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ravedave

Decent Apartments?

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Looking to purchase in this year.  Can't/Won't put it off any longer.

I think that an apartment might be a suitable proposition for me - single male in 40's, close to town, car parking, ease of maintenance, etc.  Plus, I'm not always about - esp at weekends so my routine would not be a visible as with a house, making it less of a target for crime.

However, from reading on here I am aware that apartments are not well thought of.  I've been in some of them in the city centre and I agree that they are not 'ideal' for someone looking to be a owner/occupier.

So, the question is - where are the decent apartments in Belfast?  It is easy to knock down the bad ones, but where are the decent ones?

When the price starts going over £170k - £180k I think a semi-detached becomes a more viable option.

I'm currently in Old Bakers Court and I'm finding that noise from upstairs apartment is annoying - esp late at night (after midnight) and early morning (before 6am).

 

Any suggestions welcome.

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How would you feel if you had spent £100-200k on your apartment (instead of renting it)and thus couldn't easily move?

That should inform your decision as to whether actually buying one as a place to live in, is a good idea.   They can be great to rent for a short time but I personally wouldn't want to own one, unless it was in a really desirable area of London or something.

 

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23 minutes ago, Sour Mash said:

How would you feel if you had spent £100-200k on your apartment (instead of renting it)and thus couldn't easily move?

That should inform your decision as to whether actually buying one as a place to live in, is a good idea.   They can be great to rent for a short time but I personally wouldn't want to own one, unless it was in a really desirable area of London or something.

 

This.

I've been in A few blocks, wouldn't want to live in one long-term. 

Basically forget the ones built around 2006-11.

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I have lived in a central Belfast apartment for almost a decade. Always renting. Single, mid 30's.

I love being near everything. Walk to work, walk into town or cinema or to see a gig. No need to own/run a car.

However:

- I have to use ear plugs to sleep in the evenings

- I'm lucky that there's no noise from the neighbors, but in many apartments there will be, and bad neighbors can make your life hell; and you won't know until you move in after you've bought the place

- the rise of airbnb means that many city center apartments are now run as airbnb's - which gives you the additional risk of being beside one of those

- cost of maintaining an aging apartment block - the maintenance charge, which is significant, 1200+ (and you have to add rates to that), doesn't cover big unexpected repairs. You need a sink fund for that. But I've hears several stories of management companies not being careful with the money over the years and buildings that are decades old which are supposed to have large sink funds built up by now are actually in debt. So even if you own the flat outright, you'll have a bare minimum of 2K a year in rates and maintenance fees to pay, as well as the occasional additional charge...I'd budget 3K a year all in for the average 2 bed apartment in a modern block based on the stories I hear

- ....and with that all considered, you have to ask yourself if owning an apartment is worth the risk when they have once again risen to a similar cost to a 3 bed semi a couple of miles away.

One thing that might save you some money is if you find a flat in a small block that doesn't have a lift; will reduce the maintenance charge somewhat.

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I suppose my main concern would be security as I would be away often.  I just felt that initially an apartment would be more secure as my patterns would not be easily observed.

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1 hour ago, ravedave said:

I suppose my main concern would be security as I would be away often.  I just felt that initially an apartment would be more secure as my patterns would not be easily observed.

Better to buy a house with good locks and an alarm. 

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On 15/01/2019 at 13:02, ravedave said:

I suppose my main concern would be security as I would be away often.  I just felt that initially an apartment would be more secure as my patterns would not be easily observed.

I know what you mean, that's one of the things I love about being up high in an apartment, feels like several layers of security between me and my belongings. Just depends whether you are willing to pay a premium for this.

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