Apartment living can be an attractive proposition, and at the moment the market is quite hot – both from a demand as well as a supply perspective. Before you commit, however, make sure that you check out the following aspects carefully and make sure that you know exactly what you are buying.
Top of the list is ownership costs. If the unit is strata title, you need to understand what your annual corporation fees and other costs will be. If the apartment that you are considering is off plan, ask who the strata manager is and what the strata budget is. Remember that the first year’s budget is going to be about 15% less than subsequent years due to a lower maintenance obligation where much of the equipment is under builders warranty for the first 12 months. If you are buying into an existing building, ask to see the financials and minutes of as many corporation meetings as can be provided. Look out for any outstanding legal issues or capital works that might be required in the near future.
If you are buying off plan, find out who the developer is and who the builder is, and check out their reputation for on-time delivery, so that you can assess the risk of not being able to take occupation when promised.
Ensure that you confirm whether you will be allocated parking space – if you don’t get allocated a space then you won’t have the right to a council car-parking permit.
As with any property purchase, you need to check out whether there are any future developments planned in the area. That beautiful view that you think that you will have may turn into an outlook onto someone else’s balcony in an adjacent block.
Transport links in close proximity will be an important factor to consider – if not for you right now, for resale later or for potential renters.
Find out whether the building is available for Airbnb. If you are an owner/occupier and a large number of the units are being bought for Airbnb, you need to be aware of this as it may impact on your decision to purchase.
If the apartment is in an existing building, and you are buying as an investor looking to rent the unit out – find out what the current vacancy rates are.
For existing buildings, it is important to obtain an independent building inspection to validate the structural integrity of the building and apartment.
Find out what the arrangements are for waste disposal – will you have to take your rubbish out to bins, or will there be a waste disposal chute located conveniently.
This is not an exhaustive list – but if you are considering purchasing an apartment, it may be helpful to assist you with your decision.