Buying an apartment is not as cut and dry as owning a property and living out your life not having to communicate with anyone. There are many things to consider and look into before even looking at properties. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 things to consider when you are looking to buy an apartment.
- Google “Body Corporate”, “strata”, “scheme” and “committee”
These four simple searches on our website or blog page will take you down a deep dark rabbit hole of information on apartment buying and living that will be incredibly useful and really what you NEED to know when considering buying an apartment.
- Strata fees
What will you be paying? How much typically do owners pay each year? Can you afford to pay possible expenses? Will your committee allow a payment plan?
Buying an apartment comes with additional fees and costs you will need to contribute to as an owner. This could include things such as something needs replacing in a common area (ie. A driveway, pool pump, broken necessary equipment etc), all owners must contribute to these expenses as all owners use the common areas. However, a committee meeting or EGM (Extraordinary general meeting), which is a meeting that can not wait for a vote on until the next AGM (Annual general meeting), allows you to have your say and vote on a raised motion to have something fixed.
- Do the by-laws suit you?
By-laws are a set of rules that a body corporate makes to control and manage common areas such as driveways, pools and even whether you need to have a pet approved. These laws much be followed by all residents living in a strata scheme. A committee can however change these by-laws by holding a vote and if the vote against is 25% or less, the change will pass.
- Check nearby facilities/amenities
Owning and living in an apartment usually means that you live in a larger city and having the right facilities at your fingers tips can make life a whole lot better and transition to a new apartment that much more exciting. Checking out what a prospective scheme has to offer and the surrounding areas is always a great idea.
- Parking space
Whether you have a car or not, a parking space can be a great area to have the option in using as storage or to possibly rent out to others, but of course check the by-laws to make sure that is allowed. Also, not only is a secure parking space or street parking good for yourself but is always handy for friends and family you would like to come visit.
Storage, storage, storage; As pretty as an architect’s work can be, storage can often be looked passed when developers build apartments and there is nothing more annoying than running out of wardrobe space and using your oven as a closet (fire hazard, not recommended). Going on as many inspections as possible is a great idea, even if you are not looking to buy this minute, it is a great way to meet real estate agents, explore areas and to find the apartment with the dream closet.
- Suss out neighbours
Asking as many questions will help you out in the long run and if you are planning to live or rent out your apartment it is best to live next to someone…decent. Having an unruly neighbour or someone you have to watch out for in the building is not ideal for anyone. Remember, this is going to be your home so you should probably enjoy living there.
Getting the details on what maintenance looks like is very important also. Going back to costs and fees, keeping things well maintained will be an on-going cost but if maintenance is not done and things start to break and need replacing, that cost will be far greater.
Same goes with security, having good security measures in place will deter any trouble that could cause incredible damage. Also, you will sleep better at night knowing you are safe.
- What are you exactly looking for?
Having a list of non-negotiables will make it a lot easier for yourself in finding the right apartment for you. Everyone has different tastes and every scheme offers different things so whether you are looking for an investment or just a beautiful new place to call home.
There is a mass of information to educate yourself on in terms of strata and getting into a scheme. It is wise to research further with the links below to decide whether buying an apartment is right for you:
Author: Kaylyn Burton