Should You Buy an Off the Plan Apartment or a Townhouse?
More and more people are appreciating the many benefits of buying properties off the plan. Aside from the different incentives they get from the government, they can also have the best pick of the lot especially when they do it early on in the offering stage. If you are not yet familiar about what buying off the plan property means, you may want to check out our article about the things that you need to know when buying an off the plan property (www.chillirealty.com.au/buy-off-the-plan-apartments-and-townhouses-in-melbourne/).
Now, to give you an idea, buying off the plan simply means buying a property even before that property is built or ready for occupancy. In Melbourne, there are 2 common types of properties that are being sold on an off the plan basis. These are apartments and townhouses. Each has its own pros and cons so it actually depends on your personal preferences.
Here is a differentiation between the two.
Living in an Apartment
One of the most obvious reasons why you would want to live in an apartment is the level of security that it provides as well as the various modern amenities that is available for all apartment dwellers to enjoy. Apartments are large residential building complexes almost similar to a hotel except for the fact that people actually live in the units – or “rooms” – of the building. In a hotel, people come and go. In an apartment, people stay. As such, building security is top notch and can include CCTV surveillance cameras, magnetic card access controls, fully electronic gate and lift access, and round-the-clock roving security.
Apartments also have a variety of modern amenities within the complex itself such that residents no longer have to go outside the building to enjoy themselves. There are spas, fitness centres, gyms, swimming pools, and recreational facilities. In large apartment complexes, there may even be a department store, grocery stores, banks, and other commercial establishments so it’s more like an exclusive community in itself.
Home maintenance is not also a problem because repairs and maintenance will usually be taken care of by the apartment building management. Monthly membership dues are generally stable so you can really plan your budget wisely.
But there’s a catch. You will have to abide by the rules of the apartment building management and there is technically nothing you can do about the exterior appearance of your apartment unit. You may redecorate your interior but major renovations or remodelling are generally not allowed. Additionally, while security may be at its best, privacy may be a bit limited because your unit is separated from your neighbours by a wall, literally.
Living in a Townhouse
If you choose an off the plan townhouse, know that this is more a hybrid between an apartment and a single-detached house. So it features some of the characteristics of these two other types of residential properties.
Living in a townhouse is like living in your own home. Many townhouses have front lawns and backyards which you can use to employ some of your landscaping skills. Generally, townhouses are no taller than 3 stories high and have a piece of land both front and back of the building. However, a townhouse unit is usually connected as well to other units in a row except if your unit happens to be located in the end of that particular row. You can make minor alterations in the appearance of your exterior often depending on the arrangements or provisions of the contract. Nevertheless, the mere fact that you have a short strip of land to go with your property is something that many would like in a townhouse which is sorely lacking in an apartment.
Privacy is also ensured because, while your unit may be connected to another unit, the wall is usually thicker and there is still some form of a space that separates your living spaces from your neighbour’s property. Noise levels are also kept to a minimum. Security is also good, albeit not as sophisticated as that in an apartment. Your best security measure is your own neighbour.
The downside? It is generally more expensive to own a townhouse including the cost of repairs and maintenance. It may also not have all the modern community amenities that you require. Other than these, living in a townhouse should appeal more to individuals who require privacy and the feel of a real house.
Given that buying off the plan can provide quite a number of benefits, the decision now rests on which type of property you will be more willing to purchase – an apartment or a townhouse? Technically, it’s all about what you want in life.