Love them or hate them, apartments are a fixture of the Australian housing market. According to the 2016 census data, there is now one occupied apartment for every five houses. This explosion in popularity comes on the back of rapid population growth in our cities.
From the outside, an apartment may seem like a downgrade from the traditional house but after spending a lot of time living in both, I can tell you that apartments have their advantages. So many advantages for me at least, that I now prefer apartment living.
Within my means
The first major advantage of an apartment is the price. Yes, there are ultra-lux apartments that remain a fantasy for the average Australian but in general, an apartment can be purchased for much less cash than an equivalent free-standing house. Don’t believe me? Just check out your favorite real estate websites and see for yourself.
If you are renting, especially in one of our major towns or cities, you will find that there are a plethora of apartments for rent, usually at a much lower price than a house. If you are purchasing a new home, enter the price of some apartments into one of your favorite home loan calculators. Now find an equivalent house (if you can) and again fire up one of the many home loan calculators.
There is a massive difference, right? A smaller weekly mortgage payment means more cash for living. You can pay off your mortgage quicker if it is smaller. Play around with some home loan repayment calculators and marvel at how much money you could save by buying an apartment.
Modern day living.
We have established that an apartment is generally cheaper, but is that all they have going for them? For me personally, I think apartment living edges out living in a home for several reasons.
Whilst houses can also be conveniently located, apartments tend to be better positioned for modern day living. Apartments are usually built in convenient locations, close to shops, schools and public transport. Being closer to services is a massive boon for any city dweller. Less time in the car means more time for enjoying life.
Apartments lack a back yard or lawn which to some is a negative, but for others, it can be a big plus. Maintaining a back yard requires noisy tools, some know-how and of course your valuable time. There is something very Australian about mowing your backyard on a Saturday morning, but I would rather be doing almost anything else.
New apartments are usually fitted out with good quality materials and some can look very upmarket for the asking price. A comparable interior in a house would fetch a much higher asking price than that of an apartment. In general, I find apartments easier to clean and maintain.
Not only are you buying the apartment itself, but you are also buying into the complex that the unit is located. Apartment complexes usually have lovely shared green spaces with professional groundskeepers keeping them fresh. Some have fully equipped gyms, pools, and even saunas.
Apartment living can be an acquired taste. For larger families, an apartment can be a nightmare, but for couples and singles trying to make it in the city, an apartment can be a cherished place to recoup, relax and recline. Typing ‘mortgage calculator Australia’ into your preferred search engine will provide you with tools to compare the costs of an apartment and a house. This can be all the motivation you need to buy your very own slice of apartment life.