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Buying Off The Plans | Top 10 tips when buying an apartment/townhouse

How times have changed with the new rules on deposits to buy existing versus new builds we have seen a renew interest in buying off the plans.


Here are my check list for you to use:


  • Do your homework, don’t rely on the advice from the sales person only, and make sure you check out advice from other apartment owners/buyers. Speak to a property manager, bank, your accountant and lawyer. I believe you should ask for a comment from a valuer about the future value of your investment.


  • Check out the developer, is it their first build or do they have a history? Inspect other developments they have done, check out what’s their reputation? Do they have a track record of quality, completion on time, following up after the build is complete on warranty items?


  • You are buying today at a todays costs, and you are getting to choose what you hope will be the best to suit your needs. New building standards, and appliances and so on. But, remember it will take 2-3 years before completion and you need to understand you are trying to visualise your completed home from a display model and things could change.


  • How many apartments/townhouse need to be sold before the developer will start to build? Understand the contract you will be signing as they will favour the developer so you need to understand what rights you have and those of the developer to cancel the build. Keep in touch so you don’t get a surprise.


  • Location, location, location – remember you are viewing the development today, But what will it look like when finished? Remember check out motorway access, walking options, public transport, cycle ways, schools/university, shops, and don’t forget sun, views and if you get a storage locker and car park? Try to think in the future


  • Check if buying a refurbish building, what issues may arise around change of use, plumbing, electricity, fire, health and safety for tenants/owners. What maintenance clauses are in the contract for the developer to put right and time it take to recertify?


  • Existing apartments offer better value for money than a new build on a square metre rate, so know the value of what you are buying and the premium you are paying. Is it Value for Money?


  • Type of development – what will it come with, shops on the ground floor, storage units, car parks, facilities such as gym, pool. Common areas and the on-going cost to you as an owner. Make sure you value these and feel they will hold their value to future owners, tenants when renting.


  • Body Corp – reputation, cost, rules – understand your commitments, and what you can and cannot do. Can you have pets, can your rent your home/investment. Conditions imposed that can be changed?


  • Last but not lease please make sure you know whom is holding your deposit, will you get interest on the money, when is completion date, and what happens if it is not completed on time.


David Graham | Principal | Quinovic Viaduct
027 299 9122 | 09 302 1998