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Buying off plan-yes or no

During the years of our work and practice, we often confront with an issue that concerns many buyers:

  • Shall I buy an apartment off plan or in a process of building?
  • Shall I take that risk and invest in off plan property?
  • Will the building be built on time?
  • What are the guarantees, that the construction works will be completed?

What is the real situation of this segment of the market in Bulgaria?

The intention of every potential buyer is to find the perfect dreamed property – with a convenient floor plan, excellent location, good infrastructure, good views from the windows and of course, at a bargain price. Very often, however, buildings with Act 16 offer a limited choice -   all appropriate apartments are already sold, even before the construction work, have been started, and  the price of the unsold properties has been  increased, after receiving Act 15.  

Our experience shows that almost 80 % of the apartments, especially in the Bulgarian cities, are being sold before the completion of the construction works. Usually when the construction work starts appear some provident buyers and investors, who buy several apartments for resale or as an investment. They know that, when buying at the earliest stage of the construction work, will provide them the best choice-proper floor plan, location, and of course the best possible price.

The risk of buying in the stage of construction, is undoubtedly a fact, but let’s looks at all the advantages and disadvantages of this type of investment.

Advantages- what does the customer, who has the courage to buy a property under construction in Bulgaria, receives:

1. Low price for the area and, at the same time, deferred payment. There is not a better thing than to get discount and deferral in payments at the same time. Usually all the negotiations, prior the signing of the preliminary contract for each property, are very much bound to these two conditions - price and payment plan.

2.You buy the best - and this can be  easily explained. Construction is in its starting stage, most of the apartments are available, and the choice is big - the customer can choose an apartment that fully matches his taste and requirements. This way the best apartments are sold, before the completion of the building. While those, who will buy only when the building receives Act 15 and the property is already finished and will pay for their apartments its full and higher market price, their neighbor, who have bought off plan, will wait a few more months until act 16 is obtained and only then will pay his last installment of the low final price.  

3. When you buy a property under construction, you see what you buy - you follow the whole building process, you can monitor, whether the construction work is executed in time, what type of  materials are used, and how the additional works, like plumbing and electrical and water installations are done.   In Bulgaria most of the new buildings are equipped with cameras, so that the buyers can online follow process of construction.

4. Another serious advantage is the possibility of reconstructing the apartment - a few people may know that absolutely legally , you can change the layout  of the apartment, if you buy it before Act 14. You can join or separate rooms, remove or add internal walls.

 There are basically three disadvantages ,when buying a property under construction :

1. Inability to see how  the property looks like - it is difficult for many buyers to read the architectural plans and their imagination cannot form  the full picture of the built apartment. Our consultants, always , assist  in such purchases, showing another identical and already finished property, built by the same  builder, in order to facilitate the buyer.

2. The period of waiting for the completion of the construction - to finish a building, takes more than nine months - time in which the new owner makes payments, but cannot actually use his property. But on the other hand, it takes the same time to look for the best finished apartment and you can never find it.  

3. And, of course, the biggest disadvantage - the risk, that the building will not be completed. The risk can be minimized, if you work with the correct agency. A good consultant that holds on to his reputation and future work will never offer a risky property or incorrect builder. The good agent knows all the building companies and will offer you those builders, who have a good reputation, clean history,  and  a few realized projects. You will be able to look at the existing buildings of the respective builder and the quality of his construction work.

Finally, we want to note, that there is not a good deal, without any risk. In the case of purchase of property under construction the risk is worth in terms of the best price and deferred payment.

In all cases, however, we recommend, that such a deal have to be made only after consultation with a professional agent, because even the best solicitor is not obliged, to know the construction work, the builders and the situation on the property market.

Please find our most interesting offers of apartments, in a process of building here.