Buying a property is a huge milestone in your adult life. But if you’re living in a metropolitan area, you might be questioning whether it’s better to buy a house in the suburbs or a chic apartment closer to the CBD.
In the past, the experts encouraged buying up on land, and investing in an apartment was seen as a far less lucrative option.
So which is better? Buying a house with a patio for Sunday drinks, or buying an apartment that’s walking distance to the best cafes and shops in town?
Let’s break it down.
Buying an apartment
If having a large family with pets isn’t quite on your short-term agenda yet, buying an apartment is a cheaper option. It means you’ll have a far better chance of finding a property for sale in the suburb you want – closer to the beach, closer to the best cafes and closer to work. It’s a fantastic option for those who have a highly social lifestyle, and some more up-market apartment blocks have those extra luxuries, like a pool and a gym. And you can always buy a house when you get older.
Buying an apartment also comes with far less maintenance than buying a house. Roof leaking? That’s a job for the body corporate. Window broken? Luckily, that’s not a bill for you to pay.
You’ll also save time on yard maintenance, because all those little extra problems are generally Strata’s responsibility. Think of Strata as the Khaleesi of the building management world. They take care of everything, but you don’t want to get on their bad side.
Buying a townhouse
Ah, some middle ground. Buying a townhouse means you get the best of both worlds – sort of. It’s a good compromise for those who want the extra space and that hot location, but can’t afford a stand-alone property.
You may or may not have to deal with Strata, but you’ll likely deal with a smaller body corporate than if you purchased an apartment. And just like with buying an apartment, all those annoying maintenance problems are a circus for someone else to deal with.
Of course, a view of the city will come at a price, but at the same time that’s a plus for you: your property will appreciate in value year-on-year.
Buying a house
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be beholden to the rules and regulations of a governing body like Strata, buying a house will give you that freedom you want. You’ll get the final say in everything: from the appearance of your property, to when fittings and fixtures are repaired, and you won’t have to put up with the wants and needs of your many, many neighbours.
Buying a house means you’ll have more land, and land is where the real value in property is. Land generally increases in value over time, and buying a property is a long-term investment. Remember, it’s the land that inflates in value, not the bricks and mortar sitting on them.
But here’s the catch: if you buy a house, the buck stops with you. You’re responsible for all maintenance, and if your neighbour’s got serious concerns about your frangipani tree impeaching on their side of the fence, you’re going to have to settle it yourself. Same goes for when your four-footed friend digs a hole to go play in their garden.
The final showdown
As you can see, each option has its pros and cons. What it comes down to is a matter of lifestyle. If you’re not willing to take on more responsibility and the thought of a one-hour commute grosses you out, buying a two-bedroom house in the outer suburbs won’t fit your lifestyle. But owning land means more capital growth.
Dream home on your mind but not on your immediate agenda? I can help you figure it out. Get in touch today – we’re specialists at what we do, and help Sydney singles, couples and families every day to reach their home owning dreams.