Pros and Cons of Buying Off the Plan vs. Pre-Existing Properties

Mint Legal Brisbane
Apr 24, 2024By Mint Legal Brisbane

When it comes to purchasing a property, there are two main options to consider: buying off the plan or choosing a pre-existing property. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, and it's important to weigh them carefully before making a decision. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to help you navigate the real estate market.

Buying Off the Plan

Buying off the plan refers to purchasing a property that is yet to be built. This option can be appealing for several reasons.


  • Price advantage: Off the plan properties are often priced lower than pre-existing properties, especially during the early stages of development.
  • Stamp duty savings: In some jurisdictions, buyers may be eligible for stamp duty concessions or exemptions when purchasing off the plan.
  • Customization options: Buying off the plan allows buyers to have a say in the design and layout of their future home, including selecting finishes and fixtures.
buying off the plan

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.


  • Uncertainty: Since off the plan properties are not yet built, there is a level of uncertainty regarding the final product. Delays in construction or changes to the design may occur.
  • Market fluctuations: The value of the property may change between the time of purchase and completion, which could result in a financial loss.
  • Developer reputation: It's crucial to research the reputation and track record of the developer before committing to an off the plan purchase.

Pre-Existing Properties

On the other hand, buying a pre-existing property offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


  • Immediate availability: Unlike off the plan properties, pre-existing properties are ready for occupancy upon purchase, making them a suitable choice for those who need to move in quickly.
  • Known quality: With pre-existing properties, you can physically inspect the property and assess its condition before making a decision.
  • Established neighborhoods: Pre-existing properties are typically located in established neighborhoods with existing amenities and infrastructure.
pre-existing property

However, there are some potential downsides to consider.


  • Higher price: Pre-existing properties generally come with a higher price tag compared to off the plan properties.
  • Limited customization: While you can make changes to a pre-existing property, the scope for customization is often more limited compared to buying off the plan.
  • Potential maintenance issues: Older properties may require more maintenance and repairs compared to new builds.

Ultimately, the decision between buying off the plan or choosing a pre-existing property will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. It's important to consider factors such as budget, timeline, customization options, and your tolerance for uncertainty. Consulting with a real estate professional can also provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the decision-making process.