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Things to consider when buying off the plan

By Andrew Bell

With Surfers Paradise property improving in leaps and bounds, developments and construction projects are a dime a dozen. Hotels, apartments and new homes are springing up all over the region, but when you're deciding on an investment property, the multitude of choices can be a bit overwhelming. In any case, you might even decide that you want to invest in a property before it has even been built! This type of purchase is known as buying off the plan. 

There are any number of things you'll need to be aware of when purchasing real estate in Surfers Paradise in this way. Before you leap into the transaction, it's best to sit back and examine things from all angles. Maintaining a cool and calm head throughout the process will likely get you the best result – and help you avoid any hiccups along the way.

Here are a few pointers in mind when purchasing Surfers Paradise property off the plan. 

Fresh real estate in Surfers Paradise

Buying off the plan can have its real advantages. While the conventional homebuying process often has a relatively short settlement period, you will likely have a bit more breathing space with these properties. This can allow you greater time to get together all the financial requirements, as well as examine all the plans thoroughly for any areas you might want to change or customise. In most cases, you will pay the current market price on the property, rather than what it will be worth in the future – even if construction has some way to go. 

While you will likely go into investing in an established property with a list of things you'd like to redo or update, renovations can be somewhat of a time and monetary burden. The benefit of catching an investment apartment before it has been built is your ability to alter to your – and your target audience's – tastes. Investigate what customised features you can add or make to the finished product. For example, you might be able to change the floor plan to better suit your purposes. 

In the same way, you are often able to select the finishes that you believe will add the most value. Be aware that these changes will come with varying costs. For instance, floor coverings and wall colours are relatively easy to customise, while kitchen and bathroom appliances might require more financial input – or a bit of negotiation with the developers. 

If you come into the game early enough, you might even be able to choose the outlook of the property. With many apartments in Surfers Paradise already offering a stunning outlook over the beautiful Queensland landscape, this could boost the value of your rental – and provide further opportunities for capital growth. 

What to keep in mind

Once you've got your head around the benefits of investing in off-the-plan units in Surfers Paradise, it's now time to take a step back and weigh up any risks or issues that might come up throughout the process. The first thing you need to be aware of is that these projects are not entirely set in stone. There is the potential for delays all throughout construction, so you'll need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities if this was to occur.

For instance, what will happen to your deposit if the project wasn't to go ahead at all? Seeking legal advice before signing any contract is important in all parts of the buying process, but equally so when the project is still in construction – or just a drawing on a page. Make sure you're completely across the expected time frame and project completion date. It's also worth visiting the project while building work is still going on to make certain it is finished to your standards. 

Like any investment, you need to thoroughly research the surrounding area and expected price growth, rents, vacancy rates and demographic profile. 

Buying off the plan can be a rewarding experience, but it's best to have expert advice on your side each step of the way. Get in touch with the professionals at Ray White Surfers Paradise for more information. 

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