When you purchase an apartment off the plan it’s easy to forget that, with it, comes a number of other ongoing costs — the main one being Owners Corporation (OC) fees. OC bills pay for a range of essential services within your apartment building to help keep it functioning, clean and safe. But where exactly does this money go? Here are the main ways in which ongoing OC fees are put to use within your apartment building.
The beauty of owning a brand new off the plan apartment is there is very little maintenance for you to worry about. But the building itself will, over time, require general ‘wear and tear’ repairs. OC fees are used to fix internal and external faults or damages, such as floor tiles in entrances, doors on communal areas, garage doors and so on. Every time you pick up the phone to have something fixed within your building (but not within your apartment) the costs of this are paid for from the maintenance provision within your OC fees.
Lighting & electricity
An apartment building can be a costly thing to keep running. Consider all the lighting in shared areas like entrances, stairwells, corridors, garages and so on. There’s also the electricity required to run lifts, power water systems and even for the cleaners to run their vacuum cleaners (see below). All of these essential services are what make your apartment building a nice place to live.
If you think about how often you clean your home, multiply that level of dust and dirt by the number of apartments in a building you get a picture of how important regular cleaning is. In particular, the high foot-traffic in larger residential buildings means thoroughfares can get pretty grimy pretty quickly. Cleaning is paid for out of your OC fees, so you get to come home to a rubbish-free home every night.
A quick search through ApartmentDevelopments will reveal a number of incredible added amenities offered by some residential projects. Things like swimming pools, gyms, rooftop gardens and shared office spaces. All of these require constant upkeep and management to remain in great condition.
Buying an apartment in a building that has a gym or swimming pool could save you money on your gym memberships, so long as you get your money’s worth. And many buyers are choosing to live in amenity-rich buildings that enhance their lifestyle, so the additional fees are more than worth it.
Boring but perhaps the most important provision within your OC fees is the insurance coverage. Just like owning your own home, every property owner is required to have building insurance. And it’s for your own peace of mind.
With an apartment building, the Owners Corporation takes out the necessary building insurance to cover any structural damage or mechanical malfunction to integral services like lifts or water supply. The last thing you need is for a burst water pipe to damage your apartment and not be covered for those damages.
Owners Corporation fees are sometimes seen as a necessary evil, but when you add up all the benefits and value that they pay for, they’re simply necessary. So, when searching for the perfect apartment and planning your finances, ensure that you will be able to afford these ongoing fees. And that you make the most of the pool…
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