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Monday Oct 22, 2018

Changing off-plan properties

How customisable is the option of purchasing a property off-plan?

"There are many enticing factors of purchasing a property off-plan. One that many find most exciting is the fact that you get a say in how the final product will look."

"However, buyers need to remain realistic about how much they can change and realise that most changes will incur additional costs," says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

While each off-plan build will have its own set of customisable options, the rule of thumb is that buyers will have a choice of most fixtures and fittings, but any structural changes can only be done pending approval from the developers and are likely to result in additional admin costs since the plans will have to be redrawn to include your changes.

For most off-plan builds, homeowners can expect a range of choices for the following features: cupboard door finishes and handles, kitchen countertops, flooring options and paint colour.

"Generally, buyers will have a choice between a handful of options for each of these features. In some cases, one option might come as standard and the others will come at an additional charge. If you don't like any of the features on offer by the developers, you may usually propose your preferred option, but this will come at your own cost if it is approved," Goslett explains.

Goslett also cautions buyers who are hoping to make changes after the fact.

"In most cases, the red tape does not come down after the property has been built. These off-plan properties are most often built in estates managed by HOAs with strict bylaws regulating the appearance of all homes within the community."

"Some even go so far as to prohibit what sorts of plants may be planted in the front yard. While it might be easier to get away with changes to the inside of your home, buyers should never falsely assume that they can go ahead with alterations to the exterior of their property that were initially rejected by the developers during the building process," he warns.

"The reality is that buying off-plan is not the same as building your own home. If you want the flexibility to design a home that is one hundred percent what you would prefer, then you would save yourself a lot of frustration by building a property from scratch instead," Goslett concludes.

RE/MAX Press Release




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