Buying an Apartment in Victoria: What You Should Know

February 21, 2020

Well done on reaching the point where you are considering buying an apartment in Victoria, as saving a deposit and doing your research is an undertaking that not everyone can commit to. Not to mention riding the wave that is the Australian real estate market! Now, before you put in any offers, you might want to familiarise yourself with the apartment scene in Victoria and understand what your obligations are as an owner and what you can expect from other entities who will work with you to achieve the best lifestyle in your apartment. Let’s get into it. 

Owners Corporations in Victoria

In the excitement of open homes and weighing up all the different features of an apartment, the role of the owners corporation in Victoria isn’t often fully understood and acknowledged until after you have committed to buy the apartment. Owners corporation or body management as it was once known is a body that is employed by the collective of fellow owners within your apartment complex. The owner’s corporation will liaise and handle matters pertaining to communal property spaces, including gardens, pools, driveways, fences, foyers, walls and lifts. Essentially, they are a central point of contact and order so you cannot simply arrive at the decision to paint the walls in the foyer. You would instead have to discuss this with your fellow owners in the complex and arrive at a decision which is facilitated by your owner’s corporation.

Explore All Government Grants

Victoria, and Australia in general, have some incredible government grants that assist homebuyers in their purchase, and many apply to new apartments being built in Victoria. The First Home Owners Grant has been around in one shape or another for many years with eligible buyers getting $10,000 toward their purchase. The requirement is that homes must be newly built and the first purchase from that buyer (cannot be an investment property). There are also other government grants including the newly released HomeBuilder incentive, which extends $25,000 toward a renovation or new build. Do your research and submit the right paperwork and you might be receiving $35,000 towards the purchase of your new apartment, utilising both grant schemes.

Suburb Data and Growth Rate

It is so, so hard to remain objective when it comes to suburb choice, as we like these areas for different and personal reasons. When it comes to buying your apartment in Victoria, you need to have clarity over what you can expect to see in terms of a growth rate and even a rental yield in the future. realestateview.com.au’s Price Estimator will allow you to truly know the value of your home and whether the price is indicative of its value. These reports, or RP data/CoreLogic as they are known, can be pulled by your real estate agent or you can access them on your own for a small fee. Another area you want to explore is where this growth is coming from – are you buying into a family, young couple or downsizer suburb and market? 

Where possible, you also want to find out what other developments are planned for the area. These developments might bring enhanced amenities or an unwelcome skyscraper that threatens your view. Either way – you want to know what is coming and how that will impact your apartment value.

Victoria has always been a sought after state for prime real estate, and apartments offer just that in areas all around metropolitan and regional areas. Remember to work closely with your solicitor and real estate agent as they will be able to arm you with the right considerations to keep an eye out for, and will save you from making a decision from your heart as opposed to your head.