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5 tips for buying your first apartment

Published on December 4th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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You finally made up your decision of purchasing your dream apartment. That is undoubtedly exciting, but, there are a couple of things that you shouldn’t overlook in order to make a wise, responsible decision.

First of all, purchasing an apartment typically implies living in a community. Consequently, you’ll have to abide by a set of rules, as every member of the community has a range of rights and responsibilities. For instance, let’s say that you are the owner of a pet. A lot of apartment blocks do not allow for pets. So, you might want to get acquainted with the set of rules the building has, as you certainly don’t want to let your beloved pet out of the picture – surely he/she is part of the family!

Apartment strata inspection

Leaving all the moving excitement aside, the first thing you should do is have your apartment properly inspected. This procedure is in order not only when purchasing a house, but when buying an apartment as well. A crucial aspect is inquiring whether there are particular financial issues the building may be dealing with. Additionally, strata inspection will check whether the insurance policies are up to date, and will reveal several important aspects concerning the present state of the building you plan to move in.

Levies

When moving into an apartment, another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked is the levies. You will imminently be required to pay a tax. Generally speaking, levies are due for payment quarterly. They usually cover the maintenance and up-keeping of the area surrounding the building, including the lobby, garages, gardens, and, if available, the pool and gym. Plus, the levy encompasses the costs associated with insurance, which is compulsory for community properties.

Apartment plan

You certainly don’t want to end up being disappointed with the apartment you purchase. Thus, checking the apartment plan is a must and, if possible, assessing 3D images and a display apartment which a lot of developers now provide.

Get to know your neighbourhood

Liking the building in which you will be spending most of your time for the upcoming years is crucial. However, it’s equally important to get to know your neighbourhood. If you don't pay increased attention to this tiny detail, you are prone to be disappointed right after you move in. What does this mean? Well, you should take notice of the traffic in the area, the crime reports, whether there are high or low, whether the area is safe or not, etc. This is a must, especially if you plan on having children in the foreseeable future.

Establish how much it will cost you to purchase the apartment

Not all first-time apartment buyers know that the initial purchase sum includes more than the down payment. For this reason, don’t forget to take into consideration the inspection costs, application fees, insurance and so on and so forth. All of these charges will eventually add up, so you need to determine whether they fit within your budget or not.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

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The interest rate, comparison rate, fees and monthly repayments will depend on factors specific to your profile, such as your financial situation, as well as others, such as the loan’s size and your chosen repayment term. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, aren’t included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate.

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