Saturday, February 27, 2010

How can you tell if an apartment has quality finishes

I have been asked by a reader how to tell if an apartment was high quality finishes. Often, you can just tell by looking. Here are some signs that may give you a clue as to whether the developer did a quality job on the apartment:

  • Are all rooms air-conditioned, or just some rooms?
  • Central air-conditioning, or an air compressor on balcony (As described by a developer: "Split system air conditioning to living / dining and Bedroom 1 (condensor on balcony’s)")
  • Full central air, or just a day/night air conditioner (i.e., when air is on it the living room, it is off in the bedrooms)
  • A plasterboard ceiling with recessed lighting, or a "popcorn" ceilings (i.e., a sprayed finish on the concrete slab above) and oyster lighting (often described as "Texture paint finish to concrete soffit")
  • Underslung sink, or a sink that rests on the benchtop
  • 900mm wide oven, or 600mm wide oven
  • 1000mm wide space for fridge with water point, or 850mm wide space for fridge
  • Bathroom wall tiles to ceiling, or tiles only part of bathroom walls
  • 2 pack polyurethane finish to cabinets, or laminate cabinets
  • Clear balcony balustrades v. concrete or metal balustrades
  • Ceiling height
  • Air conditioned common hallway
  • There are many other items, listed in the schedule of finishes for an off-the-plan apartment, that need careful studying.
    Generally, if an apartment is listed as investor quality, this means it is of lower quality. Some buildings have apartments with different quality -- for example, a lower floor apartment may have lesser finishes than an apartment on a higher floor. In the Flow development, the apartments on one side of the building (the river side) have a higher quality finish than the apartments on the other side of the building (the city side). So take care!

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