The downside of extending up | Buying and Selling | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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The downside of extending up
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JimmyT
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02/06/2012 - 7:48 am
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Extending into to roof space of your unit block, as featured in Domain recently, seems like a good idea.  But is it too good to be true?

QUESTION: I am new to purchasing units. I am thinking of buying a top storey 1 bedroom or studio apartment and then down the track when I have more money add another bedroom and possibly small study to the roof.  Nothing fancy. Is it possible and what are the perils? – Rstar1, via the Flat Chat Forum.

ANSWER:  Yes, it’s possible but the perils? Where do we begin?  Firstly, it’s a long shot to buy an apartment with a plan to extend up into the roof when you have no idea how your neighbours will respond when you eventually ask their permission.

You’ll need 75 percent of them to both approve your project and agree to sell you the roof space which is common property. Even if you got approval in principle before you bought, half your neighbours in the Owners Corp could change while you were saving up for the reno.

And it’s not necessarily a cheap option. In the ensuing discussion on the Forum, Rstar1 was surprised by how much she’d have to compensate the Owners Corp.  However,  there’s a legally established formula for this.

Take the increase in value of the larger apartment, subtract the building costs, and what’s left over goes to the Owners Corp. Thus you’re paying full whack for your new, improved apartment – and that’s IF you can get approval.

“The process is not simple,” said Forum regular ScotlandX who lists exclusive use by-laws, detailed plans, engineering reports and council approvals among the many hurdles. “A major consideration is whether it is worth the costs relative to the increased value of the apartment.”

Done properly, roof space extensions can be a great way of both improving homes and rejuvenating ageing buildings – the money you pay may well go to repairs and maintenance.  But you can’t realistically buy a top-floor apartment with that plan for some vague time in the future.

Read all about it HERE.

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