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Honey, I'm home. The six things to consider when buying your first apartment

2020-02-24

Let’s face it, buying a home can feel like a daunting task. The property market is confusing, and the paperwork can be overwhelming, but it is absolutely worth investing in your future, with a property that will grow with you.

Whether you plan to be an owner-occupier or an investor, it’s essential to choose a property that stands out from others. In the event that you decide to sell down the track, you’ll want an offering that will attract a diverse range of prospective buyers.

We’re seeing solid results in the apartment market, with values rising in late 2019 and early 2020. Add to that the continued population growth and ongoing demand for quality inner-city housing – there’s little doubt that the right apartment will be a good investment.

When investigating the options, it’s easy to be seduced by glossy finishes, but don’t forget the basics. Your first apartment is more than the four walls. While design is important, connection, location, outdoor space, amenities and future-proofing are equally valuable. Easy access to a good wine bar never goes astray either.

1. Design

Let’s start with the most tangible of your choices. Keep cookie cutters in the kitchen; your apartment should reflect your style with space to embrace your lifestyle comfortably. Cool and neutral tones allow you to make your own mark and create a space that is intrinsically yours. Open floor plans create a light-filled space and kitchen islands are the triple threat of apartment living – breakfast bar, kitchen storage and food prep in one.

2. Connection

Connectivity is key when it comes to your first apartment. The more ways to get around the better. Bike, tram, train, walking, running, unicycling – whatever your preferred mode of transport – make sure it’s easily accessible from your front door.

3. Location

No matter how street smart you are, never underestimate the benefits of the location of the apartment. Think beyond just proximity to the CBD, but also the closeness to supermarkets, landmarks like the Yarra River and school zones. It’s always worth thinking ahead and looking into what planned infrastructure projects are in the pipeline and how this might affect your resale or rental value.

4. Outdoor space

Never underestimate the importance of having an outdoor space where you can relax or entertain. Studies show that being surrounded by trees and greenery has a positive impact on your mental health, so the bigger the balcony the better. In Melbourne, winter gardens are even more appealing as you can utilise the space year-round.

5. Amenities

The most innovative architects and builders have upped the ante when it comes to amenities, with health and wellness areas becoming a big focus for residents. Having a gym or a pool on your doorstep creates opportunities for shared experiences with your neighbours and fosters a healthier lifestyle. In addition, these common spaces add value to your home.

6. Future-proofing

With technology developing as quickly as it is, you don’t want to be tripping over tangled wires or forever hot-spotting off your phone because of WiFi blackspots. As our workplaces become more flexible and we spend more time working from home, it’s important to ensure your home has the capacity to provide the best technology solutions and evolve as required.

YarraBend’s answer to all of the above? Papersmith Apartments. Think future-focussed architecture by award-winning studio Elenberg Fraser and situated moments from the Yarra River, Eastern Freeway and Alphington Train Station. Not to mention a whole host of wellness, food and entertainment and technology initiatives at your doorstep and in the palm of your hand – from an Artisan Food Hub curated by Scott Pickett to the exclusive YarraBend residents app.

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