You can find plenty of advice on how to buy a single-story home. But unfortunately, these tips don’t make it any more affordable. Full size homes are expensive. That’s why a lot of first home buyers lean towards purchasing an apartment. Apartments come with a lot of perks. For one you can live in a dense urban environment full of amenities, and you might even be able to live car-free. With an apartment you can also avoid a lot of maintenance obligations that come with having a yard. But what should you look for in an apartment? Here are some house hunting tips (for apartments) to get you started.
Look at the Storage Options
Apartments are typically smaller than homes, but they often come with a lot of hidden storage spaces. Some have tiny closets while others give you well organised walk-ins. If the apartment has limited storage space, determine if the apartment gives you the ability to add your own. For example, you may be able to buy your own traditional wardrobe. Or you could arrange for a custom wardrobe to be built into your room if the apartment block allows you to do so.
Find Out the Monthly and Yearly Fees
Don’t buy an apartment based on just the monthly rental or strata fees. For example, you may be asked to pay money every month for trash pickup, pest control or access to the swimming pool. Find out if you’d have to pay a fee to make renovations to the apartment, even if it’s as small as adding a custom wardrobe. Make sure the water meters are set up for each apartment individually and billed individually. Then you won’t have to pay for other residents who waste water.
Determine How Well They Manage Money
In condominium and other multi-family projects where you own a share of the building, you’re also obligated to pay part of the cost of any capital expenses. If they decide to replace the roof or resurface the parking lot, you have to pay a portion of the bill. This means you could be hit a surprise levy every time the building runs into a problem. Ask about their financial history. Have they ever hit people with surprise fees? How do they budget for insurance bills? Also learn if they’re in any sort of debt.
Verify the Building Has the Amenities You Want
Don’t sign a contract based on the pictures you saw on a website or the testimonial posted online. Verify every amenity that matters to you. Do they have a laundry room? Does everything work? Do they have a safe, clean workout room? And does it have working equipment? If they have a swimming pool, is it clean and well-maintained? Do they have easy to access trash bins and compost bins? If you were attracted to the facility by its public spaces, verify that they offer what they promised. What’s the clubhouse like? What condition is the playroom or playground in? If they said the apartment is close to parks and schools, walk the distance yourself.