5 things to look out for when buying off the plan

Market Insights
5 years ago
3 minutes

Whether you’re buying your very first property or adding to a healthy real estate portfolio, the decision as to which apartment you ultimately purchase is paramount.

By opting for an off the plan apartment, you’re already taking advantage of your position as a buyer. You might benefit from reduced buyer fees such as stamp duty savings, interior design flexibility, and even the chance to combine two apartments to create your dream penthouse.

But without the chance to see the apartment in the flesh before handing over the deposit, it’s important to make sure you’ve done your homework to ensure you’re making the right choice. Here are 5 things to look out for when buying an off the plan apartment to help you do just that.

The development team The team behind the apartment development tends to be a strong indicator of the type, scale and quality of the project. Do some investigation around the developer, architect, interior designer, landscape architect, and builder. What other similar projects have they done? Do they have a good reputation? You’ll quickly get an idea of who the industry favourites are, and their next exciting project is likely a safe bet.

Location, location, location This one may seem obvious, but there’s a reason we harp on about the importance of positioning. It’s not just about knowing how far away the local supermarket is, or how many tram stops to the city. It’s also about gaining a sound understanding of the neighbourhood’s economic growth projections, and the suburb’s predicted evolution in the next decade and beyond. All of these factors will not only affect your lifestyle in the new apartment but also the apartment’s value over time.


Sizing it up Once you have established who is creating your new home and where it’s going to be, shift your focus to the apartment itself. Be realistic when considering what size apartment is right for you, particularly when buying off the plan. A cosy one-bedroom apartment may seem appropriate now, but what about in two years, when the apartment is ready to move into and there’s an additional little one in your household? Equally, if you’re downsizing for your retirement years, might a three-bedroom apartment be more than you need?

Material world Take good note of the materials that will be used in the creation of the apartment, as this will have a determining impact on the home’s functionality, durability and aesthetics. Are the living areas finished with wooden floorboards, engineered timber, or laminate? Speak to an expert to understand the differences. This will reveal a lot about the level of quality the project’s team is aiming for, which translates directly to the level of quality you can expect from your living experience once you move in.

Be price-wise If all the boxes above have been ticked, it’s time to start seriously considering buying – so long as the apartment is within a sensible price range for your financial situation. To understand where the apartment sits on the current market, do some research and see what else your money could buy. How does your dream apartment compare? For some in-depth insight, speak to your accountant, and any connections working in real estate, to ensure that now is the right time to buy, and this is the right apartment to buy at this price.

Armed with this 5-point checklist, your journey of buying an off the plan apartment will be more straightforward than ever. If you’re still looking for that dream home, we have an extensive range of off-the-plan apartments in VIC, NSW, QLD and SA waiting to be discovered.

*Please note all financial advice in the article is intended as guidance only.