Tips for buyers looking at purchasing an apartment or unit

They are usually cheaper than suburban housing, more centrally located and offer many advantages but here are a few things to look out for and inquire about first:

  1. If there is a price indication, how does that compare with other units in the building and vicinity?
  2. Read the body corporate information: what are the annual fees, rules, responsibilities with ownership?
  3. If the unit is in an older or heritage block, is that block up to 34% of New Building Standard? Tough new seismic rules mean thousands of apartments need millions of dollars spent on them.
  4. If the block was built in the late 1990s or this century, are there weathertightness issues? Read the body corporate meeting documents and talk to your lawyer
  5. Nightclubs, 24-hour businesses (nice waterfront, busy port) or even airconditioning units atop nearby buildings can keep residents awake and make going outside unpleasant.
  6. What areas are common ground: courtyards, rooftops, lobbies? What are the rules and how do you let guests in, get your newspaper, pick up your mail? Do you have a carpark, where do guests park?
  7. Is the block on leasehold land? If it leasehold, what is the ground rent review period?
  8. Is DIY possible? What additions and alterations can be made? Far stricter rules apply to apartments


Shannon Corbett