The Process of Buying Off The Plan Apartment

You might have heard the term thrown around a lot lately, but do you really know what ‘off the plan’ means? If you’re looking at purchasing a new apartment and you think this could be a good avenue to explore, buying off the plan usually follows this process.

1. Work Out Your Budget First

Homes come in all shapes, sizes and costs, and unless you have the capacity to buy an off-the-plan property upfront, then a lender will expect you to have saved at least 10% of the home’s value.

When it comes to buying off the plan, you’ll only need to account for the deposit amount at first. This will vary depending on the apartment and the overall project itself, so check with the sales manager to find out the amount you’ll need to have saved (usually 5–10%) – and then speak to a financial expert to find out your total borrowing power.

2. Start Searching!

Write down a list of everything you want out of your new off-the-plan apartment. Are you looking for a specific number of bedrooms? Do you want to be close to cafes, public transport and schools? Are you only interested in projects where there are limited apartments in the same complex? Do you want to live on the ground floor or would you prefer split-level living with a private rooftop?

Take into account all these considerations and more, and then start researching online for your dream home. Once you have a few places in mind, you can reach out to the project manager and book in a meeting time to look over the plans for the new apartments.

3. Pay The Reservation Fee

As opposed to buying an existing property, the best part about buying off the plan is that you can reserve your new home by paying a small reservation fee. Depending on the developer, this amount is usually between $500 and $1,000. The property will then be ‘off the market’ to other buyers for 14 days, after which you’ll be expected to pay the 10% deposit and finalise the contract.

This is also the time to make any design requests or changes to your off-the-plan apartment. At The Rathbone, for example, you will be partnered with expert interior designer Kirsten Stanisich of SJB Interiors as your personal consultant. It’s an exciting time getting to plan out your new dream home!

4. Go Over The Contract in Detail

Once you’ve paid the deposit, the contract will be sent to your conveyancer or legal advisor. It’s important that you go through the contract with them to ensure everything you expect to be included is there in writing. If all parties are happy with the contract, it’s time to sign!

Don’t forget about government grants. If you’re a first home buyer in New South Wales, for example, there are a number of grants and schemes you may be eligible for.

5. Monitor The Construction’s Progress

It depends on the developer, but you’ll usually be kept informed of how construction is progressing at specific milestones. Often it takes at least a year for a project to be completed, which means the sales manager will send you regular updates on the status of your new off-the-plan apartment.

At around three months before the project is completed, you’ll receive lots of correspondence on important events leading up to settlement. These will include the pre-settlement inspection, moving-in guides, fact sheets and more to make your move-in as hassle-free as possible.

6. Do Your Pre-Settlement Inspection

When your off-the-plan home is ready to go, you’ll be advised of a time to come in and do your pre-settlement inspection. This is simply to ensure your apartment is as you expect it to be, and it will give you an opportunity to inspect the quality of the finished product.

Shortly thereafter, you will be informed by the developer’s legal representatives that it’s time to proceed with settlement.

7. Get Settled!

It’s time to get your loan approved and finalised, and then enjoy settlement-day celebrations. You’ll lock in a day to move in and officially receive the keys to your dream off-the-plan apartment.

The Rathbone at Surry Hills is a collection of boutique apartments set in the heart of Sydney’s bustling inner city. With just 33 apartments available and one of the finest interior designers acting as your personal consultant, these exceptional homes won’t last long – so enquire about our luxury terrace-style apartments today.