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5 Things You Should Check Before Buying an Apartment

If you can afford your own property, throwing money away on rent is not the most prudent course of action. Still, you want to get the best possible value for your money and make an informed decision. Additionally, buying a strata or community title property differs from purchasing a house:  The collective of owners exercises right over brick and mortar, and as soon as you close the deal, you become a part of the strata scheme. Apart from this aspect, there are other crucial elements you need to evaluate before taking the plunge.

Scoping the area

One of the first considerations is the area you want to live in. Do the good old cruise around the neighborhood and try to engage some locals. Visit as many places as possible and take your time. Pay attention to facilities like parking lots, shops, parks, schools, cultural amenities, gyms, etc. Also, you might want to see whether the unit is close to music venues, cafes, and clubs. Likewise, the volume of passing traffic could affect your style and present another source of noise. The security measures in the building are not to be overlooked either, especially in troublesome neighborhoods. If you need some help while looking for your ideal home you can check the West Palm Beach waterfront real estate. 

Rights and responsibilities

In most cases, units and apartments are listed as strata titles, which means they are subject to individual ownership within a multiunit complex. The owners themselves are members of the owner’s corporation, that manage the common property. So, first off, ensure that you receive a certificate of the title. Upon buying the property, you receive the voting right regarding corporation’s activities and must obey the rules and pay annual fees, levies, and charges. Hence, it is also a good idea to check if there are some planned renovations or building works.

Numbers game

Next, research the market in order to assess the realistic prices. You want to gain a realistic picture and avoid blowing the budget in the long run. Focus on the recent sales in the area and the figures that come up. If you want pro insights, you are better off placing trust in independent valuers and real estate agents than relying on developers and their agents.  Strive to factor in the maintenance charges, not only the upfront costs. They encompass everything from the municipal and property taxes to electricity and elevator charges. As a general rule, strata or body corporate fees should cover all exterior and building maintenance.

Property inspection

The structural integrity of the home is paramount. Find out the age of the building and the existence of any defect claims, repairs, and damage.  Examine the building’s history as well as strata scheme records and insurance policies. To ensure the proper service, you should first compare inspections online. There are, on the other hand, some hard rules to adhere to. For instance, make certain that the wiring, insulation, roofing, and plumbing are in perfect order, and that there are no nuisances like pests and mold.

Renovation works

The decision often boils down to first impressions and the feeling that comes over you when you first set foot into a home. Of course, most people also feel the urge to personalize the space, which may not be seen in a favorable light by the owner’s corporation. This obstacle might stand in the way of renovations and modifications, so it would be wise to find a place where appliances, finishes, and layout are to your liking. Alternatively, it is also possible to find a more relaxed corporate environment, where the rules are less rigid. At the very least, you should be able to conduct minor improvements and assemble a space that speaks to your taste and sensibility.

Due diligence

Apartments and units are a popular choice in today’s market and they come with their pros and cons. It is highly advisable to do your homework and gain a crystal-clear idea about what your money buys. Get to know the neighborhood, which is just on the other side of the wall. Do not overlook maintenance costs as well as the possibility to adjust the space to your needs. Take active interest in what is going on in the building and do not be left in the dark. Thousands of new units are under construction in major cities, and somewhere out there, a perfect home sits waiting.