Buying an apartment
While the research involved in buying an apartment isn’t any more than is involved in purchasing a house, the types of questions can vary. There can be some more in-depth research required beyond the standard check list, here are a few ideas to start with.
1. Ownership costs Most apartment buildings are based on a strata title, which means each owner must pay a proportion to upkeep common areas, such as foyers, lifts, external lighting, shared gardening etc. These costs are incurred from the moment you take ownership, and generally will be presented as part of the sale material for review.
2. Builder reputation If you are buying a new apartment, or one that has been built in the last 5 years, it is a good idea to look into other projects the builder or developer has been involved in. This will give you some background into their delivery to timeframes and overall project quality.
3. Parking Not all apartments come with a carpark included on the title, which means you will need to check out what is available in surrounding streets for both you and your visitors. And, while you may be able to purchase the apartment at a cheaper rate without the car park, for longer term investment and value, it may be worth looking at the off-street parking option.
4. Nearby development Similar to the research involved in buying a house, a good check on future development plans and projects in the area to make sure views and access aren’t compromised is good practice.
5. Vacancy rates If the apartment is already constructed, an understanding of current vacancy rates will provide a good guide for the investment potential. If vacancy rates are high, and you are buying to secure a place to live in, you should be questioning why there is a lack of owner occupiers. If you are buying for an investment with plans to secure tenants, then consistency of rental income is in threat.
6. Accessibility Just like buying a home, connectivity to public transport and local amenity should always be explored. Particularly for apartment owners, who may only have one car space, proximity to trains, trams and buses is essential to attract tenants and to ensure some capital gain on re-sale.
7. Noise, smells, rubbish