As soon as you suspect foul play, seek legal redress and once they discover they have been caught, most would rather settle the matter out of court.
— By Thorn Mulli
Pitfalls of off plan purchase
You are walking or driving along a busy road and there before you is a huge billboard with an artist’s impression of a nice house with the words ‘For Sale’.
You sigh because you have found what you have been looking for, run ahead and book the house only for it to be completed and you realise that it was neither worth the money nor the time you have sunk because it is a far cry from what the artist’s impression. Welcome to the world of off plan buying in real estate. Buying property off plan is not a casual affair as many might be tempted to believe.
Stephen Oundo, the chairperson of the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) says that when an architect designs a house, that is just but a design. The final product, he says, is the house.
He states that there are always differences, which may occur between the time of coming up with a plan and the real house.
Oundo states, “There are factors like ground conditions, emergence of better ideas that come up which might necessitate changes.”
Other factors that necessitate change are skyrocketing land prices, fluctuation in currency value and time lapses.
He points out that if the changes are positive and the developer makes the changes then the buyer can add on to the extra cost but only after an agreement with the developer. If no agreement is reached then the client cannot be forced to pay more.
Nevertheless, if the changes are negative like using substandard material than was indicated in the sale agreement, then the buyer can seek legal recourse or there can be a recalculation to ascertain what the buyer needs to pay less the original price.