One does not buy only the section of a scheme, a unit includes an undivided share of the common property. All the owners collectively own everything that is not part of a specific section.
Take a step back and assess what the rest of the property looks like, is it well maintained or in need of maintenance? Ask the estate agent what the monthly levy is and what the name of the managing agent is. (That is a firm that collects the levies and manage the finances on behalf of all the owners collectively) Go to the managing agent and ask to see the last financial statements of the scheme. Look for the assets, liabilities and funds in reserve. Look at the budget for the current financial year. Assess the general financial health of the scheme.
You may wonder why. The reason is that the moment you become the owner of the section that you fell in love with, you also become co-responsible for the entire scheme. Regardless of how good the section looks that you want to buy, if the rest of the building is in dire need of maintenance it is going to cost money. If there is not much cash in reserve all the owners collectively will be required to contribute (by special levy) to the funds needed to undertake the maintenance. If your personal budget is already streched you will be in trouble.
The Paddocks Sectional Title Survival Manual (by GJ Paddock) further recommends that before you buy you should: "Carefully consider the contract of sale, the management and conduct rules, the sectional plan, the scheme as a whole, the section and any exclusive use areas before a deal is done" (p. 3-1).
Of particular importance are the scheme's management and conduct rules. Make sure you would comfortably fit in. If, for example, no pets are allowed and you love/have pets, you might be quite misrable.
Revised 17 May 2010