Would you buy a property without even seeing it first? Believe it or not, that’s what hundreds of investors do each day, when they purchase an off-plan property. This savvy form of house-buying can save buyers thousands of pounds, whilst ensuring they get a say in how the house is built – but it does come with a few risks.
Here’s more information.
What is an Off-Plan House?
If you’re thinking of investing in UK property, an off-plan house can be an appealing option. Essentially, you’re committing to buy a house off a developer before it’s even been built, which may sound daunting, but it offers a lot of advantages.
- Lower price. When you purchase an off-plan property, you’ll secure the house at the current going rate. However, property prices invariably rise over time, which means the value of your off-plan property will be rising steadily, while you’ll still be paying the original agreed amount.
Additionally, many developers offer investors a better price, and if you purchase an off-plan house through a property investment agent (who will have bought the houses in bulk for an even greater discount), then you’ll benefit from even more money off the original price.
- Simpler buying process. Conventional house sales can be stressful, especially if you’re gazumped. When buying an off-plan property, things are generally far easier. The legal searches have usually been done in advance, and if you like the plans for the property, you can generally exchange on the day.
- As the house hasn’t been built yet, developers are often happy for you to have input into certain aspects of the décor, such as kitchen unit style, or wall colours. This is a good opportunity to tailor the house to suit your target rental demographic.
Should You Buy Off-Plan?
As with any form of property investment in the UK, buying off-plan does come with a level of risk. The main thing is the inability to see the house ‘in the flesh’ – when it’s built, it may seem smaller / darker or less desirable than you’d originally thought!
This is where a good property investment agent comes in handy. They’ve got plenty of experience selling off-plan properties, and they know which developers to trust, plus how the property is likely to look after it’s been constructed.
How to Buy Off-Plan (as a Buy-to-Let Property for Sale)
- Find the location. Identify the location you want to buy in, then see what developers are currently operating in the region.
- Sort out your finances. Make sure you can afford the purchase. If you need a mortgage, now is the time to check how much you can borrow.
- Visit the developer. Get to grips with the off-plan property and make sure you ask the right questions. Alternatively, work with a property investment agent, who will probably have some off-plan properties on their books, at an attractive price for investors.
- Pay the fees etc. You’ll need to pay a reservation fee if you purchase via the developer, and you’ll also need to arrange a survey (your mortgage lender will require this after you make an offer).
- Exchange contracts. After the legal documents have been prepared, you’ll exchange contracts. At this stage, you’ll also need to pay the deposit.
- Double-check the property. It’s imperative to arrange a snagging survey before completion, to check the property is as you thought it would be.
- Complete the sale and prepare for buy-to-let! Once the sale is complete, you can prepare it for tenancy – again, a property agent can assist with this.
The Buy2Let Shop
If you’re considering buy-to-let property for sale, but aren’t sure if an off-plan is suitable for you, talk to The Buy2Let Shop. We’re a team of professional property investment agents, with a wide range of properties of all types on our books – and we’re here to help you get the best possible house or apartment for your budget.
To find out more, simply get in contact with The Buy2Let Shop today.