Frequently Asked Questions
What is 'off the plan'?
An ‘off the plan property’ is one that is yet to be built (or one that is currently under construction). When buying off the plan, you are relying on floor plans, price lists and other related property documents to make your purchase decision.
Why buy 'off the plan'?
There are many benefits to purchasing ‘off the plan’. The process gives you time to finalise your current living arrangement (whether this involves the sale of a family home or the end of a rental tenancy) and gives you the opportunity to potentially save more money towards your new home if required. Buying ‘off the plan’ also gives you potential flexibility for variations to the final product and provides you with a new home warranty to ensure a perfect home. There are also potential tax benefits for buying off the plan – these should be discussed with an Accountant or Financial Planner.
How much deposit will I need to buy off the plan?
You’ll most likely need to pay a 10% deposit when you sign the contract, with the balance due when the apartment is finished and you settle.
Why buy in Brisbane?
Deciding to buy a home (whether it is an investment property or one to live in) in driven by numerous different factors. If the home is to be your principal place of residence, you will need to consider your desired lifestyle, location and proximity to amenities. At Siera Group, we take these factors into consideration when designing our Developments, and we understand the Brisbane lifestyle.
Brisbane is a strong growth city with a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ attitude towards property growth, meaning that buying in the right location will likely yield long-term growth and success. When it comes to investments, Brisbane offers great value for money backed by strong rental yields, which ensures your investment property not only stacks up financially but also appeals to potential tenants. Your tenants care as much about where they live as you do, so buying an investment property that you would live in is one way to guarantee limited-to-no periods of vacancy.
What is a Builder/Developer?
A Builder/Developer like Siera Group is a company that manages the delivery of it’s Developments from the acquisition of the land, through the design and approval phase, and the construction phase of the project. This means efficiencies in the design and construction are maximised without compromising the product. The construction is completed in-house which means that we control the quality and timing of the development, and can align key critical path items to ensure the most efficient delivery to the market. Siera Group invests to ensure the best Development possible through strong systems, procedures and planning.
Why purchase from a Builder/Developer?
The benefits of purchasing from a Builder/Developer are numerous. Because the company is managing the project from conception through to delivery means cost savings and efficiencies are passed on to the end purchaser. It also means there is only one point of contact for the project and no blame game. Often, in a scenario where the roles are played by different parties, there is room for one party to blame another for delivery of a product that is inferior or different to what has been promised. Remember, when a Developer has to engage an external building company, the Builder needs to make a profit. This means the delivery of the product will be more expensive and will reduce the amount of money the developer can spend on adding value to a project.
Why purchase from a Professional Property Developer?
A Professional Property Developer makes sure that they purchase development sites in the right locations for the right price. They then design a product aimed at their target market, which ensures that the finished product will match the buyer’s expectations. Finally, they manage each stage of the development (along with consultants), using years of experience and specialised knowledge. This ensures the process is as efficient as possible while staying aligned with the vision for the development. When you’re looking at marketing material, there is no way to distinguish between an amateur or speculative developer and a professional – however, the difference is enormous and can make or break a development. Make sure you do your research.
How will I know exactly when my new home will be complete?
Generally speaking when you purchase ‘off the plan’, the Developer will give you an anticipated completion date based on an internally generated timeline that relies heavily on the construction timeline. There are many forces at play when it comes to development therefor that date is never guaranteed however the Developer will always do their best to deliver a project within its expected time frame.
A sunset clause is a section in the sales contract that refers to the maximum amount of time the developer has to complete construction of the project. It also gives the buyer a date when they can legally walk away from the contract if the building isn’t finished on time. The buyer’s deposit should be returned if the developer and/or builder doesn’t deliver a completed project by the date stated in the sunset clause.
Body Corporate fees - how do I know these won’t change?
Siera Group carefully manages the engagement of the body corporate and all processes surrounding this, including breaking down of each budget item to make sure it covers all costs associated with the upkeep of the building. Siera also ensures enough allocation is provided to cover items that may initially be covered under warranty but will require maintenance moving forward.
How does Siera manage settlement dates?
One risk with purchasing off the plan is the potential for settlement delay. Delays can stem from a number of issues, from pre-sale targets not being met through to construction delays. Siera is in control of the whole process – meaning all critical path items are managed as efficiently as possible to ensure delays are either minimised or eliminated. Most Siera Projects are delivered ahead of time or, at worst case, on time. We have a strong (and proven) track record.
Will my apartment be the same as what I see in the Marketing Materials?
A common issue in the purchase of ‘off-the-plan’ apartments or townhouses is the final product not quite living up to your expectations based on what you saw in the marketing materials. This can be disappointing, and financially and emotionally detrimental to the buyer. It is something Siera ensures it doesn’t do. We pride ourselves on delivering on our promises, this means our marketing materials (including our Computer Generated Images) are as close as possible to the finished product – even if this means adapting the building as we construct to ensure the most aesthetically pleasing and functional developments. We want to make sure the finished photos are better than the CGIs.
What area/suburb is the best to buy off the plan?
There is a big difference to buying off the plan in a high growth area versus a low-growth area. Buying off the plan gives you the opportunity to get in at the beginning of a development and get the uplift of the market growth in an area. Ensuring the development is close to amenities like shopping centres, transport, café’s, schools and the like is essential to ensuring long-term growth.
What research should I do when buying off the plan?
Before signing a Contract of Sale it’s important to thoroughly research both the property and the Developer. Check out completed projects constructed by the same Builder, and know how your property will differ from the display suite. Understand exactly what the sale contract includes by way of fixtures and fittings, and enquire about ongoing costs like strata levies to ensure they are affordable. Do you research around similar prices and rental returns on units in the area to make sure that the property has been fairly priced.
Obtaining a loan approval...
It is essential to know where you stand financially when committing to a purchase contract of any kind. Seeking loan pre-approval when buying ‘off the plan’ is recommended, as it means you can stay in constant communication with your broker or lender throughout the project and ensure you are ready when settlement time comes. This will reduce stress and risk and provide you with the best finance deal for your situation.