Think a house is beyond your home loan budget?
Don’t worry – apartment living could be your budget-friendly solution, but before you sign on the mortgage application dotted line, it’s sensible to weigh up the pros and cons of living in an apartment to make sure it’s the lifestyle you’ll love.
The reality is that, although apartment living has some definite benefits that offer some perfect reasons to move in and enjoy, they’re not for everyone.
To find out if apartment living is right for you, look at these potential positives and negatives of life lived in an apartment.
The Pros of Apartment Living
The body corporate is king and when major maintenance issues occur with the building, some of it comes under their jurisdiction. Of course, in your own apartment, holes in the carpet, repairs to leaky taps and what happens when your window gets stuck, are all maintenance issues that you need to deal with in the same way you would in any house. When it comes to outdoor space, though, even ground-floor apartments have little to worry about when it comes to landscaping and, if you’re up high, doing the garden each weekend could be as simple as watering a pot-plant or two.
Amenities for all
Depending on the age and luxury of your apartment building, buying into an apartment lifestyle can come with some serious perks. A common activity room with pool tables or table tennis tables can add some entertainment fun and access to a communal swimming pool or shared gym can save you hundreds in gym memberships. Some complexes also have barbecue facilities, undercover parking, storage cages and great security systems that add benefits to your daily living.
A single’s paradise
If you live alone as a first-home buyer or empty-nester, having a smaller space, surrounded by the company of others in neighbouring apartments might be just what you need to feel happy and secure.
Save money on bills
Compact apartment living usually means less money on bills for heating and cooling. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should leave the heating on all night or turn all the appliances on – even when you’re not there – but with a sensible approach to the way you use the utilities, there are potential savings to be made.
Sound good? It can be. And, of course, saving for a deposit on a lower-priced apartment offers a saving right from the start, with a smaller mortgage meaning lower repayments for a long time. But it’s not all positive and before you make a decision to live anywhere, it’s good to understand the potential downsides to make sure your move is a happy one.
The Cons of Apartment Living
Less room to move
The main difference between apartment living and being in a house is the fact that there is, usually, less space. Yes, that means less space to look after and keep clean but the flip-side is less space for furniture, family treasures and, often, no outdoor space to call your own.
Lack of privacy
Apartment buildings can seem crowded and that means a lack of privacy that can be annoying for some. Getting used to hearing sounds from the other side of your bedroom wall isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so make sure you check it out properly – and preferably at different times of the day and week – to get a clear sense of what it will be like to live there permanently. That reality also impacts on your freedom to make noise too. No more late night sing-a-longs to your favourite tunes without disturbing the neighbours.
Lack of autonomy
Want to add some improvements? You might not be allowed. The same body corporate that can seem a plus when it comes to maintenance issues can be a pain when you want to improve your property and discover that it’s not allowed. Do your research about how far freedom goes before committing to the purchase.
Many new developments have plenty of parking for visitors and residents but some older blocks have apartments with no car space. Check with the conveyancer to see what’s on the title before you buy. If the block you’re looking at comes without secure parking, make sure you understand the local council restrictions and what the expense of permits and local parking might be.
Despite the cons, apartment living is, for many people, the most logical way to get a foot in the door of the increasingly competitive market. If you’re at a stage in life where apartment living might be right for you, explore the options. It could be the boost you need to set you on a positive path of property ownership.
If you need advice for a home loan, business or commercial loan, self-managed super fund loan, or an investment home loan, speak to a broker at Lending Specialists. We have a wealth of experience under our belt and a robust network to connect you to the right industry professional for the loan you need.