You’ve only got to take a short stroll or drive around the Teneriffe/New Farm/Valley area to see the number of fabulous new developments taking shape. Most of these developments offer buyers the option of buying off the plan.
Buying off the plan can be a great way to purchase, and most developers usually have a range of finance options. It can also buy you time if you need to first sell your own residence before fully committing to something new.
Before diving in, it’s good to know what you’re getting into. The most important documents in this type of transaction are the plans and specifications. When buying off the plan, you are essentially buying two elements – the land and the plans/specification document. Many buyers are not aware of the importance of getting these documents absolutely right and this can lead to a lot of headaches later.
As with any construction project, the development, and more specifically the apartment you are purchasing, will be made up of a variety of things to specify. Everything from the kitchen sink to bathroom taps will be specified as a certain product and quality. Most developers also offer a range of options to upgrade these products. For instance, the base unit might have Laminex bench tops, but granite is an optional upgrade.
This is where checking your specification documents come into play. Make sure that the items you have chosen, be it door handles and taps, right through to tiles and flooring, has been specified and it is what you want. Double check the individual specifications of all inclusions for size, colour, make and model. The difference in what you specify could run from $5000 to $50,000 dollars – especially in the case of kitchen and bathroom features.
While there are serious implications for both the buyer and the developer of not following the specification as set out in the contract, an easy way to combat this from the onset is to ensure that the plans, specifications and engineering drawings are attached to the contract with all pages initialled by each party.