Buying an apartment is a bit different from buying a detached or semi-detached residential property. The following factors should help you find the best apartment for your lifestyle.
A typical apartment complex houses numerous people, so parking can be a problem. This is especially true in a city where public transportation is not efficient and most people own cars. It's also likely to be a problem in a big or tall apartment on a moderate lot. If you own a car or are likely to own one in the future, find out what the parking arrangement is first and confirm that you can live with it.
Building Safety and Security
Apartment structures are usually tall structures, so their safety can be a concern especially with old apartments. You don't want to move into your new apartment only to learn that it is sinking a couple of years after purchase. Other safety and security issues to confirm include the following:
- Whether the building is earthquake-proof
- The fire-resistance measures of the building
- How easy it is for criminals to gain access into the building (for example, is there security or a doorman?)
Your real estate agent should be able to help you research most of these issues.
Most apartment complexes have shared amenities since it is not cost-effective to install everything for each apartment unit. Your complex may have a swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, and a rooftop chill space that you have to share with others. Find out whether these amenities are adequate or the developer just included them as a token.
Since you will share many of the things with your apartment neighbors, you will also be required to chip in with the maintenance of your apartment complex. For example, sharing maintenance costs for shared amenities is common. Maintenance, cleaning, and running costs (like lighting, for example) for common areas are other expenses you may have to contribute toward. Talk to the association that manages the complex to understand how these costs are shared and managed.
It is also a good idea to know your potential neighbors since, in an apartment, the houses are really close to each other as compared to detached or semi-detached houses. Learning about your neighbors can be difficult, but you can at least knock on their doors for greetings and get an impression of them. Otherwise, you might find yourself living next to a budding drummer who often invites their colleagues for nighttime practice sessions, and you are a light sleeper who needs absolute silence to enjoy their shuteye.