For many would-be apartment buyers, the first step into their new lifestyle comes with renting a pad to test the waters

Resi%20apartment%20-%20iStock_000015554502XSmallIf the last time you walked into a Perth apartment was climbing the stairs to a salmon-brick special from the 1960s, you might find the space, amenity and finish of homes being delivered today comes as a shock.

But in a city where apartment living is still a relatively novel idea, how do you know if it will be right for you?

That’s where the option of renting before you buy comes into its own.

Colliers International Associate Director of Residential Management Paula Jones says many of her tenants are first-time apartment dwellers, and are trying out the lifestyle before they decide where and how they want to buy.

“There are about 2500 apartments under construction in Perth, with about half of those likely to be purchased as investment properties,” Paula says.

“That means there are some excellent opportunities to live in a brand new, never touched apartment to see if you like the lifestyle or even to try out a particular complex.”

Paula says a new apartment in the sought-after Empire East complex in Floreat was recently leased in just 48 hours, a sign of how much demand was out there in the market for well-located apartments.

Empire West in Floreat is due to come online in 2016, as will apartments at 152 Fitzgerald in Perth, and at Edge and Depot in West Perth.

Paula says apartments still make up just a quarter of new home approvals in WA, and that means many people are unfamiliar with apartment living who want to try before they buy.

“It isn’t just young people, though we do get those who might have been in a share house or moving out for the first time wanting to experience apartment living,” Paula says.

“But we are also seeing older professionals and downsizers renting an apartment to see if they enjoy that style of living before they purchase.

“What we find is many people are unsure at first but fast become advocates of apartment living, from the convenience of being able to walk to a great restaurant to having access to things like a gym, communal garden or pool without the ongoing maintenance.”