What to look for when investing in Apartments

Compared to purchasing a free standing family home, Apartments require special considerations. Queen City Law are experts in the Auckland Property Market and can recommend steps for you to invest carefully.

What are some of the special issues associated with apartment living?Rhubarb Lane

  1. Who is responsible for maintenance of the common areas – is there an active body corporate? Do they have a fund for maintenance? Is there a permanent building manager on-site or on-call at all times? Find out what body corporate fees you would be expected to pay and ask about and familiarise yourself with the body corporate rules. Find out also if you have to pay for maintenance of your own unit, or for major maintenance work.
  2. Can you make changes – painting walls and new kitchens may be disallowed by the body corporate .
  3. Living in close proximity with your neighbours noise becomes an issue. Find out about the neighbours and decide if noise could be a problem. The type of neighbours could lower the value of your apartment.
  4. How close is the building to shops, cafes, nightclubs other amenities and public transport? Is this going to impact on noise, is the building in the main nightlife area of town? Invariably, the nature of apartment living means there will be some noise you have to contend with. Some people thrive in this environment and others slowly go mad.
  5. Is there car parking and do you have to pay extra for it? What price is the parking? Can you sublet your park? Can you sell of the carpark separately?
  6. What security measures are in place, does the intercom work, is the front door secure? Are there any security cameras?
  7. Do you have a view and sunlight, or are you blocked by other buildings or facing the wrong way for the sun? Find out if there are any pending resource consents that will affect your apartment block, for example, plans to build a high-rise hotel next door.
  8. Does it have a balcony so you can enjoy the view or afternoon sunshine? What direction does the apartment face, try to visit at several different times and weather conditions to evaluate the apartments available light and shelter. Do the verandahs flood when it rains?
  9. What other facilities, such as a gym and swimming pool, are in the complex? This can be a game changer for people who have sports or medical requirements.
  10. Is the lift system reliable and are there enough lifts to cope with the flow of people at busy times? How easy will it be to get your furniture in and out of the building?
  11. Research the local market. In the quarter close to the apartment what is its character and what prices are other apartments. What state are the property and interest rate markets in as a whole?

Apartment inspections If you decide to go ahead with the purchase of an existing apartment have a property inspection done. When you request a property inspection make a checklist:

  1. Noise (including transfer between units)
  2. Light
  3. Ventilation
  4. Minimum area – this has been the subject of discussion recently
  5. Quality of the building, and any areas that could be a weathertight risk

You can ask your lawyer to find a recommended builder or consent expert to prepare a professional evaluation on your behalf. You can also check the records of the body corporate but these may not necessarily disclose all defects, or major future expenditure. Auckland Median Price has Increased 103% over the last 10 Years (Real Estate Institute of New Zealand April 2013), but no market goes up forever so get a valuation and think things through carefully. Some of the issues covered above are more practical than legal.

If you would like more legal focus please refer to our on-line Queen City Law Library. Queen City Law is also providing real estate services to certain experienced development companies mainly in Auckland CBD.

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Please contact Marcus on 0274877332 to arrange a viewing.

For more about Marcus Beveridge click here. Check out our other properties for sale click here