Wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the property fence? In Australia, it's assumed that having a house is the better option, and owning your own is part of the cultural norm, however, there are plenty of ways that apartment living comes in handy, especially if you are living in metropolitan regions where buying your first property might be financially out of reach and apartment blocks abound.
1. Low maintenance
Luckily Strata deals with any issues that come up in common areas, which covers anything that isn't inside your walls and between your floor and ceiling. They usually also arrange cleaning, gardening and regular touch up to paintwork and pavements. It is well worth reading the strata contract carefully to make sure there are no especially high costs, which might be the case for properties that have elevators and other expensive additions like swimming pools.
Gardens are typically small, with options for private gardening for those who want to express their green thumb, but you won't need to purchase a lawnmower, or even put the bins on the curb on rubbish day.
2. Energy efficiency
Houses, especially older ones, can be a nightmare to heat and cool. The bigger area means more space and more energy to keep under control. Apartments are not only smaller with fewer rooms for climate control, they also benefit from the temperature of the apartments around them meaning they work together to create a comfortable environment.
You get options for premium locations within a wider range of budgets. Apartments are also a favourite for investors given their low maintenance and a great rate of tenancy, which means there is usually a number on the market, helping to keep the costs from ballooning. You can also factor in any costs you save from having to commute if you can live close to work so you can walk or cycle.
Either renting or buying, apartments are typically cheaper than renting a house or having a mortgage.
4. Safety in numbers
Because apartments are typically harder to access (i.e. there are no out of the wayside and back entrances) there are fewer break-ins compared to houses. To get to your door a perpetrator would need to gain access to outer doors and possibly even get through foyer security or elevator pass blocks. Also, the rhythm of apartment life is always in motion. While a house can be watched to determine patterns that show when a property will be vacant (i.e. everyone goes off to work weekdays until 5:30, the comings and going of people in apartments means there is no way to tell when access can be made without notice, and especially difficult to exit the building with expensive appliances without drawing attention.
5. Bonus extras
In your own home you might not necessarily have a gym or a pool, not without considerable expense. Apartment living can offer all kinds of included extras like a rooftop BBQ, indoor pool, fully equipped gym, laundry room and storage cages.
These additions make recreation and keeping fit convenient and reduce the costs of memberships.
Car parking might be an extra expense but for some, it's far cheaper than the cost of private car parks used during a workday and significantly more secure than street parking (also reducing your insurance premiums).
6. Choose your lifestyle
With so many different types of apartments in different locations, you can easily find something that will cater to your lifestyle dreams. Floor to ceiling windows, balcony for entertaining, stunning views, city access, leafy views, lux fittings, proximity to the beach...it's simply a matter of hunting around until you find what best suits you.
Rather than pigeon-holing apartments as good or bad, it's important to take a look at the opportunities apartment living can offer you and decide if it's your cup of tea.
If you would like any help or advice when it comes to looking carefully into strata documentation before you buy an apartment, be sure to call our team to discuss your legal rights and obligations.