Take care to get the best off-plan deal

“The first precaution you should take, of course, is to deal only with a reputable developer or builder who is known for producing quality homes - and whose product’ is there for all to see in other, completed projects,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“Secondly, you need to ascertain exactly what it is that you’re buying in terms of floor space and finishes, and that everything is clearly specified in your building contract.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says it is not uncommon for developers to build a show unit that is bigger or better finished than those being offered off-plan.

“And in some cases, you may find that the advertised price of units actually excludes the cost of finishes.”

So when you’re “shopping” for an off-plan home, he advises, you should not be embarrassed to ask the salesperson precisely what is and is not included in the advertised price. Then, if you're interested in upgrading to more or better finishes, ask how much it will cost for the developer to make these changes.

“The third thing to consider very carefully is finance. It is often a good idea, especially if you’re on a tight budget, to use the developer's lender, which has already approved the project. Not only should it be easier to get loan approval, but you may even get a special loan package.”

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