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When you have decided on the localities that you want to buy in, it is time to figure out what kind of property will work best for you.  For some individuals an apartment will be ideal, for others it will be a home with a section, and some will prefer enjoy a townhouse with minimal garden maintenance.

Different types of properties have different maintenance requirements. Be aware that the cost of owning a particularly type of property long-term may not be obvious from the outset.

Buying an apartment as your first home

Apartments are becoming more popular, especially with the recent surge in apartment-style conversions of office buildings in places like Wellington and Auckland.  Apartments have the benefit of minimal maintenance, are often located in convenient places such as town centres and are easy to find tenants for.

However, apartments have their limitations.  Apartments are invariably subject to Body Corporate rules and levies.  The nature of the rules and the amounts levied can vary greatly, depending on the apartment complex in question. It requires close attention to figure out whether a given apartment fits within your long-term budget or lifestyle.

In our experience, the market for selling apartments is also quite competitive, which might affect your decision to purchase one where you want to be able to sell one quickly in the future.  Apartments are a great choice for many first-home buyers as they will be within budget and suited to a busy lifestyle.

Buy a house or buy a home?

Houses on a section are the Kiwi dream for many first home buyers, but because they are so popular with purchasers they tend to be more expensive to buy.  In addition to that, many older houses require more maintenance which may increase the cost of owning them overall.  These properties offer space and privacy and more scope for future development and improvement. For young families they can be ideal.  In addition, many houses in areas such as Porirua, Wainuiomata, Kelson and Maungaraki are excellent value for money, especially when you compare the costs of purchasing a home in Wellington.

Townhouse living

Townhouses are a kind of mix between apartments and houses.  A townhouse is a property that shares its walls with its neighbours, but do not have other properties below or above them like apartments do.  This gives the occupiers of a townhouse a little more privacy than an apartment might, and often also includes amenities such as a carpark and grassy outdoor areas similar to a house.   Townhouses are a great way for a first home buyer to find a property that is in a central location, and also has the internal space and amenities that a house has without the property upkeep demands .

Neil Mistry

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