Human beings are visual creatures when it comes to making purchases. We like to see, feel and immerse ourselves in a product prior to purchasing, as this helps us establish quality, fit and suitability before parting ways with our hard-earned dollars.
When it comes to buying an apartment off-the-plan, the fear of the unknown can often become a barrier for downsizers, empty nesters and investors. Without a physical property to see, feel and even smell, it can be a stressful time of consideration for any would-be buyer or investor.
However, there are in fact an extensive number of advantages associated with buying off-the-plan, with the process a lot less complex than people realise. We’ve summarised the process and some of these benefits below to help ease the worry of investing off-the-plan.
Buying Off -The-Plan Is Easier Than You Think
If you’ve never gone through the experience of buying off-the-plan, rest assured that with the right team of professionals guiding and advising you, it can be a straightforward process. Whilst the notion of investing in something before it is built can seem overwhelming at first, by partnering with the right builder, developer and support staff, you can find and secure a property that is perfectly suited to your needs, with minimal risk and maximum flexibility.
We even off potential buyers the opportunity to book a personalised one-to-one appointment to run through the common questions asked by downsizers and empty-nesters who are unsure about the process of moving from established homes into downsized apartments. If you’re in this situation, we welcome you to book an appointment with us today.
The most common questions occur around deposits, construction timelines and customisation, whilst other prospective buyers simply want to understand the process involved in buying off-the-plan. Regardless of the enquiry, the process itself is simple and risk is minimised to ensure your investment is secure and in the very best hands to deliver a result that exceeds your expectations.
Want to know about more about why empty-nesters are increasingly choosing apartment living for their future needs? Check out the full article here.
Before embarking on an investment into an off-the-plan property, it is essential to do some homework before you begin engaging with the market to shortlist options.
Consider Your Property Requirements
It’s important to understand which specifications, property configuration, and day-to-day living requirements you have. This will help to segment your non-negotiable preferences from your nice to have property features, ensuring you’re clear on exactly the type of property you’re looking for.
Plan Out A Rough Timeline
Figure out your ideal move-in date to then shortlist options between the various developments available in the marketplace. Each project will have its own construction schedule, which can sometimes make all the difference to deciding if you want to make the move, or if the lead time doesn’t suit your schedule.
Set Your Budget
Have a clear understanding of how much you’re willing to spend so that you ensure your price point is matched to any particular development. 10% is the standard deposit to consider up front, with final payment due 3 months before construction completion, however it’s important to ensure you have a buffer with your budget in case of unexpected costs which may arise. It is here that you’ll also want to address your finances and to acquire a loan/s and pre-approved finance if required.
Do Your Research
Purchasing a property can often be one of our most significant investments, so it pays to do your homework on competing developments and property offerings on the market to ensure you are fully across the options. This can involve doing your research online to locate and shortlist suitable options, through to going out to project locations to get a feel for the area.
Verify The Developer/Builder
When completing your research, it’s essential to pay close attention to the development team behind the scenes who are planning to release the project to the market. Differentiating factors like their experience, portfolio and reputation within the local property industry can be key indicators of reliability, quality and integrity, all of which are crucial to minimising your risk and ensuring you’re investing with the right team.
Want to know about the team behind the scenes at The Elizabeth Residences? We welcome you to Meet The Team of exceptional developers, builders, engineers and agents.
Now that you have given some thought to the above considerations, you should now be in a position to begin the official process of finding, selecting and purchasing an off-the-plan property that is matched to your current and future requirements.
Meet with the Project Sales Manager
Once you have shortlisted a potential development that matches up with your exact requirements, the first step should be submitting an enquiry and arranging a meeting with the project sales manager or selling agent. This is a great opportunity to discuss your circumstances and requirements whilst addressing any initial questions you may have about buying off-the-plan.
The sales person will have the most up to date and accurate details of the development including availability, inclusions and optional extras, as well as the expected completion and construction timeline dates to give you a clear idea of when the project will be available to move into.
Customise And Tailor Your Selections
Depending on the development or building project, buyers and investors sometimes have the opportunity to choose a desired configuration, layout and finish for their future property. This could include everything from the number of bedrooms, orientation and structure of the property, through to colour schemes of flooring, tiles and cabinetry to guide the interior styling of the property.
When choosing a property in a multiple storey apartment, it is crucial to choose a property based on the views available as well as the property’s orientation towards morning and evening sunlight. If given the option, it is essential to discuss these custom selections with the sales manager and to choose the most suitable configuration and styling according to your needs.
This is where the key considerations from the previous steps are essential to ensuring your property is tailored to your short and long-term requirements. Be aware that there may be additional cost behind some of your choices if they fall outside of the standard package.
Select Your Apartment
With all of the information now provided, you can sit down to make a decision on the apartment that is the best fit for your lifestyle. From conducting your research and shortlisting all of the potential options, you should now be in a position to select a property that matches your price point.
You’ll also need to decide on the ideal configuration for your needs, and to ensure the completion schedule falls within your future plans, whilst also making sure the property has the style, functionality and quality you’ve been searching for.
By this stage you should be ready to make your final decision so you can then proceed to the pointy end of the investment.
Calculate Your Changeover Costs
When purchasing off-the-plan it is important to consider the change-over costs associated with moving property prior to signing any paperwork. The first step in calculating this amount is to consider the price you are likely to get from the sale of your existing home (which can often be guided by either the sales manager linked to the development) or by contracting a real estate agent to provide you with a valuation/appraisal.
You’ll need to factor in the sales agent fees for this transaction (which can differ between different agents/agencies), the marketing costs to promote your property, as well as the costs associated with styling and preparing your home for sale.
You’ll then need to budget for relocation and moving costs to help you move property. If you’re looking to downsize your property with less belongings and “stuff”, this cost can be minimised, however you may need to account for storage costs if the new address isn’t sufficient to store/hold all of your current items.
Once all of this is calculated, you can then compare this with your borrowing capacity to work out the final changeover cost.
Sign On The Dotted Line
Now that you’ve found the perfect property and done your calculations to ensure you can afford the purchase, it’s time to review the contract ahead of signing on the dotted line. At this stage there is generally a mandatory reservation fee that buyers need to pay in order to reserve the apartment from other potential buyers – which is typically refundable until the exchange of contracts.
It is here that you will need to carefully review the sales contract, paying intricate attention to the inclusions, exclusions, construction timelines and financials. If you’re unsure of anything, it’s essential to ask your sales manager for guidance, advice and support. It is also a good idea to verify the contract with an independent legal professional.
Once you are happy with all elements of the contract, it’s time to put down your deposit to reserve your property, with the balance on the full purchase price due three months prior to final construction completion. Please note the deposit is non-refundable unless otherwise agreed with the developer.
If you want to read about what property preferences matter most to downsizers, we welcome you to read our latest blog which outlines a comprehensive list.
When it comes to buying off-the-plan, there are a significant number of advantages available to buyers and investors. From financial flexibility to lower maintenance and a more tailored lifestyle, there is no wonder this is becoming an increasingly popular way of acquiring property.
We cover off some of these benefits and advantages below:
The Allure Of A Brand New Property
One of the most notable advantages of purchasing off-the-plan is the fact that the property itself will always be brand new. Without any previous residents or owners, you’ll be the first to access to the fixtures, fittings and appliances with that fresh “never been lived in” feeling that is hard to beat. It is here where you’ll realise the importance of choosing a development based on the experience and quality of the builder, where newer properties avoid common problems experienced with older properties like unstable foundations, faulty wiring and general wear and tear.
A Tailored, Low Maintenance Lifestyle
Ask any downsizer and they’ll tell you about the advantages of switching to a lower maintenance property. Smaller properties simply have less upkeep and provide a simplified lock-and-leave lifestyle that is highly attractive to downsizers, empty-nesters and residents wanting a simplified home. Off-the-plan apartments are also geared towards residents who enjoy travel, meaning you can simply lock up the house and head away on short notice. Additionally, smaller properties require less energy to function, leading to additional financial benefits to sweeten the allure.
Flexibility With Your Finances
Aside from providing a deposit up front, you will not have anything further to pay until 3 months before construction completion. This provides you with more financial freedom in the meantime, giving you with more time to sell your existing property, and to finalise your finances and savings ahead of the move.
Potential Capital Growth
With the property market in a constant state of flux, you could potentially see some capital growth between when you purchase your property and when you eventually move into the finished product. By purchasing at the right point in the market cycle, coupled with a competitive price point, you can build your equity with the acquisition of a well-priced, brand new property in a desirable location – perfect for immediate liveability but also for future capital growth potential.
Downsizing to a new property and buying off-the-plan certainly requires careful consideration, however with the right guidance and support, it’s an easier process than you may think. If you’re seeking an off-the-plan property that can provide the range of aforementioned lifestyle benefits, properties are still available at the exclusive coastal development of The Elizabeth Residences.
With construction plans scheduled to begin shortly, and just 6 properties remaining, we welcome interested parties to register your interest regarding the change-over process, apartment availability or any other enquiries before these luxurious properties sell out.