If you have ever bought property then you probabIf you have ever bought property then you probably have attended an Open House. You know the kind, the Agent opens the house for several hours and potential buyers wander through checking out what is on offer, imagine what you might do to the place if you were to buy it, take advantage of the snacks and drinks if they are available and ask a few questions before deciding if it’s the one for you. This is a great marketing tool for the seller and a really good opportunity for buyers to get a real feel for a place but what do you do if you want to buy from a developer at the early or pre -construction stage?

If you spend any time in downtown Puerto Vallarta, and more recently Versalles, you will have noticed that there is quite a lot of ongoing development with new apartment buildings going up in several places. This is great news if you are thinking about buying a brand new property but how do you decide if the building is right for you if it isn’t even built yet? It can be quite difficult choosing your future home from a brochure when it is just a shell of a building. You need to have vision and faith in the developer’s promotional materials. It isn’t always easy to have that vision and sometimes the promotional materials can leave you feeling underwhelmed. Well, things are changing in the way that these buildings are being sold and Open Houses are becoming far more imaginative as developers and Agents have come to understand how difficult it is for buyers to envision themselves in the apartment and thus feel confident in what they are buying.

You may have been wandering the streets downtown in the early evening and noticed that a road is closed off and spied a group of people being allowed through the barriers towards what appears to be a street party and wondered what is going on. Well it is highly likely that you are witnessing the launch of a development via a very imaginative open house. If that is the case it is always worthwhile wandering up and asking if you can be allowed to come in and take a look. Otherwise, if you are in the market for a new apartment make sure to ask your agent to take you along to any that are planned. It is a large part of my job to attend open houses and I can assure you that, given my recent experiences, you will have great fun and get all of the information you need to help you come to a decision on your purchase.

What can you expect at one of these events? That depends on the stage that the development is at. I have recently attended several events where the listing agent has really brought to life some developments at the pre-construction stage. Some have street parties to launch the development even when only the foundations have been laid. I was lucky enough to attend one of these events before Christmas. The cobbled street had been cordoned off, lights were strung through the poles. As the sun set, the chatter of people grew louder as they drank cocktails and discussed the plans and brochures full of questions of what to expect. All of this was backed by a cheerful soundtrack of music floating on the air and delicious tacos were being offered to the guests.

Other Developers stage the first completed unit and hold a more traditional style of open house evening for people to come in and take a look. I have been to many of these and they give a true perspective of how it will be to live in one of the units within the building and it wouldn’t hurt to come back to see it at a different hour as well.

One really inventive way of giving a true perspective of the size and flow of an apartment was presented at an Open House that I attended in Down Town not too long ago. When I arrived I was ushered to the top of the building where I was greeted with 360 degree views from the Ocean to the Mountains. Breathtaking in themselves but just to be there as the sun was setting and a party atmosphere, was simply a bonus. It quickly became apparent that this was no ordinary Open House as I headed to the bar where I was surprised to find that the construction workers were, in fact, waiters and bar tenders. This was pure theatre!  Watching them mix cocktails with drills, wearing hard hats and high vis vests was really good fun and certainly a conversation starter for many people present.  The surprises didn’t stop there however. As I continued to weave my way around I suddenly realised that I was, in fact, wandering around a life sized floor plan laid onto the floor, including all of the furniture and plants on the would be balcony with an ocean view.  I found this to be hugely effective as way for potential buyers to really understand the size and space of the apartment should they wish to go ahead and reserve one of the units at the pre-construction stage. Just being on the third level of the building gave me the opportunity to figure out what views would be available to various units and levels of the building.

Buyers often have lots of questions for me as an Agent. They may want to know which view they would have and would they get morning or evening sunshine among many other more practical questions. Being able to attend an open house such as this one gives me the opportunity to really understand what is on offer. Being able to take my clients along to an Open House and speak to them in a relaxed atmosphere allows me to build up a deeper understanding of their likes and dislikes, what is important to them and what compromises they are willing to make. All this gives me a better chance of finding just the right home for them.

If you would like more information about what’s new in the market then feel free to contact me at alfredoh@tropicasa.com or call my number 3221426296.

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