When looking to purchase a home, there are several options you can decide on. One alternative that is becoming more and more popular is a strata property. You will own a living space in the form of an apartment, unit, or townhouse while you will share ownership of common land, gardens, and driveways. If you’re considering buying into a strata scheme, here are a few tips that you need to keep in mind.
1. Research the builder and developer
One important aspect of buying a strata is researching the builder and developer of the property. For example, you can look at their website and see the other projects they worked on. See their other buildings and if they have had any disciplinary action take against them. Moreover, if it’s possible, get in touch with owner-occupiers to check if they’ve had any issues related to the property. You should be aware that about 80% of new buildings have defects, according to studies. With that in mind, you need to see if developers are willing to quickly repair the problems or if they need to be called repeatedly until they take action.
2. Carefully read the bylaws
Every strata property has its own set of rules that the body corporate imposed in order to regulate the behavior of owners and visitors. The bylaws cover various issues so it’s important to check what is stated to know what you will be able to do on your property. For instance, the building might not allow pets so
if you have a dog, you might have to think twice about whether this is the right move. The bylaws also address noise, safety, security, and other aspects of living in a complex.
3. Find out which fees you’ll have to pay
Another thing you will have to look into before you sign a contract is the fees. The fees you will have to pay if you opt for a strata property depend on several factors, including the size of the lot, its age, and the condition it is in. These fees are typically used for building and common areas maintenance and repairs as well as for day-to-day expenses of running the building. Furthermore, some newer complexes usually include pool and elevator maintenance costs too. Lastly, you also want to make sure one of the fees concerns the insurance.
4. Make sure the strata is properly managed
In addition to ensuring the building is in good condition and looking into which fees you will have to pay, it’s essential that you make sure the strata property is properly managed as well. This means that all repairs will be done on time, your fees will not be wasted, and all disputes between owners will be handled in a timely manner. Fortunately, it should not be a problem to find quality strata management companies that know exactly how to deal with strata schemes.
5. Look into the parking options
Something that you might not care about right away, especially if you don’t own a car, is parking. However, you never know when you might decide to make this big purchase and then parking will be very important to you. With that in mind, you should find out beforehand if the parking stalls are common property or if you will have your own.
6. Seek legal advice if unsure
Finally, one crucial thing you need to remember when looking into a strata property is that you can always look for legal advice if you’re unsure about any aspect of the purchase. An expert can look through the fine print of the contract and bylaws and provide you with guidance if you have any questions about your legal obligations.
In case you are considering investing in a strata property, keep these six tips in mind before you make a purchase.
Article by Patrick Adams