Buying off-the-plan: Is it right for you?

So, your initial plans have gone amok, have you thought of buying off-the-plan? Buying off-the-plan translates into putting a deposit down on an apartment or house that has yet to be built. You can see the design and layout but there is no physical space to move into at the time you pay the deposit.

Of course with buying a home friends and family will often throw cliche phrases your way like “stay the course” or “just keep swimming” and they are sound and respectable pieces of advice. However, sometimes you can’t just stay the course and at some point you will eventually have to stop swimming. But don’t fret, there is always a solution.

Before you get started, keep this in mind.

You are basically putting down a deposit on a nonexistent property and buying a guarantee. But is it a guarantee? There are several factors to consider before buying off-the-plan and here the main points to consider before signing your money away.

Seek professional legal advice

According to NSW Fair Trading, financial planning and seeking professional advice about a home loan is very important. Your financial advisor will meticulously go through the details of the contract with you. Questions to ask should include but are not limited to:

  • Asking about your rights to change the inside of your home,
  • If you can visit construction site?
  • What happens if the project is delayed?

Once you have asked these, you can start to weigh up the real positives and negatives.


Your Property Investor says that the deposit for off-the-plan buys are around 10 per cent, which is considerably less than the average 20 per cent for a home. This is one of the biggest reasons why the prospect is so attractive. “Pay little now, move in later”. Also, when buying an established property it means that you are buying all the problems that come along  with it. There could be asbestos, cracks in the ceiling, sinking foundations or ghosts in the basement. With a brand new home you won’t have to think about any of the “older home” issues and you can set your mind at ease about the ghost situation as well.


If the housing project should fall through for whatever reason, you will get your deposit back, but it means that your money has been sitting in a “property” for months, maybe even years, and it hasn’t gained any interest as if it would whilst sitting in the bank. There could be delays in construction, the company could go bankrupt and the home you have planned may look completely different when it’s finished. Although this reads as a lot of negatives hitting you all at once, this is when your financial advisor will come in to explain each and every one of these issues and how you can avoid them at all costs.

The one thing you can’t overlook

Don’t forget to ask about the view. If you are thinking about getting a home loan for a property, make sure you understand exactly what direction your windows will be facing. It is often a consideration that is overlooked because people are so focused on what the inside of their home looks like and they forget the sight they’re looking out to.  Be informed, have a support system and make the best possible decision with the knowledge you have.

Talk to the helpful team at Bank of Heritage Isle about your options of buying off-the-plan or seek their advice to sticking to the original.