Apartments are the ideal first home or property investment, but they do not come without their challenges says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate. Discerning buyers need to look beyond the price tag and really assess the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line..
Here is a checklist to help you buy an apartment that is just right for you.
Have a good understanding of the Body Corporate rules and regulations
What is a Body Corporate?
The Body Corporate is the collective name given to the owners of the units within an apartment block. The Body Corporate is there to manage and maintain the property, which includes common property like the driveways, communal green spaces, swimming pool etc as well as exclusive use areas.
It is also important to know what your monthly levies cover. Levies often cover necessary expenses incurred by the Body Corporate such as upkeep, the running and repair of the property, rates, and water. They also tend to cover insurance, sewerage and security for the block.
Consider asking the following questions to gain a better understanding of the rules and regulations:
• Is the apartment block pet-friendly? If so, which pets are/are not allowed?
• Are you permitted to paint/renovate your unit? • What maintenance are you, as the owner liable for and what will be covered by the Body Corporate?
• How often is maintenance done?
Check out nearby facilities
It’s essential to consider nearby facilities before you purchase a unit. It’s important to ensure that you are within easy access to supermarkets, main routes and other necessary amenities for your convenience.
For example, should your body corporate allow pets and you have a dog, you will want to have access to an open area, so your dog is not cooped up all day.
Should you be purchasing an apartment as an investment, being within close proximity to amenities is a bonus for potential tenants.
Look for car parking space
Parking bays are often in short supply, especially in the apartment blocks that are close or within the CBD. It is best to always look for a unit that has a designated car space.
Should a parking bay not be available, familiarise yourself with the parking situation, so that you can guide visitors in the right direction whenever they come over.
Apartment owners must be savvy when it comes to using space because it is so limited. Some larger complexes offer additional storage, however, if this is not available, it would be useful to look at other options
Alternatively, you can get creative with some simple storage hacks, or purge some of your belongings before moving in.