We have all heard the adage that property is all about location, location, location and never does this ring more true than when it comes to a good view. Be it bayside, distant hills or an impressive cityscape, real estate that offers a picture perfect position generally commands a higher price tag than a house overlooking neighbouring rooftops or a bland looking street.
But just how much does a good view really cost?
For one developer, the price of a Sunshine Coast outlook proved very pricey indeed.
Earlier this year developer Mark Bain Constructions Pty Ltd, was ordered to pay more than $500,000 in compensation to two penthouse owners of a Sunshine Coast unit block who purchased their properties off-the-plan.
Barnscape Pty Ltd and Carol Avis were awarded $216,483 and $283,917 respectively in a Supreme Court judgment after entering into contracts for their luxury units at Sunshine Beach with the promise that they would enjoy uninterrupted ocean views, only to find that a new building obstructed their ocean outlook after the contracts had already settled.
The purchasers bought the off the plan units in 2003 through real estate agents working on behalf of the developer, whom they also brought action against under the Trade Practices Act. But the agents, who advertised the penthouse properties as featuring uninterrupted ocean views, settled with the unhappy buyers prior to the case going to trial.
Supreme Court Justice Ros Atkinson found Mark Bain Constructions was liable for the off-the-plan representations featuring the uninterrupted ocean views made by the real estate companies.
This is a first for off-the-plan purchases and represents a valuable lesson for anyone considering buying an off the plan property, either directly through the developer or via an agent working on their behalf.
It highlights the fact that you don’t really know what you’re getting until the property is constructed and therefore, can’t tell if the apartment is being misrepresented in some way.
I have always had issues with off the plan investment – there are too many unknowns: what will the market be like, what will interest rates be at the time, how well will the building be finished, etc, etc. You should get a discount for this level of uncertainty – not pay a premium.
There are some solid investments currently in the established property market – you can’t go past an investment you can see, touch and walk through!
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