6 MARCH 2023

As more Australians chase a new home ownership dream, these tips show why a smaller abode could better protect your interests.

Experts suggest anyone planning to buy off the plan should do all the relevant research. Check the developer and builder, visit past projects and even knock on doors to ask residents about their experience.

“It’s better to pay a premium for an apartment from a reputable developer than be saddled with a defective property,” says Karen Stiles, executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network, the peak body for apartment owners. “You should always visit the site of the development to see what it’s like, and make sure there aren’t plans in place for other buildings that might knock out your views.

“Find out where else the apartments have been sold – be wary of those heavily marketed overseas – and check the prices of similar properties in the same area as the off-the-plan building. You might be able to negotiate on price.”

Stiles also recommends quizzing the agent about quarterly levies, hiring a good solicitor to go through the contract, reading the bylaws and carefully checking the apartment’s layout.

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