All Topics / General Property / Any advice on buying a Townhouse that is ‘Close to being finished’?

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  • Profile photo of akirkakirk
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 42


    Some friends have asked my advice on what they need to know and check on a property they are looking at to buy and live in which is due for completion at the end of November.

    I've never bought anything "new", so I'm turning to the forum for some help.  The property is a 2 storey townhouse in Western Sydney being built by Universal Property Group (Bathla investments).

    So far, I've only suggested that they get themselves a solicitor to look over the contract.  There seems to be multiple real estates listing these properties (a total of 5 are being built) – and they all say something different when you ask about strata setup/fees etc!

    I did google the developer, and came up with nothing helpful – has anyone dealt with them before?

    Any suggestions or feedback will be greatly appreciated.


    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,856

    Suggest that you check with the Dept of Fair Trading whether the builder has had any judgements against them.

    Ensure that the contract for sale included a copy of the Home Warranty Insurance, confirm the defects period (usually 13-26 weeks), have a building inspection undertaken (yes it is new but a building inspector can tell the difference between sh!t and clay), also you will need a copy of the occupancy certificate.

    As for BC fees – the developer is responsible for undertaking & registering the strata plan and to appoint the initial strata managers (but your solicitor can advise here). The Strata Managers will establish the Admin & Sinking Funds, there are limits on the representation & powers of the developer over the appointment of strata managers whilst there are few independent owners.

    Profile photo of johnchristine375johnchristine375
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 3

     This is good that we can hire an home inspector from online!! but i don't know much about site so can you please tell me how come i can hire easily and reliable home inspector!!

    Profile photo of YossarianYossarian
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 136

    Probably too late but i would strongly recommend avoiding Bathla Investments, Universal Property Group or any of their associate entities.

    Profile photo of tingtongtingtong
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 2

    Hi akirk, did you finally bought that property .
    I am talking to universal group/bathala rearding one off the plan house.
    how was your experience. how negotiable are they?
    what was your after purchase experience? what @ defect and strcutural warranty?
    If possible let me know all details

    Profile photo of akirkakirk
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 42

    Hi tingtong,

    I helped finance friends to purchase that town house so it's not mine!  I can tell you though that the quality is poor and the workmanship is questionable (I'm only speaking of the one that I'm involved in).  The owners have had to battle tooth and nail for about 6 months to have them address an obvious and serious water logging issue in the courtyard.

    Looks like you're talking about a house – and my experience is with a townhouse (block of 12 from memory).  They have a standard warranty – where you have 3 months to report defects, and they are then obliged to repair/replace within a 'reasonable time frame'.  There were many things reported (cracked tiles, leaking toilet, crumbling concrete).  (I told the owners to go through every inch of the property with a digital datestamp camera and take pictures of every single problem, and report them straight away.)  Most of these have been addressed – but they had the usual problems of tradespeople not showing up, wrong paint colour and a general dragging of the feet.

    They certainly weren't negotiable on the price, and did play what I think are dirty tricks – but my friends went through with something that I would have walked away from early on.

    BUT, the one BIG MISTAKE that my friends made was that they didn't get a pre-purchase inspection (building inspection).  I did all the hard work for them and lined someone up – but they didn't go through with it.  Lesson learnt!!

    Good news is that they love their place – and all the hard work is mostly forgotten now!!

    Profile photo of ccinvestorccinvestor
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 3

    From the ASIC website today – the chickens have come home to roost:

    11-81MR Property developer enters into enforceable undertaking providing compensation for vendor finance borrowers

    Thursday 14 April 2011

    ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from a Toongabbie (NSW) based property developer, Mr Bhart Bhushan, and his company Universal Property Group Pty Ltd (UPG), following an investigation into alleged unconscionable conduct in connection with their lending practices.

    As part of the EU, UPG and Mr Bhushan have agreed to a scheme whereby vendor finance borrowers – who were clients of UPG or Mr Bhushan – will be entitled to seek compensation if they believe they were victims of unconscionable conduct.

    The compensation scheme will involve UPG and Mr Bhushan writing to clients and providing them with an opportunity to provide information in support of a compensation claim. UPG is also required to appoint an independent person – to be approved by ASIC – to consider any compensation claims that UPG has rejected.

    UPG has operated a residential property development business from 1997, mostly in western Sydney. Mr Bhushan is the sole director and secretary of UPG.

    From 2004 until mid-October 2009, UPG offered vendor finance to people who purchased property from UPG and associated entities. Mr Bhushan met with prospective purchasers and made oral inquiries about the person’s income, assets, and liabilities. Mr Bhushan accepted the information he was given as true and accurate but neither he nor UPG took steps to independently verify the information provided by prospective purchasers about their financial situation.

    Many of the purchasers were immigrants – from Sudan or the Philippines – who came from non-English speaking backgrounds.

    UPG stopped offering vendor finance in October 2009.

    ASIC’s investigation identified concerns relating to the conduct of UPG and Mr Bhushan, including:
    whether UPG made adequate inquiries as to the borrower’s or any of the guarantor’s financial situation;
    UPG’s reliance on the borrowers’ assertions as to their financial situation and its failure to test or verify independently the borrowers’ assertions as to their income, expenses, assets and liabilities;
    whether the borrowers understood to a sufficient degree the terms and conditions of the vendor finance loan in circumstances where UPG knew or ought to have known that some borrowers had a poor understanding of spoken and written English and/or little financial acuity;
    UPG’s offer of vendor finance to some borrowers who were recipients of Centrelink benefits;
    UPG’s offer of vendor finance on promotional terms, including the offer of capped repayments, contributions to the borrower’s first mortgage loan, and lump sum cash rebates.

    Further details relating to the compensation scheme are contained in the EU, which is available from ASIC’s website. ASIC accepted the EU as an alternative to commencing court proceedings.

    ASIC acknowledges the assistance provided by the Mt Druitt & Area Community Legal Centre Inc in this matter.

    Profile photo of Dizzy1Dizzy1Dizzy1Dizzy1
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 4

    In addition to Universal Property Group/Bathla Investments/Bathla Constructions/Bathla Property Group

    Bhart Bhushan is currently or has been an office holder director of the following:

    Big Bart Electrical & Furniture at 31 Station Street, Wentworthville NSW 2145 BN98408402
    Western Sydney Property Group 1/129 Magowar Rd GIRRAWEEN NSW 2145 BN98250948
    Landmark Australia Property Pty Ltd, 17 Beresford Road, Greystanes 2145 ABN 84 097 049 931
    Bombay Investments Pty Ltd, 17 Beresford Road, Greystanes 2145 ABN 89 129 943 675

    Profile photo of desiluckydesilucky
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 34

    Do not get involved with this people,,, <moderator: delete personal comment>, they say something and do something,,, Big time issues with quality, once you give ur money,, just keep crying and they won't do anything abt it,, so simply stay away,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Profile photo of InsightfulInsightful
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 4

    Hi Guys,

    This post is a bit of warning to all of those peeps who are looking at signing Call & Put option.  DO NOT SIGN anything before you speak with your solicitor. Here is my classic example. I wanted to take benefit of post 1st October FHOG scheme that the government has on offer. The person I was dealing with suggested me that i should enter a 'Call and Put" option. what this document does is(as described to me) it fixes the price of the property and allows you to settle the property at a future date thus enabling us to obtain the FHOG. THIS IS A CON. They will pressurize you with all their tantrums to sign the document without consulting your solicitor. I later found out that in the document he was asking me to sign, my fees for the call option was in tens of thousands where as their put option fee was merely $1. If something happens between the period of you signing that document and that future date and you cannot buy the property any more,your tens of thousands of the deposit will be forfeited by the vendor. Further,the vendor will exercise his put option after the expiry date of our call option in which YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY THE PROPERTY.YOU WILL HAVE  NO CHOICE what so ever. Legally/technically, they can sue us on the basis of our signed agreement.

    Although,the document in itself is a legal document covering every angle for the vendor/builder. It seems to be legitimate but the clauses are outrageous and if exercised, it will burn you.

    Besides, I can't comment on the workmanship of the house since i did not buy one. If you have money with you, go through the bank (normal process). Do not hand out money to them directly. Let your  solicitor and bank deal with the intricacies of the legal process.

    Moral of the story: Do not put your hard earned money into risk. Do not sign without consulting your solicitor and where possible stay away from entering into 'Call & Put' Option.

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