Buying new apartment off plan?

(17 Posts)
onlytwatsbuyluxuryflats Fri 28-Aug-20 19:08:15

Hi all

After a long and fruitless house hunt we are now considering buying an apartment off plans. Are we crazy?

We initially actually wanted a house but a 3 bedroom apartment has come up about £50-£100k less than we would expect to spend on a house (with equivalent area space). It's in a great location. No garden but there is supposed to be a pretty nice terrace.

It sounds lovely but I'm worried that I've built up a certain picture in my head and it will be nothing like that. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in buying off plans and what their expectations v reality was?

My other big concern is that a new build apartment may not hold/increase its value as much as a house. Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Lightsabre Fri 28-Aug-20 19:11:00

A new build with very little outside space is the worst buying option at the moment. It would have to be pretty special to hold its value - ie, be huge or in a great area. See the thread active in property at the moment. - something like 'why isn't my flat selling'.

JoJoSM2 Fri 28-Aug-20 19:12:02

New build apartments cost more than equivalent that’s a few years old. You also need to consider service charges and whether you can live with a terrace rather than a garden.

Generally, I’d much prefer a house to a flat but I can situations involve which a great flat in a great location for less money than a house would be tempting.

Nat6999 Fri 28-Aug-20 19:16:28

Apartments & flats are generally leasehold, carry service charges as well. Have a really good look for something else, you will most likely regret buying an apartment.

OhTheRoses Fri 28-Aug-20 19:19:55

When I think of all the houses I have viewed that look perfect on the floor plan but simply don't have "it" in real life I wouldn't. Floor plans don't capture ceiling height, light or ambience.

onlytwatsbuyluxuryflats Fri 28-Aug-20 19:22:30

Thanks for the replies

@Lightsabre it's in a pretty unique location, hence big draw for us (think lovely views). Sorry I missed that thread you mention. Do you have a link?

Re service charge - not ideal of course but we are aware of it and can afford it on our current salaries esp considering how much lower our mortgage will be. It is however one of the other off-putting things.

On the flip side, in a couple of years' time we may need to move overseas for a period and so we can see this being a good rental while we are gone (more so than a house I'm not sure though?)

OP’s posts: |
HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 28-Aug-20 19:31:16

Read up about the current issues with fire safety certificates making apartments worthless - there's a thread or two on it on here. Make sure you have a certificate before buying!

Advertisement

Lightsabre Fri 28-Aug-20 19:33:32

Sorry can't link. It's titled 'Is anyone trying to sell a London flat at the moment' (and that flat is a Victorian property in a good area).

If it's in an amazing area and has rental potential, then maybe but look very closely at the floor plan, orientation, ceiling height, parking, leasehold charges, social housing % if any. If you might be going abroad in the next two years, personally, I'd continue to save and look around for a longer term house. The economic outlook for the Uk is pretty dire and house prices will be affected by then. Being a landlord is difficult and getting harder. In the last recession, new builds had the biggest drops were I live and London in general and were very difficult to sell on. The Govt can't keep kicking the can down the road.

TazMac Fri 28-Aug-20 19:34:58

www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8616399/amp/Red-tape-nightmare-stops-millions-selling-homes.html

OP, this is the article about fire certificates.

Lightsabre Fri 28-Aug-20 19:38:00

where I live!

onlytwatsbuyluxuryflats Fri 28-Aug-20 19:48:11

Thanks - found the thread.

Also just saw the thing about fire certificates! I'm not sure we would be affected as it's brand new but definitely something to add to my list of solicitors' questions!

OP’s posts: |
TazMac Fri 28-Aug-20 20:10:56

@onlytwatsbuyluxuryflats

Are you buying with a mortgage? A lot of lenders aren’t issuing mortgages for flats in blocks without an EWS certificate. Maybe worth checking with your lender / mortgage broker too.

JoJoSM2 Fri 28-Aug-20 20:18:34

Have you checked rental values in the area? Also have a look if flats in the location rent well - it won’t be a good sign if some have been up for a few weeks and still aren’t occupied. Having said that, in a way, flats are easier to rent out than houses as you don’t need to worry about the garden getting overgrown or roof repairs etc.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 29-Aug-20 13:24:19

Personally I wouldn’t. They are usually quite a bit - or a lot - more expensive per sq foot than older properties, plus service/maintenance charges are often sky high - and likely to rise.
There are potential problems too with the flats not being ready on time, or the developer having financial problems, and any deposit you pay going down the drain.

Dobbyhasnomaster Sat 29-Aug-20 13:30:11

Don’t do it, these schemes are nearly always dodgy. Law society Gazette posted an article recently about off plan developments being notorious for not being completed and leaving investments completely ruined.

pinkbalconyrailing Sat 29-Aug-20 13:35:22

there is nothing wrong with a flat.

but I would only want to live in one with private outside space like a balcony/terrace and communal roof terrace or usable communal garden.

have a look at the combustable materials issue as well. that will be a huge issue for many flats for the forseeable future.

SparklesGalore Fri 11-Sep-20 05:19:35

onlytwatsbuyluxuryflats

Hi all

After a long and fruitless house hunt we are now considering buying an apartment off plans. Are we crazy?

We initially actually wanted a house but a 3 bedroom apartment has come up about £50-£100k less than we would expect to spend on a house (with equivalent area space). It's in a great location. No garden but there is supposed to be a pretty nice terrace.

It sounds lovely but I'm worried that I've built up a certain picture in my head and it will be nothing like that. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in buying off plans and what their expectations v reality was?

My other big concern is that a new build apartment may not hold/increase its value as much as a house. Thoughts?

Yes I think you're crazy! In the nicest possible way of course. smile Hold on until the furlough scheme ends. Don't rush into buying, especially a new build flat without a garden! Could you rent for a few months?

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