Opinions can vary greatly when it comes to the topic of buying off the plan. Some will say it can be a great way to take advantage of a changing market and also a perfect opportunity to secure an apartment at a great price. On the other hand others will say that their experience with buying off the plan wasn't a pleasant one and what they thought they were getting and what they actually got was completely different.
So what should you do before deciding to buy off the plan?
Here are some tips to ensure that buying off the plan will be a pleasant experience.
Do Your Research.
- Make sure you research the developer the best you can. Find out what previous projects they have completed and what their reputation is like in the industry. The agent selling the development should give you an insite into the history of the developer.
- Look at the pricing structure of the prospective development compared to what else is on the market. This will give you the much needed confidence when it comes to the pricing of the development.
- There is no such thing as a silly question when buying off the plan. Because you are not physically able to view the prospective apartment you should be asking the agent selling the project as many questions as you need to in order to build confidence in the project and help make a decision.
- Find out what all the outgoings are eg; strata levies, reserve funds etc.
- Study the schedule of finishes to ensure they reflect the pricing of the apartment in question. If you are not good at reading finishes off the plan don't worry as most agents will have a sample board for you to view. This include such things as bench tops, floor coverings etc.
- Not everyone has the ability to read off the plan so ask the selling agent to take you on a tour of the floor plan relating to the apartment you are interested in. This will allow you to visualize how the apartment will flow.
- This is one of the most important features of an apartment and should be one of the first questions you ask when visiting an apartment display or speaking with a selling agent. "How many square metres is the living area". Make sure you look at the internal living area as one size and the courtyard/balcony as another. I can't stress enough that the size of the living area should be one of the determining factors when buying off the plan.
Finally, be sure you can afford to purchase an apartment off the plan. Once you buy off the plan its usually an unconditional contract with a 10% deposit and nothing to pay until completion. However when settlement comes around you are committed to purchase regardless of your situation.
I hope this information helps you when making a decision to buying off the plan. Should you have any questions please leave your comments.