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    What does the term off-plan mean?

    An unbuilt property, or a property under construction, is often referred to as an off-plan property. Buying off-plan means you can purchase a property before construction has even started. Purchasing property off-plan has proven highly beneficial to investors, especially as the market is experiencing exponential growth. Off-plan purchases are profitable because you can secure an apartment at a much lower price, and once complete, buyers will have instant equity, as the property will have gone up in value. There is an ever-growing need for additional homes amid the chronic housing shortage, therefore, the high levels of demand will not drop any time soon. Those looking to buy a property off-plan can base their purchasing decisions on computer-generated graphics (CGIs) and show-flat homes. These renders help clients envisage the apartments. The detailed CGIs include most of the essentials you would find in a home, from beds, kitchens and fitted appliances.

    Explore our comprehensive guide on purchasing properties off-plan, here.

    What is the process of buying off-plan?

    1 | Find the Perfect Property

    So, you’re thinking of purchasing a property off-plan? Firstly, you will need to browse the available listings to find a property which suits you. We recommend speaking to an experienced Investment Consultant to guide you through the best options available. There are numerous opportunities, but an expert can help you find the right one to match your short-term or long-term property goals.

    Buying off-plan gives you the perfect opportunity to pick your desired apartment. Once selected, get that property off the market! There is usually a small reservation fee, around £2000, that you will need to pay to reserve the apartment.

    2 | Instruct a Solicitor

    If you are a current landlord, you will know there are many legalities when purchasing a property. Therefore, you will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal side of things. Furthermore, buying property can often become a drawn-out and time-consuming process, at CityRise, we provide all our buyers will a panel of recommended solicitors to ensure the legal process is as smooth as possible. We recommend the very best solicitors. These solicitors are familiar with the development, so the process is much more efficient.

    After receiving the reservation fee, the Memorandum of Sale instruction is sent to the developer’s solicitor. Following this, the solicitor draws up the necessary paperwork required. Your solicitor will check whether your property is a leasehold or freehold and draw up a contract, ready for exchange. Your solicitor will oversee the process from the point of reservation through to exchange and completion.

    3 | Arrange Your Funds

    If you are not a cash buyer, you will need to apply for a new-build mortgage, but don’t worry – a mortgage broker can help. Mortgage brokers guide you through the process and can help you get the very best mortgage products in the market with the most competitive rates. They can save you time, stress, and a lump sum of money!

    We have our own recommended mortgage brokers that have been carefully selected based on their expertise, efficiency, and reputation. Regardless of whether you are UK based or overseas, mortgage brokers are here to help get you the best deals available on the market.


    4 | Time to Exchange Contracts 

    Once you have signed and returned all legal contracts, your solicitor will ask you for your authority to exchange. At this point, you will also need to pay the deposit for your chosen apartment. After you have provided authority, the solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will aim to get contracts exchanged.

    5 | Nearing Completion

    Property developers provide two dates: a short-stop and a long-stop date. The short-stop date indicates the estimated date the property will be complete, whereas the long-stop date illustrates the date the property will have to be complete.

    Near to completion, the developer will issue your solicitor with a ’10 Day Completion Notice’. If you have applied for a mortgage, the lenders will organise this. Alternatively, if you are a cash buyer, you will have to transfer funds to your solicitor.

    6 | Move-in or Let-out

    The time has arrived! Your property is nearly complete, but have you considered furnishing the apartment? Our high-quality and beautifully designed interior packs take all the hassle away from homebuyers searching for furniture. These furniture packs are popular amongst investors looking to save time and start letting out the property as soon as possible. If you wish to let out your apartment, it is best to speak to a Lettings expert who can help you secure the highest rents and minimise potential void periods. Our Lettings team supports landlords from the start of the tenancy right through to after the tenancy ends. You can find out more information here.

    Interest Continues to Grow in the

    Off-plan Market

    Several factors contribute to the growing momentum in the off-plan market. The government-backed Help to Buy scheme initially fuelled the activity, encouraging first-time buyers to purchase new builds. Furthermore, a rising number of homeowners are looking for energy-efficient homes and new builds possess these qualities, with higher EPC ratings. In addition, investors looking for a lucrative investment can secure units in new build properties at much lower prices.

    To secure the best off-plan property investments it is vital to do your research. Investors can maximise returns on investment by purchasing in areas with significant capital growth potential. Regeneration schemes future-proof towns and cities by boosting the local economy. A booming economy will inevitably attract more businesses to the surrounding area, creating numerous job opportunities and increasing the pool of potential tenants. There are multiple benefits of investing in a property off-plan. Explore the benefits here.


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