If you're in the market to buy your first home, then you may be considering the purchase of a property in a shared building. This can be very convenient, has the advantage of being a low-maintenance solution and is also typically cheaper than buying a stand-alone house at the outset. While you get ready to look at some candidate properties, what should you remember so that you can make the right decisions and get the home of your dreams?
Crucially, remember that the building itself is going to be owned by a number of different entities, including other apartment owners and yourself. Consequently, this is a very different approach to that of individual homeownership.
Checking the Bylaws
Firstly, understand the bylaws that affect the property, and these can be imposed by the state, the local authority or the "body corporate" established to manage it. These will tell you what you can and cannot do and may affect your ultimate decision if you own a pet, for example.
You need to ensure that the building is in good condition and must request a strata inspection report so you can see if there are any ongoing issues or if there is anything that you should be worried about.
Paying the Fees
When you purchase in this situation, you will typically be expected to pay fees to the body corporate, which will go into a "pool." They will then be used for the upkeep of the building and surroundings and could under certain circumstances be a sizeable line item on your budget.
Checking the Records
In a strata scheme, detailed records have to be kept following regularly scheduled meetings with all of the individual owners. You should check these records carefully, as they will give you an indication of how cohesive everybody is and whether there are too many disputes. You might want to move on to a friendlier community, if so.
Think carefully about the type of community that you want to live in. How many of the owners in this apartment complex are long-term, versus those that let their units out? This can cause issues sometimes with noise and disruption.
Can You Do "Your Thing?"
Finally, make sure that you are happy with the rules relating to updates, refurbishment and repainting. You will certainly want to personalise your own space, but need to check first to see what rules the body corporate has and whether they will give you enough free reign.
Is This for You?
It is best if you have a word with a real estate agent to learn more about buying homes.
Hi! Welcome to my blog. My name is Walter and this is my real estate blog. I am not a real estate expert and I do not work in the industry. But I am very interested in the subject. My sister has recently been buying and selling a number of properties across Australia. I have been following her every step of the way and I have learnt an awful lot about how a real estate agent can help you to seal a deal. Using some simple tricks and tips you can sell a property quickly and get a great price or buy a property for a below market price.