Buying off the plans? Take a second look at the photos

When buying off the plans don’t solely rely on the digital imagery portrayed as the end result of the construction. Use Google images or visit the site if possible to assist your decision.


Is this a good idea or not? The main point to take into account is digital imagery and what you are being eluded to the building looking like and the surroundings upon completion.

Google images often provide much more realistic photos and should be looked and at compared to the developer’s photos. If you are able to. we suggest you go and have a look at the site for yourself.

Often developers promote the facilities in the complex like pools and gyms. What needs to be considered is the size and amount of equipment available vs the number of apartments and people living in the building.

Measuring out the floor plans out for yourself in an open space is a good idea to gain an idea of what your space may feel like.

Don’t be discouraged though, there are many fantastic apartments being built to a high standard.

Apartment Specialists can assist you buying a quality new build off plans.


Good day, Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists and I'll be talking about digital imagery and buying off the plans. Basically, raising alarm bells.  I want you as a purchaser to be able to look at these developments and go, "Is this a quality one, Is it not?" You should see past the digital imagery. I wouldn't normally comment on this because I'm not involved in these projects. Yes, I do sell off the plans, but I chose the ones that I'm going to because I believe in them. In these cases, I don't but that's irrelevant, and I'll let you make up your mind on what's happening here.

I was walking up Victoria Street and I saw this project. I saw the photos of what is being displayed as what's being sold and then I actually looked at the site of works being built. If you look at here - you've got the building here and you've got the building with a little Telco building in front. And it's got around about 11 floors and it's made to look very, very small.

When you actually go to the site and look how big that building is.  It's actually 17 floors and a lot higher than it appears in the imagery. I'd imagine there's going to be a lot of purchasers here, especially around this area thinking they're getting a good deal. They'll just be looking straight into another building and that's why you've got to be really careful. It concerns me because this is my industry, but also I'm sort of predicting a lot of unhappy owners here in the future.

See this is where the site is and this is where the building is. It doesn't matter if you can't actually visit that site if you're working overseas. As you can see, I've just searched this on Google Images. Oh sorry, Google maps and had a a look at it just to show you as an example. Then I looked further and thought about it and I've seen this quite a lot. Okay, take this pool for example that they're selling. This is in another complex that has over 250 apartments they're selling with it and its nearly sold.

I think 99% and this is the pool they're selling. If you're lucky you could get two people swimming along that pool at one time. Yes, it's got some people in it and it's made to look very, very light. Yet this would not service in my opinion, an apartment complex with over 250 apartments. It's probably going to have about 700-800 people living in it. It's just not quality.

To give you another example, the same developer did this same type of selling last time in showing a great pool and in the top corner. You can see what they ended up with a small pool that really nobody even uses. It doesn't even add value to the building. It just costs you money and in my opinion, is not a high-quality complex. Here's the actual pool. It's a far cry from this sort of paradise they're selling at the moment. The same goes for gyms and I mean this gym here. They've put mirrors here so it doesn't actually go through in the digital imagery. You've got two bike machines, a running machine and some weights and that's hardly going to service a complex that has over 200 apartments in it.

And that should ring alarm bells. I really want you to look into this imagery because there are some great projects out there and there's some great apartments popping up. There's ones that I feel are just a sales pitch. Also, when you're looking at sizing and this room here, it's got what you think you need. Your TV, your couches, your tables, all that kind of thing.

Yet, how much room is this? Have you actually walked past here? This is all not real, so how do you know? What I'd do is that I'd ask you to get the measurements and then measure that out in your own. I suppose living room and just see okay, what would this fit? That will give you a very good idea and it's a good way to see past this digital imagery. Get that actual measurements from the developer or from the person selling it to you so you can figure it out.

They're saying it's this particular size, but is this actually common? For example, this is a pool which is in a high quality residence in Auckland which it services hundreds of people, and this is what I'd call a pool that should be in an apartment complex of that size. Just to go back again, just be aware of the imagery being used to sell off the plan apartments. There are some really good projects out there, but there are some that are in my opinion, very misleading and are going to lead to some unhappy purchases in the future.

I know that picture and I hope this has helped. Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.

If you have any questions about buying apartments off the plans, flick me an email at [email protected] or call +6421 424 892 and I’ll be happy to help you with your queries.


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Buying off the plans? Take a second look at the photos