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How to choose an apartment that will rise in value

How to choose an apartment that will rise in value

With 'home' ownership off the cards for many of us, the natural instinct might be to turn to apartments. But they can be a dodgy investment if we don't choose wisely. We spoke to Leonard Teplin from Marshall White Projects to find out how to pick an apartment that's actually going to rise in value over time. 

When there are so many apartments going up around us, how can we choose one that will rise in value and meet our needs, too?

Before you start looking, have a very clear idea of what you want. That means knowing the extent of your budget, the location you’d like to live in and the amenities you want to be near. Once you have a general idea of your location and price range, make a list of features that are ‘non-negotiables’ and another list of ‘nice to haves’. These could include anything from your orientation to the sun, city views, large outdoor space, a second car space, abundant closet space, etc.

Having these lists will narrow your search field and allow you to compare residences based on how many of your boxes they tick; as a guide, seven out of ten means its worth further consideration.

What are some specific features that add value? 

Apartments that offer the best views or private courtyard gardens, especially those that are north-facing and offer abundant natural light, will retain their value much more than others as they are in the minority within most developments. 

Apartments with more than one bathroom are also more valuable as they are flexible enough to suit a variety of living situations, from a family with young children to professionals who may choose to offset their mortgage by renting out their second bedroom with its own dedicated bathroom.  

Properties that are walking distance to cafes, schools and amenities are always highly sought-after and will to increase in value over time as supply in those amenity-rich areas tighten. 

Buying off-the-plan has a bit of a bad reputation. Sometimes people don’t get what they thought they would, or the development doesn’t proceed. How can people mitigate these risks?  

Speaking to someone that knows the landscape and understands your needs is crucial to mitigating risk. An experienced project marketer or agent knows the off-the-plan property market well enough to vet potential developers and projects before attaching their label to it and going to the market. 

How can people choose the best apartment they can afford in an off-the-plan block?

Choosing wisely comes from doing your homework and looking at each individual aspect of a development such as the architect, the proposed tender list of builders, the landscape gardener, etc. Crucially, find out if the project marketer knows the difference between a good development and a bad one. Driving past previous projects and speaking to the covering bodies for each profession will go along way towards mitigating risk when buying off-the-plan.

Are there ways to get a better deal than other parties looking at similar options? 

Competition is so strong for apartments these days, it’s not enough to scroll through listings and wait until something suitable appears. Off-the-plan purchasers need to be savvy and proactive. The best way to do this is to be on a real estate agency database so you can be alerted when projects become available prior to their public launch.

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