The ins and outs of buying off-plan

The ins and outs of buying off-plan
7th August 2023

If you're on the lookout for a new property, you might have come across the term "buying off-plan." It may sound like a mysterious concept, but fear not! Get ready to discover everything you need to know to make an informed decision about whether buying off-plan is the right decision for you.

What does "buying off-plan" mean?

Buying off-plan simply means purchasing a property before it's been fully constructed. In this process, developers sell homes based on architectural plans and renderings, allowing you to secure your dream home long before the keys are ready for handover.

Financing your purchase

When buying off-plan, you'll usually need to pay a reservation fee, followed by staged payments as the development progresses. This can be advantageous as it allows you more time to save for the final completion payment. However, keep in mind that mortgage offers may only be valid for a limited time, so coordinate with your lender accordingly. Schemes such as shared ownership apply to some off-plan properties, so it’s worth finding out if you qualify and how they can aid you in your off-plan purchase.

Do your research

Before diving into an off-plan purchase, conduct thorough research on the developer's track record and reputation. Check if they have successfully completed similar projects in the past and whether they adhere to industry standards. Also, review the contract details meticulously, seeking professional advice if needed, to understand all the terms and conditions involved.

Input into your dream home

One of the most significant advantages of buying off-plan is being a pioneer in a new development. You get to choose from the best units on a development with a range of layouts and views, and sometimes even customise certain features to suit your taste. This means you can get your dream home exactly how you want it before you move in, so you’ll have to do very little work yourself.

Be aware of timeframes

It's crucial to grasp the timeline of an off-plan purchase. Since you're buying a property that's yet to be built, it will take some time before you can move in. Delays are possible due to construction setbacks or unforeseen circumstances, so patience is key. Make sure to inquire about the estimated completion date and any provisions for potential delays.

Get ready to enjoy your new home

While architectural plans and show homes provide a glimpse of what to expect, keep in mind that the final product might not perfectly match your initial vision. Variations in finishes, colours, or layout might occur during construction. Prepare yourself when you get the keys and be open to embracing the final outcome.

Protect your investment

To ensure your investment's security, check whether the developer provides warranties and guarantees, such as the NHBC Build mark or other accredited schemes. These warranties offer protection against construction defects and give you peace of mind as you step into your new home.

Buying off-plan can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for those willing to embrace the journey of buying a home with a sense of adventure. It opens doors to modern living spaces and provides an opportunity to personalise the space to your own tastes.

As you set your sights on a future address, remember that careful planning and informed decision-making will make your off-plan purchase a positive step towards realising your dream home. If you’re looking into buying through shared ownership and are interested in off-plan homes, the SOWN Team is always here to help answer any questions.

Here's to taking the leap into the future and turning your aspirations into bricks and mortar!


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