Shifting shift from a renter to a homeowner is a big move that will affect your lifestyle and finances. It’s important to learn as much as possible about housing. Get information about where and how to get the best value for your money.
As you look through houses on sale in New Zealand, you can’t help but wonder, “Which is better? A stand-alone house or apartment?”
We must say that there’s no wrong answer here. There are many factors which you should consider. Ultimately it depends on your preference. This article will help you to analyze your choice.
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Stand-alone Home
Kiwis have traditionally aspired for stand-alone homes. For a long time, scripts for houses on sale in New Zealand were flavoured with vivid descriptions of a perfect quarter acre piece of paradise. Some of the selling points were:
- Homeowners have more space to do personal stuff, grow or expand structures.
- It’s quieter. There’s more privacy.
- Stand-alone homes are typically freehold. (You own the land and anything on it unless there are registered interests).
But, homeowners of stand-alone houses have to deal with:
- Costly and time-consuming maintenance, and landscaping.
- High sale prices
- A hard time finding buyers due to the high resale prices.
These challenges, coupled with a growing undersupply of stand-alone homes in commercial centres like Auckland, triggered a growing demand for more affordable, low-maintenance homes.
In-fill homes such as duplexes, townhouses, apartments and terraced homes are growing in popularity. Apart from the diminished spatial freedoms, these homes have been described by veteran developer Curtis McCorquindale of Queenwood Property as “the gold standard of real estate development!”
The main benefit, as Curtis puts it is: “You use existing services, minimise traffic and congestions impacts, and provide housing closer to local amenity and employment options.”
But how does this influence your choice when looking through houses on sale in New Zealand?
The Benefits of Buying an Apartment
Many first home buyers in today are looking for in-fill homes because:
- They are often available in urban centres. This is closer to amenities as well as business and job opportunities.
- The prices are lower. Thus, lower deposit and a more affordable mortgage.
- There’s a better chance of qualifying for a first home grant.
But these types of homes sweep the hearts of both new and veteran Kiwi home buyers. This is because duplexes, townhomes, apartments and terraced homes make homeownership more pleasant and less costly.
As Curtis puts it: “Our clients no longer need to spend their weekends pulling weeds of out the garden, hours mowing the lawns, or attending repair jobs.”
Maintenance is not just time-consuming, it’s expensive. Plus, recurrent bills such as energy and other utilities are much lower in a townhouse compared to a stand-alone home.
People’s lifestyles have also changed. Traditions such as recreating in the backyard are gradually wearing out and moving to the community. Plus, in-fill homes have a community feel which gives homeowners a sense of security.
Investor-buyers are also taking a liking for these homes. For starters, apartments have a higher rent yield and reselling the home is much easier than a stand-alone home.
If you’re torn between, remember it’s horses for courses. It boils down to your preference. Reach out to a trusted mortgage broker to help you to define your course as you look through houses on sale in New Zealand.