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.
“I ran the gamut of emotions. At first it was buyer’s remorse, because the reality of committing that kind of money really hit. Then it was just the tedium of waiting. Closer to settlement it became a desperation to get in and have a look. I wanted any information I could get my hands on.”
“I would do drive-bys all the time. I had made some changes to the floorplan when I bought so there was a lot of anxiety about whether I would get what I wanted—unfounded anxiety. I would draw mock ups of the apartment and start planning the furniture layout. There was a lot of time for me to plan the perfection.”
“The wait was long, but it was worth it in the end. I ended up with everything I wanted in a home.”
According to Independent Property Group Projects Assistant Director Cassandra Cumberland, the developers try to keep buyers up-to-date as often as possible. “Buyers get updates approximately every three months. These include things like where construction is up to, if there have been delays due to weather, colour selection updates etc. We also include things like finance, rental details, anything we think buyers will want to know.
“Most of the contact is made through emails, but a few developments have Facebook pages that we manage. We are looking to expand this to all our developments in the near future.”
So what should you do if you’re facing a twelve month wait for your place?
Save more money
Many purchasers of off-the-plan homes do so because it gives them extra time to get money together before the mortgage kicks in. It’s time to put every spare cent in the piggy bank—trust us you’ll be glad you did when it means you can splash out on new furniture.
Set up a Pintrest board
Speaking of which, you now have plenty of time to plan your new home’s interior design. Start a Pintrest board for everything from bathroom storage solutions to perfect bedspreads. You’ll have chosen your scheme for walls and carpet already, so it’s time to broaden the palette with colour ideas for rugs, cushions, wall hangings and furniture.
Order your furniture
A new leather couch can take up to four months to arrive at your doorstep, so going on the hunt for furniture early will ensure that you don’t start your new place with borrowed or ugly pieces. By buying off the plan you have the time to get your pieces together so that you start your new life in a shiny, fabulous way.
Marie Condo your old place
If you haven’t checked out The Life-changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, you haven’t lived. She takes spring cleaning to a new level. Moving house is the perfect time to go through all your stuff, to throw out the junk and organise; the trouble is when you move on a short time frame, this important step often gets missed. Be ruthless, and you’ll appreciate it when there are less boxes to pack and less knick knacks to find homes for.
Take up art collecting
Check out the local cafes etc.
A year before you move in? That’s 52 weekends for you to try out the menus of the nearby eateries, evaluate the different coffee options and check out the stores. By the time you get the keys, you’ll well and truly be a local.
Meet the neighbours:
Keep your brochure booklet on your coffee table.
Long day, difficult clients, terrible traffic? Come home to a guaranteed smile-maker. Your development brochure booklet is packed with beautifully constructed renders of the building exterior, pictures of how your perfectly-styled rooms will look and photos of the best in the local surrounds. It’s a dream you can hold in your hand until the day arrives.