10 Things To Consider When Buying An Apartment

Learn the key factors to consider when purchasing an apartment, from location to legal checks, to finding a property that matches your needs and lifestyle.

Apartment living can offer many advantages to potential property owners. Whether it’s a beachside pad or an upscale city unit, everyone from first-time buyers to downsizers might opt for an apartment purchase.

However, while owning an apartment can be an appealing prospect for many, there are potential risks and drawbacks to this option. Read on to discover everything you need to know about buying an apartment, so you can decide if a unit is the best choice for you.

1. Location and Accessibility

When it comes to apartments, the popular adage “location, location, location” certainly rings true. Be sure to consider:

  • Proximity to work, public transport, amenities, shops, and entertainment.
  • Type of neighbourhood and whether it suits your needs and lifestyle.
  • Future infrastructure or development plans in the area that could impact your living experience or the property’s value.

2. Size and Layout

The space and floor plan of the apartment is a key factor in determining whether it’s suitable for your needs. Some factors to think about include:

  • Total apartment size and how this is distributed across rooms.
  • The practicality of the layout based on your living requirements and lifestyle factors.
  • The amount of available storage space.

3. Quality of the Build

The build quality of an apartment can impact your comfort, safety, and long-term costs. Pay attention to:

  • The history and reputation of the builder or developer.
  • The quality of finishes, fixtures and fittings.
  • Any indication of poor construction, such as cracks or water stains.

4. Strata Fees and Body Corporate

Strata fees are an important consideration when looking at buying an apartment. Make sure you understand:

  • How much the strata fees are and what they cover.
  • The financial health of the body corporate and its sinking fund.
  • Any upcoming works that may require additional levies.

5. Facilities and Amenities

Apartment blocks often come with extra amenities and facilities, which can be beneficial, but also affect what you pay in strata fees. Think about:

  • Potentially costly facilities like pools, gyms or communal areas.
  • The maintenance and upkeep costs of the building’s amenities.
  • How important the apartment facilities and amenities are to you.

6. Parking and Transport

Parking - or lack of it - can be a frustrating issue for apartment owners. It’s worth considering:

  • Whether a parking space is included and if this comes at an additional cost.
  • The availability of nearby public transport options.
  • Visitor parking options for guests.

7. Noise and Privacy

Unlike a standalone house, apartments are more likely to see you living in close proximity to your neighbours. This makes it important to look into:

  • Noise insulation levels between units.
  • General noise levels from the street and surrounding area.
  • Privacy considerations, such as the proximity of balconies.

8. Pet Policies

If you have a pet or are planning to get one, you’ll need to be aware of any rules around pet ownership in your apartment complex. Check things like:

  • The building’s policy on pets.
  • Whether you need to seek permission from body corporate.
  • If there are specific regulations around the type of pets permitted.

9. Natural Light and Ventilation

Having access to natural light and an appropriate level of ventilation is important for your comfort and health. With this in mind, look into:

  • The apartment’s aspect and positioning of windows.
  • Any obstructions that may block light or airflow.
  • Balcony or outdoor spaces that offer additional ventilation and light.

10. Legal and Financial Checks

Just as with any type of property purchase, it’s crucial to perform all the necessary checks before you commit to buying. This includes:

  • Conducting a thorough legal check on the property and its title.
  • Reviewing body corporate minutes to identify building issues or disputes.
  • Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage broker for professional financial advice.

As you can see, buying an apartment involves a number of unique considerations compared to purchasing a house. By taking all of these factors into account, you can make sure you’re choosing the right kind of property for your needs, lifestyle and finances.

Armed with these insights, you’ll be ready to embark on your property journey and find an apartment that’s the perfect fit for you.

Keen to learn more about the home-buying process? Check out our other articles and stay in the know about all things home loans.

This article is intended to provide general information only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Please consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.

Unloan is a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Applications are subject to credit approval; satisfactory security and you must have a minimum 20% equity in the property. Minimum loan amount $10,000, maximum loan amount $10,000,000.

Unloan offers a 0.01% per annum discount on the Unloan Live-In rate or Unloan Invest rate upon settlement. On each anniversary of your loan’s settlement date (or the day prior to the anniversary of your loan’s settlement date if your loan settled on 29th February and it is a leap year) the margin discount will increase by a further 0.01% per annum up to a maximum discount of 0.30% per annum. Unloan may withdraw this discount at any time. The discount is applied for each loan you have with Unloan.

There are no fees from Unloan. However, there are some mandatory Government costs depending on your state when switching your home loan. For convenience, Unloan adds this amount to the loan balance on settlement.

* Other third-party fees may apply. Government charges may apply. Your other lender may charge an exit fee when refinancing.

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