Types of property: Apartment, house or unit – what's right for you?

Big place or small? New build or fixer-upper? Ask yourself these questions to help you work out what property type might be a match for you.

3 minute read

Your future plans

What are your future plans?

What property types and locations would suit your expected lifestyle over the next 5-10 years? For example, if you plan to start a family, you might want to consider things like property size, the number of bedrooms, and proximity to schools and amenities.

Are you looking for a forever home, or one to get you on the property ladder?

Starting smaller, like in a unit as part of a complex, could mean you’re eligible for stamp duty exemptions or other government concessions if the property is under a certain amount (depending on your state). Keep in mind, a property that's part of a complex can come with some extra expenses too, like strata fees.

Property types

Do you want a new or established property?

This can be one of the factors that determines whether you’re eligible for some government concessions. Check your state’s government website for the latest info.

A new property means it’s newly built and never lived in. With an established home, consider the age and how soon any renovations would be needed – and at what cost.

Prefer a house or an apartment?

As a general rule of thumb, land tends to rise in value over time, while the value of the building tends to fall.

Apartments (and any other property types that have shared areas like driveways, gardens or lifts) come with strata fees, but they tend to be lower maintenance. They can be a good choice for taking a first step on the property ladder.

Would you like a fixer-upper?

It could come with a cheaper price tag, but it’s important to consider if the cost of the house plus renovations would equal more than what you might sell it for in the future.

Do you want to build a property?

You’ll have more control over what your home will look like and you might even be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), depending on your state. Weigh the pros up against the potential risks – like construction costs and delays.

Keep in mind you’ll need to take out a construction loan, which lets you draw down the loan in stages to pay your builder as the work progresses.

Do you want an off the plan new build?

These properties are not yet built, but all the plans are in place. They could appeal to you if want to see your home come to life from scratch but don’t want to design it yourself.

Potential cons are that you could be waiting longer for the build to be complete if the development is delayed, and you’ll generally need to pay a deposit upfront to the developer.

Location, location, location

Where do you want to live?

Consider if you need to be close to what’s important to you - like family, schools, work, public transport, freeways, shops or other amenities.

Would you consider ‘rentvesting’?

This means buying an investment property in an affordable area while you rent where you want to live but might not yet be able to afford to buy. It’s a common way for people to enter the property market.

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Our Home Lending Specialists can give you as many as you like, no strings attached. They’ll show you a suburb’s:

  • Growth rate
  • Previous sales
  • Rental values
  • Median price range for houses and units
  • Population mix and local amenities.


Would you be eligible for stamp duty exemptions or government concessions?

Check your state’s government website for the latest info. These are often based on the value of the property (such as if it’s under a certain amount), or if it’s a new or established property.

Think about costs that come with different property types

These can include:

  • Strata fees
  • Council rates
  • Maintenance costs
  • Utilities
  • Home insurance premiums.

About this article

We take care of all the BS (bank stuff) so you can access the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. When we write a guide or article, we take steps to make sure the information is relevant, accurate and most of all, helpful.

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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.