Architecture and Renovation, trends in Brisbane property

Apartments don't need to be poor cousins

an older apartment buildingWhen your house is getting tired and needs a facelift the decision to renovate is entirely yours, and you can often borrow against your home’s equity to fund improvements.

Apartments and other bodies corp can be a little trickier. We’ve written before about the challenges of convincing fellow owners it’s time to refurb your building. No-one wants to, or can, dig into their pockets. Regardless of how flash your internal spruce-up might be, the ancient lift or faded tiles in the lobby will hold back the re-sale and rental appeal of your property.

Many lot owners don’t realise a body corp can borrow money – improvements don’t have to mean whopping special levies.

Sure you still need widespread agreement and lots of meetings but the work can be done sooner rather than later. Interest rates aren’t much more than your housing loan and the funding’s effectively unsecured – you’re not offering any property to mortgage.

One Brisbane CBD building recently upgraded a complete air conditioning system at a cost of some $850,000. Mark Goedecke of Direct Deal Finance organised the body corp’s loan. He tells us that rather than raise a special levy or drain the sinking fund it was resolved to borrow the full cost of works.

Mark says this sort of loan means apartment owners have the benefit of having the work done immediately, improving the value of the building, but also the flexibility to pass on the remaining repayments if they choose to sell during the term.

One thing’s for certain – there’s a lot of apartment buildings around inner Brisbane that really need to look at refurbs and upgrades of their common property. Buyers and tenants are turning away before they even get to your front door.