How To Find The Perfect Apartment In Sydney’s Inner City And Inner West

April 28th, 2023 - by Brad Gillespie

Whether you’re looking for an art deco charmer, a mid-century walk-up, or an ultra-modern high rise, there’s an apartment in Sydney’s inner city or inner west to suit you.

The question is – how do you find it? We discover what to look for in your search for the perfect apartment.

What makes a good apartment?

Sydney’s inner city and inner west are home to a wide array of apartments. In fact, according to the 2021 Census, 78.5% of residents living in the City of Sydney council area and 42.4% of Inner West LGA locals live in an apartment. Our areas have units to suit everyone, from first-home buyers, families, professionals, and downsizers, to property investors.

When it comes to apartment hunting, the key is finding the right one for you and your lifestyle. That means buying an apartment that suits you now and as far into the future as you plan on owning it. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is an obvious consideration, but make sure you also consider factors like storage, natural light and parking. And, of course, a big part of an apartment’s suitability is its location. Is it important to you to live close to the city, public transport, schools, parks, or cafes? Property investors should also focus their search on neighbourhoods popular with renters.

Should you buy an off-the-plan apartment or an existing one?

If you’re looking to buy an apartment in Sydney’s inner city or inner west, you have the choice between buying off the plan or purchasing an established apartment. Both have their benefits. Buying an apartment off the plan means you’ll get the most up-to-date design, décor, fixtures and fittings, and often fantastic amenities like pools, gyms, lifts and rooftop gardens. Meanwhile, older apartments can offer charm and character, plus they may be larger and more affordable. Ultimately, deciding whether to buy an existing or off-the-plan apartment comes down to your personal preference.

Do your research

Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for in an apartment, it’s time to start researching. Get up to speed on the property prices, rental values and unit occupation rates in your chosen area/s. Contact the council to find out about planned or potential developments that might boost property prices in the future (for example, community amenities such as new schools) or otherwise impact specific apartment buildings (such as by blocking a view).

Local real estate agents who specialise in the neighbourhoods you’re interested in can also be valuable sources of expert knowledge. Forming relationships with agents is also a good way to find out about apartments for sale as soon as they come onto the market.

The apartment buyers’ due diligence checklist – carrying out a strata search

If you’re buying an apartment in Sydney’s inner city or inner west, you’ll most likely be purchasing a strata property. Strata is the most common form of property title for apartments in Australia.

Having a specialist strata inspector, solicitor, or conveyancer conduct a strata search before you buy is a good idea. The strata report tells you about an apartment’s strata fees, special levies, building works and bylaws, and this information will help you decide whether it’s the perfect apartment for you (and potentially save you much heartache down the track).

Once you’ve got the strata report, ask yourself:

  • Can you accommodate the strata fees and special levies in your budget? All owners in a strata scheme have to pay regular fees for the maintenance and upkeep of the building and common areas, as well as special levies to pay for major works if and when required.
  • Do the building bylaws suit your lifestyle? Every strata building is controlled by bylaws, which act like the building’s rules. These can relate to restrictions on pets, visitors, noise and short-stay letting, rules about parking, and whether residents can hang their laundry on their balconies. All residents are obliged to comply with the bylaws, so it’s wise to check them carefully before you buy.

What about building and pest inspections?

While the strata report will alert you to any building problems that have been raised, as well as the repairs that have been completed (or are due), it is also wise to have a building inspection carried out before you buy. The inspection will be limited to the apartment you’re thinking of buying, but it will give you a snapshot of its condition and whether it has been well maintained or has issues that will require work.

A pest inspection of an individual apartment probably won’t reveal enough to establish whether there’s a pest problem; instead, check the strata report to make sure the building has had regular pest inspections.

If you’re looking for your perfect apartment in Sydney’s inner city and inner west, we can help. Get in touch with our team today.