Today, over 1.1million people across NSW now live in apartments and townhouses; 22% of NSW households call Strata living home.
The appeal is understandable, as apartments typically provide shared amenities, property maintenance and aesthetics standards, a more convenient and accessible lifestyle, and safety and security measures.
So what should you do before buying a strata apartment?
Do your research
Have a professional search the books and records of the Owners Corporation to view the finances and any issues the Owners Corporation is facing.
Don’t forget the levies
Remember you will have to budget for levies in order to fund the annual running expenses of the Owners Corporation and its long term maintenance. Ultimately, this protects the value of your financial investment.
Know what you’re buying into
Check that the car space or garage you were shown is correctly allocated to the apartment (the strata plan will usually detail this). Your lawyer should also take you through the contract to ensure you understand each step of the purchase process.
Know your rights
Acquire a full copy of the by-laws that are specific to your Owners Corporation, so that you understand the rules that you will be required to live by.
Show me the money
Have a good look at the condition of the building and make sure that the funds in the capital works fund match long-term maintenance planned for the next few years.
Check pet friendliness
Before you buy, check whether the Owners Corporation will welcome both you and your pet into the building. (Don’t necessarily take the word of the selling agent when he tells you the building is pet friendly)
Educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities when living in a strata title property. Attend one of our seminars, register here.
Know who to call
Find out what emergency arrangements are in place or who to contact on your Executive Committee if something goes wrong in the building.
Take an active interest and get involved in what goes on in your building. Attend the Annual General Meeting so that your voice is heard and consider becoming a member of your building’s Strata Committee.
Love your neighbour
Remember that in a strata building, your neighbour is usually just on the other side of the wall. Live next to them as you would have them live next to you.
Disclaimer: The articles and comments in this publication are necessarily brief and general in nature and are not intended to be relied upon by any reader in dealing with a particular problem. Whist all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication the writer and the producers accept no liability for any omission or misguidance.
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