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Pros & Cons of Apartment Living

Apartments have long been an attractive living option for many of those who either can’t afford to, or just don’t want to live in a full-scale house.

They come with a range of benefits, and in the midst of an economy that can be hard on those looking to buy a home, they could be a more viable option for people with smaller incomes. A few common benefits of apartment living include:

Pros for living in an apartment

  • Less maintenance – with nearly all apartments, most maintenance is covered and taken care of by the landlord or the body corporate, making one less major worry for you when that leaky pipe finally splits. Apartment owners may still be responsible for some of the non-structural maintenance of the space they own.
  • Amenities – living in an apartment complex can bring access to a large array of amenities that you might not get after buying a home. This potentially includes things like a common room, swimming pool, communal barbeques, a gym, covered parking and a security system.
  • Well-suited for living alone – the smaller space and simplicity of an apartment can be ideal for those living alone who want less space and smaller bills.
  • Bills and fees – apartment living can cost you less in terms of heating, cooling and other utilities such as water and electricity.

Before you rush out and move, however, be aware that the benefits of apartment living can come with some potential drawbacks.

The table below displays a snapshot of some of the lowest rate 5-Star rated variable home loan products on Canstar’s database, with links to providers’ websites. This table is sorted by the current advertised interest rate (lowest to highest), then by provider name (alphabetically). Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the PDS to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity.

Based on residential first home buyer variable rate home loans available for a loan amount of $600,000 at 80% LVR, with principal and interest repayments. *Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning.

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Possible cons for living in an apartment

  • Smaller living space – one major disadvantage of apartments is that they’re generally smaller than the average house. While this means you’ve got less space to clean, for some people that’s only a small consolation for less living space, particularly for those who like to entertain. You also may not have access to a clothes line.
  • Privacy and noise – due to the crowded nature of apartment buildings, the privacy afforded by apartment living can be less than that of living in a house. You might overhear someone speaking (or singing, or shouting…) in the apartment next to yours, or they might hear you. This means that being impacted by excessive noise, and even in some cases cigarette smoke from other residents is entirely possible.
  • Personalisation – Because most apartments are overseen by body corporate, the extent to which you can modifty and personalise your apartment is potentially limited and may require body corporate approval.
  • Parking – Parking spaces can be at a premium in an apartment block, particularly if you don’t have allocated parking. This can also pose a challenge for visitors, particularly in areas where permits are required for on-street parking.

So while apartment living may be well suited to some, there are some notable disadvantages you might want to take into consideration before you choose an apartment over a house.

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