Buying your first home is an incredibly exciting time – but it’s also extremely expensive. When you are a first-time buyer, the almost endless list of expenses you will have to pay for will surprise you, of that there is no doubt. And the chances are that you will be looking for the cheapest possible option, as you will have neither capital or a significant amount of savings to rely on.
There are various ways of saving money on your very first home buy, of course, from looking at cheap properties in unpopular but up and coming areas through to buying a dilapidated home and doing it up yourself. But another option is to consider buying an apartment, rather than a house – so here are some compelling arguments as to why a flat or condo buy could help you save a lot of money.
Apartments, just like homes, can cost a broad range of prices, of course. But, ultimately, they will be cheaper than buying a home – by quite some margin. Affordability is a huge factor for first-time buyers, and buying an apartment makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. You will be able to get away with raising a smaller deposit, for example, and your monthly mortgage payments will be less.
Housing developers love apartment and condo blocks because they get more money out of the land they build on. It costs nothing to build up other than the costs of construction, whereas building an estate, for example, will cost more in land fees. It means that developers can pass on savings to homebuyers, and the advantages for first-time buyers are pretty clear. When you look at a new condo launch or a freshly built apartment block, you will often get a lot more for your money. Everything is new, too, so you won’t have to worry about moving in and paying for expensive renovations. Plus, of course, many developers offer fantastic prices on the first-phase apartments to ensure people move in as quickly as possible.
Enjoy the best locations
Buying an apartment also gives you a more affordable opportunity to live in a popular area – far more so than a home, which you will almost always pay a huge premium for. But you still have all the access you need to those prime facilities that make buying a property in popular areas so expensive. Let’s say you have a young family and are looking to buy somewhere in a place with excellent schools and play areas. Paying for a home will cost you an arm and a leg, while apartments will give you access to those high-quality schools and other facilities at a fraction of the price.
Another thing to bear in mind is the cost of maintaining your home. When you live in a house, you will have to fit the bill for everything that goes wrong, without exception. In an apartment, however, it is likely you will pay a small amount of money every month to a building manager who is responsible for taking care of all the shared amenities, communal areas, and structural problems – maybe even including the external parts of your heating systems. As a homeowner, if you ever discover that something is wrong with your foundations, you will have to spend a fortune to fix it. As an apartment owner, it’s not your responsibility – and you will avoid those costs.
Access to amenities
Many modern apartment blocks these days come with excellent facilities. Some might have a gym, a pool – or even both. There might be communal garden spaces or BBQ areas – and you might even have shared spaces for storage. And the great thing about being an apartment resident is that all these facilities are exclusively available to you and your fellow residents. It can save you a lot of money over a year, from expensive gym memberships and the travel costs involved to get there, and you might even get free parking, too.
Cost of living
While many people dream of living in a beautiful, old country house, the reality is they are incredibly expensive regarding running costs. Homes require a lot more heat than apartments, and modern flats and condos are built to rigorous specifications when it comes to saving energy. Ultimately, heating a two or three story house with insulation problems is going to cost you more per month than a brand new, entirely insulated apartment. And when you add up those costs over the lifetime of your mortgage, it’s an incredible amount of money you will be saving.
For first-time buyers, it makes sense to live as close as possible to your place of work. Ultimately, however, it’s going to be tricky if you want to buy a house, primarily because of the location premium involved when you live near a good travel network. But given that apartments are, in the main, a lot cheaper than houses, it gives you the opportunity to live close to your workplace, meaning you will have fewer travel expenses to worry about.
As a rule, buying an apartment in an up and coming area is an excellent investment opportunity. In areas such as these, property prices tend to go up far quicker than elsewhere, meaning you will enjoy a better profit when the time comes to move on. Not only that, of course, but you could even keep the apartment and rent it out, giving yourself a nice secondary income and a little bit of capital to support your next mortgage application. So, watch out for places identified by the local government as potential sites for regeneration. Once you start noticing the odd coffee shop or service business moving to a particular area, it’s often a good sign that things are starting to happen – and you could benefit from a significant amount of profit when you decide to move on.
As a first time buyer, when you purchase your first property, you will need to fill it. And the chances are that this is going to end up costing you an arm and a leg if you intend to buy a house. Apartments tend to be smaller, however, with one or two bedrooms, living area, and a kitchen and bathroom. If you have been renting, the chances are that you won’t have to spend a small fortune in buying new sofas, storage furniture, or anything else you need to fill up a room and make it look livable.
Easier to sell
When the time comes to move on, the earlier you can sell your property the less money it will cost. And that means good news for apartment owners, as lifestyle trends suggest that there is always a real market for flats and condo dwellings. When you own a home, it’ a lot harder to sell than an apartment, as every house has its own little quirks, and you have a limited market of people who want to buy. With flats, you often find that it’s a much simpler process, and there is almost a never ending supply of young people who are in the situation you are right now.
As you can see, there are some pretty compelling reasons for buying an apartment as a first-timer. It’s a great way to get your foot on the first rung of the property ladder, and with a little research and savvy buying, it’s possible to turn a good profit when the time comes to sell.