April 14, 2021 Eview Group

A quick guide to buying an apartment.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a downsizer or just someone who prefers the low-maintenance lifestyle, you might be looking to call an apartment your next home.

However, there are a few key differences between purchasing a stand-alone property and an apartment in a shared building.

So, here’s our quick guide to buying an apartment…

The low-maintenance lifestyle

One of the key benefits to apartment living is the low-maintenance lifestyle it offers, which Is why apartments are particularly popular with busy professionals, downsizers and first-time buyers.

Often, they also allow buyers a more affordable option in inner-city areas.

So, what should you be on the look out for when it comes time to purchase?

Strata fees

When you purchase an apartment, you are buying into a strata scheme, which basically means you become part of the group of owners responsible for the upkeep of the building and its amenities.

The cost of this upkeep is covered via strata fees, which is an annual charge that is set aside for repairs and maintenance.

These fees vary, depending on the apartment block, its size, and the amenities available.

In addition, there is also a fee for building insurance and capital works improvements, so before buying you should be aware of exactly what these fees are.

As part of the buying process, you should also ask for minutes of recent strata committee meetings, and their annual report.

Building age and condition

The age of the building and its condition will often leave clues to future works that the owners corporation (strata committee) might need to undertake.

Cast a critical eye over the building looking for any obvious issues, but also take a general look at its condition and upkeep. Does the building look well-maintained, are communal areas in good condition?

Amenities

One of the major attractions of an apartment building is often its amenities, such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, outdoor dining areas etc.

Make a list of the amenities you desire in a building, but also consider each of these will be factored into the complex’s upkeep.

Community

Community is key in any apartment complex, and there may be rules governing that community in the form of by-laws.

These by-laws outline what residents can and cannot do, as well as the behaviour expected in that community.

Take a good hard look at the by-laws affecting your proposed purchase to make sure the community is the right fit for you.

Meanwhile, prior to purchase, spend a little time at the apartment complex to understand how that community interacts and who the other residents are that live there.

It’s also worth considering things like the owner to renter ratio, and whether apartments in the complex are used for short-term letting.

Nearby facilities

Apartment living often allows you the convenience of living in a built-up area with a range of nearby facilities, such as parks, cafés, or even the city CBD.

Check out the area around your intended apartment block to ensure it has the type of facilities you’re looking for.

Looking to buy or sell an apartment? Why not chat with one of our friendly Eview Group Proud Members, you can find the full list of offices here.