Negosentro | Things to Consider When Investing in Strata Properties for the First Time | If you’re looking to buy your first real estate, the Australian market can leave you feeling confused and even a bit scared. The same goes for those who are thinking about selling their property for the first time. Dealing with strata property can only seem like a major hassle and unnecessary issue at first, but it’s not exactly so. When you learn enough in advance, perhaps by talking to a strata advisor like Michael Teys, strata properties stop being a pain in the neck and a nightmare and instead become a great opportunity. Here’s what you should consider when thinking about investing in strata properties:
Get familiar with the concept
While the concept of strata ownership might be familiar to the people from British Columbia and Australia, others might feel a bit overwhelmed. The concept, however, is simple enough: you own an apartment in a residential building (or some other kind of “lot”), whereas the rest of the building is considered to be common property. This means that, while you might own every square inch of your apartment, anything outside of it is co-owned by the other residents. As such, you won’t have an exclusive right to a playground, driveway, lobby, or courtyard outside of your housing unit. While the ownership concept might be simple enough, property management is the role of a strata management company and while you’ll have input you won’t have full control.
Don’t ignore the body corporate
It’s important to understand that strata title schemes in Australia consist of different lots that might include just the apartment/unit, a house, or even a townhouse. Because everything outside your four walls is common property, the ownership falls to the body corporate instead of an individual All lot owners belong to the body corporate regardless of the size of the property they own. When it comes to decision making, it has to be a consensus. This means that you have to bring everything to the body corporate, including any renovations or improvements to your property. It also means that, as an owner, you have to assist and attend these meetings when others want to make any changes to their units, no matter how boring and tedious it might seem to you.
Don’t rely on the body corporate
Yes, we understand that this might be a bit confusing, if outright contradictory to the previous point, but hear us out. There certainly are body corporates run by competent and dedicated people with plenty of experience and time on their hands. Unfortunately, not all body corporates are like that, and you might soon realize that you are surrounded by disinterested owners. If that is the case, it could feel like you are carrying the weight of the maintenance on your own, which is draining. This is why you should think about hiring experts in strata management in Sydney, or another Australian city, who will be able to hire competent and dedicated managers. What is more, strata management companies usually have special departments for mediating and resolving possible disputes to the mutual benefit of everyone involved.
Think about pets
While you might not be a pet owner yourself, if you’re considering investing in s rata properties, the issue of pets is going to come up sooner or later. This is far from a trivial issue as apparently three in five Australians today own a pet. Pet ownership is an important and very serious issue when it comes to tenants. Fortunately for those with fur children, it seems like the majority of strata properties in New South Wales are pet-friendly. Of course, it is your responsibility to notify the body corporate that a tenant moving in might bring a pet to the estate. This is a serious issue that should be cleared before the tenant moves in. After you clear this with the other owners, feel free to advertise your property as “pet-friendly.” This will certainly make it more desirable, and you will be able to earn a few extra dollars.
Learn about strata bylaws
Before you invest in a strata property, make an effort to learn all about its bylaws. These are the laws that ensure that all owners don’t run into unnecessary disputes. They also protect the integrity of the community. Bylaws can include seemingly simple things, garbage disposal, parking, pet ownership, renovation rules, and acceptable noise levels, for example. The laws are often particular, so take time to become familiar with them so as not to be surprised by “small print” later on.
Even though the real estate market in Australia is hectic at the moment, and the prices seem way over the top for someone without experience, it’s not exactly the case. While you might be a first-time buyer/seller, it doesn’t mean that you are going to lose money due to inexperience. Before making any decisions, make sure you arm yourself with useful knowledge and don’t make rash moves. When you take the time to do research and tread carefully, your first strata property can be a great success.