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New homes

Off plan problems

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Sound like a bit of a risk? Sometimes that opinion proves to be the sensible one. Developers can take the deposits from buyers well in advance of the completion of the project (hence earning interest immediately) and you are pretty much powerless to do anything about any delays that the builders encounter in completing the work.

If you are planning to live in the new home yourself you should be prepared to rent somewhere else if the building is not finished on time. Similarly you should ensure that you are not absolutely dependent on any rental income that you might expect from the first couple of months after the proposed completion date, if you are buying as an investment.

Aside from your particular building, you should try to get the developers to detail in the contract when the other phases of development will be completed. You do not want to spend the next 3 years with the constant noise and disruption of building work going on in the background. Fortunately, this sort of thing is not too common. After all, the quicker the properties are completed and sold, the quicker the builders get a return on their investment.

The only other area of concern with this method of purchase concerns staggered payments. This is where you commit to paying further instalments to cover work that the builders will carry out at a later date. This could be anything from building a conservatory to landscaping a communal area. There have been incidents where payment is made and work is never carried out. As a rule of thumb, only pay for what you are sure you are getting. If the developers are going to make further enhancements, get your solicitor to make sure they are fully covered in the contract.

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