So, you’ve decided to buy a home. The big question is, should you buy established or off-the-plan? As both options have their pros and cons, deciding which is right for you can be a challenge. To help you decide whether to buy a townhouse off the plan, we’ve created this guide.

Buying established

For many home buyers, purchasing an established home is the preferred choice. Some of the most enticing benefits include:


One of the biggest advantages of buying established is that you can move in sooner. This means you can rent for a shorter time before moving in or not at all if the timing works with the sale of your previous house.


Unlike some brand new developments, established homes are typically located in more established neighbourhoods such as the inner suburbs of Melbourne, which can offer many pros. Along with better public transport and amenities, established areas can often be more visually attractive with features such as tree-lined streets. Additionally, if you want to live close to the city, buying established may be your only option.


Buying established offers lots of choices. So, whether you want something modern with all the mod-cons or old with plenty of charm, you’ll be able to find it.

Realistic expectations

When buying established, what you see is what you get. So, come time to move in, you won’t have any failed expectations about your new home.

Of course, there are also downsides that can come with this choice, such as:

No design input

For most of us, finding a house to buy that’s exactly what we want is near impossible. So, we either settle for something not quite right, pay to renovate after purchase or choose to build instead.


It’s no secret that older houses often require more maintenance than new builds. So, be prepared to spend time and money on yours.

Buying Off the Plan

Established vs off the plan townhouse - View Bank Homes

Buying a house or boutique townhouse off the plan offers a variety of advantages for home buyers, including:

Less money up front

Buying off the plan allows you to pay less money up front. In general, a 10% deposit will be required with the outstanding balance of the payment due at settlement. This gives you more time to save, organise your finances, and sell your current home if needed.

Locked in price

When buying off the plan, you’re essentially locking in the price of your new home. So, you’ll be paying the current market cost even though it’ll be completed in the future. In other words, you could be moving into a house worth more than what you paid.


Buying off the plan can offer a variety of choices, such as the colour scheme and fixtures. This means you can get the house you want without having to make any changes after completion. Of course, exactly how much say you have over the design of your home will depend on your developer/builder.

Stamp Duty Concessions

By buying off-the-plan, you may be eligible for stamp duty concessions, which can save you a significant amount of money.

Builders Guarantee

In Australia, newly built properties come with a seven-year builders guarantee. So, the builder is responsible for repairing any structural or interior building faults.

Cons of buying off the plan include:

Developer issues

Developer issues can be a real concern when buying off the plan. As you’re contracted to buy a house that isn’t built yet, you can be left in hot water if things don’t go to plan. For instance, if the developer goes under before your house is complete, you could be left without a house and out-of-pocket. Other potential issues include disagreements with your developer, poor craftsmanship, and unexpected delays.

Choosing the right developer can make all the difference. At View Bank Homes, we pride ourselves on being a family-owned developer you can trust. Our properties have been making north Melbourne home buyers happy for over 25 years.

Looking to buy a townhouse off the plan? View our latest development, OneFive, at 15 Steane Street, Reservoir and discover three architecturally-designed homes ideal for families,