First Home Off The Plan
With the restrictions on first home buyers grants and first home buyers concessions, many people are now forced to either buy a brand new home, build a home, or buy an off the plan home. Buying a brand new home or buying land to build a new home are pretty straight-forward concepts. Off the plan homes and apartments are a little different and many first home buyers may not be familiar with these types of purchases.
So What Is 'Buying Off The Plan'?
Buying an apartment or home off the plan means you will be agreeing to buy a property without having the chance to physically walk through your apartment or home. The property is yet to be built, so there is no physical property to see or inspect. However there will usually be plenty of plans available, as well as mock-up pictures, 3D models, and in some cases show homes or show apartments.
The entire amount of the property isn't usually required to be paid until the building is finished, which means all you have to pay in the first instance is a deposit to secure the property. This would give you more time to organize your finances, without the fear of losing out on a great opportunity. Before you sign the contract and pay your deposit, there are a few things you should be aware of.
What Should You Know Before You Sign The Contract?
Of course you should always get professional legal advice before signing a contract as important as this one, some questions you should get answered are things such as:
- Can you select some of the big items included in the build, such as appliances, flooring, fixtures?
- Can you change any existing design elements in the plan?
- Can you visit your home during the construction?
- What happens if the building isn't finished on time?
- What happens if the building is finished early, will you have finance ready to go?
- Can you sell the property before it has been finished?
- What happens to your deposit if the builder goes bust?
- If it is an apartment, how much will the strata fees be every year?
Tips For First Home Buyers
Before you go looking for these off the plan properties, there are a few things you should do.Start by making sure you have all your finances in order, and know exactly how much you can borrow, and how much that borrowing will cost you per month.
Off the plan apartments and houses can also sway your judgement, be careful not to be sucked in by their prettiness, they will all be beautiful, and have the latest design features and gadgets, they are after all brand new. But don't forget the basics of property purchasing, research the area, research the prices around the area, look at the transport, schools and any future developments around the property.
Once you have found a few that you like, now you should research the builders. What is their history, how have the other buildings they have built turned out? Have they usually completed their buildings on time?
Also, if you are buying an off the plan apartment, don't forget about the little but important things, such as elevators, the lobby design, car parking spots, pools, gyms, and again strata fees.