Buying an apartment or townhouse may be good for people looking to downsize, enter the housing market, or looking for a lifestyle change.
Consider what is important to you. How much room do you need? How important is the location? How close do you like to live to other people?
Buying an apartment or townhouse usually means being part of a body corporate which handles the management and upkeep of the building and property. There are ongoing costs to cover these services.
As with any property purchase, it is recommended that you seek legal advice before and during a transaction. Legal advice can help you understand the body corporate rules which set out your obligations and what you can and cannot do with your apartment or townhouse.
Here are some things to consider:
- Buying an apartment or townhouse can be an affordable way to live close to the centre of the city, or other popular areas, where standalone houses can be expensive.
- Living close to other people can be noisy. Consider the amount of soundproofing the apartment has.
- Check to see if the building has long or short term rentals. People who just visit the building may not be considerate neighbours.
- Check if your apartment or townhouse comes with a parking spot or is a separate title you will need to purchase? Also, check access to visitor parking.
- Ask to see the long-term maintenance plan (LTMP) and building fund.
- Ask for the body corporate meeting minutes from the past 12 months to understand the key issues and concerns.
- Ask questions. Check that all the owners’ levies are up to date, that the accounts are audited and read the details of the insurance policy. Is the body corporate involved in any proceedings against a third party, and are there any weather tightness issues with the building.
- Ask about the buildings contingency plan as there may be additional costs in addition to the building levies
Remember when you’re calculating the cost of buying, budget for the ongoing body corporate fees and any unexpected remedial work for the complex.
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