Off-plan purchases: Beware "artist impressions"
RARELY HAVE I SEEN SUCH AN AMAZING EXAMPLE OF OVER-EXAGGERATION TO SELL A BRAND NEW APARTMENT COMPLEX AS THESE PHOTOS OF THE VICTORIA RESIDENCES IN AUCKLAND.
As I explained to the Stuff journalists
"The new Victoria Residences building, now going up on the corner of Federal and Victoria Streets in Auckland, will be a 25-level tower, but a render of the project shows it soaring about squat buildings that, in reality, include the 17-storey Telco tower."
Below is a picture I drew up - the reality of the neighbouring buildings compared to the artist's impression.
The dangers from this are obvious. If you purchase off plan - I suggest you go yourself and actually check out at the site. As I explained to Stuff;
"When walking up Victoria Street, I saw a picture of a project being sold off the plans and I was like, "Hang on, this is just wrong! The images of the buildings in front are made to look much smaller than they really are.
"Imagine buying an apartment off images of a view and then finding out that there was a building right in front the whole time!"
How to avoid getting deceived by artists impressions:
Below is my advice for those who are considering buying apartments in Auckland off the plans.
- Go to see the location yourself.
- Go to Google Maps street view - look at each side of the street. Check out adjacent streets and see where the tall buildings are.
- For highrise buildings, check out the shadows on Google Maps in 3D mode to see how tall adjacent buildings might be.
Also see my points below about swimming pools and furniture. Make sure you don't get caught out - be the informed buyer.
"I also have a problem with the way some developments show perspectives of amenities, such as swimming pools. I know of one development's lap pool that really can be used by only one person at a time, which is scarcely adequate for a building that will house 1000 people. Yet, the perspectives make it look much larger and show lots of people enjoying the facility.
"The same applies to perspectives showing furniture in a room that can make it look much larger than it is. My advice is to NEVER rely on digital imagery.
Make sure you visit the site; or at least get on Google Maps and see what's around it. For interiors, get the actual dimensions. Measure that out in your own living room."