Apartments can be risky business if you haven’t done your research. Having sold a high number of apartments throughout the inner bayside, Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs as well as the Geelong waterfront, I have experienced the pros and cons over the years. Here are some of the factors I personally look at when buying.
The most important thing to me is floorplan and common sense. The floorplan must flow and the space used correctly. I think bedrooms separated is a bonus, whether it be by a bathroom(s) or by the living area, I’ve always found that in such small living quarters people like to have their privacy when it comes to bedrooms. My general rule of thumb when it comes to area is the following, forty-five to 60 square metres is a one bedroom or one plus study, sixty-five to eighty-five would be a two-bedroom one bathroom ninety to one hundred and twenty would be two bedroom, two bathroom and maybe a study on the upper end and anything great then one hundred and thirty square metres would be a three bedroom two bathroom or more.
I would avoid purchasing off the plan at all costs. In a lot of cases the resales will be cheaper then paying a developer top dollar. It’s also worth waiting to see what the quality of the apartment block ends up like. Many of the developers are only in it to make money, rather than legacy. They build horrible quality properties and in my opinion, ruining the landscape of Melbourne with some of the garbage being created. The properties aren’t being built with logic and they are jamming in as many bedrooms into the smallest space that nobody would enjoy living in them. If you are inclined to purchase off the plan, then look at the top end developers and pay the extra money for a quality product, there is a much greater chance you will capture immediate appreciation in equity and it will hold and strengthen in price a lot better than other cheaper builds.
I still think established apartments in either heritage, landmark or boutique blocks are the way to go. You may pay a little more then some of the cheaper options, though you can do the research into these buildings and see the track record with sales and growth. They usually sell well in both the ups and downs of real estate and you will own a property that is always sought after. If you keep your eyes open, there are same great opportunities around.
Some good opportunities that may present are just after completion of a high rise. Know what they sold off the plan for and then keep your eye on the resales. If people begin to sell at huge losses, then go in and make some low offers. You generally end up buying these at the cheapest point that building would see and you should experience good steady growth over the years. Also, receivership sales are great. This is when a developer goes broke and another party buy in at a low price. They snap the building together as fast as they can and are only interested in selling the properties at bargain prices to get rid of them. The quality of the build is usually lacking because of the end products they use and the speed they build it in, but on the money side, you’ll pick up some absolute steals.
I love apartments, I love living in them and I love selling them. The no hassle, low maintenance property is great for social people who don’t want to spend their lives cleaning and gardening. On an investment side, they usually gain a higher yield then land and a great way to build an income for the future. Don’t be scared to buy into a complex, just make sure you do all your research before you pull the trigger.