Property Advice

5 things to consider if you’re thinking of buying an apartment or townhouse

Article by Homes to Love

As the population grows we’re seeing a greater trend towards creating ‘Urban Communities’ with apartments and townhouses – here’s what you should consider

Wynyard Central

As New Zealand cities grow denser, most New Zealanders will – either by choice or compulsion – need to live in apartments and townhouses rather than in single dwellings on big sections. But giving up the garden doesn’t mean a lower quality of life – increasingly, you’ll find sensitively designed developments in both the city and the suburbs.

  1. Do some due diligence. If there’s a body corporate, ask to see the minutes of their meetings and their budgets. Is it efficiently run? Do they set money aside for maintenance? If there’s no body corporate – what happens when the driveway needs repairing?
  2. Check for earthquake risk. Many heritage apartment blocks – while lovely – are facing big bills for earthquake strengthening. This isn’t a reason to panic, and in many cases it costs less than people think. Just make sure you know what you’re up for.
  3. Walk around the area, particularly at night. Does it feel safe? Are there cafes, restaurants, bakeries, shops and parks?
  4. Ignore the real estate agent when they say the house on that big section next door is owned by an old lady who will never sell. Check the district plan: what’s the zoning? Could you lose light and views?
  5. Buy off the plans. If you have a low deposit, buying off the plans is a great way of securing a property – the restrictions around loan to value are easier, and it gives you a couple of years to save up more capital.

If you’re thinking about building, buying or renovating use the ANZ home loan calculator to work out how you can achieve it. Visit anz.co.nz/homeloans for more information.

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