7.5 reasons why buying off the plan could be the smartest decision you ever make

7.5 reasons why buying off the plan could be the smartest decision you ever make
7.5 reasons why buying off the plan could be the smartest decision you ever make

With so many different options available for residential property investors, how do we decide on what is the best strategy when there are so many gurus out there promoting various investment strategies?

Whilst there is no cookie-cutter approach (and there shouldn’t be, for something so important), what I have found is that the only way to true long term wealth in property is to have a long term focus. This sounds simple, and it is but time and time again I see investors pack up and go home and give up on their dreams because ‘it didn’t work’. Sadly, had these investors had more of a long term focus, a plan, and a team around them to help them succeed, then perhaps their results would have been different. There are two components to this that cause people to give up. Firstly, they chose the wrong property, most likely in the wrong area for the wrong price, at the wrong time. Secondly, they probably sold that property because they followed the advice of well-intended family and friends, the media, or more commonly, they simply got impatient and sold up. Whatever the reason, to have long term success in property we need to take some of the focus off the ‘property’ and put some emphasis on the ‘strategy’ which is what is lacking for most investors.  

So if we are looking for an investment option that can take away some of the stresses and financial pains that a lot of investors face, causing them to sell and give up, then perhaps buying off the plan could be the smartest decision you ever make. Now, of course, this is just general information and may not suit everyone, however here’s a snapshot of 7.5 reasons why buying off the plan could be a good strategy for you:



When building a property portfolio one of the biggest headaches and frustrations for property investors, is maintaining the asset and making sure you can manage cashflows. Often I find that investors get disheartened and frustrated with their property investing because of the ongoing costs, and it slows them down. Looking over their portfolios it's often clear that the types of property they have chosen to invest in are inappropriate for their situation. You see, an older property may need significant repairs and maintenance to keep it up to standard. Often we find that big-ticket items need to be replaced, such as hot water systems, kitchens, bathrooms, or even bigger issues like a roof replacement or rewiring that can come out of the blue. It’s surprising how many people are out there buying investment properties but not considering these huge costs that need to be factored into their overall cashflow position.



With a nice new property available for rent, you will often find that tenants are looking for all of the amenity that new properties provide. With more and more people renting these days, it’s no surprise that tenants are looking for all of the modern conveniences that owner-occupiers enjoy. When I was growing up, we always knew which were the ‘rentals’ in an area – they were always tired and run-down properties. But now, due to house prices being out of reach for many, our society is in the middle of a shift over the next few decades of learning to become ‘renters for life’. If you are looking to rent, no doubt you will pay a slight premium to live in a property with a dishwasher, new carpet, working air-conditioning and heating and secure parking. Tenants are more likely to stay for longer leases if they are happy with the amenity of both the property and the suburb it is located. This balances out your cash flow and will help you to keep the portfolio going, without having to keep big buffers aside for repairs, that could be put to work elsewhere. 



As an investor, you have the luxury of claiming depreciation benefits on your property which can give you a boost in your tax return. Second hand (established) properties do not provide such substantial tax benefits which can mean that investing in new properties can help you build your portfolio faster. I always teach people that its less about the property and more about the strategy. Of course the property is important, but you need to know how the property fits into your strategy. If you have your strategy wrong, it doesn’t matter what property you buy because you won’t know how it fits into the overall plan. Using the depreciation and tax benefits to your advantage can be a great strategy for your long-term investing and can put you ahead of the rest. The government wants to give you thousands of dollars for buying off the plan new properties, why not take it?



Depending on the location, your new property could be in an area suitable for short term accommodation. Many investors are using this approach to buy apartments in key lifestyle areas that are suitable for short stay accommodation using companies like Quickstay, AirBnB or other accommodation providers. Guests often like the amenities that a new property provides, just like a hotel room, which can assist with increasing yields. Imagine being able to stay in a well presented property that presents like a hotel, but for a significantly cheaper price. Providing you buy into an area that has good demand, this can increase your return and still provide you with a low maintenance investment that is managed by a professional company. Whilst select older properties are often suitable for this strategy, new apartments, houses and townhouses set up well, are often desirable giving that personal touch that hotels will never be able to provide.



Often when buying off the plan, the development you are buying into is on land that is being redeveloped. This means that the land may have previously been used for small commercial, residential or even farm land and now due to population growth is being repurposed for higher use. Often people will be priced out of an established area that is predominately houses, and when a new development is launched, this can provide you with an opportunity to buy in to a suburb that you may not have been able to afford previously. When there is higher density, that often brings down the entry price point in an area, so for significantly less outlay than a house you may be able to secure an apartment or townhouse in a great suburb that is more affordable.



When redevelopment is happening in an area, this may be due to regentrification or rezoning of land. This can mean there is opportunity for growth which can assist with boosting your portfolio value. off plan properties in areas that are being redeveloped can give you access to new infrastructure such as schools and shops, and new train and other public transport options. Infill redevelopment can be a smart move as people will want to live close to existing infrastructure, whereas rezoned industrial or farming land can create entire new communities. When considering your options, you may be able to buy an older property in an inferior location, or perhaps a smaller but brand new property in a superior location with access to established infrastructure.



buying off the plan could assist with building your property portfolio faster because you can take advantage of the ‘leapfrog strategy’. Essentially, this means you save your deposit for the first property and buy off the plan. Whilst that property is under construction you are saving your deposit for the next. When the first one settles, and you start collecting rent, collect your tax benefits, then you can put the deposit down on property number two. You continue to save, and over time you will have equity in property number one. This can provide enough deposit for you to purchase number three. This is an extremely simplified version of course, however we have used this approach successfully many times and by selecting the right property if can be quite successful. This approach works with your savings ability and your tax benefits, as well as the capital growth over time rather than simply waiting for growth on its own.  



And lastly, all of this is simply easier because only around 7.5% of Australians invest in property, and the majority of those sell within the first 5 years. We have found that this is due to a lack of a plan, and often property just ‘didn’t work’ because buying the wrong properties can put a bad taste in your mouth. So, when planning your investment strategy, consider that buying off the plan, in the right area, with the right development, could set you on a course to continue building your portfolio when many other investors simply give up… The data shows that most people fail with their investing. buying off the plan could be the smartest thing you ever do…

Luke Harris

Luke Harris

Luke has coached and mentored thousands of investors to build successful property portfolios and heads up a passionate team of successful investors at The Property Mentors. Luke’s success formula with property investing focusses on mapping out a long term plan and building an expert team of people around the investor to help them achieve their goals.

off-the-plan Investment


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