Amongst the expensive housing market over the last few years and the ever-growing population in major cities, it makes sense that there’s been a steady appetite for apartment living. Great for first time buyers and investors alike, apartments are a sound investment to satisfy a diverse range of needs.
If apartment living is what you’re after, here are some things to consider before you buy.
Unlike houses, there are additional costs involved when you’re investing in an apartment. The body corporate charges fees each year and these fees go towards the upkeep of common areas of the property. Body corporate costs vary significantly depending on the type of property you’re looking at and are often influenced by the amenities included on the property, the age of building and the number of apartments on the block.
It’s important to keep this extra cost in mind to help you determine your overall budget.
You may need permission to make changes
While you are generally allowed to make changes within the apartment, works that affect the exterior of the building or require a building permit usually have to be run by the body corporate. While most owners won’t see a massive need to change the exterior of a property, it can affect smaller upgrades such as installing air conditioning due to the placement of the outdoor unit.
On the plus side, having changes run by the committee (which is made up of owners in the block) helps to ensure the features you love about the property remain intact and no major decisions are made without your knowledge.
New vs old
After a few open for inspections you’ll soon discover the vast differences when it comes to new apartments and older apartments. Both styles definitely come with their own unique pros and cons and it will be up to you to decide which one you prefer.
While some may like the freshness and modern styling of a new apartment, rooms tend to be a little smaller in these builds. There are also often more apartments to a block as high rises emerge. Recently built apartments should also get a professional inspection to assess the quality of construction.
Older apartments definitely have a charm to them, are often bigger, have fewer apartments in the block and have stood the test of time. However, their age may mean that more upkeep will be required in the short term. As old apartments are great to renovate to increase their value, there may have been DIY jobs that are less than perfect. A pre-purchase inspection can help assess the structural integrity of the property and any works that have been done so far.
Is it forever?
Just like any home, there are going to be some considerations you’ll need to make when it comes to an apartment. Size and location are two big factors and it will be these two things that will help you decide if a property is a stepping stone for right now, or a property you’ll be in forever. The answer to that question will help you determine just how much you want to compromise and, in turn, how much you’re willing to spend.