apartment living pro's/con's

Wife and I have been looking around for a while to buy our first place.
It’s pretty obvious since going to auctions etc that we cant afford most things, so we started looking at new apartment type places (either currently under construction or off the plan)

We’ve never lived in one of those places with the shared garage things and lifts etc Does anyone have reviews as such? I read the bikes stolen thread now and then it seems lots of bikes get stolen from those storage areas they provide in the shared garage? I’m also concerned about the lifts being noisy, walls being kinda made from cardboard etc

I guess that there’s good and bad with everything but if anyone’s got views and experiences with apartment living I’d be happy to read:)

ps, places we’ve looked at are 3-4 story in the eastern burbs, not the giant things in docklands/sth melb

Check body corp rates. O have heard lofts can jack them up. Pools also, obviously.

Haven’t lived in em’ but have done heaps of work in their halls. MAN you can smell what everyone is cooking hey, just an observation and necessarily bad. Thats all I got.

cons - everything
pros - none

If you get a ground floor apartment, you can just keep your bike just inside the door somewhere. They don’t take up too much space, and much safer. Could do a neat wall hanging system too I guess. Everyone I know with apartments keeps their bikes inside, wouldn’t trust a communal rack. Apart from that, no complaints really, most people get used to hearing a lot more of humanity than you would in a house.

This. In regards to cycling apartments are not ideal.

I have an apartment and a villa.

As above -

cons - everything
pros - nothing.

However, my apartment is in a smaller complex, not one of those ‘highrise’ type set ups. So, it came with a single lock up garage. No lift and no pool which kept body corporate rates down too. No dramas taking bikes up and down stairs, (it’s on the top floor).

When i bought the villa, i thought, this will be great, it’s just like a little house, but with someone to look after all the grounds (and any problems behind the walls). Was a terrible idea and I regret wholeheartedly. Yes it’s great because it’s bigger, has a backyard, and a garage and all that. But you still suffer all the body corporate crap like ‘dont park in common areas’ etc etc and riff raff tenants. ugh.

When i was renting, i had a place with remote storage that I kept my bikes in. No dramas at all. As long as everything is secure, and you have good locks on your doors - and good contents insurance - MAKE SURE YOUR REMOTE LOCKUP IS COVERED, then you won’t have any issues.

Have you lived in an apartment building like one that you are thinking about buying in, previously?
I’d do that before you bought one. The noises and smells you encounter living so close to others aren’t for everyone.

I’m used to having a big garage and a house, I’m now on the 16th floor.

Pros, Amenaties you usually couldn’t afford like gyms, heated pool, sauna/steam room and good security.

Cons, body corps(check what major work needs doing as body corp often don’t have enough), neighbors, managers, parking, storage.

I’m in a two bed unit with 7 bikes and we make do

Yep,I’d concur, alot of the smell/noise issues dont happen any more. I’ve worked on a few. 350k for 50 square meters when its built as cheaply as possible is not good value for money. Id look at buying ion an established building

Yep I work closely with the people who sell/market the ‘off the plan’ apartments. They are out to make money, not a quality product.

Not to say they are all bad, but maybe try to research what that developer has done previously if possible. Some are pretty damn low qual.

Or go for an established building as nurbs says. Then you can actually go there and get an idea of what you are in for!

Body corporates suck balls. They are parasites out to make money off owners and provide the cheapest level of service they can get away with.

thanks for the replies everyone!
seems like an overwhelming fail on apartment living
it’s somewhat frustrating going to these new apartment things and they give you a solid price…then you go check out an auction for an existing place and they give you a “guide” which seems to be some random figure roughly 100k less than what the seller wants

moccos, no never lived in an apartment building. Mainly villa units (with either shared walls or stand-alone) did spend 1 year in a flat in east stkilda, probably a 1950’s/1960’s building.

The place we live in now is awesome…lock up garage, standalone unit with own driveway and 1/2 way between two zone 1 stations. If i won lotto, i might be able to buy it off the foreign investors who own it…:mad:

Shit quality builds and finishes, crappy appliances, putting up with everyone else’s cooking smells, bedroom noises, poor choice in music, renters partying like the world’s about to end, doof music until 4am on Sat morning after the neighbours come back wasted after clubbing etc etc. Nothing good!

If you’re talking suburbs… crazy, psycho neighbours, methheads, potheads, teenagers just moved out of home etc A friend of mine bought in Flemington and copped all the above. They sold pretty quick!

Plus, when you pick something you’re only just able to afford, some cashed up investor will shaft you anyway. We recently looked at a house that, at auction, went for almost 40% above the agents approx. price. Pffft!

I apartment hunting right now (to rent). Lock up garages barely exist or are out of my price range. Thinking of selling my track bike as a 1bdr apt can’t fit 3 bikes on a hallway (most don’t have hallways).

It’s tough times in a tough economy in a high priced city.

Here’s my 2cents just buy the place you think you will be happiest the most,
Sounds crazy but if it’s an appartment, unit, duplex what ever just get in the market
If you’re looking at buying your a hell of a lot luckier than a lot of people

man…after reading all those posts i think i’m doing this apartment living wrong!

we were in a similar boat, wanted to live closer to city, rented initially in the area where we thought we could afford a nice two/three bed house with garage on its own block. everything we found was either too expensive or way too rundown for us. so we switched to what would be great for us to live in for the next 5 years instead of 50 years, expanded the area to look in out a couple of kms too.we’ve just bought (3 months back) almost what OP described, except ours is 1 year old never lived in. is a three-tier building; ground for cars, 1st floor single level apts, 2nd floor two level apts, NO LIFT!!!

the list of stuff:
communal carpark with two double car lifts (each take 4 cars). annoying if you just wanna get in and go when your car isn’t lined up to leave, not a big deal.
we live on 1st floor, middle of the building from the street, and while stairs are annoying, unless you are going up and down more than 5 times a day, it’s no problem.
majority of the walls are prefab concrete, so very little sound goes through. we hear doors closing and cars that have +100dB exhausts on them that like to rev them while cold…maybe after we bring the baby home we’ll discover a whole new world of noises that wake it up.
you can smell what people on the floor are/have cooked. there’s two apts on our floor with indian/pakistani heritage (i haven’t had long chats with either of them yet, so can’t say for sure where they’re from) that normally cook before we get home. you can smell it from the hall, but not inside the apt. always gets the saliva going in prep for dinner.
i keep all my bikes in the communal garage, except the track bike which lives at disc. there’s also a small stack of spare wheels down there. no issues as yet, the only problem i’ve found is if i go to work on one down there, i always forget one or two things i need, so have to come back to the apt and go down again. if i’m doing something more substantial i’ll bring it up and work on it on the balcony on the stand.

also, this x1000

how you live is more important than where you live.

Woah. You guys and your 700m2 suburban living with hills hoist. Luxury!

I am in favour of apartments. To be honest, I reckon they’re fucking great.


-No house-related woes - termites, rising damp (in most cases), mould, leaking, etc. Most building maintenance is covered by strata, so is less of a blow to you. Hunt around for somewhere with the lowest fees.

-If you have one with good walls, you don’t need to give any shits about your neighbours. I find apartment cooking smells like a condensed version of walking through a street at dinner time. Variety is the spice etc.

-Less petty arguments with neighbours of renovations, additions, dogs, treees, etc. Unless you’re having pinging raves erry week.



-poor design (I WOULD SUGGEST GETTING AN ARCHITECT FRIEND TO LOOK AT ANY PROPOSED PLANS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE. This would ensure the apartments construction, orientation and general design hasn’t been put together by some muppet building designer with a 7b pencil.

Im with drozzy, for the time the missus and i were living in our unit it was great, we reminisce about it fondly.

Our first bought property together, a first floor unit in a block of 12, only 2 storeys high. We were in the back half of the block, so off the main street, so a tad quiter than being on the front half. 112sq with two balconys and an individual lock up garage. We were also across the street from a major shopping centre in sydneys inner western suburbs (burwood westfields), so 8 min walk to train station, shops, and fairly close to the city.

Like all things, theres gonna be some bad that comes with it, but IMO, the good definitely outweighed it.

Cons - as people have mentioned, some smells in the hall way, neighbours watching bollywood porn at midnight full blast while they’re wife and kids are away (we did call the cops and even smashed on his front door) teen neighbours with their noisey cars and hanging out in the car park down stairs. Body corp, although it helps to be involved, makes it much easier if you have any issues/requests. Strata wasnt so bad as we had no lift/pool. It was an older building, which i think is much better then the newer cheaper crap built these days.

Pros - location location location! i think we did well as it was a fairly spacious unit, we did get lucky i think. + on the minimal maintenance. Not sure if we were just lucky, but we really did have minimal issues for the time we were there. 18months-2 years.

112sqm is a monster unit for that area! Do you still have it? Would be worth a pretty penny today!