Apartment versus House Living

On 24 June 2015 in Achievements, Adam Hayes, Buying, Darwin, Jody Hayes, Property Management, Property Investor, Selling, Tax, Tips

Thinking of buying or renting a new property? Wondering whether to go with an apartment or a house?

Previously, one may say an Australian property dream was to have a home on a large acred block. However this is no longer every Australian’s image of an idyllic property.

Although a house is still considered a home to most Australians, the percentage of house dwellers fell from 86% in 1981 to 76% in 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, thus indicating an increase in apartment living.

There are pros and cons to both apartment and house lifestyle; most people live in both at some stage or another.

The question ultimately comes down to which one suits you best, depending on three different factors: your financial circumstances, lifestyle and plans for the future.

Apartments and houses are designed for different stages of life, apartments are more suited to singles, couples and most prominently university students, and houses suit family lifestyle.

So let us help you weigh up your options…

COSTS

When you live in an apartment/unit, the floorplan is usually a lot smaller than that of a house, thus more cost effective when it comes to bills and rent.

Think about it, heating and cooling a smaller space would save you on your electricity bills. The newer the building, the more energy efficient it is likely to be.

Rent is typically cheaper for apartments, compared to houses; however keep in mind that owning an apartment in a block comes with expenses on top of your mortgage, such as body corporate fees.

These fees cover things such as ceilings, boundary walls, common areas and services. If you rent in a block these fees will be included in your rent.

If buying a property, it is important to think ahead and consider costs going forward, such as maintenance.

MAINTENANCE

When renting an apartment, issues surrounding maintenance can be passed onto the property manager.

Gardens, lawns and pools are all maintained by an employed professional, thus the only maintenance you need to be concerned about is in the interior of the apartment.

Houses have higher maintenance thus higher costs, in particularly if you own the property. If you are renting a house however, maintenance is generally covered by the land lord.

LIFESTYLE IMPLICATIONS

Apartment life proposes ease of maintenance, allowing you to live closer to transport, work, and the inner city lifestyle.

Apartment living however also implies accepting and following the rules of your owners’ corporation (body corporate).

This means certain things like having pets or hanging washing out over the balcony may be prohibited. Approval for installation of new features such as flooring or air-conditioning is also needed before changes are made.

On the other hand, if you own your own home and wish to renovate, the only barriers around approvals would be subject to council regulations.

AMENITIES

More frequently than not, apartments are being built with added amenities such as small gyms (or local gym membership), pools, entertaining/ BBQ areas, storage cages and laundry rooms.

Having theses amenities onsite means money saved on fees elsewhere, which would be spent if choosing a house over apartment living, and time saved not having to travel off-site.

Communal BBQ and entertaining areas again would mean money saved on pricy outdoor furniture and cook wear equipment.

SECURITY

Most apartments comprise of several entries, including the main block entry system, then usually a gated entry to your separate door or an elevator to your apartment with a private code.

Given the following, it is fair to say that apartment living means added security over houses, making break-ins less likely.

It is important to think about your current lifestyle needs before making a decision on the style of property best suited to you. Contact us on (08) 8932 8858 and we can assist you in your decision making. 

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