15 October 2019

Key things to consider when buying an apartment

Adrian Atelj
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With the increased number of residential towers popping up across our capital cities, more and more people are likely to consider an apartment as their property of choice.
Here are some key things to consider when buying an apartment.

Strata levies

Strata levies pay for the upkeep of common areas, such as gardens and the building’s interiors and exteriors, as well as residents’ facilities such as lifts, pools and intercom systems. They also cover building insurance and services such as security or a concierge.

Always ask the agent what the strata levies are for the property you’re considering buying, as they can vary dramatically between buildings for exactly the same type of property. Problematic buildings will generally have higher levies to cover recurring issues, as will high rise towers with lots of facilities, especially multiple lifts, which are expensive to maintain.

Storage space

Apartment living often means limited storage space. Consider how much storage you need within the apartment for your clothes, shoes, kitchenware, linen and other household items. Also consider the storage space available in the apartment’s garage or parking area. If you have a lot of items in boxes, look for an apartment with a separate storage cage on title.

Proximity to amenities

Proximity to amenities is particularly important when buying an apartment.

“You are likely to have little or no outdoor space, so consider proximity to parks for your children and pets,” said homes.com.au Founder & Managing Director, Pat Carbone.

“Ask yourself what other amenities you require in your day-to-day life, such as good schools, medical services, shops and transport. What about lifestyle options, such as cafes, gyms, public pools and playing fields? All of this will impact your enjoyment of the property and its future capital growth.”

Safety and security

Look for safety and security features, such as a fire alarm system, sprinklers, extinguishers in the corridors and exit points for evacuation. Also take note of the security measures in place throughout the interiors and exteriors of the building. Are there security cameras or an intercom system? You will sleep better at night knowing that strangers cannot come in.

Restrictions and limitations

It is crucial that you make yourself aware of any restrictions and limitations that the body corporate imposes on its owners through the by-laws. Always get a strata report and a copy of the by-laws before buying. All apartment blocks are unique. For example, some won’t allow pets; others won’t allow social gatherings, such as parties. Rules imposed by the body corporate might also hinder any future renovating projects you wish to undertake.

Taking these things into account will ensure you make a suitable purchase.

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