I’ve always been someone that’s lived in a suburban setting, however, about 10 years ago I found myself purchasing an apartment in Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city. I can hear the critics now, you’d have to be crazy to live in the city right? To be honest, I don’t regret it because I think up until then I was living with blinkers on.
Like everything in life, there is a number of things that you need to weigh up. This especially applies to where you decide to live as it has a strong impact on your wellbeing.
It seems within Australian culture, living in the suburbs is the only option worth contemplating. Now I tend to think it’s more about your personality, the things you are interested in and what your core needs are.
I think for some people that may not have family obligations or no longer require a large home, the city could be an exciting change. I guess it’s just about allowing yourself to see city living as an option. Whether that’s a good thing or not requires some contemplation about what you personally require.
Some of the Benefits
Easy Access to the Best Restaurants, Entertainment and Culture
Without a doubt, one of the greatest things about living in the city is having ready access to a variety of restaurants, entertainment and general cultural events. Most areas in the suburbs can’t compete with the city’s diversity in this respect.
There’s a type of immediacy that is hard to describe when living amongst it all in the city. For example, you might be watching the TV and there’s an event in town, South Bank, or wherever. Just knowing you can just walk over there and have a look or take part is a great thing. Most things that happen in Brisbane seem to be on your doorstep. There’s a little buzz that goes with that.
Low Maintenance Responsibilities With Apartment Living
One nice little perk about living in an apartment is that there’s less housework to be done. This is especially true for the exterior as most apartment buildings have gardeners and caretakers tending to whatever needs to be done. But also the interior there can be some time savings as usually, you will be occupying a smaller space.
If you are someone that travels a lot or just likes to pick up and leave at a moments notice, apartment living can be great. The ideal lockup and leave situation knowing that everything is going to be looked after until you return.
Brisbane Weather and a Range of Outdoor Activities
One of the big topics that people living in the southern states get a little jealous about is Brisbane’s weather. While a little too warm in the summer sometimes it’s generally pretty good all year round. As a result, you can enjoy the outdoors for more days of the year.
Popular activities include walking, cycling, scooter riding, kayaking, rock climbing, boating, the list goes on really! Brisbane is a small enough city where the number of people isn’t overwhelming. There’s generally enough room to do what you want to do. Even pretty quiet in some places. But naturally, if you want to get amongst the action, you can.
Access to Transport – Is there really the need to drive?
All the major transport networks use Brisbane as the central hub. Whether that is the airport, trains, buses, taxis or ferries you couldn’t be better serviced than when you live in the city.
If you are someone that doesn’t use a vehicle that often, living in the city does make you question if you actually need a car. Which is another Australian cultural norm unlike many other places in the world. If there isn’t really the need, ditching the car can be a huge cost saving.
Apartment Complex Amenities
Another bonus about being in an apartment complex is the shared amenities that the residents can make use of. This includes pools, saunas, gyms or whatever facilities the apartment may provide.
Living in a house or similar property these types of facilities may be not warranted because of the maintenance involved or simply too costly. Being in an apartment complex gives you access to these luxuries without the headache and expense.
Some of the Disadvantages
Limited Space So You Need To Get Creative
There’s no doubt city living forces you to rethink your need for space. This may be a downsizing revolution for some people and for others that like the wide-open spaces, a claustrophobic nightmare! So really it comes down to what your needs and circumstances are.
I think for some people having limited responsibility and space could actually be a good thing. Although yes, there’s nothing like being able to spread out a little. City apartment living can force you to be more creative about how you store things and challenge you to question if you need to own so much stuff.
Privacy and Noise Concerns
Oh yes, this one can be tough and definitely encourages you to draw on some of those qualities like tolerance and patience. No matter where you are in the city, matters of privacy and noise rear their ugly head.
If your not adaptable when it comes to privacy and noise, I would honestly think seriously about your need to be in the city. For me personally, while having to deal with noise from other apartments when it arises either by calling security or tolerating, the advantages as listed above win out. But that’s me, you may be different.
Alterations to Your Property Are More Restricted
Generally, a house in the suburbs gives you a lot of freedom to make alterations even if your local council is pretty strict. With being an owner-occupier in a city apartment the options are limited about what you can do to alter the exterior.
This is due to the body corporate regulations that govern what you can and can’t do to the property. This is mainly to the exterior of the apartment but this can apply to the interior if the alterations are structural or don’t comply with body corporate rules.
Still Unsure An Apartment is For You?
If you are looking to buy an apartment in Brisbane city and have doubts if it’s the right thing to do maybe consider renting for six months to get a taste of the lifestyle? It is a big step to take and possibly giving yourself that time to get a feel for city living might give you some more certainty about the whole venture.
I can only really talk from my personal experience. The apartment living in the city has been a great experience for me. While nothing in life is absolutely perfect, allowing myself to think outside the box has put me in a better place than where I once was.