⚡️⚡️⚡️
With energy prices rising, switch to a cheaper plan
💡
Compare Prices Now
⚡️⚡️⚡️

Buying an apartment checklist

When buying an apartment as an investment, a handy checklist can help you make sure you've ticked every box, from parking to strata costs to security.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

What to look for when buying an apartment

If you're buying an apartment as an investment property, there are more considerations to account for than just a decent price and a desirable location. A number of other important factors will end up determining whether or not your apartment is a wise investment. The checklist below will help you on your property hunt.

Download a free unit buying checklist for investors

1. Location

Location will be one the primary factors determining your investment's success. Not only will you want to look for in-demand suburbs, you'll want to look at the location of units within those areas. Potential tenants will be attracted to your apartment if it's located in proximity to public transport links, green space, schools, shopping and cafes, and restaurants.

You'll also want to pay attention to the unit's location in the building. Will it be likely to get sun? Does it face a main road? What level is it on? Typically, higher floors and north- or east-facing aspects away from main roads are most attractive to potential tenants.

2. Size

The size of the unit you purchase will largely determine your target market for tenants. You can end up limiting your market by going either too small or too large. 2-bedroom units tend to have the broadest appeal because they open your market up to both families and flat shares, as well as single professionals.

3. Noise

Checking for noise is important, although it can be tricky to judge. Listen out for noises from neighbours in surrounding apartments, on all sides. And if the building is in a busy area, check if you can hear traffic noise.

4. Amenities

When you're considering the amenities to look for in an apartment purchase, make sure you stick to the amenities that actually provide a return. Features like swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts and the like will add to your strata fees while doing little to attract potential tenants or eventual buyers. Generally, tenants are more attracted to amenities like well-manicured outdoor areas, security features and lift access.

5. Parking

Parking is a huge factor to consider when choosing a unit. This is particularly the case if the unit you're considering is some distance from public transport links.

Off-street parking is obviously a big draw for units, but readily available on-street parking can help make up for the lack of dedicated parking. If the building you're looking at does have off-street parking, you'll also want to consider whether there's available and adequate visitor parking.

6. Strata

Strata is an important aspect of owning a unit. A property on a strata title comes with extra costs and rules associated with sharing the ownership of a larger complex.

Strata fees will have a huge impact on the cash flow from your investment property. Strata fees go toward maintenance and upkeep of the building. If they're too high, you could find the income you receive from rent diminishing quickly.

In addition to the fees, pay attention to the strata rules. Strata rules govern the alterations and additions you can make to your unit, as well as putting some restrictions on its use. Some strata rules can severely limit the flexibility you have as an owner, so make sure the rules for the building you're considering aren't too severe.

Getting a strata report can tell you if the unit and the complex have had any previous issues, such as maintenance or complaints.
Apartments and green grass

7. Security

Security is an essential feature when living in close proximity to numbers of other people. Smaller blocks where people are likely to know their neighbours can get by without quite as many security features, but safety becomes more important in larger buildings. Look for security systems that make the building convenient for residents to access, but stop strangers from walking in.

8. Potential to add value

It's likely that you'll eventually sell your apartment with an eye toward making a capital gain. If this is the case, you'll want to look at units that have the potential to add value. Whether it's minor cosmetic improvements or major structural changes, find a unit that offers you the opportunity to boost your return on investment.

Check out all our home renovation guides here

9. Uniqueness

You'll want the unit you purchase to stand apart from others in the area. Uniqueness may not be the main factor for finding tenants in a high-demand area, but it can become a drawcard when you decide to sell.

Finding distinctive characteristics can be difficult if your unit is one in a block of hundreds. However, adding bespoke features or design elements can help yours rise above its neighbours. You could also consider purchasing a unit in a smaller block.

What are the pitfalls of buying an apartment?

There are few possible risks that come with buying an apartment as an investment. These are the main ones to watch out for:

  • It's sometimes harder to get a mortgage. If you're buying a very small unit, some lenders will turn down your application. It's harder to sell very small units, so they're viewed as riskier investments. Some lenders require larger deposits when lending for apartment purchases too.
  • Brand-new units can sell at an inflated premium. A newly-built apartment often sells for a premium. In a market with rising prices and high demand, this may not matter much. But if there are many empty apartments in the area and prices are stagnant, you'd probably less for a slightly older but very similar unit.
  • The neighbourhood may be oversaturated with similar apartments. Your investment will have less value if multiple new apartment buildings are coming in the same area very soon. Higher supply means less scarcity, and that means less opportunity for future price growth.

Buying an investment property? Compare your loan options

1 - 17 of 17
$
years
Name Product Comparison Rate Fees Monthly Payment

Unloan Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit Refinancers only
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit Refinancers only
Interest Rate
2.94%
2.86%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$629
Investors can get a low variable rate. Apply online and get fast approval. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.

Nano Variable Home Loans
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.04%
3.04%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$637
Investors can get this no-fee variable rate loan. You will need a 20% deposit. Fast online approval. Available for refinancers and existing buyers purchasing their next property.

Athena Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment40% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment40% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.94%
2.94%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$629
Investors with large 40% deposits or equity can get this low variable rate. A competitive option for investors looking to refinance.

Yard Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit Bundle
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit Bundle
Interest Rate
2.90%
2.92%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$626
This rate is available as part of Yard's investor bundle. Eligible borrowers must have an owner-occupier loan and investor loan with Yard.

Nano Variable Home Loans
Interest onlyInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest onlyInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.34%
3.15%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$662
This variable investment loan has interest-only repayments. Get fast online approval. Available for refinancers and existing buyers purchasing their next property. Requires a 20% deposit.

Well Money Balanced Fixed Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment 3Y Fixed10% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment 3Y Fixed10% min. deposit
Interest Rate
5.99%
3.75%
  • Application: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$900
A competitive 3 year investor rate with principal and interest repayments. Optional offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
Interest onlyInvestment40% min. deposit
Interest onlyInvestment40% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.09%
2.89%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$641
This competitive variable rate loan is for investors who want interest-only repayments. You will need a 40% deposit.

HSBC Home Value Loan
Principal & interestInvestment30% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment30% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.92%
2.93%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$628
$3,288 refinance cashback offer
This variable rate loan is available for property investors with 30% deposits. This loan has very few fees. Eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $3,288 cashback. Terms and conditions apply.

Yard Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.94%
2.96%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$629
A variable rate loan for investors with an optional offset account ($120 annual fee). 20% deposit required.

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.89%
2.89%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$625
This investment loan keeps fees low, has a sharp interest rate and comes with a 100% offset account. This loan is not available for construction.

Well Money Balanced Variable
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.92%
2.95%
  • Application: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$628
If you're an investor with a 20% deposit saved you can get this low rate mortgage. Not available for construction.

Athena Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment30% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment30% min. deposit
Interest Rate
2.99%
2.96%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$633
Athena's refinance offer for investors and owner occupiers.

Well Money Balanced Variable
Principal & interestInvestment10% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment10% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.62%
3.65%
  • Application: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$685
Competitive variable investor mortgage to fund your property portfolio. You can add a 100% offset account for just $10 a month.Not available for construction purposes.

Athena Variable Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.04%
2.99%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$637
A competitive investor variable rate that falls as you build equity.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Real Deal Home Loan
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Principal & interestInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.07%
3.11%
  • Application: $595
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$640
A competitive variable rate investor loan. 20% deposit required.

Athena Variable Home Loan
Interest onlyInvestment30% min. deposit
Interest onlyInvestment30% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.24%
3.06%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$654
Investors with 30% deposits can get this fee-free variable rate loan. This loan has interest-only repayments.

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
Interest onlyInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest onlyInvestment20% min. deposit
Interest Rate
3.19%
2.99%
  • Application: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$649
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Aussie Home Loans Logo

Enter your details and get a free consultation with an expert broker from Aussie.

By submitting this form, you agree to the Finder Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use

Applications are subject to approval. Conditions, fees and charges apply. Please note that you need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply.

Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie Activate and Aussie Elevate products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 (“Aussie”) and its appointed credit representatives, Australian Credit Licence 246786. Credit for Aussie Select products is provided by Residential Mortgage Group Pty Ltd ACN 152 378 133, Australian Credit Licence 414133 (“RMG”). RMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234945. Credit for Aussie Activate products is provided by Pepper Finance Corporation Limited ACN 094 317 647 (“Pepper”). Pepper Group Limited ACN 094 317 665, Australian Credit Licence 286655 acts on behalf of Pepper. Credit services for Aussie Elevate products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 (“Aussie”) and its appointed credit representatives. Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861. Credit and any applicable offset accounts for Aussie Elevate are issued by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879.

Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd. Aussie is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ©2020 AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786.

By submitting this form, you agree to the Aussie privacy policy.

After entering your details a mortgage broker from Aussie will call you. They will discuss your situation and help you find a suitable loan.

  • A comparison of home loans from multiple lenders.
  • Expert guidance through the entire application process.
  • Free suburb and property reports.

Aussie Home Loans Lender Logos

The Adviser’s number 1 placed mortgage broker 8 years running (2013-2020)

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site