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8 things to look for when buying a unit

By Lachelle Ferguson

1. Higher proportion of owner-occupiers

Aim for at least a 70:30 ratio of owner-occupiers to investor. Often apartment block tends to be better maintained if there’s a higher proportion of owner-occupiers. Better presented units mean higher demand, which translates to better prospects for capital and rental growth. Being well cared for also means you may have lower maintenance costs.

2. Good location

Look for a unit that is within walking distance of good schools, shopping and recreational facilities and public transport.Most buyers and tenants prefer units close to these amenities.

3. Good street appeal

Choose a unit in a quiet street and around attractive homes and parks.Units located around leafy and quiet surroundings are almost always attractive to both buyers and tenants.

4. Quality of construction

A building that’s showing some cracks on the walls could be a sign of a more serious structural problem, which could cost you a lot to fix it in the future. Get a professional building inspector to make sure you don’t miss any hidden damage.

If you’re buying older units, look out for dodgy acoustics or poor ventilation as they can be common in older properties.

5. Orientation

Lots of natural light, or at least an opportunity to bring in natural light, via sliding glass doors, is a great feature. North-facing units away from a busy road are in high demand.

Generally, north-facing units and those away from a busy road are in high demand. This type of unit would receive good air flow and minimal noise pollution. You want good natural ventilation to avoid ending up with a musty, smelly apartment.

Look for an apartment that has plenty of natural light and areas that can be used to entertain and relax.

6. Bedrooms and floor space

If you’re looking for a two-bedroom unit, look at buying something over 80m2, and above 110m2 for a three-bedder.

If you’re an investor, more bedrooms means more rent in most cases. As a home buyer, this also means that your property may be in higher demand when it’s time to sell.

7. Level

Depending on your target market if you’re buying to invest, the position of the unit in the building is an important consideration.

If your tenants are mostly young families or empty nesters, they will likely be looking for an easily accessible, but safe, unit on the first two floors. A unit on the first two floors will suit young families & empty nesters.

Some experts believe that no matter who your market is, the ground floor of a unit complex is by far the best decision for an investor.

That’s because you don’t eliminate any of your target market. If you go above ground floor, you may be eliminating the older generation who may not want to go up the stairs, or people with young children.

8. Car space

Having a car space, especially in inner-city blocks, often makes your unit more attractive to both renters and buyers. It will cost you more initially, but your property is likely to see faster growth compared to the ones without a car space.

If you’re buying a unit as your permanent residence, you still need to take all these factors into consideration because one day, you might like to sell or turn your property into rental. You want to make sure that your property ticks all the boxes for this eventuality.


For more information on buying and selling please call Ray White Real Estate Narraweena 9984 7100 or Ray White real Estate  Narrabeen 9970 6777

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