By Jimmy Thomson

They say the key to buying property is choosing the worst house in the best street.  This does not apply to unit blocks where the block IS effectively the street – it just happens to be vertical.

So if you want to avoid buying the best unit in the worst building – and that’s usually somewhere badly managed by the strata committee or their manager –  here are some of the more obvious signs that you might want to look elsewhere. Maybe none of these on their own should deter you, but if there are three or more, don’t say you weren’t warned …

1. Balcony blocking 

Everyone wants a little privacy, right?  But putting up a black plastic bag screen or fence inside the balcony glass is not only probably breaching the building’s by-laws, it’s a clear sign to anyone walking past that nobody in the building cares, including the committee and other residents. The same goes for cluttered balconies jammed with overspill furniture, bikes, surfboards, wardrobes and even whitegoods.  They’re not only unsightly but a fire risk and an indication of something seriously amiss in the running of the scheme.  Walk on.

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