So you are keen to get into the Melbourne property market and planning to buy an apartment there – something lots of people do on a weekly basis. Of course, you want to find the perfect place for you, and to get the best deal possible, whether you’re looking for somewhere you plan to live in, or for a decent rental property.

Help yourself to make a great decision by using our list of handy hints on what to keep in mind when looking at apartments in Melbourne that you may eventually choose to buy.

Tip #1 – Location is always the top priority

This is the one thing it is never worth compromising on – buying an apartment in the wrong area will make it less than ideal to live in or find a tenant for, and tricky to sell on in the future. Generally, apartments which are within a reasonable distance to attractions such as cafes, bars, galleries, and shops, as well as decent public transport systems, hold their value much better.

Tip #2 – Favour smaller sized apartment developments

The fewer, the better, as this helps reduce the risk of several properties being on the market at the same time. They also tend to have more affordable monthly fees and a friendlier atmosphere.

Tip #3 – Does the floor plan work?

Most of the time there’s nothing particularly unusual, but there can be some strange set-ups or designs which wouldn’t work for you in the long term. For example, if there are two bedrooms, would you prefer them separated rather than close by each other? Do you favor a hallway, or at least some kind of separator, between main spaces like the kitchen and living area?

Tip #4 – Get the exact measurements of internal space

Some lenders won’t work with you if the apartment you want to buy is smaller than 50sqm, and that’s the measurements from inside the apartment, not from the outside walls. Don’t take anyone’s word for this figure; always have it checked independently.

Tip #5 – Check out additional fees

What looks like a good buy could come with higher charges than you feel comfortable paying. Make sure you would get value for money for things like a gym membership, which are not optional extras.

Tip #5 – Look for buildings with a lot of owner-occupiers

Apartment buildings with lots of tenanted properties tend to be cheaper to buy, but they can also be difficult to sell down the line and may lose value compared to average market price changes.

Tip #6 – Do the apartment and the location meet the right needs?

If you are buying the apartment for yourself, then you know what to look for to make it an ideal buy, but if it’s an investment buy then you need to think in terms of your potential tenants. Will they be looking for convenient public transport links, shops, or entertainment?