07 Jun by Amy Jackson

Questions to Ask Before Buying Off Plan

Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Off-Plan

Off-plan investments are some of the most popular types of property ventures in the UK. But what is off-plan property? Buying off-plan is the process of purchasing a property that is yet to be built or is under construction. This type of investment is advertised to investors using advanced technology known as computer-generated imagery, which is created to show potential buyers what the finished product should look like.

If you’re an avid investor, you may have already pondered the possibility of investing in off-plan property, but due to scepticism, you haven’t gone through with it. This might be due to several misconceptions associated with off-plan investments that scare investors away, and you’re likely to have a number of questions to ask when investing in off-plan property. To clear up these false impressions and answer any common questions, we’ve created the following guide which will outline everything you need to know about off-plan – your next investment.

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What are the benefits of buying off-plan property?

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Purchasing off-plan property can be seen as a gamble, but when you think about it, every investment you make is a risk. There are actually numerous advantages to investing in off-plan property that ultimately outweigh the risk.

 

Discounted Rates

One of the main benefits of buying off-plan property is that you can receive substantial discounts off the purchase price. Many investors have received up to 15% off the existing price, which has helped them start their investment with a high financial stronghold. These discounted prices are also ideal for first-time investors who want to start small, as buying off-plan means they don’t have to break the bank to get involved in property investment.

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Immediate Income

What many investors don’t realise is that off-plan investment can provide you with automatic returns, unlike other investments where you need tenants to live in your property to generate a substantial income. Instead, an off-plan investment allows you to start generating profits even while the property is still under construction. This can help you save up a significant amount of capital, which can be used for personal use or put towards any property fees, such as maintenance or legal costs.

 

Capital Appreciation

This is something that every property can benefit from, but with an off-plan property specifically, it can increase in value while still in the building stages. This means that once construction is complete, the property could be worth a lot more than you paid for it, especially in today’s housing market where property prices are on the rise in certain areas. This asset increase will allow you to up your rent, making your off-plan investment one of the most profitable investments in your portfolio.

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Where to look for off-plan properties?

When trying to find out how to buy off-plan property and make it a success, it is crucial to look in prime locations that can provide excellent profits. Here at RWinvest, we have several north-west developments which can guarantee high rental returns and significant capital appreciation. This includes our Kings Dock Mill development which is currently underway near the thriving neighbourhood known as the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, where you can find yields of up 7%. These luxury apartments are set to feature contemporary furnishings, hi-tech security, eco-friendly features and exceptional views, guaranteed to provide high rental returns.

If you’re lucky enough to be located in Manchester, you could invest in off-plan developments like our Local Blackfriars project, which is being coordinated by reputable developers. These apartments are designed to target young professionals due to their proximity to central Manchester, and are set to include luxury features like a cinema room and a gym, enticing potential tenants.

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What is the off-plan buying process?

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or buying your first investment property, there are things you need to understand before you know how to buy off-plan. At RWinvest, we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the off-plan process, while also helping them with the following procedures.

If you’ve invested before, you will understand the importance of assessing your financial situation for the entirety of the construction period, to help you establish if you have enough capital to invest without lending. The more cash you have to invest, the better your investment will be, as any profits you receive will be yours, so you will not owe any mortgage fees or any other debts.

One of the main differences between typical buy to let properties and off-plan is that you are given a chance to reserve the property before it is built, which is ideal as you will get to choose the one you want. This process involves reservation fees, which is usually £5,000 to take the desired unit officially off the market. They will then carry out any feasibility checks to ensure you’re able to afford the property price and any additional fees.

Once you have paid your reservation fee, you will then have 28 days to exchange contracts with the developer. This will require legal assistance, which our team at RW Invest will be happy to help you with, as they will recommend experienced and knowledgeable solicitors that will ensure all contracts are compliant. Before the contracts can be confirmed, you will also be required to pay a deposit, which is usually around 10% of the purchase price to secure your purchase and fix the cost of the property.

When investing in off-plan, you must wait for a conditional exchange to ensure that your property is well-built and meets quality standards before it can be signed off. This will be completed by your chosen warranty provider, who will determine whether the property is ready to be inhabited. Once this has been confirmed, utility companies will then receive approval to connect your property to the grid, which is known as the unconditional exchange.

When all exchanges have been confirmed, you can proceed to completion. Reaching this point will depend on the construction process, which usually lasts for a period of months or years, depending on how big the project is. At RWinvest, we work closely with the developers to ensure you receive regular construction updates as well as offering at least two to four weeks’ notice before the date of completion. Once you have reached completion, you will then be handed the keys to your property and shown around to make sure everything is how you wanted it. It is then yours to do as you please!

Assess your Finances

If you’ve invested before, you will understand the importance of assessing your financial situation for the entirety of the construction period, to help you establish if you have enough capital to invest without lending. The more cash you have to invest, the better your investment will be, as any profits you receive will be yours, so you will not owe any mortgage fees or any other debts.

Reserve the Property

One of the main differences between typical buy to let properties and off-plan is that you are given a chance to reserve the property before it is built, which is ideal as you will get to choose the one you want. This process involves reservation fees, which is usually £5,000 to take the desired unit officially off the market. They will then carry out any feasibility checks to ensure you’re able to afford the property price and any additional fees.

Contract Exchanges

Once you have paid your reservation fee, you will then have 28 days to exchange contracts with the developer. This will require legal assistance, which our team at RW Invest will be happy to help you with, as they will recommend experienced and knowledgeable solicitors that will ensure all contracts are compliant. Before the contracts can be confirmed, you will also be required to pay a deposit, which is usually around 10% of the purchase price to secure your purchase and fix the cost of the property.

When investing in off-plan, you must wait for a conditional exchange to ensure that your property is well-built and meets quality standards before it can be signed off. This will be completed by your chosen warranty provider, who will determine whether the property is ready to be inhabited. Once this has been confirmed, utility companies will then receive approval to connect your property to the grid, which is known as the unconditional exchange.

Completion and Handover

When all exchanges have been confirmed, you can proceed to completion. Reaching this point will depend on the construction process, which usually lasts for a period of months or years, depending on how big the project is. At RWinvest, we work closely with the developers to ensure you receive regular construction updates as well as offering at least two to four weeks’ notice before the date of completion. Once you have reached completion, you will then be handed the keys to your property and shown around to make sure everything is how you wanted it. It is then yours to do as you please!

Off-plan investment is a great way to maximise your potential for capital growth and benefit from below-market prices. Give us a call if you want to talk through our off-plan opportunities further!

Sarah Roberts, RWinvest

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What do we offer?

Hands Off
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Parliament Square

L1 City Centre Postcode

Liverpool Prices from £94950

7% NET Rental Return

Rooftop Spa and Indoor Pool

New Units Available

City Residence Apartments

Deluxe Apartments with Balconies

Liverpool Prices from £101995

7% NET Rental Return

Near £5.5 Billion Regeneration Area

Units Back On

Kings Dock Mill

Iconic New Development

Liverpool Prices from £175000

7% NET Rental Return

15% Below Market Value