Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
nestegg logo

 

 

Invest

5 things you need to know before buying an apartment

By Adrian Wilson
  • January 21 2020
  • Share

Invest

5 things you need to know before buying an apartment

By Adrian Wilson
January 21 2020

Following the end of year rush and the market stabilising, there are a few key things you really need to know before purchasing an apartment in 2020, writes Adrian Wilson.

Apartment floorplan

5 things you need to know before buying an apartment

author image
By Adrian Wilson
  • January 21 2020
  • Share

Following the end of year rush and the market stabilising, there are a few key things you really need to know before purchasing an apartment in 2020, writes Adrian Wilson.

Apartment floorplan

Over the past six months, we have seen the market evolve. I believe that this year, stock levels will continue to tighten and sales of properties prior to auction have the potential to increase, while the inner-city lifestyle will continue to draw downsizers looking for luxury living with lifestyle perks.

My top five tips for those of you looking to purchase an apartment in 2020 include:

1. Location
The location of the building is important, as is proximity to amenities such as shops, transport, beaches, parks, libraries and open space. But also think about the location of the apartment in the building. Which way does it face, is it near the elevator or garage doors, is there thoroughfare near your bedroom, is it a three-story walk-up block, where are the bins located, is the parking accessible to the apartment etc.

These things aren’t necessarily negatives or detractors, but should be considered as part of the overall proposition and offering to be considered in terms of the purchase price.


2. Aspect and layout
A view can be great, but sometimes choosing the right aspect is even more important. Think about the light in winter and the sun in summer, cross ventilation and breeze, and the orientation of the bedrooms to common areas, neighbours and living spaces. The right aspect is different for all of us depending on how we like to live. Make sure you visit the property at time of day you’ll normally be home to see what the lighting is like, so you don’t get a surprise when you move in.

Advertisement
Advertisement

You should request a floor plan of the apartment, which usually indicates north on it so you can work out where the sun will rise and set.

3. Vertical communities
Some apartment buildings operate as their own communities. Make sure you get an understanding of the demographic of the building. Understanding its culture and gaining a better outline of the community vibe and whether it suits your lifestyle is crucial. The percentage of apartment owners that are investors versus owner-occupants can also impact how future buyers may assess their investment into a building.

The building’s facilities and shared spaces can influence the way a building is managed, as can the onsite team (if there is one), so pay attention to these factors during inspections. Speaking to your agent about the building manager, concierge and/or strata committee could also be helpful in painting a picture of daily life in a particular location.

Take time to understand the by-laws and their requirements of owners and the rules that they have in place for noise, pets and communal areas. You can request a copy of the minutes from a recent owners’ corporation meeting too, to help you identify any red flags.

4. Strata title
Strata title provides an individual with ownership over part of the air space within your lot and a responsibility to contribute towards the upkeep and maintenance of common areas. This is governed by the body corporate, also known as the owner’s corporation, which elects a panel of owners forming an executive committee. The role of the executive committee is to ensure the day-to-day running of the building for the benefit of all.

Strata laws can be difficult to understand but are vital in making apartment living easier and more affordable. Instruct a strata search agent to conduct a report informing you about any upcoming special levies, if the sinking fund is healthy and other information on the building.

When buying strata title, be familiar with the various fees incurred, as well as the allowances for future improvements. Don’t be turned off by the annual levy, when factoring in the costs of maintenance, insurance, security and services for a single dwelling, they can often represent great value.


5. Building amenities
Services and amenities for buildings are often shared by residents; such as pools, saunas and gyms as well as basic services like garbage disposal, lobbies and mailboxes. Some buildings may offer onsite building management or concierge services. Watch out for unkept communal areas, which can be a sign that the building is poorly maintained or is lacking the appropriate funds to manage the upkeep of the common areas.

It is advisable to investigate the security and privacy measures implemented at the property too. Easy factors to assess at open homes include security doors, key less entry, cameras, if walkways leading to the building are well lit, the strength of locks and if the doors are heavy and well secured to the frames. In short, be observant and make sure you take in the property you are looking at, as well as the building’s common areas.

These five considerations form a solid launching pad when delving into the intricate process of apartment hunting. Make sure to research any prospects thoroughly and consider the influence various factors have on the overall experience of living in an apartment.

Best of luck!

Adrian Wilson is the principal and director of Ayre Real Estate.

5 things you need to know before buying an apartment
Apartment floorplan
nestegg logo

Forward this article to a friend. Follow us on Linkedin. Join us on Facebook. Find us on Twitter for the latest updates
Rate the article

more on this topic

more on this topic

From the web

Recommended by Spike Native Network

More articles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.