More Australians are now living in apartments than ever before, and it’s not hard to see why. Affordability, liveability, commutability, sustainability – what about good old-fashioned likeability? It’s a lot to weigh up when you’re thinking about where and what to buy.
Property has long been about compromise, but the question usually is, what are you willing to compromise on? Price, location and property type are usually the levers that get the biggest workout. If the ceiling of your budget is set in stone, the next flex is often location, and it can be a bitter pill to swallow.
You may have found your dream property, it’s in your price range, but it’s some 50-plus kilometres away from where you want to live. So, increasingly, for those who cannot stretch to the idea of what may be perceived as a premature tree change, the compromise ends up being on the property type.
Thankfully, apartments are not what they used to be. Forget hearing the people upstairs thud about in the night, no storage or smelling what your neighbours are cooking for dinner.
These days many families are now embracing apartment living for the first time because it means they can live where they want to live, such as their dream school catchments, have an area to play and relax in without having to maintain it, and in many cases have someone manning a desk downstairs so you’ll never miss a delivery again. And that’s before we’ve even mentioned office spaces on-site, rooftop al fresco dining areas and weekly yoga classes
The upside of apartment living for families
- The purchase price of an apartment is often less than a standard house.
- Apartments allow families to live in locations they might otherwise not be able to afford.
- Apartments in newer buildings will often have floor plans that have a better use of space than a house, so you’re not paying for what you dont need
- There can be stamp duty concessions when buying off the plan.
- Less maintenance = more family time.
Bear in mind
- Do your research – not every apartment block is made equally.
- Apartment traditionally have offered less potential for capital growth than a stand-alone house.
- Look for apartments with a good amount of natural light.
- Ensure there is excellent cross ventilation in the apartment.
- Check bylaws and strata laws – sometimes they are designed for a time when apartment blocks had fewer families.
Now you’re talking
- Many buildings will have a communal pool, gym, sauna and cinema.
- Large communal spaces are becoming commonplace, with play areas for children, fields of grass and a great amount of space to kick a ball.
- Some complexes have childcare and medical centres on-site.
- Residents may have access to shared e-bikes and cars.
- A shift in mindset has seen many residents contributing to a greater sense of community.
Article written by Alice Stolz for Domain