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Buyer beware

Buyer beware

31 March 2017 Natalie Kokic Schmidt


It is easy to get caught up in the hype when purchasing off the plan properties.

There are many benefits to buying off the plan such as high depreciation, low maintenance costs, high rental returns, first home buyers grant and stamp duty concessions. However buying “off the plan” is not always all it’s cracked up to be.

There are many things to consider and be aware of before purchasing your new home or investment.

Below are some factors to consider;

  • Confirm who the builder or developer is; it is always a great idea to jump online and google their company, research blogs etc. Where possible visit their previous projects to inspect and confirm the quality of their build.  
  • Check where the services will be located; small things you don’t necessarily think about when dotting your ‘I’s’ and crossing your ‘t’s’ include the  location of the hot water system and gas wall unit. See photo of recent example where the hot water system has been installed as the feature to greet you at the front door!
  • Does the property have linen cupboards and plenty of storage? This is important for tenants as a lack of storage means there is not much space to put items like vacuum cleaners, brooms, sheets and towels.
  • Confirm the size of the floor plan. If an apartment is Under 50sqm, most lenders will not provide loans and therefore this can make the re-sale of the property very difficult. As builders try to fit more on one block, the sizes of the floor plans are getting smaller and smaller….
  • If there are facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and lift access; the cost of your body corporate fees will generally be higher than complexes that don’t offer these facilities due to maintenance costs, upgrades etc.
  • Making sure if purchasing an apartment that it has owner occupier appeal not just investor appeal as you need to consider when the time comes to sell the property. Buyers who are purchasing a live in property tend to pay more as they purchase with their hearts whereas investors purchase with their heads.
  • Is there enough bench space in the kitchen and is there a microwave alcove?  We often receive this kind of feedback from forward thinking tenants and buyers when they are looking at a property with a small kitchen. Consider whether there is space enough for all of the modern day comforts.
  • Make sure you check the plans thoroughly and that there are no hidden poles which will be installed. We recently had an owner purchase a property which showed a small dot on the floor plan, it turned out that it was actually a large cement pole in the middle of the living area which took up most of the living space.
  • Check where the car space is located and confirm that there are no items in the way which will make it more difficult for the tenant or owner to park in. You want the car space to be located close to the entry points of entrances to your apartment.

We are always here to help. If you are considering purchasing a property off the plan, please feel free to email us through the information including complex plans and marketing details so we can have a look through the information for you and provide feedback.

Again, there are many benefits to purchasing off the plan, you just want to make sure you choose the right property to buy!