If you’re considering buying new with your first home, some developers may offer you the chance to buy off-plan.
Here we’ve explained a bit more about what buying off-plan involves and detailed these questions for you to use on your buying journey.
What is buying off-plan?
When you ‘buy off-plan’ it means that you purchase a property before it has been fully built by a developer, or before construction has started. You can often also get the opportunity to get involved with the style or design of the property as well, ultimately influencing how the finished build will look.
Is it easier than buying an existing property?
The process of buying off-plan is very similar with buying properties that have already been built. The main difference is the simple fact that there’s nothing physically to see and you’ll have a longer wait for your new home to be finished.
Questions to ask yourself
If you are looking to buy off-plan, here are some things to ask yourself first:
Do you want to live at the development?
This of course applies to buying anywhere for the first time, but it’s still very important. While the promise of a brand new home in a new development is appealing, you should also be certain it will be in a location that suits your current and future needs. You should also consider what it will be like living on a development site with construction work still being carried out.
How much can you afford?
Being in a financially stable position is something that applies when buying for the first time in any situation. Something you should be aware of when buying off-plan though is to check how long your offer of a mortgage will stand for with your chosen lender. You may need to ask for an extended period to cover any construction delays you might encounter.
Learn more about saving for your first home in our other useful guide.
What is the value potential?
If you think you may move again at some point, you may also want to consider the resale value of the property against the price you’ll be paying for it. Other factors like the location and the popularity of the area will have a bearing on this and whether or not the property will increase in value. So, make sure you do your research before looking to buy.
Will you use any additional schemes?
In a similar vein to the last question, you should also consider additional financial support schemes like Help to Buy when buying for the first time, whether off-plan or not. These can help make your purchase easier and more affordable – find out more about the support that’s available here.
Questions to ask the developer
It’s also worth asking a developer these questions when buying off-plan:
What personalisation options are available?
As alluded to earlier, when buying off-plan you may get opportunities to personalise your new home, specifying things like your kitchen, bathroom, and flooring choices. Not all developers will offer this though, so if you’re not sure you should ask them when making any enquiries. It will also depend on the build stage of your new home as to whether this is still an option.
What are the completion dates?
You should ask your developer about the realistic completion dates for its off-plan properties, so you have some idea of when you might be able to move in. Most developers will supply dates depending on the build stage for example before the roof is on a calendar quarter will be given but if the home is decorated you will be advised the week it is likely to be ready.
Are there any guarantees or warranties?
As the process of buying off-plan can go on for quite a while, you should ask about any guarantees or warranties the developer is offering and whether these will be affected or extended should your property face delays in construction.
Are any deals available?
Similarly, you should ask about any deals they might be willing to offer you if you reserve your plot. On top of things like personalisation options, developers may also do things like pay your legal fees or even offer discounts from the asking price if you’re buying off-plan for the first time.
Help buying off-plan with Kier Living
These questions should help ensure you make the right decision when you’re considering buying your first home as an off-plan new build.
However, if you want to learn more about buying off-plan, or you would like to enquire about your options for this with our developments, then feel free to get in touch. You can find our contact details here, but for an up-to-date view of our current new build properties for sale, visit this page.