Living in Melbourne CBD

Discussion in 'Where to Buy' started by pickle pickle, 13th Mar, 2011.

  1. pickle pickle

    pickle pickle Member

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    We are considering buying a 2 bedroom apartment in Melbourne CBD to live in. I see many properties at around 400k.

    What is it like to live in the CBD? What are the body corporates fees on an apartment in the CBD?
     
  2. The Y-man

    The Y-man Member

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    Owners Corp contributions (formerly Body Corp) vary due to the nature of the building and the common facilities. At a guess, I'd say they can be as low as $1,500 pa to as high as $5,000 pa.....

    The Y-man
     
  3. Tony3008

    Tony3008 Member

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    I think living in the city is probably something you love or hate, depending on your likes and situation. I'm single, in my 50s and live in Docklands, but very near to Southern Cross and Skybus and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I had a bike accident 18 months ago and was on crutches for six weeks; that made me realise that this will be a really good place to live if I get to be old and decrepit, as we have shops, hairdresser, ATM, etc at ground floor level (no stairs). Had I lived in a house in much of suburbia I would have been a near prisoner, unable to do anything much without lifts from friends.

    Body Corp (Owners Corporation) levies depend on the building - mine are about $6000 (2-bed 2 bath) large flat; a standard 2-bed 1 bath flat lower down would have levies of about $4000. As I work from home and don't own a car (am in Flexicar) I rent out my car space which brings back $2000.

    T.
     
  4. Melbournian

    Melbournian Member

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    really depends on what you prefer - amenities, restaurants, facilities - they're many towers out that - so it's more like lifestyle VS budget - u have to work out.
     
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Member

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    Key question for me, and this would affect living costs, is whether it's within 10 min walk from a full-range supermarket (or the Queen Vic Markets if you're a gourmand). If not you're relying on 7/11 or eating out for all meals which could get expensive.
     
  6. eeew

    eeew Member

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    yeah,id agree. Depends on what your looking for. Generalising a lot, id say its the best value city in australia. In terms of jobs ( and jobs growth), housing options, lifestyle ( something for everyone), cost of living ( no where in aus is it cheap, but you get best bang for your buck in mel), and even the weather has a range ( yes, some people prefer cold, windy, wet weather).
     
  7. our obsession

    our obsession Amor est vitae essentia

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    Tony:
    Another big fan of the Docklands area here, some say too quiet, (that's what I love-it can be rather peaceful), if I want zhazaam I can catch that free tram up to Southbank.

    I love the view, I love the walks along the waterfront, I love the dawn/dusk/night views, 'if' I had to live in Melbourne it is my pick. Where I have stayed it is a street back from the waterfront, the only thing is I would have accommodation 'right at' the waterfront.
     
  8. Intrinsic_Value

    Intrinsic_Value Member

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    I think its great. I walk to work, so no transport costs at all. Friday/sat night if hit a bar there is no worry about drink driving/taxi fairs. As for shopping if its a large load then the major supermarkets give one/two hours free parking with any purchase above $30/$60, so no car parking fees.

    All of this more than compensates for a body corporate fee of around $4k.

    By the way i dont think you will find many apartments around $400k, (not with car park anyway, and car park is essential, no car park and you really limit the type of futuer buyer of your apartment).

    My guess is that most apartments will be priced around $520-$550k.

    The other good thing with a central CBD property is one day if you want to leave and rent it out, rents are very good.
    Rents tend to be the highest in the CBD and then slowly drop as you move into the inner suburbs.
    Also if vacency rates start to move up in the cbd and inner suburbs due to periods of over building of apartments, cbd apartments are still the easiest to let (ie demand is highest in the cbd and then moves outwards)

    Only other piece of advise, some of the newer 2 bedroom apartments are only about 60sqmtrs. This is too pokey even by inner city living standards.
    I would not buy any 2bed under 70 sqmtrs.

    And again make sure it has a car park. (if you dont use a car you will be able to rent it out for about $200 month). CBD car parks are valuable.
     
  9. eeew

    eeew Member

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    I agree with what is being said here. The city in itself is good. Traffic is a bit of an issue at peak hour, but the tram network help immensely at this time ( although trams are usually capacity as well).

    Do be careful at the newer ones- as the above poster said, 60 sqm or so is way too small. Id look at older ones 8-12 yrs old which are usually much bigger. Car park is, id say not a must ( a lot just walk to work, shopping etc), but very useful indeed; correct in the above post that having a car park puts the resale value much higher as there are more and more cars on our roads and supply of spaces cant keep up with demand. Also that it does appeal to a wider segment upon sale time.
     
  10. relval

    relval Member

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    Interesting thread. I live in Hobart but looking to buy an apartment in CBD next year. Plan is spend half my time here, and half my time in Melbourne.

    My general understanding is that CBD apartments are not the best option as an investment. As it won't be rented out, I would hope the capital growth over 10 years would be at least equal to inflation + holding costs (body corp, rates, land tax). Is that a reasonable expectation?

    Also, how do I find out what the 'good' buildings are, ie construction quality of building, good amount of owner-occupiers. I have heard some CBD apartments are used as student accomodation with 10 people living in a 2 bedroom, that's the kind of thing I want to avoid.

    This is the kind of apartment I like, any thoughts on the Nova building?
    http://www.realestate.com.au/property-apartment-vic-melbourne-107222302
     
  11. eeew

    eeew Member

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    No one here has said that melbourne CBD apartments are a bad investment. The majority of the feelings here is that you need to buy the right one within your budget for it to be a good investment, dependant on your lifestyle and financial objectives.
    The tried and true tenets of real estate ( location, size, features etc) all are valid and hold no matter where you go for property.
    Many people have made good gains in investing in innercity mel apts in the past and this will continue to be the future. Apartments , like with any other real estate venture, move in cycles. Most inner city apartments have seem a strong growth over the last 5 years ( 2008 being the obvious exception).
    A lot of people believe that innercity apts are at the top ( or just fallen off) this peak FOR THIS CYCLE. Thus, id argue that now is the time to buy ( when prices are not rising fast- but will in the future when the next boom cycle begins). What no one can predict, however, is when the next cycle of boom will be. Apts, like most real estate, should be a long term investment, thus it should not really matter (too much) when the next boom will be.
     
  12. Melbournian

    Melbournian Member

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    In terms of good buildings - it is hard to judge there are some even with well known architect and builders which i personally know on St kilda road which has issues with the pool etc and leaking in the apartments. Sometimes it's better to go with established buildings which have a good track record of fixing problems. You don't want an owners corp too which has lack of experience.

    If i had to buy one solely outright for lifestyle purposes - 150 Clarendon St, East Melbourne (aka power of tower), Freshwater place, Eureka (nice infinity pool on the top) and the Melbournian (where celebrities and some AFL stars stay)

    It looks OK but it's too hard to say without an inspection for NOVA

    That 10 kind of people whcih was on latrobe street - was due to the apartment being really big and the owner did something dodgy and went ahead and split it without complying to building regulations and owners corporation approval. The owner i believe was reprimanded and reported to the necessary authorities.

    If you're not looking to rent out, are you staying as an owner occupier or are you just keeping a holiday home? Otherwise what are the goals who hope to achieve? again ur budget would be the first start.
     
  13. zed_kid

    zed_kid Member

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    Hey melb, whats the IVY building like? On St Kilda rd. I remember them selling OTP for like 500k for the average apartment back in 2005 (don’t quote me on the numbers, it was a long time ago) at the time I thought it was ridiculously over priced, it did look the biz though.
     
  14. Wunderbar

    Wunderbar Member

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    The regency towers on 265 Exhibition Street are a great apartment block to live in. Very well maintained building and high proportion of owner-occupiers. Plus pet-friendly, great location and right next to the Marriott Hotel.
     
  15. shim

    shim Member

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    I lived in the city for the past 5 years.
    Upside, you are close to all amentities, shops, trams at the door, resturants etc.
    Downside, noisy, too many cars and people (esp on a Friday or Saturday night) If you don't have your own car park space for the apartment, it will be a pain looking for parking (Anything past Victoria St and Swanston St will no longer be free after 6.30pm due to change of regulation with City of Melbourne Council)

    Body corporate varies depending on your building (Normally much higher in the CBD within 2km from Melbourne Central than areas outside of the CBD) Possibly looking between 3k to 6k per year (depend on the condition and when the building was built)
    Also Council rate is higher in the CBD compared to the suburbs
     
  16. Kinnon Bell

    Kinnon Bell Member

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    When you say 'pet-friendly' is there a weight limit on the pet? eg pet has to be under 5kg?
     
  17. Melbournian

    Melbournian Member

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    i've seen a german shepard in my building if that is what you are indicating is pet friendly.
     
  18. Tony3008

    Tony3008 Member

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    There's no restriction on owner occupiers having pets in my building (Victoria Point) but in the OC rules it says that if any pet causes a nuisance the OC will issue a caution and if the problem continues will require the owner to get rid of it. For flats that are rented out, most landlords impose a no-pets rule.

    Also to add to my earlier comment, be cautious about buildings that include serviced apartments. Vic Point has a 3-month minimum tenancy rule; short stay occupants in buildings that allow them tend to treat the place like a hotel.
     
  19. Kinnon Bell

    Kinnon Bell Member

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    Thanks for the info Melb and Tony - that's good to know. I wasn't too sure about that as one of my mates lives in an inner city apartment and can't have a pet that weighs more than 5 kilos. Wasn't too sure if that was an accross the board rule or not.
     
  20. goonandtell

    goonandtell Member

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    i live in southbank, personally i rent for a few reasons but i love the lifestyle.

    I am a 20 something living with GF and another flat mate in a 2,1,2. The building has concierge, pool, tennis court and basic gym. Parking is a must we have the 2 spots and for a while had three cars as we purchased and where trying to sell it was a pain wodnering if you would have somewhere when you get home and we only drive once or twice a week.

    Its a bit barron and windy at night i prefered where she used to live in richmond if i am walking home a bit later.

    We live just off the freeway so i can be in ballarat, geelong or frankston in an hour which is really handy. We also have motorbiks which means if we want to go out in peak hour we move around a bit quicker also free city link for 2 wheels :).

    Do our food shopping at southmelbourne market and the woolworths there.

    Walk to work which is in the SE corner of the CBD takes about 15 minutes.