An apartment can be a great first home. There are many benefits of inner-city apartment living including being happier, healthier, living more sustainably and saving money.
This post has been sponsored by Lendlease.
The Great Australian Dream might traditionally be a house in the suburbs on a quarter acre block, but there are a lot of perks to inner-city living that we overlook when we dream of owning our own home.
For one, smart modern urban planning is the future of sustainable living in a world where the population is predicted to reach 9 billion people by the end of the century.
Not only can urban living be more sustainable than the suburban sprawl, studies also show inner-city dwellers tend to be healthier and happier, more active and more socially engaged than those living in the ‘burbs.
Then there’s the convenience of living near work, shops, public transport and other amenities.
There is also the vibrancy and culture of living in the city where there is always something to do.
I’ve lived in small apartments close to the city centre all of my adult life. While we no longer live in a capital city, we still live in a small townhouse in our city centre – a quick walk from shops, the school, parks and the beach. We don’t have a backyard – instead, we have the whole town to explore with weekends of free of yard work and maintenance.
5 Benefits of Inner-City Apartment Living
Buying an apartment rather than a house can be an affordable way to get into the housing market. It can also mean living in a great location that may otherwise be out of your price range.
Living in the inner-city can be super convenient for a younger people or those without families who work (and play) in the city.
Lendlease is currently building two developments right in the middle of Melbourne where you can try before you buy and live in an apartment rent-free for one week. For more information, including information on their program to match a first home buyer’s 5% deposit, see the terms and conditions here: firstplace.com.au
2. Close to Amenities and Public Transport
Urban living means living within walking distance of shops, schools, work, recreational and cultural facilities and public transport. And all this walking instead of driving means inner-city dwellers tend to be healthier and more active.
Living close to public transport reduces the need for owning a car. Or you might have one car per family, which can save you thousands each year on registration and maintenance costs, not to mention significantly cut your carbon footprint.
“As cities get more and more compact, they become more walkable. In denser residential areas they are better designed and more attractive destinations. We are less dependent on our cars and use public transport more.” Chinmoy Sarkar
Cities are vibrant places to live, with easy access to museums, art galleries, cultural events, free entertainment (like the Melbourne International Jazz Festival or the Melbourne Arts Festival). It’s something I miss about living in a major city.
And when you live close to the city, you don’t have to worry about driving or parking – it’s all there within walking distance or close to public transport.
What you lose in square-feet of living space at home, you make up for with the convenience of being close to the action, which makes it easier to be out and about.
The other benefit of living close to the city is reduced commute times. Avoid spending hours in congested traffic and get more out of each day.
4. Reduce the Time and Cost of Running a Household
A smaller house means a smaller energy bill because there’s less space to heat or cool. This also reduces your carbon footprint.
There’s less space to clean, saving you time.
There’s less space to accumulate “stuff”, saving you money and the hassle of clutter, not to mention waste!
If you’re not into gardening, then you can avoid weekend mowing duties and other yard maintenance.
Speaking of maintenance, many of the major maintenance issues are taken care of for you by the Body Corporate, again saving you time, hassle and often money.
Modern apartments often come with extra facilities like security, a pool, a gym, (no more gym membership fees) and public green space.
As an example, Lendlease’s Melbourne Quarter has over half the development dedicated to open space, including Melbourne’s first SkyPark (so even though you don’t have a yard, there’s still plenty of green space to enjoy).
The great Australian home ownership dream may have included the quarter-acre block, but the suburban sprawl comes with many downsides. As the global population grows, cities need smart and sustainable urban design, not more sprawl. The good news is, it can be a great way to live too.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.