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An increasing number of people are opting to live in apartments because compared to independent houses, they are relatively easier to maintain and are more secure.

However, there are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing an apartment with regard to structure and design, especially if you intend to sell it at a later stage. Good infrastructure for the entire complex and a well planned architectural layout increases value, while substandard construction, poor architectural design and finish decrease the value by five to 15%.

Here are a few things to look out for when purchasing an apartment:

  • Façades should be completed using high quality material such as stone or brick. Not only are these materials aesthetically pleasing, they require less maintenance.
  • Parking space must be allocated to each apartment within the complex; parking space should ideally be covered. There should also be provisions to accommodate additional cars for guests.
  • Separate entry and exit gates should be in place to manage traffic flow and keep the complex uncongested.
  • Avoid apartment complexes built parallel to each other; this will compromise your privacy. Opt for complexes built in a circular or oval shape; they provide more privacy.
  • Staircases should face the east to allow maximum sunlight; they should be at least three feet wide. Separate service/emergency staircases are ideal.
  • Windows, especially those in bathrooms and kitchens, should allow maximum sunlight and ventilation.
  • Balconies and terraces should be strategically positioned; large balconies near living areas can extend entertainment space, while those near the kitchen can be used as laundry space or for growing plants.
  • Interior spaces should provide space saving, built-in storage space.
  • Fixtures and fittings should of good quality.

– Farah Rizwan
The writer is an architect working at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.

First published in the Real Estate section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on July 8, 2012.

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