Monthly Archives: October 2013

Strata Titled Communities Here to Stay and Growing Stronger

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It is not uncommon these days, to see under utilised inner city precincts and commercially abandoned wharves converted to thriving café and retail sectors with hotels and boutique offices commercially underpinned by the residential community within.

These types of properties appeal to our current demographics. We are ageing like never before. The front-end baby boomers have tired of the three, four and five bedroom homes and are looking for a more convenient and interesting way to live. The redeveloped inner cities and docklands are their new spiritual home. The cafes, restaurants, art galleries and bookshops are their temples and there they worship in their droves.

Their children, if not still in the suburban home abandoned by their parents, are taking to the smaller and more affordable apartments in and around our cities and business districts. For them a cosmopolitan and busy lifestyle is as important but the issue of affordability affects them also. The traditional form of detached housing is not for them, at least at first because of this issue. Their time for the backyard and white picket fence, if they are so inclined, will be delayed as they marry and rear their children later in life. Meanwhile other strata dwellers; couples without children, and singles might stay with the concept and upgrade to new, bigger and better home units.

The Great Philosophical Debate About Unit Entitlements

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Great philosophical debates take place between development consultants about how entitlements should be set. The socialists will say we are all created equal and each apartment should have one entitlement so the common expenses are shared equally.

The democrats will say we are all created equally but some more than others, so the rich should pay more than the poor and they should be determined on the initial asking price for the various apartments. The greens will argue for a determination based on size reflecting the carbon footprint of the apartment and the dictator, the nasty developer we all despise will say, I don’t give a toss how you split the bills but the penthouse I am keeping will pay the least.

Sounds Familiar

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Awkward might describe the way we act when we move into an apartment block from the relative seclusion of our detached four bedroom home with the quintessential turn of the millennium renovation.

What do you say when you meet a same floor dweller at the elevators for the first time? ‘Was my music too loud last night? Can you hear what we say and do? We don’t seem to hear you. Well not often anyway.’ As they ponder the very same question your mind turns to your new, close but not in a good way, neighbour. ‘I bet it was him that over-filled the recycling bins last week? They should learn to use the right bins. I hope their visitors don’t park in my space’? All sounds very familiar to those of us living in strata land.

Flogging Developers

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In both form and substance, developer’s contracts for the sale of apartments in developments large and small are woeful documents fit only for compulsory reading by the local insomniacs association.

They are thoughtlessly put together comprising usually single sided copies so as to double their possible size and look daunting from the outset. They are often copied poorly so documents are askew with parts cut out and others in part deleted. Rarely are they indexed or divided clearly for the benefit of the reader and hardly ever are they sorted logically with an overview of how the bits fit together to tell the story of this development and how it will be run long after the developer’s special purpose company is wound up not having paid its taxes. If a promoter of a company or a property syndicate put such a document to the market, a small battalion of corporate regulators would descend from choppers to have the culprit arrested and held without trial.

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