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Monarch or Realm?

By EvanJames - 5 November 2011 16

A friend is very interested in a couple of flats (or units, or apartments as they’re called now), one in The Monarch, Turner, and the other in Realm, Barton.

Other than the grandiose names, does anyone know what these developments are like, building-quality wise? Noisy? Minimal meth-labs? Stuff breaking down?

Any scuttle-butt (or praise) would be useful and appreciated.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Monarch or Realm?
2604 10:57 pm 07 Nov 11

EvanJames said :

I rather like the look of that understated development next to St whatever-it-is Log College on the Lake front of Barton.

Those apartments were marketed as the Landmark, and regrettably have had quite a few quality issues. RA discussion here.

krats 10:21 pm 07 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

I know someone who lives at the Monarch. Has had more car break ins than the insurance company is willing to count. Also there’s are a number of homes which have been raided nearby.

Ever Seen The Houses Up The Road At Kingston-Behind Railway Station??My Guess Is They “Work” Night Shift And Weekends!!

poetix 4:51 pm 07 Nov 11

EvanJames said :

…. next to St whatever-it-is Log College on the Lake front of Barton.

St Beavers?

I’ve been inside The Monarch apartments and they seem very nice, particularly those at the back, that is, not fronting Northbourne Ave. Good views of Tesltra Tower and Parliament from some of them. Can’t comment on prices.

EvanJames 3:17 pm 07 Nov 11

Classified said :

I’d be more inclined to look for a better priced unit near the city, which I think are better value but have better potential upside.

Yes, for location-style value, I’d imagine the Civic end of northbourne, or the Lakeside area would have to be better. I rather like the look of that understated development next to St whatever-it-is Log College on the Lake front of Barton.

Classified 10:04 am 07 Nov 11

Just be careful, because the figures are based on the whole Canberra market, and don’t apply uniformly.

I’d be more inclined to look for a better priced unit near the city, which I think are better value but have better potential upside.

EvanJames 9:36 am 07 Nov 11

It’s for living and then investment, I think. They are working in this part of the world, but will eventually return home. They’re renting at the moment, and probably figured that they might as well get into the market. That’s interesting info about relative movment of apartment prices vs house prices. I like gardening so a house is what I am after, and I just watch the prices spiralling further out of my reach! It’s the value of the actual land that’s pushing it, I guess. An apartment is splitting the cost of the piece of land with many more people.

Classified 8:02 am 07 Nov 11

Is the purpose of the purchase for live in or for investment? If for investment, there are better options than either of these buildings, if for live in then buy what you like.

agent00 12:51 am 07 Nov 11

Personally I would avoid buying an apartment in Realm for the following reasons:
– it was developed by Doma who built Viridian
– some of the unsold units will likely become part of the Hotels in the precinct
– lack of view (unlike Landmark and some of the newer units in Kingston Foreshore)

arescarti42 3:55 pm 06 Nov 11

If your friend is from out of town and looking at the investment aspects you might want to let them know that median unit prices in Canberra are down 5.8% this year. That’s a drop of $24,230 on the median $415,146 unit, or a little over $2000 every month for the last 12 months, and prices are still falling.

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/property/20111027-property-prices-fall-1-6-in-september-quarter-but-rate-cut-may-stimulate-market.html

Housing stock on the market is also up 23.3% on this time last year and is rising.

Your friend might do well to wait a bit.

EvanJames 3:18 pm 06 Nov 11

Not entirely sure why they’re looking at these apartments, but evidently that’s what they want. they’re from interstate and are working in the ACT region. I guess these developments appeal to them. I think they’re looking at the investment aspects as well as the living aspects. No way I’d do it (can’t afford it anyway), we had a look at a Realm show apartment a while back, just for fun, and it was rather rinky-dink I thought, chip board hiding under granite, so to speak.

Useful info people, it will all be fed back to the friend! Much appreciated.

2604 11:55 pm 05 Nov 11

Sorry, can’t comment on those developments specifically – except to say that Realm was developed and built by Doma, who developed (but did not build) Viridian in Kingston, which is a mess.

However, as a more general question – is your friend really wedded to apartment living? You can get a pretty decent house in many suburbs for the entry-level price of apartments in that Realm development. Having lived in apartments for six years and now being back in a stand-alone house with a lock-up garage, garden for BBQs, ducted heating system, and space between us and the neighbours – not to mention not having to pay $2000 per year for strata management costs – I think that “house” living beats “apartment” living hands down.

creative_canberran 9:06 pm 05 Nov 11

I know someone who lives at the Monarch. Has had more car break ins than the insurance company is willing to count. Also there’s are a number of homes which have been raided nearby.

GardeningGirl 4:34 pm 05 Nov 11

rescuedg said :

Fan in the bathroom is pathetic and no heat lights so it gets very moist, also the bathroom is on the otherside of the walk-in wardrobe and neither have a window so ventilation is really bad.

Been there done that in a rental townhouse, had to replace most of my clothes, so that alone would be a dealbreaker for me! Silly me, I thought ventilation in internal bathrooms would be something a builder would pay close attention to, some of the highrise hotels I’ve stayed in have had good ventilation so it must be technically achievable….

I-filed 3:30 pm 05 Nov 11

The only apartments worth buying in the inner south are closer to the lake. Realm isn’t really suitable for locals. The main Realm is a public service watering hole , a conference venue and originally marketed to out-of-towners. It’s also forlorn and lifeless on weekends during the day. There’s no urban ambience in a location that’s more than half public service medium-rise. Nearby cafes such as in the Minter Ellison building are closed. Regardless of the quality of the fittings etc I think it would be depressing as a main residence. Fine for e.g. visiting lawyers who go home to the North Shore on weekends. If you have the budget for Realm, you should buy a small house in Dickson/Ainslie (8-10 minutes commute to APH early in the morning, 15-18 minutes in the worst of rush hour) and avoid body corporate fees and arguments.

rescuedg 2:40 pm 05 Nov 11

I am currently tenanting at the Monarch. Overall it is pretty good, only issues with the build quality that I have found are:

light fittings (those in ceiling halogen lights) were poorly done, loose/frayed wires needed replacing.

Fan in the bathroom is pathetic and no heat lights so it gets very moist, also the bathroom is on the otherside of the walk-in wardrobe and neither have a window so ventilation is really bad.

Fan in the kitchen is also useless, has three settings and even on the highest barely even makes the steam/smoke from cooking drift towards it -and is very loud.

We are ground floor so that comes with its own problems, next to no sun so there is a bit of a mould problem on the windows on the back as they get really bad condensation on the inside… it was already there when we moved in and we’ve had to police it pretty heavily.

The courtyard area between the two monarch tower blocks gets next to no sun so is not that usable unless it is really warm and you don’t mind having pretty huge buildings on three sides.

Pool and gym are both fine. Must wear goggles in the pool though, huge amount of chlorine.

We were told before moving in there were 2 car park spaces. There are but they are one in front of the other for our apartment and quite a few others.

Good stuff:

next to no noise at all from the side or above -thick walls I guess

The apartment is good looking, great kitchen with huge oven. All of the rooms in our apartment are a great size and use the space really well.

Great location.

The “building manager” on-site has always been good and easy to get a hold of if needed (keeps a pretty firm grip on parking in visitor spots)

Weird stuff:

Quite a while back a big group of police showed up, about 6 or 7 and wanted to get upstairs, wouldnt say why. Dont know if they managed to get upstairs and have no idea what is was about but it seemed to be a total one off.

Would be happy to live here if I could afford it, would probably want something higher up though. I imagine they get a pretty good view towards black mountain.

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