Should You Buy a Property Before It Is Even Built?

You may think that the housing market is getting overheated again and those memories from the "crash" seem to have faded away completely. You may have looked at some properties in your local neighbourhood but may be having trouble justifying the cost or stretching your finances so that you can qualify. However, you may have a viable alternative if you buy "off the plan." What is this and what does it entail?

Advance Commitment

Developers are often keen to get as much money into the pot as possible as the project moves forward. They may not have a completed product to sell but may nevertheless be able to receive commitments from buyers in a process known as "off the plan." When they do put these proposals forward they will often represent great value, and you may be able to pick up a significant bargain if you buy.


Many first-time purchasers are attracted to this kind of solution, especially as a government body may put forward additional incentives to help smooth your path. If you're willing to wait while the property is completed, then you may well find a significant appreciation in terms of asset value as soon as you move in.

It's All in the Detail

Nevertheless, always err on the side of caution whenever you approach this type of proposal. You may be impressed by the artistic renderings but will need to look into all the details as you make your decision. Remember, you don't have anything tangible to actually look at, so you need to drill down to figure out what materials are being used in the construction, how each property is being configured and what type of appliances will be introduced. In short, you need to see if the property fits your requirements. Also, don't forget the look at the communal space and parking arrangements, as well.

Background Checks

Look into the background of the developer and builder as you do a certain amount of due diligence in advance. If they have a history of working "off the plan," then what is their track record like and do they have satisfied customers?

Site Visit

Don't just trust drawings and specifications but make sure that you visit the proposed location of the project as well. You will be able to visualise where your apartment or home will be situated and can figure out if it will enjoy natural sunlight or may be blocked by something else.

Signing up

Once you are happy with everything that you see, always look at the small print of the contract. In particular, determine how much time the builder has to finish the project without penalty and make sure that you can live with any local bylaws that will come into effect when the building opens its doors.

Getting Advice?

It's always a good idea to get professional conveyancing help when buying a property. However, in this case, you should work even more closely with your conveyancer so that nothing goes wrong.