Thursday, September 4, 2014


Newly built properties on estates became popular in the 70’s and 80’s and even more so in recent years as bank mortgages became unaffordable and impossible to get. Due to rapid rises in house prices, buyers are happy to put cash deposits down on homes before they are even built. Developers now offer attractive payment plans for buyers spread throughout the building progress.
The biggest question to anyone putting down money on a property that they have not seen is how to reduce the risk of purchasing a property that has not been built yet?
 Buying off-plan does have its advantages. It can be cheaper to secure a property before it is finished and it usually allows buyers to sometimes have a say in design features, fixtures and fittings. But there are also significant risks to be aware of. You need to research the development plan, check the developer’s credentials and track record to see if there is a history of delivering on time or providing low quality finishing’s. Buyers should ensure the developer has insurance so that if they collapse, you will get back your deposit. Use a good lawyer to check the paperwork which you should be able to view before purchase. Look at other properties the developer has built to see the value for money you are getting and to get an idea of what to expect once it completes.
Make sure you are aware of the timeline of the project so you can plan your payments and when to move in. If your property is going to be part of a big development, find out when the other homes will be finished, otherwise you risk living in a building site for a while.

If however a buyer fails to go through with the purchase for whatever reason, they will usually lose their deposit on the basis that they have failed to fulfil their side of the agreement. When buying a property off-plan, buyers are usually asked to pay a deposit of 10-30 per cent and sign a contract, usually prepared by the developer, agreeing to pay the balance over about one or two years and complete the transaction when the property is handed over to them. If the buyer is forced to withdraw from the deal because they are unable to raise the balance of the purchase price, they can be also be sued by the developer.  When buying off-plan, most buyers do not realise that if they do not complete the transaction, then not only will they lose their deposit, but they can also be sued by the house builder for further payment of losses.

During the building stages It is hard to judge how a property will look just from the computer generated pictures but you can get an idea of what it will be like living there by finding out where in the development your property will be.
Make sure you visit the site so you can visualise what it will look like and ask questions such as how much sunshine you will get and what the surrounding area is like. Get an idea of the size of the rooms so you can get the right furniture and make sure it suits your needs. Keep an eye on the property throughout the building process and conduct a 'snagging' survey near completion so you can spot any defects and get them fixed by the developer. It is best to protect yourself and your investment whist also ensuring that you keep your end of the bargain by having your payments ready on time..


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