Is property a one-night stand or a long-term commitment? Bryce Holdaway provides you with his top tips for buying an apartment.
Shooting with Hedley was one of the really great searches I have done on the show. Not so much because we were looking in some of Sydney’s best suburbs but more because this search was more about headspace than bricks and mortar.
You see, Hedley is a commitment phobe. She has written a book about this in relation to her love life and now she was bringing the same challenges she was experiencing in love to buying her new home – namely that inability to say “I do”. The good news is she did come a very long way and I must say I was delighted to be a part of that experience for her.
The important point here is buying real estate is not like marriage where its “till death do us part”. In fact it’s quite the opposite as you can sell whenever you like. There is one significant point I’d like to throw in though… the longer you hold the property the better it is as residential property is arguably Australia’s greatest wealth creator.
At the end of the day, there were two main themes going on for Hedley:
1. She was a nervous first time buyer; and
2. The investment potential of the property was important so that she could still maintain her freedom
She ended up buying a great 2 bed apartment in Bronte which is close to the things that Heldey values – lifestyle drivers like the beach, the parks and the village amenities for her health conscious ways. So if you’re considering buying an apartment like Hedley did, here are some tips to help you:
· First thing to remember is you are buying air space - the building and land is owned by the collective of owners referred to typically as the Body corporate or Strata company
· Strata levies - don’t forget to factor in that you will have to pay a levy, usually paid quarterly, which is used for maintenance and upkeep of common areas, building insurance and in the good ones – a sinking fund
· Before you buy get a strata inspection report to understand the history of the building to check for any red flags such as major works about to be performed.
· Check the plan for your apartment to make sure you are getting what you think - e.g. is your car space correctly allocated to your apartment? Ask your solicitor to take you through the contract to ensure you know what you are buying.
· Live neighbourly - in an apartment building, your neighbour is usually just on the other side of the wall. Live next to them as you would have them live next to you.
· Three top tips for buying with investment potential in mind:
o Look for Scarcity – of land and style for houses and of quantity and style for apartments
o Look for Owner Occupier Appeal – after all they are 70% of the market
o Look for Investment Grade – good mix between capital growth potential and rental income