How long will an apartment last?

Ah, that old question again! Reflecting the fear that an apartment building may not last very long and your investment will turn into nothing. So do you need to worry? Well, not really. Just look at New York City and you can still see many old apartment buildings from the 1930s still going strong and with selling prices for individual apartments at very high levels indeed. Old is not necessarily bad.

So how long will an apartment building last? Well, you could ask how long is a piece of string? It depends. Apartment buildings are basically just constructed from cement and steel and provided that there are no structural design flaws the basic structure should stand firm for many, many years.

What may not last so long, though, is the plumbing and the electrical wiring. These will almost certainly have to be maintained and possibly even completely replaced after 20 or 30 years. The public areas of the apartment building will also need to be regularly maintained by the building management. After 30 years, the swimming pool may have lost a lot of the shine it once had, for example!

It is, of course, very difficult to know what an apartment building will look like in another 30 years time and whether it will still be "livable" or in such a bad state of repair that it needs to be torn down. Obviously, though, the better quality buildings stand a higher chance of lasting longer.

But people shouldn't worry too much.

Because for most of them, they probably won’t live long enough to have to worry about this problem!


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