Top 10 Questions Regarding Off-The-Plan Purchasing 

 September 13, 2021

Many of us have always dreamed of owning our own home and living the ‘great Australian dream’. However, currently, the housing market may seem a little out of reach for many people. What a lot of people don’t realise is that there are huge savings and incentives available to off-the-plan purchasers. Let’s take a look at 10 questions that might come to mind before buying off-the-plan, so you can be well equipped and understand the benefits of this type of purchasing.

1. Why should I buy off-the-plan and how can I take advantage of any government incentives?

Before we answer this, let’s get a basic understanding of what off-the-plan actually means.  Buying an off-the-plan property means you are purchasing a property before it is built. Some of the benefits include:

  • Save money: Thanks to some of the exclusive government incentives available in conjunction with the ability to save more money because after you pay the deposit, you won’t have to pay for anything else until your settelement date.
  • Location, location, location! This is one of the most important factors when purchasing property. Choosing a location that meets your needs and budget can be hard . At Cornus, we build in established, centralised, highly sought after suburbs, which offer our residents a host of amenities. 
  • Buying a brand new home: Off-the-plan purchasing means that you are buying a brand new home. Which means less maintenance, no need for renovations and you won’t have to worry about any leaky taps. 
  • Low maintenance: When purchasing a property that consists of multiple dwellings, there will be a body corporate or owners corporation fee attached. This fee is to ensure that any shared property maintenance is taken care of. At Cornus, we ensure that we provide our residents with low body corporate fees, by only including amenities that you will actually use and don’t cost a lot to maintain. 

2. What is stamp duty and how much will I need to pay?

When buying any home in Victoria, you’re required to pay a stamp duty fee, which is a land transfer tax charged by the government. 

When purchasing off-the-plan one of the main benefits is the stamp duty savings. Stamp duty will vary depending on what stage the construction is at.

As the construction continues, more value is being added to the land, therefore, stamp duty will increase. So it pays to get in early.


If you purchase an off-the-plan home for $650,000 prior to construction commencing. This property is going to be your primary place of residence. After signing the contract, you’re informed that the cost to build will be $480,000 for your new apartment. To calculate the dutiable value, you subtract the build cost from the purchase price ($650,000 – $480,000 = $170,000). The dutiable value of the apartment will be $170,000.

To get a more accurate idea of what your savings could be, we advise you to speak to one of our sales team members.

3. Who are Cornus Developments?

Cornus Developments is a family-run business. We know the importance of property and we have devoted ourselves to helping countless families achieve their dreams. We have a long history in off-the-plan apartment developments and are known as a trusted and reliable developer.  At Cornus, we are proud to deliver an untainted track record of successful, high-end developments in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the proof is in the pudding, just visit our completed projects and see for yourself

4. Can I make any changes/customisations to plans?

We do offer customisation to our plans, depending on the number of changes and stage of construction. We can also allow for the consolidation of apartments. Large changes and adjustments will need to be made early on so we can accommodate these changes with our builder. For a better understanding of what changes can be made, it is best to speak to one of our friendly sales team members. 

5. How much deposit do I have to pay?

For all of our projects, an initial 10% deposit is required, then residents don’t have to pay a thing until settlement.

6. How long will the project take to complete?

Depending on the size of the project generally, our projects take approximately 12 months to complete. This is excluding any unforeseen circumstances such as a global pandemic, however, our Malvern East II and Burwood La Frank projects which started construction last December, are both set for completion by the end of Q4 2021.

7. What sustainability measures are included in a Cornus Development project?

In every project, sustainability is at the forefront of our designs. Working closely with our architects and builders, our apartments feature as many environmentally friendly additions as possible. Our projects include double glazed windows, large enough to incorporate as much natural sunlight as possible, as well as helping to increase insulation and reduce the loss of heating or cooling. We also include thoroughly insulated walls which help to control the internal temperature, minimising residents’ needs to use electricity. Natural cross ventilation is also factored into the designs, so residents consume less energy.

Our landscape gardening also integrates drought-resistant landscapes which don’t require constant watering. Great if you’re not really a green thumb!

Our commitment to sustainability continues in the common areas. Solar panels have been installed and they support the energy use of all common areas, in conjunction with smart sensors. Both of these initiatives help to decrease the use of power throughout the building.  

8. How much are the body corporate fees and are there any amenities in the building?

Our sustainable building measures really assist in ensuring that all body corporate fees are kept to a minimum. All common areas are sustainably managed (i.e. solar panels for electricity and the installation of smart sensors), which help to reduce the overall energy costs. We also keep our body corporate fees low, as we don’t include unnecessary amenities. We believe our inner-city locations ensure that you are surrounded by all the amenities you could want and need, such as pools or gyms, so you can avoid paying inflated body corporate fees. The amount of fees you pay is dependent on how many square meters your apartment has. For example, our Carnegie project ranges from $290-$710 per quarter. 

9. Have you completed any projects recently?

Most recently we completed our Camberwell project in Q2 2021.

cornus camberwell exterior completed project
Camberwell Exterior
Camberwell Kitchen

We also completed our Surrey Hills project in Q4 2020.

Surrey Hills Exterior
Surrey Hills Bathroom

To view our range of completed projects click here.

10. What’s the process to secure an apartment?

To secure an apartment, we make the process simple. We require an upfront payment of $1,000 and then the remainder 10% deposit within 5 days of signing. No further payment is required until settlement.

There are a lot of questions that can arise when purchasing an off-the-plan apartment and we want to make sure you have all the information before making your decision. That’s why our team has compiled this list of frequently asked questions about buying an off-the-plan property. If there is anything else you need help with or any other areas which require clarification please let us know by filling out the form below and one of our experts will get back to you as soon as possible. Happy house hunting!

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