In its rawest form, buying a home off-the-plan could best be described as “click and order” rather than “bricks and mortar”.
That’s because this style of home buying is for a home that hasn’t been built yet.
While it is a different way to buy a home, there are several benefits and today we are explaining why it is a smart way to buy…
1 Buy now, pay later
Typically, buying off-the-plan means you secure the home with an initial reservation deposit of $1,000 which forms part of the final 10% deposit on the purchase price when you sign the formal sales contract.
But, you don’t have to pay the full amount of the property until settlement which could be 1-2 years away (because the home only settles when it is built and handed over to you).
Construction times can vary, but generally there is a buffer of at least 15 months to allow you to save. You can use the extra cash to pay off your loan amount, put towards moving costs or throw a great housewarming party!
2 Everything is done for you
Off-the-plan buying means the developer is responsible for building the home and finishing it to an agreed standard.
Usually homes are “move-in-ready” which means you just need to turn the key and organise the housewarming without worrying about the journey along the way.
Building a home can be a complex and overwhelming process, particularly if you have not done it before, so let the experts do the detail work while you sit back and watch the home come to life.
3 Interior inspiration ideas
What type of benchtops are best? What colours work well together? Should the flooring be carpet or tiles? What about internal painting and window treatments?
These are some of the questions you will ask yourself if you build a home from scratch. They are important questions because the interior of a home is so important.
The aesthetic needs to feel cohesive but also homely and to get a great result requires a lot of time researching and visiting suppliers to see the many hundreds of ranges available.
With off-the-plan, the developer has already done the interior work for you and should present you with a range of internal schemes to choose from. Because they have invested the time and consulted the interior experts, you can be confident that you can choose an internal style that not only looks great but also works for you.
4 Personalise as you go
While the interior scheme is largely done for you, there should still be an opportunity for you to personalise what you want.
If you love stone benchtops and loathe tiles on the floor, then you have the power to choose!
Developers should offer a standard package (commonly called a specification list) as well as an upgrade package meaning you can have what you want as standard plus anything extra that makes your heart beat. It’s the best of both worlds!
Just remember, the earlier you buy off-the-plan, the easier it is to customise your internal fixtures and finishes.
5 Save on repair costs
Buying a new apartment off-the-plan means you will be living in a brand new home with brand new fixtures and fittings. That means repairs aren’t likely anytime soon.
If you choose an older, existing property, you may need to budget for any repairs or renovations.
6 Save on stamp duty
When buying property, stamp duty is normally to be paid within three months of the date of the contract. However, the rules are different for off-the-plan purchases and they are in your favour!
Ask the developer about the stamp duty concession that applies to off the plan buying.
Generally, the stamp duty is paid 15 months after the date of the contract or the completion date, whichever comes first.
7 Lower power bills
Changes to the Australian Building Code means new properties must meet some stringent energy efficiency requirements which is a bonus to you as it means you can save money in the long run.
Off the plan homes should be designed and built with some of the most energy efficient appliances which means gas/water/electricity bills should be more manageable.
So…to some, it may feel like buying a home that technically doesn’t exist sounds a little crazy but, with careful research and consideration, it could also mean you are buying the home of your dreams.
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