Published : 23 March 2016
There's no doubt that apartment living is becoming more popular - especially amongst the younger generation - and is fulfilling a need, as our population grows, and affordable housing continues to be a key issue in Australia.
Certainly there are great advantages to this type of living, but there are a lot of downsides, too, so you really have to ask yourself: Is apartment living right for me?
For anyone who loves the rattle and hum of a city, apartment living has to be the ultimate location! Right in the middle of the action, walking or public transport distance from everything, cafes and restaurants on your doorstep.
Apartment living is also low maintenance, with little or no 'garden' to care for, and no lawns to mow, leaving more time for fun.
Depending on the location, age and price range of an apartment block, there's also likely to be some great shared amenities, such as a gym or a swimming pool.
And there's also a sense of community, which many people crave and enjoy.
However, what initially seems like a good idea - especially is you are downsizing - can turn out to be a nightmare if you're not suited to apartment living or, quite simple, you pick the wrong block!
Unless you're considering a two or three-level penthouse, you might find space - or lack of it - an issue! If you spend much of your time at work, or out and about, that may not be an issue. But if you are at home a lot, it could become quite claustrophobic.
And will there be enough storage for your needs? You may have to downsize quite a bit, and have several garage sales, if you're moving from a much larger property!
While for some the lack of a garden means less work, for others it can be a real negative. If you currently spend a lot of time outside and enjoy gardening as a pastime/way of relaxing, you will start to really miss having one.
Noisy or annoying neighbours can be another issue. Sure, you can live in a house in suburbia and still have that problem but remember, everything is much closer in an apartment block! It won't be long before loud music on the other side of your bedroom wall, or a herd of kids stomping around overhead, becomes a major issue.
If you're mind is made up, that apartment living is right for you, be sure to check the essentials before signing anything! For example, costs - and hidden costs. How much are the body corporate fees? What do they include/exclude? Are there any major renovations planned that you will need to budget for?
Another crucial point to check is parking - does your apartment come with an allotted space or will you have to battle it out on the street? Having to park a kilometre away when you've got bags of shopping may not be that much fun!
Buying any type of home takes planning, careful research and patience. Don't rush into buying something you're not 100% sure about, as you may experience a bad case of buyer's regret later on. But do your homework and you'll soon be collecting the keys to your perfect abode!