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October 9, 2020   •   asbirguest   •

House, Apartment or Townhouse: Finding the Right Building Type for Your Next Home

One of the main decisions you’ll need to make when buying a home is the type of property you want. To simplify the process, we’ve broken down each type and listed some pros and cons to consider.

Houses

Houses probably don’t need much of an explanation. Buying a house means you own both the property and the land it’s on. A house is detached and comes with its own private yard and parking.

Pros

Size – houses are the largest of the building types and are great for large or growing families.
Privacy – with your own yards and no shared walls, houses offer the most privacy.
Freedom to make changes – while you’re still bound by council regulations, you have a lot more freedom to make changes to your property without a body corporate.

Cons

Price – houses are more expensive than other building types.
Location – if you are looking for inner city suburbs house prices may be too high, so you may need to be flexible on location.
Maintenance – without body corporate and more space, more property maintenance will fall to you.


Apartment

An apartment is part of a larger complex in which you own the apartment itself but share common areas with other owners. Apartment owners have a body corporate, which takes care of the maintenance and repair of these common areas.

Pros
Price – apartments are cheaper than houses in the same neighbourhood.
Less maintenance – body corporate takes care of common areas and with a smaller space there’s less maintenance for you.
Amenities – apartment blocks will often have shared amenities such as pools, gardens and barbecues.

Cons
Less privacy – with other apartments above, below or beside you as well as common entrances, there is less privacy.
Body corporate fees – unlike houses, apartments come with body corporate fees, which are paid each year.
Less space – generally, apartments are smaller and have fewer bedrooms.

Townhouses

Townhouses are almost like a middle ground between a house and an apartment. They are typically larger than an apartment and have their own private courtyard, but they will typically share one or more walls with other townhouses. Like with an apartment, you will own the property, but will share land. They also have a body corporate.

Pros
More space than apartment – as townhouses usually span multiple floors, they are typically a little larger than apartments.
A little more privacy – private entrances, courtyards and no residents above and below you can offer more privacy.
Price – townhouses are cheaper than houses.

Cons
Lack of individuality
– often all townhouses on a block look identical.
Stairs – this may causes issues for families with small children or for the elderly.
Price – they are more expensive than apartments.


Still not sure which one is right for you? Ask yourself some of the questions below.

How big is your family and is this going to change in the near future?

Will you have to upsize or downsize in the future?

Do you have pets or do you want to get a pet?

What is your budget?

What neighbourhoods are you looking at and what is the average price for each building type in these areas?

What are some non-negotiables for your next home?

Do you plan on living here long term or as a stepping stone?

If you eventually want to rent it out, how attractive would it be to renters?

Do you require a home that is low maintenance or one without stairs?

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