8 Types Of Apartments To Buy And Invest In

By on July 28, 2017

If you are the type of person who just feels that a house is just a home to live in, then choosing a property will be between a landed house, or an apartment.

However, if you are the type that likes to absorb as much information as possible, there are actually so many types of apartments to comprehend.

Here is a simple breakdown of some of the popular types, and a short introduction to their pros and cons.

1) Conversion

These are historical real estate, often built decades ago. Sometimes even centuries.

They are often styled and designed with the conventional Georgian or Victorian conversions.

Because they were built a very long time ago when land was not as scarce as it is today, it not surprising to find these older buildings housing as little as 10 apartment units or less.

And also because of the times when these buildings were built, they are most often freehold instead of leasehold.

Leasehold was almost non-existent in those days.

Often found in urban estates, these rustic looking buildings allow occupants to live in retro design while enjoying the convenience of urban living.

However, get ready to tolerate old building and construction standards.

Those that are designated as under-conservation by the government would also obligate you to conduct recurring retrofitting works.

2) Dual key

This is a young concept that is still in an experimental stage. However, even though it is still young, that does not mean that they are few and far between.

It’s just that the numbers still don’t make it desirable enough to be built by the masses.

With the income suite manner of landlording became popular, more and more homeowners are considering converting a room in the house into a rental room.

With dual key apartments, every homeowner will be able to reap the rewards of being a landlord while living in the house as well.

As the name describes, these apartments come with 2 main keys. And they are used to open 2 main entrances to a house. These 2 entrances enter 2 different segments of a house separated by a common wall.

This shared wall will then have an access door to both sides. This enables the homeowner to use all spaces if the “extra” room is not being rented out. And also prevents a tenant from entering the main house from the rented room.

A great entry level investment for prospective landlords.

3) Flats over shops

In the past, real estate in this configuration were avoided for one reason or another.

But in recent years, these types of apartments are enjoying high demand.

In some parts of the world, they might even be termed as shophouses.

They are often location in amenity-rich areas. And retail shops on lower levels make it so convenient for occupants in the building to buy things like groceries and electronics.

The disadvantage is that the lease will usually include the shop itself.

This means that if you intend to buy one of these, you will have to take on the retail space as well even if you have no interest in conducting a retail business below the flat.

4) SOHO

Often referred to work and live units, this is still a concept that relatively young.

So much so that developers are still testing it’s reception in the market.

Because of the rise in flexible working and businesses run by individuals alone, it makes sense that there should be arise in demand for apartments that serve not just as a home, but as an office as well.

However, it seems that demand is still not yet as strong as what the experts predicted. If not they would already be built all over the place in any area you can think of.

There might also be complications and confusion with taxes and mortgages. This is because classifying these types of flat as residential or commercial is still up to debate.

5) Maisonette

Maisonettes are typically 2-storey apartment flats built in multi-family buildings.

So if we take for example, a building of 10 storeys with 6 units per floor, it comes to a total of 60 apartment units. A building consisting of maisonettes would then have only 30 units as each unit will take up 2 levels of space.

These are the perfect hybrid of homes that offer the advantages of living in a flat while also providing an ample amount of living space.

Just be mindful that the extra square feet of space will translate to higher prices.

6) Newbuilds

These types of apartments are being built by the masses these days.

They can come in the form of condominiums and public housing.

The high supply of them is partly due to the economics and demand.

As more and more people demand their own homes once they attain a certain level of financial power, these buildings make sense for cities with limited space. Developers would also be salivating from the amount of sales that can be generated from such projects.

As real estate investing get more popular, and more investors and households with stronger buying power enter the market, there is a huge growing trend of mega developments focused on newbuilds.

Special administrative areas have also be set aside that concentrate on building these things.

Just be careful with what you are buying.

Newbuilds can be further categorized as small and large blocks.

Small developments can sometimes be made up of as little as 2 apartments. While large blocks can make up of hundreds of units.

Choosing between them is not always straight forward.

For example, if you want to live in a flat with a good view, there is no chance that you are going to get that with a small block. However, large blocks will not be able to offer you better privacy and exclusivity.

7) Shared ownership

Not to be confused with dual key apartment flats, shared ownership typically allows you to buy part of an apartment and designate the other part for renting out.

Buyers can partner with other buyers and make up as much as 4 total buyers. Each individual will own a share of the place and even take up a mortgage.

You can then pay ordinary rental for the balance share which you do not own. The objective is to one day own the flat outright.

These structures of ownership are usually found with non-profit organizations and social enterprises.

The purpose of them is to assist people with financial limitations to own their own home.

8) Shell apartments

It is a wonder how this concept of housing was conceptualized.

Shell apartments allow people to purchase an empty space that is already marked out for a flat. And there is every chance that no design plans have yet to be determined. Meaning you have no idea how many rooms there will be in the final product, and don’t know how the layout of areas like the kitchen will be like.

While this can sound propsposterous to many, there are advantages as well.

Flats in these projects are usually of considerable size and often located in cities.

What to choose?

There are a lot of factors to consider before deciding what type of apartment to purchase. As these variables will depend from person to person, it is suggested that you weigh up the critical factors that matter to you before determining what suits you best.



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