Deciphering Some Common Apartment Living Myths
Have you been part of a conversation where someone wasn’t quite on board with apartment living?
Ever wondered why this urban lifestyle is met with criticism? Perhaps it’s personal preference. It wouldn’t be surprising to find some people have given in to many misconceptions being bandied about.
We’ve demystified seven of the most common myths about apartment life so you can form your own opinion – fallacy free.
Myth #1: There’s no sense of community
The very notion of community is being challenged as high-density living gains traction. One could argue single-detached dwellings do precisely what their title suggests: detaches you from your local community and surroundings.
It’s easier to forge friendly relationships as apartment residents are in closer proximity to their neighbours. Apartments aren’t thwarting traditional neighbourhoods, but rather redefining how they’re cultivated.
The rise of mixed-use developments has in fact fostered greater social connectivity by incorporating a mixture of services and amenities under one roof.
You might stumble across a neighbour during your morning gym session or wave to the barista from your downstairs café on the way to work. It’s all part of being among a vibrant apartment neighbourhood.
Myth #2: Luxury = expensive and unattainable
The formula should really be luxury ≠ costly, but the initial feeling is completely understandable. You flip through the glossy brochures, take note of all the high-end trimmings and think ‘this is way out of my reach’.
Whether they’re luxurious or not, apartments are the affordable way to go. Don’t let the air of lavishness mislead you; it’s far moreeconomical than you might think.
First, calculate the running costs of an apartment as opposed to owning a house. Now, factor in your heavily reduced commute and leisure activities expenditure.
It no longer becomes a question of whether you can afford luxury, but rather if you prefer inner-city convenience to a house and land package in the sticks. Contrary to popular belief, the latter also happens to be a less favourable investment option.
Myth #3: You won’t move in on time
This is an overarching industry sentiment running through all kinds of property – from houses and renovations to apartments and units.
It stems from the alarming number of developers who have swindled their clients by either not delivering on time – or more shockingly – failing to deliver the project altogether.
But not all developers are created equal. The key here is to do your research, and to do so in an almost clinical way. What’s their track record like? Have the developments been completed on time and on budget?
A reputable developer will plan for contingencies and be able to offer you a fairly good indication of the estimated completion date.
In the case of Finbar, 4,935 apartments across 66 projects have been delivered as promised to date.
Myth #4: Land is more valuable
There are plenty of property investors who are constantly hammering the same point: the crux of the value lies in the land. While not an entirely false statement, it’s important not to become disillusioned by it.
Michael Yardney – a prominent property strategist and real estate investment expert – made an interesting point while tackling the great debate:
“Not all land is created equal and I’d rather have an eighth of an expensive block of land under my share of an apartment block, than an acre of land in the outer suburbs where there is little demand and substantially less capital growth”.
Ultimately, the value is greatly influenced by demand. Changing demographics, shifting lifestyle preferences and population figures have driven up the demand for apartment living.
It boils down to opting for a small portion of highly valuable land over a larger portion of a far less valuable mound of dirt.
Myth #5: There’s a hefty surplus
Urbis tells us there are 6,767 apartments either approved or in the planning phase in Perth. With a further 4,394 apartments currently under construction, it’s no wonder everyone is screaming ‘oversupply’.
Are they overreacting or on to something? Just like myth #4, the answer lies in the demand. Chief problem solver at Y Research, Damian Stone, is confident Perth’s apartment market is heading toward a healthy balance.
He believes greater reception of apartment living is on its way, slowly but surely. Apartment occupation would only have to be a smidgen higher (0.2% to be exact) to create demand for 4,000 more apartments.
Myth #6: The bigger the better
Only someone who has recently downsized could describe his or her feeling of elation once they transitioned to a smaller abode. Take Nancy:
“I thought getting rid of most of my stuff would be hard, and it was, but now that I’m past that I’m experiencing something that I never felt before: the lightness and surprising joy of having only as much as you need”.
Venture west a few thousand kilometres, and you’ll find as of October the average apartment size in Perth was 42sqm for a studio, 53-54sqm for a one-bed and 67sqm for a two-bed dwelling.
It’s no surprise we’ve adopted a more humble approach to living space given the social, psychological, lifestyle and environmentalbenefits. Let’s not forget bigger often equates to more stuff, mess and upkeep to clear said mess.
Myth #7: Backyard dreams are crushed
This is not so much a myth as it is an oversight. Yes, you’re forfeiting the green pastures. But you’re replacing it with stellar views and most importantly – a walkable neighbourhood.
Walkability is definitely the phrase of the moment among real estate folk, and as its name implies is determined by the degree of ease for getting to your local shop/café/market by foot. Put your current locality to the test via the Walk Score.
Why not leave backyard maintenance behind and check out our selection of off-the-plan or ready to move into developments by Finbar. Your backyard could become the Swan River! Most Finbar developments are in close proximity to the CBD, making it easier to commute to work and lots of exciting things to do with the time you save on maintenance when you switch to apartment living.