Buying and Selling Strata Property with an Owners Corporation
Buying a Strata Property
There are many advantages to buying into a strata property. The trend to live close to the city and enjoy a more social lifestyle has increased the attractiveness of strata property living. Strata properties are typically in metropolitan suburbs with close proximity to amenities such as shops, popular suburbs, shopping centres, and the city centre.
Some advantages of living in an owners corporation are:
- The ease of lifestyle where gardens and grounds are maintained for you,
- Shared facilities, like a gym or pool,
- Accommodation is more affordable and secure,
- There is close proximity to shops, restaurants, public transport and the city, and
- There is close proximity to neighbours for social interaction and networking.
As living in a strata property involves a close-knit community, you might like to consider some of these points:
- Is there sufficient car parking?
- Does the property have many or substantial maintenance issues?
- What are the rules on pets?
- Is the property suitable for children?
- Would you live in the unit?
- Will the kind of renter you want to attract want to live in the unit?
Strata Property Purchase Documents and Terms
Victorian body corporate terminology may differ from other states. A 'Strata Scheme' is a 'Strata Plan' or 'Plan of Subdivision', and a 'Body Corporate' is an 'Owners Corporation'. Owners Corporation Managers usually manage the common property in the Plan of Subdivision with the help of a Committee.
When buying and selling property, the vendor disclosure document for the Owners Corporation is the Owners Corporation Certificate, which will be in the Vendor's Statement (Section 32).
The documents listed below can help you decide which strata property to purchase and help you understand more about the property and its issues. Some documents are mandatory for a vendor to disclose while others may need to purchased at the potential buyer's own expense.
- Owners Corporation Certificate
- Minutes of Annual General Meeting for body corporate
- Owners Corporation By-laws
- Plan of Sub-division
- Certificate of Currency (insurance)
- Sale of Contract
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Land Transfer
- Certificate of Title
- Pest Inspection
- Property Valuation
- Property Inspection
- Energy Rating
For further advice and to discuss these documents, please consult your:
- Real estate agent
- Lawyer / solicitor
- State fair trading office
- Body Corporate Manager or committee member
- Property inspector, architect, building engineer and surveyors
- Accountant/ Mortgage Broker/ Financial Institution representative
- Buyer's Advocate
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRATA PROPERTY
Before selecting a property buyers should consider the answers to a range of questions including:
- Is the property for investment purposes or for owner occupation?
- Is the property located in close proximity to infrastructure and local amenities, such as schools, shopping facilities and employment opportunities?
- What type of property do you need: a house, unit/apartment or townhouse?
The answer to these questions and many more can help you avoid costly mistakes when buying real estate and is the first step to finding the home or investment property that is right for you.
Seeking the right advice:
Seeking advice from qualified professionals with local knowledge and experience can take the headache out of buying property. Experienced and certified real estate professionals such as buyer’s advocates can help simplify the process of buying or selling property, providing you with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions.
A buyer’s advocate can help you avoid the pitfalls associated with buying property such as off-the-plan purchasing, overpaying on private sale and auction properties, investing in properties with restrictive covenants and identifying significant Owner’s Corporation fees in order to ensure that you make the right decisions.
There are a number of reputable Buyer’s Advocate firms around Australia such as WBP Property Group, which also offer property valuation and tax depreciation schedules as part of their services.