Continued from the last edition
Buying a property that is non-existent is not for the faint-hearted. The idea of parting with hard-earned money when brick is yet to be laid is difficult to chew; therefore there is need for a substantial amount of bravery and trust to be in place. Before making a decision about whether or not to buy off plan, it is important to consider some of its benefits and pitfalls:-
PROS OF BUYING OFF-PLAN DEVELOPMENTS
• Lower Purchase Price
Buying off plan allows buyers invest into a development very early and secure it at a much lower price than usual. There is an advantage to paying upfront for a property that is still being built rather than paying when it is fully constructed as the savings could be quite substantial. Sometimes, some developers need to sell many units ‘off the plan’ before they can begin/ continue construction. Without the initial financial investments of subscribers buying ‘off the plan’, the developer may not be able to complete the project. Hence, developers are able to offer attractive prices and discounts to those who invest early in the development.
• Returns on Investment (ROI)
Buying off plan developments can provide buyers/ investors with large amounts of capital on their initial capital outlay over a relatively short period leading to accelerated wealth growth and capital gains which in turn means good returns on investment (ROI) as the market value of properties appreciates after a period of time. Some buyers can also opt to sell a property before it is completely built for a tidy profit, but in most cases require the permission of the developer to do so.
• Ease of Payment
Although unique to each country, developers require payments in installments from their buyers throughout the period of construction. Typically, a certain percentage mostly between 5-20 percent is required as an initial deposit and/or reservation fee, followed by other split deposits to be paid up until completion. This is favorable to buyers since they do not have to pay the entire purchase price of the property in a one-off payment.
• Preferred Choice
Off-plan buyers who subscribe at the early stages of construction usually benefit from selecting the best available units on the development. Depending on the developer (as some might not be so accommodating), they might also have the opportunity to make certain modifications to their selected units like having customized fittings, restructuring or redesigning of the floor plans, personalized finishing of units, etc bearing in mind that additional cost which might accrue would be borne by them.
• Side Attractions
It is important to note that for off-plan properties to be attractive, the fundamentals must be high and favourable. Invariably, large developers are professional enough to construct in current or up-and-coming hotspots ensuring optimum potential for high returns on your investment. They often times have already researched proximity to infrastructures including modern amenities such as schools, medical services, recreational facilities, public transport and places of interest or natural beauty. Buying an off-plan property situated close to modern infrastructure will in the long run increase capital gains
• Availability of favourable mortgage facilities
Some developers will offer pre-arranged mortgages as part of the off-plan deal. No one is obliged to take this mortgage, although it may save the buyer who decides to take a mortgage some arrangement costs and hassle.
• Tax and Other Incentives
Purchasing a property off plan comes with a number of financial incentives. Buyers of new developments are given certain tax breaks that they wouldn’t receive from buying an old or existing structure. Furthermore, since age plays a factor in insurance matters, buildings bought ‘off the plan’ will save you a large amount of money on home insurance and other costs. Despite the fact that there are no real property taxes in Nigeria, home insurance is available thus investors in Nigerian property may save on home insurance costs if they buy off-plan properties. Developers on some occasions offer special incentives to entice customers to purchase their products off-plan. For instance, buying a property worth a stipulated amount can come along with a luxury car, an all expense paid trip to choice locations etc.
(To be continued)