Is Buying Off-Plan A Common Approach? | Vistoo

Is Buying Off-Plan A Common Approach?

Buying off-plan gives you the opportunity to purchase a property that corresponds exactly to your needs and expectations. Vistoo takes a closer look at the advantages, advice and popularity of this approach!

The Advantages of Buying Off-Plan

Buying off-plan in Québec and Canada can quickly become exciting, for a number of reasons.

First of all, buying a house or condo off-plan, for example, gives you the opportunity to personalize your property. Since it’s the biggest expense of your life, you’ll want to give it all the attention it deserves at the time of purchase.

Therefore, such a purchase allows you to fulfill your expectations and define your living space, which is not yet built. For example, you can tell the developer about the layout of the rooms, the materials you’d like to have, the flooring type, the bathroom fixtures, the storage and walk-in spaces, the laundry room, the choice of lighting, the kitchen configuration with the number of cabinets required and the cupboard fronts, the countertop covering, the colors, etc.

Discussing home plans

In short, being able to personalize your future condo or house is a key advantage.

More importantly, by choosing a house or condo that hasn’t yet been built, you’re sure to be moving into a brand-new space that no one has lived in before. This is vital for many people.

A new condo or house in Québec also allows you to benefit from financial incentives, either through public programs or from the real estate developer.

Last but not least, another advantage is that the developer will usually provide you with several condo or house plans. So, you can choose the plan that best meets your needs and expectations.

A Few Tips Before Buying Off-Plan

From the outset, it would be wise to find out more about the project developer. For example, you can visit their website and see what projects they’ve already completed, or read the opinions of other people who have dealt with the developer, etc.

You can also ask the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) to tell you whether the developer is in good standing and how long they’ve been on the real estate market. This will give you a good indication before you take action.

Buying off-plan also requires you to specify the surface area of your future property. We often speak of gross surface area, whereas net surface area can be 10% less. By asking the right questions, you will have peace of mind.

In addition, if you decide to buy a condo as part of a real estate project, it would be a good idea to ask other questions too, such as whether pets and short-term rentals are allowed, if BBQ use on the terrace is authorized, and whether there are outdoor outlets for electric vehicles, reserved parking areas, etc.

Furthermore, even if the developer is credible and acting in good faith, delays may occur during the course of the project. Therefore, it’s important to leave yourself a buffer zone to avoid unpleasant surprises. Construction times vary.

Finally, disparities can arise between the original budget and the ultimate one. Consequently, maintaining a reserve for unexpected circumstances or additions to the initial plan is crucial.

The Popularity of Buying Off-Plan

There aren’t many recent statistics on off-plan purchasing. Nevertheless, housing starts in Canada in December 2023 stood at 249,898. The biggest increases were in Montréal and Vancouver (66% and 92% respectively), but these were mainly rental housing starts, far more than condos or new homes in Canada.

Moreover, in 2015, 5,000 condos sold off-plan were recorded in the Greater Montréal area. By 2019, this had risen to nearly 8,000 condo units sold off-plan.

Promoters generally obtain financing when 50% to 65% of units have been pre-sold.

Finally, it’s evident that there exists a real interest in off-plan in Québec and some other Canadian provinces. Experienced real estate promoters are offering condo and house plans that meet the growing needs of the population.

Moreover, their credibility is based on similar large-scale projects, and they also keep abreast of market trends.

People who decide to buy off-plan already know what they want and, more importantly, what they don’t want. Concerned to personalize their new condo or new home in Québec, they seek to define a living space that will correspond exactly to their needs.

In short, buying off-plan remains a promising avenue in a context where people’s needs, tastes and expectations differ. Buying new gives you the opportunity to define your living space.

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