How to: Your Guide to Buying Off Plan

Some people may think buying off plan means waiting forever for a new home. However, securing a new build property in advance could be an effective way to buy, to a timescale that best suits you.

“We would class buying off plan as reserving a home we haven’t yet started building,” says Strata’s Sales Director Gemma Smith. “We release properties for sale as soon we start to build.”

Buying off plan has a number of advantages, including securing your ideal location and house type on a new development. There are benefits to exploring your mortgage options early and you may be surprised how quickly you’re moving into your new home.

Find out more about the benefits of buying off plan:

1. Location, location, location

Location is often cited by homeowners as a key decision factor when buying a new home. Whether it’s in a commuter spot for work, a catchment area for schools, or it provides good access to local amenities and green space, it’s important to find a location that’s right for you.  

As soon as we’ve secured land and received planning approval, we are able to start selling off plan in that location. If you’re hoping to live in that area, it means you can be one of the first to sign up for a new home on the development and guarantee your ideal location.

2. An ideal home to suit you and your family

If you’re an individual or couple searching for a 2 bedroom home, or a growing family looking to expand into a 5-bed detached, buying off plan means you can choose exactly what house type is right for you. You’ll be able to take a good look at the floor plans of the properties available on the development, and decide which one fits your requirements. There may even be a show home on another development you can look around to get a feel if it works for you.

You’ll also have the opportunity to personalise your new home to really make it yours. Buying off plan means you’re involved right from the beginning of the build so you’ll have full choice of all the optional upgrades available, and watch the progress of your new home from start to finish.

3. Early bird catches the… best plot

From small developments with fewer than 40 new homes, to large ones with more than 200, buying off plan also gives you the opportunity to choose the best plot for you. It might be a corner position, or a plot with a great view of open countryside, or perhaps it’s next door to a friend or family member who’s already secured their off plan spot!

Once you’ve decided on the best house type for you, it’s time to explore the development’s site plan to find the right plot. This will mean you’re in a good position when the plots do become available for sale. “We review prices every week, and set price points about 9 months before the home will be built,” says Gemma. “If you have an early bird reservation, it means when we release the plot for sale, you will have the first opportunity to reserve it before it’s available to the general public.”

4. Secure a good mortgage deal

Once you’ve selected your plot and house type, we’ll put you in touch with a recommended mortgage advisor. Having regular contact with an advisor means they can keep you up to date with all the financial options available. You’ll also be the first to know if a new mortgage product is released to the market that better suits your needs.

“The advisor will be in touch once a month to keep you updated,” says Gemma. “This personal financial guidance will mean you’re in the best position to buy as soon as the new home becomes available.”

If you need to build up a better credit score, or save for a larger deposit, buying off plan also gives you more time to do so.

“We’ll let you know as soon as we release the plot for sale. The advisor will then talk through your repayment options. If everything is in order at that point, we’ll do a full reservation and take you through the finer details of buying your new home,” says Gemma.

If you have an existing home to sell, our Assisted Selling Plan team will be able to suggest the best time to put your home on the market. Buying off plan means you will have more time to sell your home and get the best possible price.

5. Move sooner than expected

When you see a piece of land, it might be tricky to imagine the finished development. But on average, the time it takes to buy off plan, reserve your plot, watch the build, and move into the property could be as little as 9 months.

“If your circumstances change and you need to move sooner, we’ll look at how we might be able to help you,” says Gemma. “It might be changing to a plot that works with your timescale.”

If you definitely want to buy a new home and be in a certain area, buying off plan might just be the option for you.

Checklist: How to buy off plan 

  • Find a location
  • Choose a house type
  • Choose a plot
  • Secure a mortgage
  • Reserve your home
  • Follow the build
  • Move in!