Buying a new home can bring with it a range of emotions, from excitement about the prospect of moving into a new home, to fear about how to deal with maintenance and other repair issues. With how expensive property has become, more and more people are looking into buying apartments – and why not, new apartments offer the lifestyle features of living close to the city and close to work, while being more affordable.
Recent issues both here in Australia and overseas, have exposed some of the flaws in the construction industry, bringing a sense of doubt to unit buyers. So, with these issues occurring in the construction of new buildings, how can you feel confident in buying an apartment?
We’ve put together some tips to help you feel confident to go searching to a new apartment to live or invest in.
Who is the Builder?
Finding out who the builder is or was, and their track record is really important. If you are buying off the plan or into a relatively new apartment, you should be able to track these details down really easily. Once you have the details, hop online and find out what other projects they have done. From here, you’ll be able to do a search for that building and see if any issues have been reported in the news or the like. Alternatively, you may be able to contact the builder and ask for references and reviews from their builds.
Who is the Developer?
Finding out who the developer is an important factor as well. The developer will be the one who initially developed the land, laid down the essential services like sewer, water and electrics. Again, if it is a relatively new build or an off the plan, it should be easy enough to find details on other buildings they have worked on and if there have been previous or current issues.
For both the builder and developer, you may find that the sales agent has worked with these businesses before and will be able to provide some information on their previous work.
Get Your Strata Reports
Whatever state you’re in and however old the apartment that you are buying, it is essential to get the strata disclosure statement as part of your contract. This disclosure statement should list any defects or major repairs that have happened. All strata buildings should have a budget set out for proposed future works, and the sinking fund should be relatively high. If you find the sinking fund is low, make sure you ask why.
Get a Building Report Done
Many unit buyers tend to skip out on a building and pest report thinking that the strata or insurance will cover any works that need to be done. This isn’t always the case and having a building report done will give you some reassurance on what is happening inside the apartment you are looking to purchase. While a building report won’t cover the common areas, it will cover the internal and accessible external of the apartment. When combined with the disclosure statement from strata, you will be able to decide whether to go ahead with the purchase.
Doing some research into apartments before you buy is essential; you don’t want to be left with repairs that insurance won’t cover, and you certainly don’t want to be left without a home. Spend the time before you spend your money to be more confident in what you are purchasing.