Your Handy Guide to a Successful Strata Home Viewing

You’ve located a strata unit, terrace, or apartment and you’re ready to put in an offer. Undertaking a strata-home inspection is essential before you append your signature on the dotted line, and can reveal almost everything you ought to know concerning the property before you buy it.

So what is a strata property? This is a building where individuals each own a property adjoining in some way like a unit, apartment or terrace, but there are also common areas like gardens, roofs, lifts, driveways, and foyers whose ownership is shared by the respective owners. An owners’ corporation also referred to as a strata company, community association or body corporate is responsible for managing this form of shared ownership.

Regardless of living in your apartment or renting it out to interested occupants, purchasing a property involves a lot more than just checking the location and property cost. This is where a strata home viewing becomes important. Here are some of the things to check out for before putting in an offer.

Structural soundness

This should be high on your apartment checklist. You want to know whether the building is structurally sound or not. To be certain, you may need to commission an independent building inspection. Additionally, inspect minor structural issues like the number and positioning of power points and TV points, thermal insulation and the quality of craftsmanship.

Noise levels

Whether it’s the sound of loud music from millennial neighbours, the loud traffic noise heard when doors are open or frequent pounding of footfalls overhead; noise undoubtedly compromises the health and quality of life for the majority of strata property dwellers. Apartment or unit occupants are entitled to a serene pleasure of their space.

In contrast, their stress levels worsen, and neighbour relations are severed due to roaring noise levels. As a potential buyer, you should ask the sales agent about the acoustic insulation specifications of the property during the inspection. Furthermore, you should visit the apartment during the day and evening to assess the existing noise levels in the apartment you’re looking at. Check the type of neighbours living in the apartment as well.

Financial statements

You should ask for the financial statements for the owners’ corporation from the sales agent. Through the financial statements, you can discover a number of things. First, you will find out about the annual owners’ corporation fees and levies.

These include the amount for repairs and maintenance or lack of payout, which may be just as disconcerting. You will also find out the true financial position for the strata company, and whether unit owners are paying their levies in good time. Remember, shared ownership of facilities like lifts, gymnasium and swimming pools means that every owner has to contribute for this upkeep.

You should also ask to see the minutes of the previous AGMs. Again, you will be able to know the real status of the owners’ corporation by discovering about issues, conflicts within the shared community, maintenance fees and levies, and important issues over the last few years.

Waste disposal

It may sound like a boring thing to include on your checklist for buying an apartment, but it’s crucial to know what the waste disposal mechanisms are like. Walking down more than a few flights of stairs to throw out your household trash in the bin may quickly turn out to be exhausting. If there’s a waste disposal chute available, make sure it does not lead to any offensive stench within the building.

Which sections of the property do you own, and which are shared areas?

It’s surprising that many buyers often fail to remember to pose this important question. Usually, there’s an assumption that specific areas are private and others are shared, however, you may be hit with plenty of surprises further down the road if you don’t verify this issue from the onset. The areas of dispute often include driveways, airspace, entrance ways, balconies, parking lots, the foundation slab, doors and windows, boundary walls, and more. Make sure you find out what’s yours.

The reduced maintenance, shared facilities and increased affordability of apartments, townhomes, condos and other strata structures like Belgravia Green Singapore in comparison to single-family houses are good music many potential home buyers. However, akin to any major acquisition, it’s crucial that buyers perform due diligence regarding each strata building.

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