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Ease Your Property Search By Buying Off-plan

Dec 14, 2007
Looking for a new house can sometimes be a real pain. It's supposed to be the most exciting part of moving house, but actually trawling through property after property can be incredibly demotivating.

Sometimes a property search seems to be either a case of finding the perfect location but the right house isn't available, or you find your absolutely perfect house, but it just isn't in the right place at all.

There is another option to you. It gives you a greater degree of control over the home you get in the right location. And you may even make money before you move in. Welcome to the world of buying off-plan.

The term refers to buying a house before it has been built. You agree to purchase a property based on a dirty plot of land and a set of plans. Sound like madness? It's actually incredibly popular, and a great way to find a new home without a long property search.

Let's have a look at the pros and cons of buying your new home a year before you'll get delivery of it.

First off, the bad points. And the main one is that in the time it takes the property to be built house prices could go down. The way the market is at the moment, this is a minor problem but could happen.

House price growth has slowed down towards the end of this year. Some experts think prices will stay the same in 2008; others believe as interest rates drop, prices will shoot up again.

But onto the good things. And the first is that you don't have traipse from house to house trying to find somewhere you can make your home. It's a short property search when you buy a house before it is built.

From a financial point of view, you are buying a house at today's prices that will go on sale at tomorrow's values. And there is huge peace of mind - new buildings come with warranties and won't need any work doing when you move in. For some people, that combined with the lack of property search needed is enough to make this a great way to buy property!

So how do you go about finding a home this way? Well, for a developer, the inventive behind selling off-plan is to get money for part of the development secured before building work starts. This is great for their cash flow.

Once a developer has gained permission to build houses, they will appoint an estate agent to market the development. After the launch date a number of houses will be sold early. The bad news for most of us is that these tend to be offered first to serious investors, who intend to buy up then rent property. It can be quite hard to get a look in unless you have built relationships with the estate agent.

So if you are serious about cutting your property search in this way, find the estate agents that work closely with developers and show them you too can be a serious buyer.

Once you've got the opportunity to buy, you need to decide if the development if right for you, and if the property matches your needs. Because you have agreed a sale before the house is built, you have a good chance of determining some of the details that will really make the house your home. Want a more expensive kitchen or a door moved slightly to the left? Not a problem when you deal with the architect during the design stage.

Finally, you must be aware that if you are one of the first to buy in a development, you may be committing yourself to years of diggers and builders on your doorstep. But that may be a minor inconvenience when you look at the benefits offered by getting a property this way.
About the Author
http://www.propertytoday.co.uk is a leading online property website that can help you with your property search
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