The value of buying off the plan and points to consider when doing so
There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to buying a brand new house or apartment ‘off the plan’ (i.e. before construction on the property has even started). Some people love the idea that they are the first person to live in the home and relish the fact that everything is new. Others would prefer to give a building a few years to age, to see how it stands the test of time.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald entitled ‘How to buy new’ caught my attention the other day. I thought it would be an interesting one to share with you, given the stamp duty concessions that the New South Wales government has been offering to the buyers of land and new houses and apartments since the budget.
In the article, the author Carolyn Boyd goes through some of the things that must be considered when buying an apartment, house or land, starting with the fact that you should avoid falling into the trap of a false sense of security just because it’s new.
Inspections are essential and questions should be asked about exactly what is included in the type of housing you are purchasing. The display suite is usually the top of the line, most expensive option available and will often include more costly finishes and appliances. Before buying, ensure you know exactly what will come in the dwelling you decide on.
As well as knowing exactly what is included, it is also important to understand exactly where in a building or development lot your new property will be situated. Again, while the display suite may be ideally situated facing the north, your new block of land or apartment may end up with little sunlight.
The article also recommends that research be conducted into the properties planned around the one you are buying into. There is nothing worse than buying an apartment which you think has a view, only to discover upon moving in when the complex is built that another building has also gone up beside yours, effectively ruining your outlook or stealing your sunlight. It is usually a simple exercise to check with council to see if any other developments are planned around yours and to determine the effect this will have on you.
Finally, it can be a worthwhile exercise to investigate the history of the developer and builder and to talk to owners of properties they have built in the past. It can be comforting to know before you buy that you are dealing with competent and experienced professionals.
The stamp duty concessions that we are seeing make it a very worthwhile exercise to research buying off the plan. As it is with any property purchase, research is an important aspect of the process. The aim of this research should be to determine as much as you can about the actual property you are purchasing, ensuring there are no unhappy surprises when your new home is actually built.