In this week’s Flat Chat Wrap podcast we encounter the best and worst in apartment living, from negative equity in off-the plan purchases, to multiple tenants causing parking chaos in a block that simply doesn’t know how to enforce their own by-laws.
In between, as some positive relief, we chat to an architect who won four gongs at the recent NSW Architects award, including for a revolutionary high-end high-rises, as well as an equally ground-breaking boarding house.
But first the issue of people who paid a deposits on off-the-plan apartments a couple of years ago, and have watched property values shrink and in some cases their jobs disappear because of the pandemic, just as their new flat is ready for occupancy.
As Jimmy and Sue discuss, it’s not just a matter of walking away from the 10 percent deposit, which may cost less than completing the sale of a now over-priced unit for which you can’t get a mortgage anyway.
The developers can sue for the difference between your surrendered deposit and the reduced price of the apartment, as well as legal costs. Any way you look at it, it’s a lose-lose situation for the apartment buyer.
Moving on to happier thoughts, we chat to Philip Thalis the award-winning architect behind the spectacularly innovative Verve Building in Newcastle, NSW, pictured here at the head of last week’s podcast show notes.
The Verve isn’t just a smart looking block, Philip has worked hard to make sure it contributes to the local environment and community.
Philip also talks about the “new generation” boarding house he designed for five Muslim brothers who wanted a project to show off their concreting skills (seriously!).
Boarding houses have a bad name in property development, not least, says Philip, because there are almost no quality controls over the finished projects, which can be cheap and very nasty.
He’s hoping his project will not only inspire other developers to try a bit harder, but encourage the government to put some basic standards into the design and construction of accommodation that has previously had an terrible reputation.
Then there’s a story straight off the Forum, where a strata scheme is suffering parking madness and they simply don’t know what to do … especially when they can’t even identify the tenants and sub-tenants in the offending unit.
And finally our Hey Marthas take us back to the architecture awards and the toilet block, pictured above, that has its designer flushed with success.
That’s all in this week’s bumper edition of the Flat Chat Wrap.
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