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A Guide to Buying Property Off-Plan in the UK

28th September 2021
 
A Guide to Buying Property Off-Plan in the UK - Victoria Riverside
A Guide to Buying Property Off-Plan in the UK - Victoria Riverside

A Guide to Buying Property Off-Plan in the UK  

Once you are financially prepared to purchase a property, deciding the right type of home to buy is the next step in your journey to ownership.

There are lots of options available for first-time buyers and second steppers, including buying property off-plan in the UK.

Whether you should buy an older property or a new build is an age-old homeowner debate.

Our guide will aim to explain what buying off-plan is, the benefits of buying this way, and how to buy a property off-plan in the UK.

What does buying property off-plan mean?

Buying property off-plan in the UK means you will purchase your new home before the development is completed. In some instances, you can even buy an off-plan property before construction has begun. 

You may find it unusual to purchase a property without viewing it first, but during the process of buying, developers will be able to provide an idea of what your off-plan property will look like. 

Make sure you look over floor plans, specification sheets and have virtual tours, so you can get a feel of what your new home will look like. 

Seven steps to buying property off-plan 

While there is no single method to buying a property off-plan, you can follow the below method to ensure things run as smoothly as possible:

  1. Begin research into off-plan properties in your desired area.
  2. Learn about your mortgage options with an advisor, or go one step further and acquire a mortgage in principle. This confirms a mortgage lender is willing to offer you a mortgage based on your current situation. This qualifies you for purchasing a property within your means.
  3. Find your off-plan home and put in an offer. If successful, you’ll often be asked to place a reservation fee to hold the property while you get your mortgage in place. This is usually non-refundable, so make sure you are certain before paying.
  4. Appoint a conveyancer – they’ll check the legalities, and ensure the development and plot looks legally sound.
  5. Agree on your mortgage with a provider. From here, the mortgage lenders will arrange for a valuation based on the plan and specifications of your home.
  6. Complete the necessary paperwork with the help of your conveyancer, and within any timescales set by the developer. They will then facilitate the exchange of contracts and deposit payment.
  7. Plan your move. Often, you’ll receive two dates, the first, the ‘build completion date’ when the developer expects the work to be completed, and when you can expect to move in. The second date is a ‘long stop date’ and is the latest date the development is expected to complete.

Why is buying property off-plan a good idea?

There are several benefits to buying a property off-plan. The specific advantages of buying off-plan depend largely on the property market in your area, but we’ve listed the general benefits below.

  • Cost

Your new home could increase in value by the time you move in. The purchase price of your new home is often set a year or two before its completion, but the amount you pay is set at what was originally agreed.

The number of people buying new build property is on the rise annually, and according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average UK price for a new build is £329,801.  In Greater Manchester alone, house prices rose 12% in 2020 and there are no signs of this slowing down through 2021.

  • It’s ready and waiting when you move in

The beauty of an off-plan home is that it’s been built with you in mind. No one has lived in it before and you won’t have to worry about spending money making changes to any rooms once you’ve moved in.

  • Guarantees

Most new-build homes come with a guarantee covering structural defects, and any fixtures and fittings should have guarantees of their own. 

  • No onward chain

When you buy straight from the developer, there’s no upward chain of sellers and buyers that could prevent your purchase from being successful. 

Top tips to buying property off-plan in the UK

There’s a lot to consider when buying an off-plan property in the UK, and it could be beneficial to you to consider asking the following questions before you make your decision.

  • What deposit is required?
  • Will your home match the specifications you’ve seen exactly?
  • How long is the build time and what is the move-in date?

Have you thought about buying off-plan at Victoria Riverside?

Nestled just minutes from Ancoats and the Northern Quarter in bustling Manchester City Centre, Victoria Riverside provides a slice of urban paradise for residents.

The landmark development will be home to 634 new apartments and forms the first phase of the Victoria North regeneration project – the biggest urban regeneration project in the north of England.

Register your interest and reserve your new home at Victoria Riverside today.

 
 
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