When off the plan apartments go wrong

Off-the-Plan or Off the Rails? What happens when things go wrong.

With home buyers (particularly first timers) becoming increasingly price conscious in recent years, off-the-plan developments have really taken off. Buying off the plan presents an opportunity to save money and buy a beautiful new home or investment property. But like any type of investment, it also carries some risks.

What’s important is how you, as a buyer, mitigate those risks and ensure you’re working with a developer that has your best interests at heart and will deliver a quality product that matches the promise you’re essentially paying for in the first instance.

So how do you really know what you’re paying for? How can you ensure you don’t buy a lemon? We talked to Independent Property Group’s Managing Director of Strata Management Erik Adriaanse and Executive Director of Project Marketing, Wayne Harriden to get their insights on what to watch out for, the issues surrounding off-the-plan development, problems with the industry and how to ensure you get what you pay for.

The Problem at Hand

The headlines have been coming in thick and fast recently—‘Asbestos Discovered at WA Hospital’, ‘QLD Asbestos Scare Prompts Union Alert’, ‘Asbestos Tests Halt Chinese Products’… the list goes on, but the question remains: Why is this happening? Continue reading


The experience of waiting for your off-the-plan apartment

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of purchasing your first home—the rush of adrenaline, the quickening of your heartbeat, the butterflies stampeding in your stomach. The month-long settlement period is a jam-packed whirlwind of contracts, packing, and paperwork. Before you can blink, you’re lying in bed, staring at a new ceiling, experiencing the thrill of home ownership.

But what if that gap between deposit and moving in was six months, 12 months, two years? That’s the situation facing buyers of off-the-plan apartments across the country. The ecstatic joy of that moment when you sign the contract can only carry you so far.

When Joanna Markin bought in the ‘Astin’ she knew she at getting in at the best price point, but she then had a two year wait ahead of her. Continue reading


Why so many people are embracing the cosmopolitan lifestyle.

It’s the Australian Dream (apparently)—a white picket fence, a Hills Hoist in the back yard. But our cities have changed. High density housing is here to stay—not because it’s forced on us, but because there are plenty of people choosing the lifestyle it affords. Here are some of the reasons Australians are opting for apartment-living.

Low maintenance yard with awesome balcony garden

web_balcony gardenGone are the days of lifeless, bare balconies. The modern city-dweller has brought life to the concrete jungle. Vertical gardens, balcony rail planters, hanging pots and raised garden beds all allow apartment owners to enjoy the best of a backyard—home grown vegetables, spring bulbs, potted roses—without the hassle of grass that needs mowing and leaves that need raking. Continue reading


Apartment oversupply fears: genuine concern, or slight case of hysteria?

Winter A Glut is Coming (Apparently)

You’ve probably heard the rumours by now. You know, the ones about a likely apartment ‘glut’ in Sydney? Well, some now fear that the same could happen in Canberra.

According to ABS statistics, construction work in both NSW and the ACT is on the rise in a pretty big way, with NSW construction having risen for six quarters, and the ACT figures showing a rise for two quarters.

Popular media appears to have jumped right on stats like this, with cries of “OMG the apartments are taking over!” ringing out left, right and centre. Sigh. Before we freak out, let’s discuss this properly. Continue reading


Truth time: How much do you really need upfront for your first home?

There’s a generation of Australians out there that feel they’ve been trounced by the property market before they’ve even had a chance to get into the ring.  The story goes decades of skyrocketing house prices and increased cost of living have delivered a one-two punch to first home buyers that has many on the mat. The heavy feeling of defeat keeps some there; convinced that the Australian dream will never come true.

Getting together a deposit is seen as perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to getting into the housing market. The more house prices increase, the larger the deposit needed. With wages remaining stagnant and cost of living increasing, saving has become that much harder. While many renters move in with their folks in order to get a leg up, that isn’t an option for everyone.

Continue reading