Meet the home buyer: Why location is everything for this apartment dweller
High land prices in Australia’s major cities have made apartment living an increasingly attractive option for many home buyers.
The number of occupied apartments increased by 78 per cent in the 25 years from 1991-2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.
“More Australians than ever are taking up apartment living, whether out of preference, convenience, or for other reasons”, the bureau said.
For first-home buyer Sandeep Adnani, 39, the appeal of inner-city living combined with stamp duty savings available by buying off-the-plan made an apartment the obvious choice.
The Melbourne counsellor didn’t have to search far to find his dream home – in a development called Noir in trendy inner-city South Yarra.
“I wasn’t in the market for very long as I had very specific criteria and few apartments I saw fit the bill,” Mr Adnani said.
Melbourne’s “mix of nationalities, amazing public transport, great food and active scene for arts, music and movies” made it the ideal city to live in, Mr Adnani said.
Other must-haves included plenty of natural light, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a balcony, separate kitchen and laundry, all in a central location.
Having saved for a deposit, and being also able to take advantage of the Victorian government’s first-home owner’s-grant, Mr Adnani bought his two-bedroom apartment off-the-plan in 2017.
The convenient inner-city location and appealing lifestyle sealed the deal.
“I finally decided on South Yarra because [the development] Noir was near completion and had easy access to transport, shops, cafes, supermarkets, Prahran market, the river and the cinema,” Mr Adnani said.
“You have the vibrant buzz during the day with a peaceful yet comfortable residential feel at night.”
Low body corporate fees were also a deciding factor.
“Noir is affordable as there isn’t a gym or pool to inflate the cost,” Mr Adnani said.
Hardwood floors, a large balcony with sweeping city views and the sleek, modern “yin-yang style” black and white building are Mr Adnani’s favourite aspects of his new home.
When it came to interior decorating, Mr Adnani kept things simple.
“There is a splash of colour to complement the black and white interior, with some personal touches with art painted by me,” he said.
First-home buyers looking to find a dream apartment at an affordable price should look to off-the-plan properties for “substantial stamp duty savings”, Mr Adnani said.
“Find a good conveyancer, and ask all the questions you need to before committing to an apartment,” he said.
Choice of location was also key.
“Choose a suburb you love and can picture yourself spending five to 10 years in, if not more,” Mr Adnani said.
“Don’t compromise on the location for the size of the house. A smaller apartment is better in a more central location, rather than a larger one which is further away.”
“Finally, the home will speak to you, its vibe and energy will draw you to it – so listen to your gut instincts.”