Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thinking of buying off the plan?

We are seeing a lot more people buying off the plan in Wollongong. I believe this has come about due to a shortage of up-market units combined with the social shift from the suburbs to central or lifestyle locations. This is a recent article in The Domain.

Thinking about buying off the plan? Here are six items you must cover first.
Off the plan apartments have some great advantages such as locking in a price to safeguard against rising values and tax advantages like claiming depreciation on fittings and fixtures.
However, you still have to carry out your fair share of due diligence on the building complex to ensure you are getting exactly what you pay for.
Brad Porteus from BSP Construction Consultants has listed six essential items to tick off your list before committing to purchase.
1. Have you received a full set of detailed drawing plans for the unit?
The building plans should show the full dimensions (in millimetres) of all rooms including bathrooms, laundry, kitchens, bedrooms; show all door sizes and locations, show all window locations and sizes, show cabinet layouts, wall and floor tiling layouts and the plans should be to scale.
2. Have you received a full building specification and addenda?
You should receive a full building specification and addenda for your unit and the common areas to the building if applicable.
The specifications for your unit should include the cabinet materials and finishes, including robes and linen cabinets, appliance models and makes, wall and floor tiling, tapware models and makes, floor coverings, window makes, doors and door furniture, electrical fittings including switches and outlets, air conditioning unit type/model and maker, door furniture, garage door model and make, alarm systems make and models.
The common area specifications should include the lift make and model (very important), the window and door makers, wall and floor tiling, carpets, light fittings, air conditioning unit type/model and maker, ventilation systems, the car park entry gates both pedestrian and vehicle make and models and security systems including entry doors.
3. Ensure the building plans dimensions and layouts are fixed
The building plans supplied must be fixed and not be open to amendments during construction including window and door sizes and balcony sizes. This must be documented on your sale contract.
4. Has a strata management company been selected?
The strata management company will be very important to the building once completed, to ensure it is maintained and managed efficiently. If the strata company has been selected then you can do some due diligence checks on the company.
5. What are the annual strata fees?
This should be set prior to making your offer to purchase. You do not want this to be a hidden cost once the unit has been purchased.
6. Who is the building company?
This is a very important item to the quality of construction of the building or unit complex. Once the builder has been identified you need to check some of their past projects.
Visit some of their finished sites and even try to talk to some of the owners.
Look at the finished properties for the quality of the building finishes. What you see at their past projects will be what you see at your proposed new building or unit complex.

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