is when the sale becomes legally binding


Items permanently installed in a building and included in the purchase price


This is when you are presented with the keys to your new home. This generally occurs on the day of legal completion

Home Demonstration

A practical demonstration in your new home that takes place before legal completion.  The demonstration shows you how appliances and systems in your new home work


The Local Authority Building Council—the independent regulator for the new homes industry which lays down standards for the private sector house builders that are registered with it

Legal completion

This is the day on which the balance of the purchase money for your new home is paid. It is the day you become the legal owner of your new home and is also referred to as the ‘moving in’ or ‘handover’ day


A loan secured on your home

Mortgage advance

The finance, usually a long-term loan, from your mortgage provider, used to help purchase your home

Mortgage application

The formal request for a mortgage

Mortgage deed

The formal document that confirms the mortgage provider’s financial interest in your new home

Mortgage offer

A formal written offer of a mortgage made to you by your mortgage provider

Mortgage provider

A bank, building society or other financial institution offering home loans

Notice period

If you exchange contracts ‘on notice’ that is without a fixed legal completion date

The notice period is a timescale of 14 days and is the period in which legal completion takes place on a date agreed by the buyer’s and seller’s solicitors


When a customer pays a deposit and signs a reservation form, the property is  reserved  at  the  agreed price for a specific time  providing  exchange  of  contracts takes  place  on  an  agreed date

Registered title

A title of ownership registered at the Land Registry guaranteeing ownership

Restrictive covenant

The seller of the property imposes a restriction on a particular use of the land

Section 104 Agreement

A legal agreement made under the Water Act in which a developer secures the adoption of sewers by a water authority

Section 38 Agreement

A legal agreement under the Highways Act in which a developer secures the adoption of roads and footpaths by the local highway authority

Section 106 Agreement

A legal agreement under the provisions of the Town and Country  Planning  Act  1990,  usually  made  between  the house builder and the local authority,  in  which  the  house builder makes financial contributions for local infrastructures  to help sustain the local community in which it is building. This could include providing affordable housing, or a public open space

Service charge

An annual charge for the maintenance  of  communal facilities such as parking areas, gardens and communal areas within apartment buildings. This fee is normally paid to a management company

Stamp duty land tax

This is a Government tax paid by the purchaser on completion of the purchase.

Subject to contract

This is when a sale is verbally agreed only, but no contract has been signed, so there is no legally binding agreement. Once contracts are signed and exchanged, all the terms and conditions become legally binding for both the purchaser and the seller

Sales advisor

Your sales advisor is your main point of contact throughout the purchase process. He or she will discuss with you every aspect of the process and will support you until you have moved into your new home


Enquiries made by your solicitor in the early stage of the contract drafting. The enquiries are made of the district, or borough council to identify any issues that may affect

your property. This could include proposals to build a factory or a road nearby, or historic rights such as coal mining or access over commons

Site manager

Our build representative who supervises the building of the development. During the purchase process, your sales advisor will introduce you


A qualified law professional who is your personal legal representative and will act on your behalf and to protect your interests during the home buying process

Transfer or lease

The formal document that transfers legal title in your new home to you. The title of the property is recorded at the Land Registry


A professional opinion based on experiences and knowledge of the housing market at a given time, on the value of

the property


The seller of the property