Buying off plan

Buying off-plan property means purchasing property in advance of its completion. Off-plan property is typically sold prior to construction beginning at a significant discount, often with a small deposit requirement.

In order to purchase off-plan property, you usually need to provide a deposit of just 10-20% of the property’s value, making securing the property simple and affordable.

Whether you plan to resell or live in the apartment, one of the biggest advantages of buying off-plan is selection. Unlike in completed buildings, you can usually select the ideal unit to suit your needs, tastes and budget when buying off-plan property.

18 STEP GUIDE TO PURCHASING A PROPERTY OFF PLAN

  1. Decide how much you can afford to spend

We can help you with this by putting you in touch with a specialist to work out your financial position. You won’t be able to get a mortgage offer until about six months before completion, however it depends on which lender you use. A financial adviser will give a good steer as to what can be borrowed and when you should begin the formal application process.

Don’t forget other one-off costs such as solicitor fees and stamp duty land tax.

  1. Do you need to sell first?

Are you looking to live in the property or is it an investment? If it’s an investment, are you looking for a solid rental yield or long-term capital growth, or both? If you are already a homeowner, decide whether you want to sell your house or flat before you buy.

In fast-moving markets, you will need to be able to pounce quickly when you do find the home of your dreams, so make sure you’re up-to-speed with your housing chain.

  1. Decide where you want to live

Do your research thoroughly – get it wrong and you will either be unhappy with where you live, or face the costs of moving again. Location is everything, be sure to check all your transport routes and the upgrades in infrastructure.

  1. Arrange a mortgage

You should ideally have your finances in place and arrange to get an ‘agreement in principle’ (AIP).

Your bank, building society or Financial Adviser will be able to give you more information about how much you can borrow based on your earnings.

You will need to get the lender to make you a formal mortgage offer before you can exchange contracts (step 12).

Find out more about the process of applying for a mortgage. You should send us the details of your mortgage once you’ve applied.

  1. Choose your home

Browse the selection of homes we have for sale and choose the one that suits you the best. See our Available Homes page to see the current properties for sale.

  1. Pay a deposit and sign a reservation agreement

Once you have agreed a price, you will need to pay your reservation deposit which takes the apartment off the market and goes towards the purchase of the apartment. You will also need to fill out a reservation form and appoint a solicitor.

  1. Appoint your solicitor

Next you will need to appoint a solicitor. If you do not have a solicitor, there is often a suggested solicitor who is familiar with the specific process for that development, which can make exchanging contracts simpler.

Your solicitor will take care of the legal side of the transaction on your behalf. Let your solicitor know the reservation period. If you’re selling a property your solicitor will need to apply for title deeds, which could take up to three weeks.

  1. Apply for your mortgage

You will need to submit your mortgage application and your lender will carry out a valuation to ensure that the property is good enough to lend against. Once the lender is satisfied, they will issue you a mortgage offer. You should send us details of your mortgage once you’ve applied.

  1. We will send your solicitor the draft contract, conveyance plan and other relevant documentation

These documents are specific to the property you are buying and detail the legal requirements of the purchase.

  1. Your mortgage offer is confirmed

Once the lender is satisfied, they will issue you a mortgage offer. Tell us and your solicitor once you have accepted your mortgage offer terms.

  1. Talk to your solicitor about the contract

You need to agree how to pay the deposit on exchange, which will be 10% of the purchase price. You then need to sign the contract and agree how to pay the balance of the money once you’ve completed.

  1. Your solicitor exchanges contracts with us and pays your deposit

The exchange process usually takes around 3-4 weeks. This is the point where the buyer and the seller are legally bound by the terms of the contract. Your Sales Agent will keep you updated and talk you through everything you need to know about your new home.

  1. We will keep you informed of when your house or flat is ready to move into

Now you can sit back and watch the building going up, and your apartment being constructed. The developer will often send updates during this period to let you know how construction is progressing.

  1. Completion when your property is ready

When your apartment is ready, you will be sent a completion notice telling you how long you have to complete on your purchase – usually about two weeks. You just need to let your mortgage company know and your solicitor will do the rest. You will be able to collect the keys on the day of completion.

  1. Organise your move

You’ve got two choices– do it yourself or hire a moving company. Don’t forget the hidden costs when going DIY, such as packing boxes and materials, hiring a van and the time and effort involved. If you’re using a company, confirm with them exactly what’s included in their fee.

  1. Consider storage for your possessions

Storage is useful for both long and short-term storage. There are often deals if you pay in advance at most storage facilities.

  1. Change your address

You’ll need to spend some time informing a wide range of people and organisations that you are moving. Household utilities such as gas, electricity, phone, cable TV, broadband suppliers will all need to be notified. And don’t forget your doctor, bank, insurance company, DVLA, and TV licence provider.

  1. The final stretch

Confirm your removal day and time if you are using a removal service and arrange parking for a van. It’s a good idea to let your neighbours know and inform the local authority if you need more space.

Cancel milk and paper deliveries, redirect your post and start packing. Leave the things you still need like the kettle and mobile phone chargers to the very last minute.