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What to Look For When Buying an Apartment

Owning a home is one of the best life decisions you can make. 

If you’ve settled on a buying an apartment, wither as an investment or to live in, there are several factors that you need to consider to ensure that you get real value for money. 

Apartments, unlike standalone houses, are part of a building complex, making their purchase slightly more complicated. Here are things to look for to ensure that you don’t fall prey to hidden pitfalls:


Some people prefer living closer to the CBD, while others prefer suburban living. Depending on your preference, location is a priority. You need to check that the area you wish to buy in has the right infrastructure and amenities.  

You’ll need to ask yourself the following: 

  • What’s the transport infrastructure like, and how far is the apartment from the CBD?
  • Are the schools, hospitals, clubs, restaurants, and sports facilities nearby?
  • Where’s the nearest supermarket or shopping mall?
  • What’s the crime rate in the area? 

It is essential to first visit the area before investing your cash on purchasing the apartment. Ensure that the location of the apartment is liveable, as this will have a direct effect on your ROI. 

Building Structure

Imagine buying an apartment in a building that then goes on to collapse after a few months! 

This scenario is indeed stressful, but avoidable. You must pay keen attention to the structural aspects of the building that houses your apartment in the pre-buying period to avoid such disasters. 

Consider engaging a professional buildings inspector to assess the quality of the build in a Property Inspections Report, which points out any hidden problems like structural cracks and water leaks. 

Noise and Disturbance Levels

Noise is incredibly irritating and pronounced in apartment living. As you will be living close to your neighbours, you’ll inevitably have to bear with the noise and disturbances. 

For this reason, it is crucial to assess these aspects before deciding to buy your apartment. Visit the apartment complex at various times of the day to evaluate the noise levels before you buy. 

These visits will help you to determine the nature of the neighbourhood and whether it is fit for your lifestyle and noise preferences. Treat this aspect as a priority on your list.

Drainage and Waste Management Systems

The sewerage and drainage systems are essential to every building, as they are tied in with hygiene. You do not want to live in an apartment where the sewer overflows every other week! 

Also, check on how the building has incorporated waste management systems? Is there a waste shoot on your apartment floor that goes directly to the basement? Is there a service lift to take waste to the basement in case the shoot breaks down? 

It is crucial to assess these aspects before signing your purchase contract. 

Vacancy Rates

If you’re buying an apartment for investment, you’ll need to consider its occupancy rate.

In other words, check the frequency of the units that fall vacant in any given month. This aspect will be an indication of the probability of your unit getting a tenant or not. An apartment or region with a high vacancy rate of 70% and above is an indication of low demand or unsatisfactory building services and vice versa. 

To ensure you do not suffer a loss, opt for an apartment with a high occupancy rate. Such a building will guarantee you consistent f income, and help you to pay the mortgage, and realise a return on your investment. 


Apartment complexes are social by nature, and high-end developments usually include facilities to enhance the lifestyle of its occupants. These amenities can also attract tenants to your unit, as most apartment dwellers lookout for these extra features to improve their stay. Look out for amenities like:

  • Stovetops, washer dryers, microwaves, and central heating and air inside the apartment
  • Fitness centres, swimming pools, CCTV and security, landscaping, ample parking, and convenience stores in the grounds of the apartment building

Final Thoughts

Buying an apartment is an excellent way to jump onto the property ladder. Nonetheless, you need to consider several factors to ensure you get value for your money. Ignoring these factors can lead to a lifetime of regrets. 

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