- The strata company manager is responsible for all common property.
- Apart from the usual set of facilities, you can always improve the quality of life within your housing unit.
- Sharing the financial burden isn’t only relief for everyone’s home budget but a ticket into a close community.
Australian strata properties are unique in the Western world, so prospective homeowners and tenants have to look up the term before buying or renting a house or an apartment in a strata property. Some might decide that strata living is simply not their cup of tea, while others will fall in love with the concept. Before all, you should consider the 8 most important facts about living in a strata property.
Common property is not yours to worry
Green thumbs among us like to plant flowers in front of their residence but when they leave on holiday, they have to ask a neighbor or a friend to water their Kangaroo paw. This would never occur in a strata property, since the strata company manager is responsible for all common property, such as the garden, the driveway, the playground, hallways, the roof of the building, the landings, etc. Simply put, living in a strata property means you have one thing less to worry about.
Getting along with neighbors
A possible issue of living in a strata property are the bad neighbors but let’s face it: you can run into rowdy neighbors in Sydney just as easily as in New Orleans or Tokyo. You never get to choose your neighbors but at least there is some form of control in a strata property.
Namely, owners of individual lots or apartments have to report to the strata management company who the tenants are, which adds a bit of security to the whole issue. Furthermore, the manager has the power to act as a mediator between neighbors arguing over a parking spot, for instance.
A location you can afford
How many times have seen a property that you could easily afford but its location added extra value beyond your budget? You will be happy to learn that the market value of strata properties isn’t influenced by the location of the property.
This allows families with small children to move into neighborhoods with excellent schools that would otherwise remain outside their price range. For instance, good strata management in Northern Beaches has attracted thousands of homeowners and tenants to live on the Pacific coast yet stay close to the city center.
Mangers are pure professionals
Choosing a strata property to invest or move in is predominantly done on the portfolio of the performance of the strata management company. Professional management is typical of large strata schemes that have hundreds of owners. Strata managers are accredited and in most cases experienced professionals who ensure security, finances, and the maintenance of the scheme are impeccable.
Making improvements to your lifestyle
Not having to live on the outskirts of the city, means that you get better access to cultural, educational, and medical facilities. Further on, there are more job opportunities in the area, so you needn’t commute for hours to work. In fact, strata properties usually have excellent access to public transport, allowing you to reach any place in Sydney’s inner suburbs within minutes.
Strata is ideal for downsizing a large family
If you, your spouse, and your children are still living with your parents, then you can downside your family using a strata property. Not only will you get a more luxurious piece of real estate in a desirable location but you will get access to facilities you never had before. Some of these amenities include a safe and fenced-off playground, a BBQ area, an outdoor gym, a swimming pool, and even a sauna in some strata schemes.
Apart from the usual set of facilities, you can always improve the quality of life within your housing unit. However, you will need to ask the council of owners for permission if you wish to carry out major renovations.
Hanging a picture on the wall is your own business but attaching the exterior AC unit to the building’s façade will require previous clearance from the Council. This could prove tricky in some strata schemes, as the Council holds regular meetings only 4 times a year.
For this reason, enquire about the average time needed for the Council to pass a resolution and apply in time (to install air-conditioning in June instead of waiting until the end of September when summer has well passed).
Shared maintenance cost
As stated earlier, you do not own nor are you in charge of the common property’s upkeep. This means that if a hallway light bulb goes out in front of your home’s door, it’s not your responsibility to replace it. You might be wondering though, will you pay for the repair, minuscule as it is?
The short answer is: yes, all tenants pay for upkeep. However, this is not a downside to strata property but an advantage when compared to other forms of communal living. Namely, when the costs of cleaning, day-to-day maintenance, and emergency repairs are added up and divided to each strata owner, the sum is far smaller than maintaining your own house.
Sharing the financial burden isn’t only relief for everyone’s home budget but a ticket into a close community made possible by the strata scheme.
As you have seen from our examples, there are numerous positive sides to living in a strata property. Sure, some Australians don’t like to ask others for permission to repaint the facade, for instance, but overall, strata living is affordable, if nothing else.