Apartments are no longer an entry point onto the property ladder. For many, they are a lifestyle choice that makes inner-city living more affordable and accessible. Downsizers are trading their quarter-acre block for luxury apartments and families are drawn to the convenient lifestyle.
As with all things real estate, location is everything. The ideal is to purchase within a 15 kilometres radius of the CBD, in a small block that is close to public transport, schools, shops and cafés. This will offer a great lifestyle for you, the homeowner, but it will also rent well and increase in value in the long term.
The apartment’s interior is just as important as the exterior. Look at the building as a whole and see how well it is being maintained – this will give you an insight into how proactive the body corporate is. What are the strata fees and what do these fees cover? Is there an elevator, a pool, a communal garden, a barbeque area, a shared laundry? The more amenities there are to maintain, the higher the strata fees.
Review the strata inspection report and seek legal advice. Understand the body corporate’s bylaws because they may have restrictions that could affect your lifestyle and plans for the apartment. For example, you may need body corporate approval for renovations and the installation of new floors. What restrictions are there on pets? Is it a mixed-use building – does the building include commercial or retail letting? How will this affect you?
There are many things to consider when purchasing an apartment. For many, the affordability and lifestyle of vibrant neighbourhoods make apartment living very worthwhile.