Buying into a brand new apartment development is exciting. Whether it’s your first home, you’ve decided to downsize or move closer to the city conveniences, living within a community in property developments is a totally new way of life.
Before you fall head over heels for the luxurious apartment development brochures, make sure you balance your heart with your clear thinking. This will mean your new home is one you’ll love for a lifetime, and will remain a solid long-term investment.
Many people aren’t quite sure what to know when buying their first apartment, so consider this your ‘buying an apartment checklist’.
Living in apartment developments close to the city centre or within suburban hubs gives you the luxury of not needing a car and even walking to work.
If you do own a car you’re not willing to part with, consider the facilities available, particularly in terms of security and accessibility. What about traffic congestion during your daily commute?
If you do ditch the vehicle, then you’ll need to be confident the lifestyle balance will be worth it. Think about how easily can you reach your workplace, the local shops, and take care of daily errands.
Take note of any planned upgrades to local public transport, or whether any new shopping strips are being developed for the area. Take your time to research the impact of neighbouring suburb developments which increase congestion in the area, in which case cycling may become a better option for an inner city lifestyle.
2. Population Growth
Not often considered by first home buyers, ensure you research trends in increasing population of not only your preferred neighbourhood, but the overall city.
Are apartment developments booming in one specific suburb or region of the city? This could suggest that the area is set for an increase in population growth, which is likely to mean increased services for the area.
It could also mean a higher demand for housing in the future, which could increase the value of your property. A correlation of government infrastructure projects to support this growth is also an important indicator to consider—without this support, the location will become less desirable.
Ensure you read a variety of real estate reports of the area, speak to property developers, and get a general sense of how the area has grown over the last two years, and focus particularly on the last five years.
If in a major city like Sydney, where demand for housing is high, keeping an eye on government population policy is worthwhile, as it can serve as an indicator for how fast the country will grow as a whole.
Steady growth with a broad range of demographics can be a good sign for your property’s future value, a bonus whether you’re an investor or an owner–occupier.
Living near good schools is essential for families, particularly if hoping to qualify for enrolment at particular zone-based schools. However, there are other less obvious benefits to take into account too. Even if you don’t ever plan on having children yourself, consider the demand for properties created by people that do.
A low-maintenance property development for smaller families is ideal if they value remaining close to city or suburban centres.
Buying close to esteemed primary school is attractive to long-term tenants, however it’s also worth considering proximity to secondary school and tertiary education.
In this instance, young students may increase demand for your property if it has good transport connections and diverse local amenities.
What distinguishes neighbourhoods from each other is their independent cultures.
If your future property is located close to cafes, restaurants, bars and entertainment, it’s likely to be popular.
Buying in areas with particular cultural influence can also be a drawcard for tenants and first home buyers seeking a more unique suburb.
Art and live music scenes are highlights for many neighbourhoods, as they attract city residents beyond the immediate suburb. Attracting wider city residents helps city pockets remain vibrant and ensures a higher level of living can be achieved.
Many property developers have their finger on the pulse of upcoming suburbs, so it pays to stay attentive to both where they are developing and why they are choosing those particular areas.
Access to parks and leafy areas are also a plus, as they encourage modern active lifestyles and help a neighbourhood strengthen its diversity of public space.
Perhaps most importantly, property developments are often within 10 minutes of the daily essentials such as supermarkets. This is a major drawcard to property developments, as it delivers on the expectation of lifestyle convenience.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to get a firm grasp of your finances and budget to understand your options.
Buying a new home is more than just saving for a deposit. You’ll also need to cover buying costs like conveyancing fees, stamp duty, government fees and legal fees.
Furnishing your apartment will also need to be considered, as property developers often work on projects that allow tenants to style to their own taste.
The good news is that in many states, including New South Wales, there are concessions available to you.
If you buy your first property for under $650,000, you do not have to pay stamp duty. You could also receive up to $10,000 if you’re a first home buyer, whether you buy from a property developer or are building your first home.
Finally, keep in mind apartment developments will be subject to costs such as strata or building maintenance fees, which owners must pay. You may also be involved in decisions affecting the whole building.
With these five things in mind, start researching your favourite suburbs to see where your ideal apartment development might be.