Strata living isn’t for everyone. And that’s totally ok. After all, when you buy an apartment you are essentially entering into a co-ownership relationship with strangers. The differences in living and owning in a free-standing home and an apartment are abundant, and there are many considerations when deciding to move from one to the other. But ultimately, the only way to know if you will love your new apartment lifestyle, or spend your time yearning for your house, is to make the move.
Moving into a strata building only to decide it isn’t for you could be an expensive and stressful situation. So the WA Apartment Advocacy group, to assist potential new owners make a confident decisions in relation to home buying, set up a ‘try before you buy’ program in one of Perth’s newest high rise developments, Oracle Apartments, located in the CBD.
Developers, Blackburne, provided the year-long ‘pop up apartment’, which was furnished and decorated by Ikea. 600 people registered their interest to take part in the program, with 12 occupants, ranging in demographic from families, young couples and down-sizers. Each occupant group spent a month living in the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment, after which they are interviewed about their experiences, and best of all, able to make an informed decision about apartment living.
One of the occupants in particular, a down-sizer who loved to garden, was concerned about living up high, in a small space and with close neighbours, surprised herself in how much she loved the convenient lifestyle offered through the amenities in the building, and the central location.
The experiment also supports one of our strongly held opinions on strata living – the better the quality of the shared and community spaces, the greater the lifestyle experience is. Buildings that offer unique layouts, open space, gardens with BBQ facilities, well-kept pools etc extend the home from the apartment to the entire building, and that extended sense of space can make all the difference.
We spend a lot of time trying to educate potential and new owners about strata – but usually with a focus on the compliance aspects – levies, budgets, renovation approval processes. The great thing about this program is that it focussed on the most important aspect, and that’s the happiness of the people considering the move.
You can read more about the program, which is still running at the WA Apartment Advocacy website, here. It’s concept that makes a lot of sense. We test run cars and try on clothes, why not test out new homes as well?
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