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What are bad smells when buying a townhouse

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Samj, 26th Aug, 2016.

  1. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    I am wondering what are the things I should look at seriously when buying a townhouse. We are considering to buy a townhouse within 10KM range in Brisbane. Body corp fee is one of the first things I look at as I don’t want to pay more than $3000 per annum. I’ve seen some townhouses with old pools and on site managers, obviously their body corp fee is high. On site managers and unusable old pools are not part of my requirements.


    I’ve seen a townhouse within 5KM range and built nearly 20 years ago. Still in fairly good condition, but of course still old. And the sinking fund has only 5K and body corp fee is nearly $4000/pa. What is your opinion on that? Does it smell bad?


    And the next question, how much things would body corp fix if any case of issue? Let’s say the roof needs to be replace or walls need to be renovate due to a critic issue. Should body corp fix such issues or the owner has to fix it? What is this the boarder when it comes to repairs?


    Thank you!
     
  2. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Really strong curried eggs create bad smells, both before and after consumption
     
  3. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    Whatever is contained within the walls of your property are your responsibility and whatever is outside these walls (called common ground) is BC responsibility.

    Make certain to ask for a copy of the last 2 years AGM minutes and financials to see what story they tell. Sounds like you may have already done this but most dont!
     
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  4. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. I haven't look at AGM minutes.

    If there is an old patio at the backyard, can the owner renovate it his own money?

    And also, can owner change floor tiles of a townhouse?

    Basically, can owner make any change internally?
     
  5. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    Yes to all of the above but will need BC permission for anything external.

    I used to manage a strata complex and was also the onsite caretaker. It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot.
     
  6. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again, couple of more questions :)

    If there are any structural repairs or roof structure issues, owner responsible for them?

    What if there are external repairs and sinking fund doesn't have enough money? How will they find money for those repairs?
     
  7. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    Dead dude under the floorboards, I reckon that could create a bad smell.
     
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  8. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    BC pays for that via sinking fund / levies collected so you / owners indirectly.

    From you / owners via a special levy which means an increase to existing levies.
     
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  9. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Colin!
     
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  10. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    So do dead bodies
     
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  11. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    It needs a stinking fund, not sinking fund.

    The Y-man
     
  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    At $4000 pa - how is it spent? Are they building up the sinking fund (ie do the minutes reveal planned works)? Is the place immaculate or are insurance costs high? What are the levies like in similar blocks?
     
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  13. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Look at what they have been doing/spending as suggested.

    In regard to strata/BC, you really have to look at the BC and ask also some other owners what is done, but major problems like roof, structural support walls etc should all be part of what the plan will cover.
     
  14. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Look for 'repeated issues' , on going complaints that haven't been finalised.
    Things that pop up .. year after year..
     
  15. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    That sinking fund and the strata levies would be a huge concern for me.
     
  16. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    I once left a bad smell in a bedroom during an open house inspection on a really shabby townhouse with high strata fees.

    When I walked downstairs the agent asked me what I thought of the place. I told him I left my opinion in the bedroom.

    Any property with high strata and a run down block will give you indigestion. Look for a healthy sinking fund and a well maintained block IMO.
     
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  17. Samj

    Samj Well-Known Member

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    Having just $5000 sinking fund for a 20 years old complex doesn't sound good?
     
  18. Miss_D

    Miss_D Member

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    Look at the yearly financial statements to see what money has been spent on. For example 5k left in sinking fund may mean they just spent 20k on roof or some other major expense in last 12 months. It doesnt mean its a bad thing but check out why.

    If there is roof damage and it then damages the apartment below, normally the body corporate insurance should pay for that. In my unit complex we had water come through the wall when it was thought to be thru roof. Insurance paid for fixing that up and fixing the apartment damage.

    Check out what the body corp insurance policy is, how much it covers, public liability etc etc.

    check out the bylaws. Are they very restrictive.


    Choose a unit compelx where u dont need a lot of up keep. Aka u dont have to repaint the entire outside of the building. That keeps expenses down.

    I pay 2.6k a year for my unit bc. No pool, no lifts. Less then 10k to cbd.
     
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  19. MrFox

    MrFox Well-Known Member

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    I have seen few instances where brand new building was very poorly build which resulted in lots of maintenance later. Some developers get together with the body corporate manager and make their fees low in the beginning to suck buyers in. Year later they put the fees up due to the maintenance issues.
    Before you buy new apartment make sure you are happy with the quality of the build.
     
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  20. oki doki

    oki doki Well-Known Member

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    4k a year ! check their past AGM report and see how much of the bickering is recorded - talk to existing owners if possible...how will you numbers look if its raised to 5K next year ?? Its a variable you probabaly dont have any control on...
     
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