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The questions to ask if you’re buying a property off the plan

Deciding to buy a property off the plan is an increasingly popular choice for a variety of buyers, from first-home-buyers to families and downsizers. The allure of a brand-new home and the opportunity to bolster deposits during the pre-construction period make it an attractive option. However, it's important to remember that buying off the plan requires active involvement and a thorough understanding of the process to ensure a seamless experience. To help you navigate this journey, here are some key questions to ask when buying off the plan.

  1. What is the timeline? Buying off the plan involves more than just the construction phase. In some cases, developers, especially in apartment complexes, need to secure enough sales before they can appoint a builder, leading to potential waiting periods. Similarly, for land estates with house-and-land packages, there are several preparatory steps like earthworks, sewerage and drainage installation, road construction, and infrastructure groundwork. It's crucial to have a clear understanding of the timeline, including a guaranteed handover date, if provided, and any compensation policies in case of delays. A well-defined schedule helps you plan payments and anticipate the moving-in date.
  2. How can I ensure a connection to the nbn network? Given our reliance on home internet for work, learning, and entertainment, it's essential to ensure a seamless connection to the nbn network from day one. Before making a purchase, inquire whether the property will be served by the nbn network and whether the developer has made the necessary arrangements for its availability upon occupancy. This information ensures that you can enjoy fast, reliable, and hassle-free internet access. Additionally, it's recommended to research and compare internet service providers well in advance to choose the most suitable option in terms of speed and pricing.
  3. What can I customize? The extent of customization allowed may vary depending on the project and builder partnerships. Some builders may not offer any customization options, while others may allow a wide range of changes and upgrades. It's important to clarify with the developer what elements can be customized, whether the involvement of an architect (either internal or external to the developer) is permitted, and whether additional costs are involved. Understanding these parameters will help you determine if the property aligns with your personal preferences and needs.
  4. What amenities will be available? Living in a location that suits your lifestyle is crucial, and proximity to amenities adds convenience and value to your property. Inquire about nearby shops, schools, cafes, gyms, medical centers, parks, playgrounds, bike trails, walking paths, and transportation links. Additionally, ask the developer if there are any planned amenities in the pipeline, such as train stations, schools, community facilities, or roadworks. For apartment complexes, learn about shared amenities like lounges, cinema rooms, gyms, pools, and barbecue areas. Understand how these areas are managed, their cleanliness protocols, and the booking process.

In addition to these questions, it's also important to ask about your point of contact throughout the process, when you can inspect the property, and what procedures are in place to address any building faults that may arise. By actively engaging and seeking clarity on these matters, you can ensure a well-informed and confident decision when buying a property off the plan.

Remember, purchasing off the plan offers exciting opportunities, but it's essential to be proactive and well-informed throughout the process. By asking the right questions and seeking clarifications, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

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