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How to Spot a Prestige Apartment

As Brisbane’s prestige apartment market bounces back, director of award winning SJB Interiors Jonathan Richards says buyers need to hone their skills in spotting the difference between top shelf fittings and faux finishes.

Mr Richards says imitation materials and brands can still be found in many ‘luxury’ apartments, and purchasers should train their eye to look for the tell tale signs of a true prestige property to ensure they are getting value for money.

The SJB Interiors team has recently completed a display for Banc apartments on the riverfront in Toowong, which Mr Richards says is a showcase of the five key features million dollar-plus apartments should have in order to uphold their value.

“There are a few simple ways to determine if a luxury apartment is the real deal,” he said.

“The first marker of a high end property is plenty of space, which means buyers should look for high ceilings, generous bathrooms and few corridors, allowing for flexible use of living areas and ample room for furniture and storage.

“Equally important is privacy – especially when purchasing an inner city apartment. Thick glass on all windows and sliding doors will provide a shield from any road noise. Buyers should also count the number of lifts servicing the building, with around one lift per 10 apartments considered a good rule of thumb for premium purchases.

“Ambience is all about how the apartment looks and feels – and is a crucial measure of its design merit. A major contributor to ambience is the natural and artificial¬† lighting in the apartment. A well designed apartment will have oversized windows and a mix of concealed linear lighting, decorative wall lights, well-positioned ceiling lights and plug-in lamps options to build on the atmosphere of the space.

“A lot of people also mistakenly believe that creating ambience means adding things like feature walls or statement splashbacks, but the key to luxury is actually restraint and simplicity. Choose an apartment that has a clean, neutral colour scheme which will allow for individual styling.

“Craftmanship is what makes the apartment unique, and is all about attention to finer detail, like soft edges on benchtops and soft close drawers. It also means selecting the very best brands and materials, like Gaggenau stainless steel appliances and real stone or marble – not imitation surfaces.

“All buyers should ask for a full schedule of finishes and do their research on the inclusions – especially if buying off the plan.”

Mr Richards says with the number of new apartment projects yet to commence or in the early stages throughout Brisbane, buyers are advised to ask for examples of what the apartment will look like.

“Buyers should always ask for an example of the quality of fittings and finishes if the apartment is not yet built. At minimum they should be able to see and feel a finishes board, but ideally the buyer should be able to walk into a display apartment,” he said.

“At the new Banc display, buyers can step into a replica apartment complete with fittings and finishes which adhere to all of these guidelines, and they can even use new technology to compare floorplans and views from each apartment.

“Purchasers should be able to experience what it would be like living in their new apartment before they make the commitment to purchase.”

The Banc sales centre is open to the public from Tuesday to Thursday, from 12pm to 2pm, and from 2pm to 4pm on the weekend. All other inspection times are by appointment. For more information, please call agent Simon Caulfield from Place Kangaroo Point on 0437 935 912.

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