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04-05-2019, 19:00   #16
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Originally Posted by VonLuck View Post
I live in a terraced house sharing with 3 others, bedroom above mine and living room below and with no garden. Not quite apartment living, but not a million miles away.
Depends what you want from an apartment. I lived in them during my renting days but never even considered buying one when the time came. Maybe you could try talking to your friends who rent apartments and hear their thoughts.

Things I hated about apartment living might not bother you at all. These are individual to my experiences of them and may not apply to you
  • Not being able to park my car outside the front door. Especially nice when you've been shopping and have to make multiple trips to the car and back up the lift again.
  • Having to use stairs and lifts to get to the apartment
  • Lack of storage space. I agree with the person above me. Go for a two bedroom one if you can.
  • The kitchen and living area being the one room
  • No garden. It's nice to have a bit of a green area to sit out in on an evening like this one, to have a clothes-line or for visitors' kids to run around in
  • Looking out the window at a wall of other people's apartments and/or lack of good natural light
  • Changing tenants in adjoining apartments. Be very careful about this. Find out does the council rent some of these
  • Management fees. Ouch.
  • Restrictions laid down by the management company. You might not be able to choose broadband or TV providers or stick up a satellite dish.
  • Some of them can be quite noisy, especially ones that have courtyards or layouts that bounce the noise around

Having said all that, I understand where you're coming from. I read your other thread about buying a house in rougher areas. If I was faced with that choice I'd go for an apartment in as good an area as I could. Many of us have to make some sort of compromise when we buy and it's a case of weighing up what you're gaining against what you're losing.

I've seen boardsies who'd never even think about buying a house because they feel (rightly or wrongly) that they're safer in an apartment. They're generally cheaper to heat too and of course there's not much maintenance required. And you're less likely to have Jehovah's Witnesses or salespeople knocking on your door

Last edited by Ursus Horribilis; 04-05-2019 at 20:15.
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04-05-2019, 22:01   #17
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There's a lot of people in Ireland who think apartments are all like Ballymun flats. It's just snobbery in a lot of cases.

I love apartment living - you get a better location for your money, often a great view, very little maintenance, and the ones I've lived in have been quiet & easy to heat. The annual fee is just payment for a service, usually involving maintenance of the building & a groundskeeper.

I think attitudes are changing - most people in Europe live in apartments in cities.
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04-05-2019, 22:19   #18
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Got to agree with the positives. Don't even discount a one bedroom apartment. If you were stuck for cash later, having to rent out a second small bedroom in an apartment would be really tough if you were used to living alone.

Bad management can be fixed too. I got involved in mngt company after 6 months seeing that the development could be run better. Still a director more than a decade later. I see it as a way to protect and improve my home.
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04-05-2019, 22:45   #19
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Lots of benefits to apartment living - greater security, lower heating bills, low maintenance etc. A lot of the negatives that people list can also apply to houses, especially smaller houses which would probably be the alternative on your budget. I have friends living in small terraced houses who have awful issues with noise from houses next door through the walls, very little storage space and/or a postage stamp garden that would be not much bigger than an apartment balcony.

People always list management fees as a negative, almost as if you don't get anything in return for them. In a poorly managed development they may be poor value for money, but in a well run development they can be very reasonable for what you get in return - at the end of the day they pay for tangible services for your home, with the exception of the auditors fees and managing agent fee which are maybe €200 a year. The rest covers bins, insurance, parking gates, lifts (lifts attract downsizers and other markets so add value in their own way), security cameras, water pumps, heating of common areas, cleaning common areas etc. - all services that offer benefits. In my case bins work out at about €80 per apartment per year which is great value imo and cheaper than if I was paying individually. Just check the accounts and go into it with your eyes open. A lot of people seem to think you pay €1500 a year or whatever and it just goes into a black hole and you get nothing for it
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04-05-2019, 22:52   #20
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Originally Posted by caviardreams View Post

People always list management fees as a negative, almost as if you don't get anything in return for them...
And also ignore the costs associated with maintaining a house - that don't apply to apartments
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04-05-2019, 22:59   #21
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Having been living in my own apartment for 13 years now and I love it. Among the positives are three location, wouldn't have been able to afford a house on the area. It's a gated, well maintained complex, and I think the management fee is good value for money. I don't ever have to think about bins or cutting the grass.

I see some people have mentioned storage space, for me in recent years I have become very strict with myself, I don't buy "stuff" because I just don't have the room, that's a positive. I also de clutter more, especially clothes. After a while you realise how much "stuff " you actually need.

Like a previous poster I also got involved in the management committee, it's in my interest and for anyone living in an apartment definitely go to the AGM s ast the very least.
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04-05-2019, 23:13   #22
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I've been living in rented apartment for the last three years and I really loved. Now I'm in the process of purchasing two bed apartment myself. I had some noise issue a couple of times but it was rare. The Management Company was maintaining the common areas very clean.
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05-05-2019, 13:44   #23
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Almost all the things people have been complaining about here are problems with their specific apartment experience, and do not apply to all apartments, and most "apartment problems" also apply to some homes:
- noisy neighbours: can be the same in any non detached house
- too small: so are many houses, just get a bigger apartment
- Management fees: lots of housing estates have fees too now
Etc etc

I've lived in apartments for a decade now and you learn quickly how to minimise the kind of problems people complain about - want a garden: get a ground floor apartment, or find one with a terrace, need storage space: get a bigger apartment, worried about noisy neighbours - live on top floor or ground floor or in apartment with minimum number of neighbours, get sound insulation if it's a problem, like you would in a terraced house.

It's true that Irish apartments are not great but most are in city centres and all over the world city centre apartments are the smallest. If you want big apartments with big terraces or balconies you have to build them outside the city centre in the suburbs. But here the builders know everyone wants houses, so our suburbs continue to expand as housing estates instead of nice blocks of large family-style apartments with decent outdoor space.
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05-05-2019, 15:27   #24
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I live in an apartment and always thought I would like to buy a house eventually, but the older I get, the more I wonder whether that would be right for me. I have no interest in maintaining a garden for instance, I get nobody knocking at my door canvassing, selling stuff or looking for sponsorship etc....that kinda stuff. I certainly don't enjoy paying what I consider to be a hefty yearly management fee however, and having had extremely noisy children living next door in the past, I appreciate that noise can certainly be a problem. However that's just as likely in a terraced or semi-d house. I also don't enjoy having to trek to the bin shed instead of just opening my back door and putting stuff in the bin there.

I do feel quite safe living here, as I am a couple of floors up and it would be that bit more difficult for Johnny Scumbag to gain access to the apartment. He'd probably have an easier time trying a ground floor window in a house.

The problem in a lot of apartments is storage. I have a hot-press sized storage cupboard in my hall, and that's it apart from the wardrobes and kitchen presses. That's fine for me as a single person who doesn't have a lot of 'stuff' but would certainly be inadequate for someone trying to raise two or more kids in an apartment, no matter how minimal you try to keep things. They will never be suitable for families until planners accept that cramming shoeboxes together with basically no storage and inadequate parking/outside space and facilities is untenable. A small utility room/cupboard, separate kitchen/diner, a decent-sized storage room either in the hall or in a basement á la the American model would be better. Unfortunately a lot of apartments that were built during the boom fall into the shoebox category and as such will never be really suitable for families - I know there are families living in them, but you can bet that a lot of them are renters with no other option, or couples who bought an apartment as a 'starter home' in the boom and now cannot afford to move and must raise their families there, usually in a two-bed, as three-bed apartments are relatively rare. These types of apartment are not attractive options for families. While my apartment block is grand in general, and we are lucky to have adequate parking and outside space, I would not like to raise a family here.

I'm happy enough in an apartment I guess, management fee notwithstanding. But OP, if you do buy an apartment, definitely go for a two-bed if finances permit. It's nice to have a spare room for guests, and even if you never have guests, it can be a walk-in wardrobe, small home gym or office, plus extra storage.
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05-05-2019, 19:04   #25
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I agree that you can have bad experiences in houses too. It really does boil down to how well built and laid out any dwelling is, not to mention the area it's in. It's definitely something to looked at on a case by case basis. I have a list of negatives but I also have been in nice apartments that aren't noisy or make you feel like you're a battery hen. It depends on your temperament too. I'm not cut out for apartment living though and I don't mind mowing the lawn or doing the bits of maintenance that come up. You might find that you're much more suited to it.
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05-05-2019, 19:07   #26
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Apartments are not cut out for outdoorsy people who want to store surfboards, fishing gear and boats.
Or pet owners for that matter.

That's my contribution
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05-05-2019, 19:13   #27
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Originally Posted by Hedgelayer View Post
Apartments are not cut out for outdoorsy people who want to store surfboards, fishing gear and boats.
Or pet owners for that matter. That's my contribution
Yes and to continue on that pretty much any kind of hobby that needs a back garden shed.
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05-05-2019, 19:52   #28
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I've lived both in apartments and houses, and when it came to buying a few years ago we bought a house.

If I could do it again, I'd get an apartment - but I'd be careful about where.

I hate - HATE - gardening and all the outside maintenance that comes with owning a house. It honestly sucks half the joy out of owning my own house. I know that might seem silly but it really, really does. When we bought I was high on having a great garden and everything but honest to God if you don't have kids to use it, or don't have a huge interest in maintaining a garden it very very quickly just becomes a pain in the arse. Likewise having to paint the outside walls, wash windows, clear gutters, mow the lawn... I hate it.

It all depends on how you want to spend your time. I know folks talks about maintenance fees for apartments but add in painting all external walls (which is EXPENSIVE), possibly having to get professionals in to wash high windows, clean gutters, the time spent maintaining the driveway etc... I don't know if it's really that much more expensive, plus you don't have to think about it. What is your time worth, I guess?

I've certainly lived in apartments that were thin walled and that was annoying, but they tended to be the houses that were split into flats in the boom. So they were never designed to be self contained. Any of the purpose built flats Ive lived in were great. Barely heard anything - including one I lived in near Christchurch, and one on Camden St. The main noise issue from both those was outside noise, and obviously we couldn't change to double/triple glazing since we didn't own, to offset the noise.

I'm pretty much decided, since we know now (since buying tbh) that we're not going to have children that our next move will be to a decent 2 bed apartment or a duplex kinda scenario. I'd take my time to buy one that is built well, with a decent patio or some outside access just for the odd BBQ etc. Our 2 cats are indoor cats anyway, so no issues there. But location is a big issue too, I want to be near city centre.

Don't get caught up in the draw of a house, OP. That's all I'll say. There's pro's and con's of both living arrangements.
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05-05-2019, 20:17   #29
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In an apartment, the TV license inspector can't look in your window to see if you have a Tele
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05-05-2019, 20:39   #30
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I've lived in apartments and houses .
After so many years it's down to one thing only .
Are you going to be living on your own ???
If you are , an apartment is the way to go .
If your going to be sharing stay away from an apartment .
There is literally no privacy when your sharing an apartment .
I work different hours weekly , and it's impossible to get a good sleep , when your sharing an apartment .
As for the kitchen/ living area in the same room.
All the apartments I've lived in the inside walls are built of newspaper which causes you to hear everything ..
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