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What should I look for in a luxury city apartment?

By Claire Briggs
Some may dream of large stately homes nestled on green acres of land. But the quiet countryside living and near-constant buzz of cicadas isn’t for everybody. Others might look toward bright lights, action, events and the sound of people.
When you look for a new slice of residential real estate in the city, you have almost endless options right in front of you. From townhouses, warehouse conversions, apartments or penthouses, there’s much you can pick and choose from. The key to buying a luxury home in the city is working out what’s best suited for you.
If you consider yourself a city-slicker and don’t know what kind of home to look for, or even what makes a good city residence, here are a few tips to get you started.

Special features

Have you heard of a pet gym? It might sound ridiculous at first, but it’s a feature that many city apartment buildings around the globe are incorporating into their designs. This is usually either a room or an outdoor space for residents’ pets to get some exercise. It’s special features such as these that can make or break your decision to buy a property – especially if you’ve got an animal companion or two.
Other features you might keep an eye out for include dumbwaiters, private parking spaces, rubbish chutes, rooftop gardens, built-in entertainment systems and even multimedia rooms. There’s also some other larger building features such as fitness clubs, swimming pools and tennis courts that many complexes can have.
You might also want to check if any of these special features come with an additional cost, such as membership fees or pay-per-use. Why buy into a building with added costs when you could find one with everything included?

Strata fees

You might’ve come across the term ‘strata title’ before, especially when you’ve cast your eye toward apartments and units. However, one ongoing cost that might affect your decision to buy or pass up a property is the strata fee. This is an expense that many apartment or unit owners pay on a regular basis, which covers the costs that stem from common property in the building.
This could be to pay for power bills that light up main entrances or hallways, heating for a swimming pool, regular gardening and lawnmowing or even maintenance for the building’s elevators. Strata is not a set cost across the country or state – it differs from building to building. This figure could range anywhere from the low hundreds to a few thousand on a regular basis, so check how much this is before you buy.

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