What Is Like to Live in an Apartment with Swimming Pool and Gym?

Hi everyone, wife and I have reached a stage where we have a big backyard but don't enjoy it as much as before. Still have to spend money and effort weeding, etc etc :-(

Thinking of moving to an apartment complex with a nice swimming pool and gym.

For you that live in a complex with S and G, do you use it? Do you miss your garden (if you lived in a house before)? Lock-up-and-leave - is it a great thing? (ha ha ha).


  • +16

    Still have to spend money and effort weeding, etc etc :-(
    Thinking of moving to an apartment complex with a nice swimming pool and gym.

    You might want to check out strata fees vs the cost of a garden service & pool/gym fees. Don't forget the amount you are going to paying an agent to sell and buy.

  • +18

    I’m assuming you currently own, so could you rent your place out and rent a place that does offer what you’re after to make sure you actually want it?

  • +7

    Would definitely want to rent in a building with those facilities to avoid the exorbitant body corp fees for the upkeep. Also depends on how well the facilities are maintained. I wouldn't choose a building with a gym with old equipment, nor a building with an outside pool if you're in a cooler state as you won't be able to use it often. Sometimes the indoor pools are also not heated.

  • +3

    Before this lockdown period (where all common areas are shut) then yes on occasion.

    My building has a gym, swimming pool, sauna, billiard/pool games room, cinema theatrette and 1950's style open lounge. The security guard even collects packages for you during day and hands it to you as you get home after work.

    All very convenient but you used to have people sitting and socialising in them for hours upon hours. Especially those that flat share and have no space at home. They would all pile into the common areas with their laptops and phone chargers all day long.

    Management then changed the rules to having to book slots of 2-3 hours max for these amenities. So if you're organised and happy to book slots then it works out quite well. It also saves you buying a gym membership.

    Having said that, I'm the opposite now and would happily switch to a house with my own garden and free space to do what I want. Even so much as a basic BBQ is a delicacy now as not permitted in the building.

    • owning an apartment and house is totally different in terms of $$. So much work needs to be done around the house in order for you to relax in the garden.

  • +1

    If the block is 'big' like where I'm at, then not so good. The large size of the block means every man and their dog uses the facilities (as expected). Of course, pre covid.

    Depending on the type of strata/body corp, it's likely you might end up at the beach if it's not too far away.

    Best to rent for a bit in the building you are considering (if you can) and see what your thoughts are on high-rise apartment living.

    For me, despite being in a 'nice' block in a bit of a semi snobby area, I'm ever increasingly amazed at how fellow residence just don't give a $#17 about the common property and the hygiene of others in the gym area. Seen it in various blocks where the facilities are 'self-managed'. During the school holidays, good luck trying to go for a swim. Parents think it's great to sit with their neighbours, having a drink and letting their kids play - sure, why not. But have fellow residence try and swim without your @55 of a kid jumping in front of someone trying to do laps would be nice, don't you think…?

    A large percentage of residence I know in the same block have memberships at FF and Anytime, just around the corner…

    Again, try to rent in the block for a few months or so (post covid) and see how you go would be my recommendation. The novelty wears off pretty quick.

    • -3


        • +3

          Actually it was for clarity…

  • +3

    Do you like your privacy at all?

  • +17

    Its cool for the first week then you never use it again lmao.

  • +3

    You’ll be paying for strata for others in the building to use those facilities. Even if you don’t use it.

    Still have to spend money and effort weeding, etc etc

    Problem is you can’t avoid not paying strata, at your house you can at least delay the work (if not essential).

    IMO, in an apartment, a massive PITA is the fire evacuation when some (idiot) burns toast or roast, and everyone has to leave the apartment, sometimes in the middle of the night.

  • +1

    as others have suggested, try before you buy.

    then if you really do like it, make sure you're prepared for the strata fees that go with it

  • +1

    How much of a people person are you? If you end up with a great group of like minded people it’s be awesome. Get some rules nazis or ratbags in and there goes the fun.

    I know of two over 55s villages. After a while the ‘committee’ gets a bit narky and the rules get a bit much. Ie no kids on scooters, strict pool hours and a range of other picky little rules that tend to spoil the enjoyment of visitors (especially grandkids) but make it ‘nice and quiet’ for the residents.

    • +1

      Yep this + some buildings will have a lot of holiday units, people tend to be noisy on holidays.

  • Depends on the apartment block/neighborhood and how sensitive you are to noise/how much you value your privacy.

  • +3

    when you live in a house you can choose to leave your garden like a forest and not spending a cent, in opposite when you live in an apartment you fork out $300-$600 a month (strata in Sydney Metro) for strata to maintain everything for you no matter you use it or not.

    I can guarantee that you pay more strata fee than the money you have to maintain your house.

    Just move into an area close by gum and swimming pool, you can go when you wanted to and pay a single entry fee. I believe this will be cheaper than paying the strata fee. Not to say that the new apartment only have 7 years warranty and often lots of deflect are not being picked up and it ends up with a special levy for ten of thousand $$.

    Even you have a warranty on the new apartment, if the builder is not paid up or fixing any deflect, legal fee, strata fee for helping to go through the legal process etc, can pull you in a bad situation, meaning more out ging

    If you are one of the unlucky one buying the Opal towner or Mascot apartment, you can lose all your savings and may go into bankruptcy, but this is rare.

  • +3

    But you can't skinny dip in the shared pool!

    Well, you can, but it's just not the same 😂

    • -3

      "but it's just not the same 😂"

      I think you may have missed the "." at the end of your sentence there.

      👨‍🏫🕵️‍♂️ lol…

      • +1

        In the immortal words of Justin Timberlake…

        "Cry me a river"

        • "Actually it was for clarity…"

          Fair play my friend. It's all fair play. 🧐👍

          aaahhh damn! I think the Olympics are over…

        • -1

          Car salesman's favourite song now.

  • I used to live in one and have a few friends that still live in apartment complexes with these facilities. I used the indoor pool a bit, but I haven't seen a good gym in one. I still paid for a third party one with better facilities.

  • +2

    Used to live in one where there was an outdoor pool. It was located near a university, so heaps of students around. If your apartment fronted the pool, it can get pretty noisy because of all the partying students. Didn't use the pool at all that time

  • +2

    Expensive strata

  • +1

    Depends on your block. You need to do your own research.

    My building strata is $5k. If you got 2 gym memberships then that is already $3k. But you also don't get classes. Probably cheaper council rates (about $800pa vs $1700). If you live central you might be 1 - 2 blocks from large supermarkets like me (Aldi, Coles and Woolworths). Just can't beat going down and buying stuff easy, don't even need a very big fridge.

    There isn't much maintenance other than what is inside the apartment because strata sorts it all out. Buying a 2BR apartment in Melbourne is like $500k but buying a decent non apartment inner city is like $1m. The $500k difference invested would get you $x which is enough to cover the strata costs, most people on OzB would be more into capital appreciation of houses.

    Problems you might come across is some people have bad gym and pool manners.

    Half of my block is owner occupiers, other half is younger students to late 20s types. Generally not too bad.

  • Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

    We currently have a big big backyard and requires too much maintenance (both elbow grease and money).

    I like the concept of lock up and leave.

    I guess living in a house has its pros (and cons).

    Living in an apartment has its pros (and cons).

    Might look for a hybrid living space ha ha ha…

    • +3

      How about putting a Pool and Gym in that backyard of yours

  • Yeah I do. Can't use most of it due to Covid. Personally don't use it much, the gym is basically always people in there, many of them are more "glorified" gyms which is basically a room with a few work out equipment and isn't really the same as an airconditioned full kit out gym. Still though works well for some and has the typical weights/running machine and a few other random machines.

    I hardly ever see the pool used though, i think some people swim occasionally but I imagine it gets old for some people fast? Summer you probably see more though.

    One annoying issue is dealing with passes and strata. Places with pool and gym are usually large apartments which means a lot of things going on which means harsh strata. Pools/Gyms typically shut by 10pm, no friends allowed in common areas, or maybe not allowed to share gym/pool equipment (so can't say have your friend come with you to the pool). Also its shared space so you can't have "as much" fun.

  • when I was a bachelor used to live in a few high rises in the southbank area of melbourne. I did love it!!! Generally, the gyms were crap but the pool was nice.

    One thing that did annoy my was we had a tennis court which you could book. When the weekly book came out to book, there was a professional tennis coach in the building and he basically booked out the whole week and had private lessons on the court.

  • I've only just left a complex with pool & gym where my wife & I and our two kids lived.

    Loved it to bits. Great community vibe around the pool area, made lots of friends. My wife used the gym religiously, kids used the pool for 2/3rds of the year, and since our apartment overlooked the pool I could get wifi signal down there - take a laptop, do some work while the kids burned some energy.

    I'd like to be in a place with a small yard - big enough for the kids to run around in unsupervised, small enough for maintenance to not be a chore. My wife did a lot of garden work in our previous homes, but it's all a bit much when you have kids, busy jobs, etc.

  • Other suggestions:

    Pay someone in to do the gardening. You still enjoy your garden and the space without the hard work. Might work out to be a lot cheaper and less disruptive than moving house and the restrictions of an apartment.

    Look at retirement villages with these facilities - no issues with loud young 'uns. Other cons, of course, like exit fees and maybe some tiresome old 'uns.

  • As someone who was in this situation 2 years ago I can tell you my experience.

    Everyone says you can pay someone to do the garden but in Adelaide it's hot for so long just the watering was arduous and I did have a watering system but it just wasn't able to cover the whole area adequately Also many of the gardeners just come in and chop everything to within an inch of it's life and use the blower to blow things around (without sweeping it up) and it just didn't work.

    I bought an apartment (no pool or gym though but everything is very close by) and although I would have preferred a small courtyard house I just couldn't find one in the right location. I've been here a year and have absolutely no regrets about going into an apartment (quite a small block and a mixture of residential and commercial) and one day when we can travel again it will be easy to lock up and leave.

  • Hang on before you sing up. Look at the body corporate fees. How much is it going to cost you? Check the health of their sinking fund too. If there is a leak in the pool the money has to come from somewhere to fix it. Otherwise, they will send a bill with a levy. I go to the yearly body corp meeting. As boring as they are it keeps you in the loop for any up and coming projects that may incur a special levy. Our big one a few years ago was painting the complex. We have 25 units and the levy was around $1650 each. We didn't have enough saved in our sinking fund to pay for all the painting. We also didn't want to use all the money up in case we needed it down the track for something else.

    I was once told not to buy in a complex that has a lift. If it breaks the bottom level and the first floor wont want to pay to get it fixed. Fair enough that they don't use it

  • +3

    For you that live in a complex with S and G, do you use it? Do you miss your garden (if you lived in a house before)? Lock-up-and-leave - is it a great thing? (ha ha ha).

    I did, in Sydney.

    Yes, I was using it daily … and that was the problem.
    A dry sauna (dry heat only) was my predilection but during weekdays the sauna was routinely switched off and, although I was able to "switch on" at will, didn't want to wait that long (more than 15 minutes in winter). After work I just wanted a 20 minutes sauna, shower and then bed.
    During the weekend was packed and unpleasant with visitors and residents seeking a sexy activity rather than a relaxing, detoxing one.

    The pool was horrendously overcrowded with every man (and woman) and their dogs and everyone else. Weekends that is. Closed at night (dark) so no good for me.

    The gym was rubbish having only bicycles and the rest broken or faulty.

    BBQ area was overcrowded and pack when nice warm weather; empty and squeaky clean otherwise (wintry days), but totally inhospitable!!

    No, I'll never miss "my garden".

    It is costly and it is not cost effective, IMHO, it is not worth it.

    In particular having to pay maintenance for someones friends and guests to use the facilities.

    Get a "standard" apartment, join a good gym, sauna, whatever.
    Use free BBQ areas when desperate to experience flies and wind. And someone else odors … nice and otherwise.

  • +2

    If you own the apartment then the quarterly strata levies are just HUGE!

    If you live in a lock down area they are closed anyway.

  • You will be paying exorbitant yearly corporate fees 10k is not unreasonable.

    The gym, is usually a "token" laughable, if anything. Go to a gym and look around at all the equipment. Then look at what these apartment complex gyms have to offer (laughable).

    As for the swimming pool - it is not just you living there - you will have to share with 100's of others. Then there are restrictions, such as no food, no alcohol, no diving, no jumping, no running, no access after 10pm.

    I think you are living in a fantasy that has no credulity in the real world, and I say this kindly, so you may sit down in your backyard, with shoes off, and realise how good you have it - at home.

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