It isn’t the norm to buy a home that doesn’t even exist yet, but for some homebuyers, it’s becoming more commonplace to secure an off plan property and wait for their dream home to be built. 


Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of this and what to expect in terms of how different it is to buying a home that has already been built.


Who Should Think About Buying An Off Plan Property?

If you don’t want to move in the immediate future, buying an off plan property could be for you. Many parents who buy for children go for this option, as do investors and those who are retiring.


What are the upsides of buying an off plan property?

A huge pro of buying an off plan property is that the specification is likely to be high, as home standards continue to rise. There may be facilities and features included in the property that you would not expect in an existing property. You can also expect a newly built home to be more energy efficient and eco-friendly than older properties.


What is the process of buying an off plan property?

First you must find a mortgage lender and arrange your mortgage, although this part can be difficult when the house has not been built yet. Expect to wait anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for your property to be finished - so you may have to resubmit your mortgage application if it has expired by the time your property is completed. Carefully consider whether it is likely your financial situation will change so you don’t end up in financial difficulty.


Selecting The Off Plan Property

When you have chosen the property you’d like to buy, you need to fill in a form and pay a reservation fee to the developer.


Exchanging Contracts

This takes place within 28 days after you have paid your reservation fee and the property you want to purchase has been guaranteed to you. For this you will need to appoint a solicitor to draw up a contract. You will also need to pay your deposit, which is usually 10% of the agreed purchase price.


Conditional Exchange

How long you have to wait for your property to reach conditional exchange will depend on how long it’s taken to build. At this point, the property is signed off as safe to live in.


Unconditional exchange

Once your newly built home meets the correct building regulations, the utility companies are allowed to connect the property to the grid. When this has been done, you can move on to the completion stage.



Developers are likely to only give you 2-4 weeks’ notice before the completion date, so you have to react quickly to have everything in order.


Property handover

Once you have successfully completed the property purchase, your new home will be handed over to the completions team. They will show you around the property.


You can usually move in the next day if there are no issues!