Before signing any contract to buy property comes research and due diligence. Whether it’s a house or an apartment, the buyer wants to be as best informed as they can be.
With apartment building defects in the news of late, the following may prove helpful as a guide to buyer research.
- Do some research on the builder. Ask about their history of work and how long they have been operating. Inspect other developments they’ve completed, which will give an idea of the quality of finishes, including plastering, painting, tiling, and flooring. Check that there is no legal action against the builder.
- Check out the developer and the builder online to see if they have won any awards or have testimonials from people who live in their buildings.
- Look into strata management. Find out how often the building’s strata management company undertakes a building inspection. You could expect it to be annual. Ask to see the strata management three-year budget forecast, at least, to help you in planning for possible fee increases.
- Check that the developer, builder and strata manager are separate entities as generally a degree of separation is best when it comes to professionally dealing with the finances and maintenance.
- Work out what’s important to you. Having a pool, gym or a lift may up your strata fees. If you don’t mind not having certain amenities, it could mean more dollars in your pocket.
- Are sound-proofing standards being met or better still being exceeded? Privacy is important. If you are fortunate, you may be able to stay in the complex and see if its sound mitigation meets your expectations.
- Be clear on the number of visitor bays there are and how they will be managed.
- Ask what the situation is with short-stay letting in relation to other apartments in the complex because it may not suit you to be surrounded by people coming and going.
- Is the property ready for the future and the technology of data supply, electric cars and so on?
- Ask about proposed capital works. You don’t want to suddenly find out after purchase that there’s insufficient in the sinking fund to cover the costs of something expensive like replacing lifts.
- Be in touch with the local council about planned developments in the area – to make sure you are not going to lose a view, for example.
By considering and researching as much as possible before purchasing an apartment, you will be better informed to make the right decision.