Choosing an apartment is not only about what is the most practical choice. Especially now that “overweight” residential buildings are becoming fairly common in Australia. The culprit behind this is the developers’ desire to maximise the number of living areas that they can stuff into the site in order to maximise their profit.

Making the right choice

When looking for an apartment, those that have great views usually appeal to buyers. However, buildings that offer views are often tall ones that may have a wide floor plan which will prevent the units to have proper cross ventilation.

Moreover, choosing a low to medium-rise building will ensure that you get regular exercise when you use the stairs. Money-wise, you’d be better off choosing buildings that offer ample natural light and ventilation.

Considerations

Having said this, it is important to understand that there are touch points that you should consider if you’re trying to have the best value for your money, and not to mention, your health. Here are some things that you should look out for:

 1. Ventilation

Getting an apartment that has generous windows can ensure that you get both natural light and ventilation. A good combination of windows should have a couple on at least 2 sides of your unit which can be achieved if your apartment is a corner one.

Can’t find a corner apartment? Don’t fret, you can counter getting stuck inside a sealed building envelope by making sure that you have exhaust fans in critical areas of your unit, like the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry.

2. Lighting

A good apartment doesn’t need artificial light anymore during the day, except in the areas we seldom use and those that are tucked away from the exterior of your house like the laundry, service area, and other areas where you don’t frequent.

Communal areas, on the other hand, should be well lighted and have natural light if possible. A great tip was given by The University of New South Wales’s Dean of Built Environment, Helen Lochhead. “When you’re inspecting an apartment, turn all the lights off (the real estate agent will most likely have turned them all on) to see how much natural light each room will get.”

Remember that “borrowed lights” which is prevalent in Melbourne is not ideal. Having no direct lighting inside the bedroom and only borrowing some light from an adjacent corridor or area is not healthy.

3. Community

Sometimes, when people get busy, they tend to just keep to themselves and just go straight home after work. Though this is common, it is still important to know your neighbours and your whole community. Having said this, then choosing a good community where you will feel safe and a part of it is also important.

4. Accessibility and transportation

Another factor to look into is the ease of access to your apartment. What public transport is near you? Or are you going to have to walk far to the train or bus stop.

The amount of time, no matter how small can pile up and affect your leisure, work and health in the long run.

You may also opt to ask your agent if they have plans on installing charging stations for electric cars or if they already have.

5. Outdoors

Spending time outdoor is, no doubt, the way to a healthy lifestyle. Opting for an apartment with a balcony or a green communal space should be your first move. If this is not possible, look for a community where a short hike or a day in a park is possible without investing too much time on your travel going there.

6. Safety

In all reality, this should always be your number one consideration. However, with safety being the number one concern of the people looking for a place, developers are raising their safety technology options installed in their buildings.

The best way is to consider the other touchpoints first, narrow down your choices, and then choose the best choice in terms of safety.

7. Privacy

Aside from the normal consideration of privacy in terms of people passing by your door, or seeing you from outside, you also have to consider your natural light, if you put on blinds and thick curtains, is your light going to be enough in doors?

8. Noise

Check whether your wall are double walls or pre-fabricated panels. You never know when you’ll get a noisy neighbour until after the fact.

9. Stairs and elevators

Generally, when a building reaches 4 floors, it has to provide a lift for its occupants as per Australia’s Building Code. For a healthy lifestyle, check for apartments that encourage the use of the stairs even if it has lifts.

Choosing the best apartment for you will lie on your own preference. But following these considerations, will help you be more mindful of the choices you make for a healthier lifestyle.