Buying off-the-plan: Tips & tricks for homebuyers from property experts

Market Insights
4 months ago
5 minutes

Buying a home is a huge step in anyone’s journey. It’s an exciting process! But with standalone houses rising dramatically in price, more and more Australians are turning to apartments and townhouses for their dream homes. Many are considering buying off-the-plan, which means purchasing a brand-new residence not yet constructed or complete.

We understand this buying process may be intimidating at first. So, we spoke to Pezet Matheson and NPA Projects – two of Australia’s premier property experts – for their tips and tricks to buying off-the-plan.


What are the advantages of buying off-the-plan?

Townhomes with Gold Coast skyline views at Capri. Click here to learn more.

When asked what advantages off-the-plan properties offer to investors and homebuyers, Andrew Erwin, CEO of NPA Projects, answered, “Buyers can secure a property at today’s prices, with off-the-plan properties often appreciating in value during the construction period, allowing buyers to potentially benefit from capital growth by the time the project is completed.

“Buying early before construction starts often allows purchasers to influence colour selections and fixtures and finishes that align with their preferences, allowing a level of customisation to suit the buyers’ lifestyle and aesthetic tastes.”

This is true for NPA Projects’ Isle of Capri masterplan project, Capri. Offering three and four-bedroom townhomes now under construction, buyers have the choice of five unique villa designs, each with luxurious finishes of timber, natural stone, and glass features throughout, Gaggenau appliances, and a Vintec wine fridge.

Andrew adds that the extended period between buying off-the-plan and completion allows buyers more time to organise their finances, significantly benefiting downsizers and investors.


Key factors to consider

Modern interiors overlook Broadwater vistas at Lagoon Main Beach. Click here to learn more.

When shopping through various off-the-plan properties, Todd Matheson, Director of Pezet Matheson, encourages buyers to spend time researching and looking into the team behind a project.

“It is imperative you look for a developer who has experience and has a team of consultants who have delivered several projects over many cycles,” Todd advised.

Main Beach apartment development, Lagoon, is one such project. Developed by local Gold Coast-based developer Drew Group, which has experience in the real estate industry since 1982, Lagoon is a product of an expert collaboration between Drew Group, renowned architecture firm Plus Architecture, and experienced landscape architect Form. Hutchinson Builders is on deck to build the development, showcasing a century of history building nationwide.

A residents-only coastal garden resort with hotel-style pool centres Capri. Click here to learn more.

Andrew agrees with Todd’s sentiment, emphasising the importance of having a reputable and experienced construction team to ensure the quality and timely completion of the development.

He adds a few other important factors you should consider, such as the project’s location. “Assess the location and the proximity to essential amenities such as shops, restaurants and cafes, schools, public transport, and recreational spaces,” Andrew advised.

“A desirable location can contribute to the property's long-term value.”

With premium off-the-plan developments like Capri boasting both connected addresses and onsite amenities –  including a resort-style pool with submerged lounge chairs, an outdoor dining terrace, lawn terrace, and a covered entertaining area and dining pavilion with built-in barbecue – it is worthwhile looking at the lifestyle the project offers within its walls as well.

“Resort-style amenities like pools, BBQ areas, residents’ lounge, and gardens are a terrific way of upgrading your lifestyle,” said Andrew.

While inside, the quality of materials, finishes, and fixtures of the residence can also influence a property's aesthetic appeal and its long-term durability, so buyers should ask about what brands and the level of finishes are promised by the developer.

“It's also good to know that items such as appliances are brand new in the off-the-plan properties, and if they come with warranties and are more efficient than what you’ll find in older homes,” Andrew said.


Insider tips and tricks

It’s in the name, with Lagoon boasting a lagoon pool with resort-style day beds. Click here to learn more.

To finish, we asked our experts for additional insider tips and tricks they can offer our buyers. Todd spoke on a purchaser’s budget.

“I always give the advice to stick to the budget you can afford but look at properties below your price point and above so that you will know value when the opportunity presents itself,” he explained.

Andrew also spoke on the value of these off-the-plan residences, saying, “People often think that they can compare brand new off-the-plan options to established homes, but you need to look at replacement value.

“You wouldn't compare the cost or offering of a brand new car to a second-hand car, and that’s how people should look at property – at today’s prices and what would it cost to replace.”

Capri’s architecturally designed luxury villas in a secure gated community. Click here to learn more.

Off-the-plan property buyers have been loving both Capri and Lagoon’s high-end offerings, with both projects seeing continued success sales-wise and with construction underway.

“Capri is now an award-winning community, having won two awards recently,” Andrew revealed.

“Capri is 60% sold, with experienced construction group Greyburn appointed as builder.”

Over at Main Beach, Lagoon’s sales remain consistent with over 70% of its residences sold.

“We are on schedule with construction to be completed at the end of 2025,” Todd shared.

For more on off-the-plan apartments, property news, and market insights, click here.