Buying Off-The-Plan: What to Look Out For

Market Insights
7 years ago
3 minutes
You’re ready to take the plunge and purchase off-the-plan. It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll make and is likely to reap huge benefits.
However, it’s certainly not something you should rush into; being well-informed is pivotal to the success of the investment and its longevity.
There are a few things every potential purchaser should look out for when buying off-the-plan.
We’ve compiled this list to help take the confusion out of the process.

Make sure you’ve got the funds

Seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many potential purchasers think they’re in a position to buy, but realise too late they should have selected the one-bedroom instead of the two, or opted for a less-expensive location. It’s imperative you’ve got the funds to back the investment, and you’re not impulse buying beyond your means. That’s why we suggest getting in touch with a financial advisor before you sign the dotted line.

Unsure? Ask

All of the technical features are listed in the contract and in the plans. If you have a question about anything to do with the construction, the materials, or anything else you might be confused about, always ask those involved. That’s what they’re there for, and you’ll rest easy at night knowing you have the answers you need, rather than wondering if you’ve made the right decision. We also recommend hiring a solicitor to look over the contract, it’s a small price to pay for peace-of-mind.

Do your homework

Make sure the property is in total compliance with building codes and any other Australian legal requirements. It is important to note that these codes, laws and regulations differ depending on the state in which you both purchase the property, and where the property is built.

Think before you ink

When reviewing your contract, you should be given a copy of the draft Strata Plan, a document outlining the apartment, and any other storage or car parking space. In addition to that, you should receive a copy of the approved plans, as well as a descriptive “title” (such as a Section 32) proposed to be registered.

Tick off as you go

Here’s a checklist you can use for both the developer and builder to make sure every area has been covered before you proceed.
  • Find out the name, date of birth, address and previous work of the developer
  • The issue, date and expiration of the license
  • Understand the conditions endorsed on the license
  • The names, or companies, who are partners, or directors of the company
  • Find any disciplinary accusations or prosecutions and their results
  • The number of insurance claims paid by developer 
  • Penalty notices awarded and their dates
  • And of course, any cancellations or suspensions of licences