15 06 2023

Buying off-plan: everything you need to know


When buying a home, it is crucial to consider factors such as location, the condition of the property, and the infrastructure and services available. However, choosing and purchasing a home is one of the most transcendental decisions that we will make throughout our lives, and there are various options to make your goals a reality.

One of the main changes in recent years in the real estate sector is that new-build homes have gained more weight compared to second-hand properties. When we talk about new construction, we can distinguish between buying a house off plan or already finished.

Both options can be attractive depending on each person’s needs. In this case, we are going to focus on all the advantages and what you should know before buying an off-plan property. Let's start!


What does it mean to buy a house off-plan?

Buying a home off-plan means purchasing a house before it is completely finished while it is still in the design or construction stage. This option has many advantages such as saving more time, but it also brings some drawbacks such as long waits.

As we have commented before, the search for a new home is one of the most important and beautiful stages throughout our lives. Therefore, it is necessary to know all the transaction options very well to analyze if it is the choice that best suits our needs.


What should be taken into account before buying a home off plan?

When we decide to buy a house off-plan, the few references we have are the plot where it is going to be built and the information provided by the real estate developer. There are several factors that we must consider to buy an off-plan apartment with greater peace of mind and security.


Real Estate Developer Research: Why Is It Important?

Check the reputation and experience of the promoter who is carrying out the project to find out about their previous work, the quality of their finishes and the opinions of previous clients. If you do not have any reference to the company, we suggest that you investigate its company name, its solvency, whether it is registered in the Mercantile Registry and if it is up to date with all the necessary building licenses.

This will give us clues as to whether it is really what we are looking for and will give us more peace of mind in terms of meeting deadlines and in everything offered at the time of housing promotion. As buyers, we have the right to access the necessary documentation on the property at any time.


Plans and specifications, collect all the information about the house

Carefully examine the plans of the plot that will house your future home. Make sure you understand the distribution of the spaces and that you agree with the specified useful square meters, the size of the rooms, the location of the infrastructures, materials used, if there are communal areas or extra services such as concierge or security, etc.


Building specifications for off-plan properties

Another important factor before buying off-plan is to know the quality of the materials used in the construction and the qualities of the finishes. This document will serve as a basis to verify that once the house is built it complies with everything agreed in the contract.

The Quality Report is a contractually binding document and must be attached as an annex to the purchase contract. It must specify the finishings of absolutely all the rooms, including the common areas that are in the urbanization.


Off-plan housing purchase contract, always up-to-date

Carefully check all the documentation and the off-plan purchase contract to make sure that it includes all the necessary information: the final price of the property including VAT, the method of payment and the account number where payments are to be made, the developer's insurance or bank guarantee (in case you need to pay any possible compensation) or the date of handing over the keys, among others.

It is also interesting that the contract includes a clause stating the type of penalty that the developer may experience if he delays in the delivery of the property or other non-compliance.


Before signing the title deeds of the property

Pay special attention to the deeds and resolve any possible doubts before signing them. We know that you are about to fulfill your dreams, but we don't want you to let the desire to move into your new home play a dirty trick on you. Therefore, check the property and check the following:

  • All the aspects coincide with what is established in the building specifications.
  • There is the possibility of making changes to the dwelling to adapt it to specific needs. For example, ramps or lifts for people with reduced mobility.


Advantages of buying off-plan

Are you wondering why buy a house off plan? As we already told you in our article on the advantages of buying new construction, buying a house before it is built has great advantages. However, for those who are in a hurry to move in, they may have to consider another type of purchase. On the other hand, for those who do not yet have sufficient savings to pay the down payment on the house, it is a very good option, as it will allow them to pay for it in installments while it is being built.

Buying off-plan offers many other benefits, as we will see below:

  • Economic savings. The main advantage of acquiring an off-plan property, compared to a finished one, is the saving in the final price. Since in those neighborhoods and areas most in demand, prices are continually increasing. Moreover, if you are looking for the best investment options, the first units to go on sale are almost always the most economical in relation to euro/m2.

In addition, we count that with the same price it is built with the most avant-garde materials of the market and with the latest technological advances and energy efficiency. Advantages that you do not have with a second-hand apartment.

  • Facilities to make the payment. The amount that you have to have saved for the purchase is less. In an off-plan purchase, it is normal that the buyer pays a symbolic amount to reserve, then 30% at the signing of the purchase contract (approx. 30 days after the reservation) and the remaining 70% in installments spread over the construction period of the house. This means greater flexibility and less financial effort for the buyer. It should also be considered that many times buyers can subrogate to the developer's mortgage, obtaining better financing facilities.
  • Personalisation of the property. Since it is not yet built, there is the possibility of making modifications, as long as the developer confirms it to us. The speed of decision making is key when it comes to new construction, since the best properties are sold first. It is a fact, buying off-plan gives you the possibility to choose the property that best suits your needs. From the area in which you want to live, to the distribution of your home.

Nowadays, real estate developers allow you to customize and make changes both in the design or choice of materials and in the layout of the rooms. You can, for example, choose between an independent or integrated kitchen, include an extra bathroom (as long as the useful square meters allow it), and even add equipment to automate your home. Of course, some of these options may involve an additional cost to the final price, although it will always be lower if they are requested in the initial phase and not once the house is finished.

  • 10-year guarantee. By law, newly constructed homes are required to have a series of warranties from the moment the new construction is delivered, not when the contract is signed. The warranties cover damages caused by construction or installation defects, finish failures and material damages caused by defects affecting the foundation, supports, load-bearing walls or any other structural element that directly compromises the stability of the building.


Now that you know what aspects to take into account when buying an off-plan property, what are you waiting for to invest in the home of your dreams? Prime Invest can help you with your search thanks to our real estate consultancy service. And among our most acclaimed projects on the Costa del Sol you will find the new build property you are looking for, so start enjoying life close to the sea and with plenty of sunshine! 

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