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Everybody wants everything to be shiny and new – new car, new TV, new fridge – but should the lure of the new apply in apartments too?
QUESTION: I am looking to buy a unit in a building that’s 20 yrs old. I am now in confusion should we buy such old unit or not? – Kvadhar, Westmead
ANSWER: Older units can be great value – they are often better constructed than some of the modern cheap and cheerless apartments and can have added value because they are in established communities.
Get your solicitor to do all your searches thoroughly to make sure there are no surprises around the corner in terms of special levies or essential work that has been delayed. The sinking fund should have enough money in it but it should also have been used appropriately for repairs and maintenance.
And check the minutes of the EC to make sure there are no other problems in the building. Do your checks properly and older buildings are less of a gamble than off-the-plan purchases.
When the original post appeared on the Flat Chat Forum, Chris of San Souci wrote: “My villa was built in 1974 and the Building Inspection pre-purchase said that considering the age it was in good shape.
“Of course there are some small problems. But with high ceilings, a big yard with plenty of grass and plants that I do not have to worry about, great area with good transport and facilities, I am very happy.”
And Forum regular Struggler added: “I have owned 3 properties. The first about 7 years old when I purchased and the second about 30 years old. My current property I bought off the plan.”
He points out that with the two older properties, you knew exactly what you were getting but while the new place looked fantastic, there seemed to be a new problem every week.
“I can’t say one’s better than the other,” he says. “They both have advantages and disadvantages.”
You can read the full discussion – and join in – on the Flat Chat Forum.
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