Helpful Things to Remember when Buying an On Plan Property

While purchasing a property on plan has its multitude of benefits, it's also equally important to acknowledge the fact that it may sometimes be a process laden with a multitude of challenges. For starters, you might not be entirely sure about what you’re after, since more often than not, it’s a building that’s not even ready or even near its completion date. So, what do you do with a mere piece of paper that shows you the layout of your future home? 77 Great Estates wanted to give some of its expert advice on the matter…

Payment Procedure

Like the purchasing process itself, paying for an on plan property is usually done in phases, which can be a major plus if you’re trying to get on the property investment ladder.

Property Size

This is usually the least challenging part to decide, since you’d know at the inception of your search exactly how many rooms you’d want in your place. Always keep in mind that while three bedrooms may sound like a great number, a three-bedroom apartment in one area may have a completely different asking price on the other side of the island.

Moreover, some bedrooms may be the size of a boxroom, making your original idea to have three rooms a bit less viable – considering they would be envisaged to be proper family bedrooms. If visiting the actual construction isn't possible, it’s important for you to make sure you get the correct dimensions so you’d be able to calculate exactly how spacious your rooms will be. This way, if said dimensions are not to your liking, you know that this place is simply not for you from the get go.

Layout and Lighting

These are aspects that are very difficult to grasp and understand when the building is not even there, so thinking about the area as a whole is crucial. That’s why it’s always a good idea to find a way to get as many details as possible, or better yet try to visit the property site itself. This enables you to understand the building progress and also analyse the location within the specific area. Understand that if there are other constructions in the area, it may affect your view, which consequently will affect the lighting of your own building.

You also need to check the number of doors and windows and if they'll be leading to outside and whether they let in any direct sunlight or not. It’s important for a home to have natural light, apart from setting a better ambience, it gives the place a more welcoming feel and creates the illusion of space.

With regard to the layout of the rooms, be sure that the apartment isn’t too long or dark, too stuffy or cramped, or even perhaps, too large to manage. You also need to make sure that the rooms available, are ones that fit in with your mental portrait of what you want it to look like.

Some bonus recommendations…

• Carefully inspect the display home, models and plans. Scrutinise the fixtures, fittings and finishes.
• Research the market conditions and speak to a professional to define the property prices.
• Make sure the contractor from whom you might be buying the property on plan has a reliable reputation.
• Ask your estate agent to inform you of some past projects to see if this contractor’s company is a trustworthy one and disposed to satisfy perceptive clients.
• Discuss your personal requirements and talk about room sizes, quality of interiors, bathroom(s) and kitchen, flooring, lighting system and distribution and where to place a fireplace.
• Try to get your hands on a 3D plan, since this will help you understand what the plans on paper mean in a slightly more tangible manner.
• In the case of apartments, determine the specifications relating to common parts that are to your liking, making sure all agreed works are complete as per contractual settlements before signing the final deed of sale.

Before you sign that dotted line…

Ask questions to determine what is covered as part of the purchase price, for example, what fittings, floorings, painting and decorating is part of the package and what is additional? Discuss your expectations for the property with your developer and have them written into the contract to avoid disagreement with the developer at the completion of the project.

Concluding thoughts

Investing in a first-time or even second-time property in Malta or Gozo is a smart move. Whether it’s that rite of passage of moving out of your parents’ home or up-sizing from a family apartment to let’s say a terraced house or a villa, buying on plan should not be done haphazardly. Generally, a buyer wants to see a concrete product when spending a considerable amount of money on something. This cannot ring truer when buying property – which is perhaps the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your life. Remember, your decision (or indecision) may simply translate how flexible or inflexible you could be about your exigencies. Ultimately, buying an on plan property allows you to enjoy the process of seeing your new investment take shape, exactly the way you envision it from start to finish.

If you’re interested in purchasing a property on plan, we encourage you to contact us today. 77 Great Estates have a vast collection of property developments on plan, both in Malta and Gozo. Our reputable estate agency in Malta will make sure to keep you updated on said developments.

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