Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions for buying off the plan.

Buying an apartment off the plan

Buying off the plan means purchasing a property that is usually DA Approved. The buyer chooses an apartment based on requirements and budget then would typically put down a deposit to secure the property and then waits for the construction to be completed before settlement.
Some benefits of buying off the plan include potentially lower prices, the ability to customise the property during the construction process, and the potential for capital gains by the time of settlement.
Some risks of buying off the plan include the possibility of delays in construction or changes in the final product, as well as the potential for the property to decrease in value before settlement.

A sunset clause is a provision in an off-the-plan contract that sets a time limit for the developer to complete construction. If the construction is not completed within this timeframe, the buyer has the right to rescind the contract and have their deposit refunded.

Developers can make changes to the plans if there is a valid reason, such as changes required by local council regulations. However, they must provide notice and seek your consent to any changes that affect your apartment.

The deposit required for buying off the plan varies but is typically between 5% and 10% of the purchase price.

The cooling-off period for buying off the plan is usually five business days from the date of exchange. During this time, the buyer can rescind the contract and have their deposit refunded.

Stamp duty is payable on off-the-plan purchases but is calculated differently to standard property purchases. The stamp duty is based on the land value and the contract price or the completed value of the property, whichever is higher.

Buyers should arrange finance pre-approval before signing the contract. This helps ensure they have the necessary funds to complete the purchase when the property is completed. It’s also important to keep in mind that banks may value off the plan properties differently to completed properties, which can affect loan approvals. Keep in mind most preapprovals last 3 months so it will be important to keep in touch with your broker or financier to ensure you are not left unable to complete on settlement date, putting you at risk of penalty interest or potential forfeit of your balance of deposit and further legal action against you.

When choosing an off the plan property, consider factors such as location, the developer’s reputation, the design and finishes of the property, and the potential for capital growth. It’s also important to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before committing to a purchase.

Prior to settlement usually there is a major defects report done by the developer however it is always a great idea to employ your own building inspector to go through the property to ensure all defects are noted and been agreed on prior to taking possession of the property or alternatively delay taking possession till the defects have been rectified prior to you taking possession. Keep in mind it is always recommended you discuss any delay in settlement with your legal representation and check the make good policy and penalties contained in the contract of sale.

Buying a house and land package

Purchasing a house and land package can be more cost-effective than buying a pre-existing property or building a custom home. Many developers offer attractive package deals that include both land and house, making it easier to budget and plan for the overall costs.

With a house and land package, you can customise the design and features of your new home to suit your preferences including choosing the layout, selecting fixtures and fittings, and even choosing the colour scheme.

In NSW, you may be eligible for stamp duty savings when purchasing a new home, including a house and land package. This can result in significant savings compared to buying an established property. Keep in mind you only pay stamp duty on the land content of your contract price so there are sizeable savings against buying and established home market.

A house and land package usually comes with a warranty, giving you peace of mind that any defects or issues with the property will be taken care of by the builder.