Questions to ask when buying a new home off-plan
Are you considering a new-build property as your first home and wondering what it means to buy 'off-plan’?
1. What is buying off-plan?
When you buy ‘off-plan’ it means that you are purchasing a property before a developer has fully built it, or before construction has started. You can often also get the opportunity to get involved with the fixture and fittings in the property as well.
2. Is it easier than buying an existing property?
The process of buying off-plan is remarkably similar to buying properties that have already been built. The main difference is there is normally nothing physically visible to view and that you may have to wait longer for the completion of your new first home.
3. Questions to ask yourself
If you are looking to buy off-plan, here are some things to ask yourself first:
a. Why do you want to call this development home?
This of course applies to buying any home, new build or otherwise. Be sure to make sure the location meets your needs both now and in the future. You should also consider what it will be like living on a development with construction works ongoing.
b. How much can you afford?
Being in a financially stable position is something that applies when buying for the first time in any situation. Top tip: check how long your mortgage offer will stand for with your chosen mortgage provider. You may need to ask your mortgage provider for an extension on the mortgage offer.
Learn more about saving for your first home in our other useful guide.
c. 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 the property will increase in value. So, make sure you do your research before looking to buy.
d. Will you use any additional schemes?
Don't forget to look into additional financial support schemes like shared ownership 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 extra support available to first-time buyers.
4. Questions to ask the developer
It’s also worth asking a developer these questions when buying off-plan:
a. What personalisation options are available?
When buying off-plan you may get the opportunity to personalise your new home, particularly, your kitchen, bathroom, and flooring choices. Not all developers will offer this however, 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.
b. 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.
c. Are there any guarantees or warranties?
As the process of buying off-plan can take time, 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.
d. Are any deals available?
Last but not least, 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.
5. Help buying off-plan with Tilia Homes
These questions should help ensure you make the right decision when you’re considering buying your first home as an off-plan new build.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding buying off-plan or would want to learn more about your possibilities with our developments. You can find our contact details here, but for an up-to-date view of our current new build properties for sale here.