I want to buy a heritage apartment, where do I start?

The heritage apartment market through Melbourne is definitely a worthy area to consider investing your money. As you walk around the CBD you see all the old buildings in among the new and as the years go by, they are becoming scarce. Even with the flood of newly developed apartments continuously flowing onto the market, forcing prices down through choice, the period buildings of Victoria are still pushing the envelope and attracting more buyers week in, week out.

The old buildings erected throughout the different periods of history have so much character, which in my view, is something that is missing from today’s architecture. From the beautifully ornamental frontages maintaining the same scale throughout, its few and far between finding people who don’t fall in love with it.

So, what should you know before starting the process to buy into Melbourne’s history. Firstly, what you get for your dollar is not going to be comparable with new build. A lot of buyers looking into these buildings don’t understand that they’re not buying something that was built yesterday or can be whipped up tomorrow, so there’s a premium on the value per square metre. They mostly don’t come with pools, gyms and all the other amenities that new build provides, sometimes you’re even lucky to get an elevator.

The owners corporation fees can be pricey, mainly due to the sinking (maintenance) fund being a little higher than most. The reason for this is so there’s always a little bit of savings put aside for any updates, restoration work or maintenance issues that an older building can attract. The other reason is due to the fact that in most cases, there aren’t that many owners to share the expense with. Some buildings may only offer three or four apartments where others may offer around sixty or seventy.

So why invest? So far it seems that you’ll be paying more money for less apartment and high owners corp fees. Once you get past the money aspect, you will own a piece of Melbourne’s history. Something that can’t be duplicated and sold to the hoards, something that is protected by our government by law because of its place in our history, something that has created stories for countless people over the century, but most of all, something that you will walk into everyday to go home to and feel enriched with our past.



The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.

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