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What to consider when buying an off the plan apartment.

Market Insights
2 years ago
2 minutes

Buying off-the-plan is not like buying an existing apartment or townhome - you’re purchasing a property that hasn't been built yet. There are many drawcards to this - mainly that you will be buying a home that no one has ever lived in before, with a floor plan that suits your lifestyle and a possible choice in finishes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying off-the-plan. 

Specifications

As an off-the-plan purchaser, you may be able to inspect the display suite but chances are, you will not be able to physically inspect the apartment you’re considering purchasing. While display suites do an incredible job of showcasing the quality of fixtures and finishes, it will likely be different in layout and size to the available property. Be sure to thoroughly review the specifications so you’re fully aware of how your new home will be built. 

Strata fees

Amenities are one of the most appealing factors when considering apartment living. Imagine having a pool, garden, gym and sauna with no maintenance. Well not quite, someone still needs to maintain the amenities to ensure residents can continue to enjoy them. This is covered by the strata fees - ensure you understand how much your new home will require in strata fees to avoid any surprises. 

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Review the contract thoroughly

The contract of sale and disclosure document that accompanies your potential off-the-plan property details both the responsibilities of the seller and your responsibilities. As a purchaser, it’s very important you understand these in full when entering into any agreement to purchase.

Off-the-plan contracts are generally more complex than those for established homes. Review and re-review the contract.

Consider the developer and builder’s reputations

Potential buyers should definitely consider the reputation and past performance of the developer and builder. For added peace of mind, Phil Dwyer, President of the Builders Collective of Australia urges potential buyers to ask both builders and developers to provide the names of previous clients as a reference. “If they won’t, there’s probably something wrong,” Dwyer said to the Australian Financial Review

Considering the fact that buying off-the-plan necessitates entering into a contractual agreement with either the developer or builder, it’s even more important for you to know who you are contracting with. 

While these may initially sound daunting, purchasing off-the-plan isn’t so different from other types of property purchases. Click here to read how Lenia - a first home buyer - entered the property market with an off-the-plan apartment. For more lifestyle, news and market insights, click here. 

Header image by Sven Mieke on Unsplash