Friday, February 22, 2008

Apartment, Villa, Townhouse or House?

The hardest thing about finding a house is starting. There are decisions you have to make such as what KIND of house do you want to live in? From what little I know, here are the issues

Apartments - are great for security, only people in your building can get in. There are not so many opportunistic criminals jumping the fence into your backyard when you live and the 18th floor of a residential apartment. However, there's the issue of privacy. You'll know when your neighbours shower, when they leave, and they'll know when you argued with your wife last night.

From an investment point of view, most apartments don't go up as much as houses because its the land that actually goes up, and when you ahve 100 people living on the same plot of land, any increase in value gets divided over 100. Northbridge, City and East Perth are squeezing in apartment buildings and you can get older ones in North Perth and other surrounding suburbs.

Villas / Townhouses - Heaps of these in places like subiaco, Mt Lawley, Leederville, Fremantle, and now in richer suburbs like Applecross and Mt Pleasant. Its the cheapest way to invest in (a fraction of) land. However, its not quite owning your own land. There are strata fees sometimes to be paid and your neighbours are just one step away from your half a house.

Houses - Great for families. But who can afford one now? Average house now in Perth is about $515k! You have the satisfaction of having your own piece of land and house but you also have to look after the garden, mend the fence and don't even mention the loan and mortgage repayments that will come with a fully fledged house.

Anyway, I cant decide whether I can be bothered looking after a house or whether the concerns about privacy will override laziness. :) Then there is the issue of raising a family. Many people think that getting an apartment etc and then upgrading to a house. Is it a factor is stamp duty going to up the price of such an upgrade?

So at the moment .. not sure what I want.

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