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Things to think about if you're buying a preconstruction condo

A spacious open floor plan. Large glass windows that look toward the stunning blue waters of Florida's Gulf Coast. Luxurious high-end finishes throughout. It's a dream property. The only downside is, it is not actually built yet.

Purchasing a preconstruction condominium is a popular option for buyers looking at Florida property. While there are advantages to getting in early, there are also some potential risks you might want to think about. Here are some of the ways things may not go exactly as you had expected.

The timeline changed

You put down a hefty deposit and go forward with plans to head down there next winter. And then you get an update - construction delays. It won't be done in time. Then a few months later, the developer pushes back the completion date once again.

This can happen, throwing off even the best laid plans. It's possible the developers put language in the contract allowing for such changes. That might put you in a difficult position, one you may want to be aware of before putting pen to paper.

The space doesn't look like what you agreed to

Contracts generally provide details of the final product - floor plan, appliance finishes, square footage, things like that. So what if you take a look for the first time and what your eyes see isn't what you remember from the contract? It might be completely valid, as contracts can contain language that allows for tweaks in construction if certain things come up.

However, there are laws about fully disclosing specific details of the property and notifying buyers of some amendments. If the developer did not make the buyer aware of everything, hid specific information, or simply didn't tell the truth, that might amount to breach of contract.

The development doesn't fill up

Construction and sales don't always go as a developer planned. It's possible the developer runs into unforeseen issues and has to cancel the project. Or maybe they complete construction, but the property is half empty and your condominium's value winds up significantly impacted.

Whether or not it is possible for you as a buyer to pull out and get your deposit back depends on when this comes to light, as well as the language of the contract.

Clarifying the contract

As you can see, the contract is the key to much of this. It may contain clauses or notices in case of some of these issues. If you're the condo buyer, your rights to address things you're unhappy with may depend on the fine print.

That's why it's a good idea to have an attorney review the contract and provide counsel regarding the purchase. A lawyer can help ensure the language is fair and that you understand exactly what you're getting into.

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