Apartments can make the ideal first home or investment property, especially considering some of the fantastic properties currently available in Bondi Junction and Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Selling at a cheaper price point than houses, apartments are an excellent choice for those who want to own property close to the city and offer a range of facilities.
However, whether you’re an owner-occupier or property investor, there are a few things you should take into consideration before buying an apartment.
1. Ask about strata fees
Buying an apartment means buying into a strata scheme – which means strata fees. Your strata fees (which cover the cost of maintaining and repairing the building’s shared facilities) will vary depending on the size of your apartment complex and the facilities included. The more facilities your building has, the more you will be charged.
We also recommend checking the capital improvements. As an apartment owner, you will be part of the owners’ corporation, which is responsible for managing the maintenance of common areas. If the majority of your neighbours vote to make changes to the common property, you will also be responsible for sharing the cost.
2. Research the owners’ corporation
As we mentioned previously, you will become a member of the owners’ corporation once you buy an apartment. The OC is a legal entity that has the power to enforce rules on various aspects of your home life like pet ownership, restrictions on noise and disturbance, and the use of common areas.
Check your contract of sale for details about the owners’ corporation, check the local by-laws and ask the agent to look at the minutes of recent meetings. This will give you more information so you can ensure it’s a good fit.
3. Check out the facilities
One of the best parts about living in an apartment are the facilities and amenities. Many apartments can be found nearby local shops, parks, supermarkets, and facilities, making them incredibly convenient for busy people.
The facilities within the complex are an even bigger drawcard, with inclusions like swimming pools, gyms, secure parking, storage facilities and security systems.
4. Inspect the structure and layout
It’s notoriously difficult to get approval for renovations within apartment blocks, so making sure that you’re happy with the layout and structural integrity of your apartment is crucial. When inspecting a unit, take note of things such as carpeting, wall insulation, and any cracks, mould or leaks. Ask yourself questions like: Does my apartment have enough light and free-flowing air? Do I have access to a window or balcony? Can I smell any dampness or rubbish? Can I hear the neighbours or street traffic?