What you need to know when buying off the plan
Sick and tired of paying for valuations, builders’ reports and other due diligence for a property, only to then miss out on the sale at auction or in a multi-offer scenario? Finding the right home without compromising on quality and location can feel challenging. All this can make buying “off the plan” pretty appealing.
What do you need to think about?
Buying off the plan means you agree to purchase a property from a developer while it’s still in the process of being built. We’ve compiled a handy checklist of 8 things to think about.
Yes, new means you get a brand new property, built to the latest building code. But, ensure you look for a home with quality fittings and finishes that will mean effortless living for you, and appeal to future buyers or tenants should you decide to move in the future.
Do your Due Diligence
Research the company’s prior developments and track record, check out their showhome yourself, and ensure your property lawyer is experienced with off the plan contracts. Most off the plan horror stories are about buyers that haven’t gone with reputable, established developers.
Weigh up your Finances
A smaller deposit is sometimes required for an off the plans purchase, leaving you more time to save and afford a higher quality home in a better location, while your new home is being built. New builds are in line with the latest building standards so they’re generally fairly low maintenance and less likely to require you to spend your weekends on DIY. Don’t forget to check if you qualify for additional KiwiSaver grants for buyers of new builds.
What’s your Timeline?
Do you have a deadline for moving in? Remember you will have to wait until the home is completed, approved by council and title is issued before you can move in.
Does it get your Location Tick?
Consider the parks, shops, schools, cafes, transport and amenities in the area, as well as upcoming infrastructure that might still be in development or planning stages.
What’s the Light Like?
Strategically placed windows can provide naturally light-filled areas designed to maximise light, for you to get on with whatever it is you’re into.
Is it clear how big your home is actually going to be? It’s sometimes hard to visualise the size off plans, so go home and measure the rooms in your current house to give you some perspective. It can also help to measure your furniture and consider existing or new furniture placement in relation to each room’s dimensions.
Think About Outdoor Spaces, as Well as Interiors
Are there options available with a yard, patio or balcony, if that’s important to you? Or, skip the outdoor maintenance and choose to enjoy your local parks, green spaces, and reserves.