My 4-point checklist for off-the-plan success

I recently purchased five properties off-the-plan in a development in Clayton, sticking to my checklist for investment purchases. I’ve relied on this checklist over the last four years, which has been a great help in developing my portfolio.


I’ve found that while every area and property is different, there are certain things to look out for across the board. Here are some key things to check when purchasing property:

1. Uniqueness

Look at the nearby area of any proposed investment property and do some research on how unique the property is for the area. This will inform whether there is a desire within the local community for a rental property such as this, and therefore, whether it will be easy to find tenants.

The growth of the south-east corridor of Melbourne where the development I purchased into is huge, and there are around 80,000 people employed nearby in the medicine and education precinct of Monash.

2. Infrastructure

Always look at infrastructure or impending infrastructure of the development if you’re buying off-the-plan.


In my case, this development I purchased has its own infrastructure, so the proximity of a resident to places like supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas and so on is not an issue – residents can park their car and get groceries on the way to their apartment.

Then there’s external infrastructure to consider, and with the CBD only 20 minutes away and access to the M1 so close, this box is ticked too.

3. Ask the question: Would I live here?

The five apartments that I bought are all of good quality, so the short answer is yes, I would live there.

But I also wanted to consider the demographic of the people who would be looking to live in the development – it’s such a vast project that I wanted to get a range of different apartments to suit different lifestyles and budgets. All five of the investment apartments I bought are on different floors for this reason. In saying that, there is one thing they all have in common; they are all east-facing. I made that decision because the east facing apartments will be very quiet and have an
uninterrupted view.

4. Think ahead: What will the area be like in five to 10 years?

Property investment normally requires a long-term strategy, so I look at the last five to 10 years of population growth and property price fluctuations. Of course, no one has a crystal ball for property investment, but you can look at other factors in the area and make an educated guess.

The development I purchased into is a great example as Clayton is in a huge growth phase. The local community has shown support for the development because it will not only bring much needed amenity to the area, but also a huge amount of jobs.

Workers within the development will also provide a pool of possible tenants, which is very desirable as an investor.

And finally, if we zoom out from the immediate area of the development, and look at the growth of the entire south-east corridor, we can see it’s on the way up. This is another sure sign that this will not only still be an attractive investment, but I’m expecting the whole area will be thriving in 10 years’ time.

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