Apartment living has come a long way in recent years, and far from being the chief domain of first home buyers, we are increasingly seeing families, and in particular, empty nesters, opting for apartments over houses.
Much of the appeal reflects the greater affordability of apartments and relatively lower maintenance costs. However, there are different rules of engagement when it comes to apartment living. For starters, you’ll need to abide by the rules of your owners’ corporation. Likewise, keeping pets may be prohibited, and you might need to seek the approval of the body corporate to make changes to your apartment, such as installing new flooring or air-conditioning.
On the other side of the coin, if you own a house, you are the master of your domain, meaning you can renovate when you want.
However, as we get older, renovating a property may not exactly float your boat. While apartment living offers ease of maintenance, and the ability in many cases to live closer to city centres and lifestyle facilities such as cafes, restaurants, shopping centers and entertainment complexes.
Apartment blocks may also offer gyms, pools and other facilities, access to shared gardens, playgrounds, roof terraces and more. As for the maintenance costs associated with apartment living, you will typically be responsible for most repairs and maintenance within your apartment. Also, you may pay an owners’ corporation fee to cover repairs and maintenance on ceilings, boundary walls, common areas and services. This fee should also cover building insurance – you will need to take our contents insurance separately. There are also administration costs and a sinking fund for future works. Owners’ corporation fees vary depending on the number of facilities in the development. For example, if the development has a pool, gym and lifts, the strata fees will often be higher than an older apartment block that doesn’t offer these features.
As with all property purchases, doing your due diligence is crucial and if you want to know more about a particular apartment market or the benefits of apartment living, contact your local Raine & Horne agent.