Updated: Oct 21, 2021
The M in Bugis
Making a trip to the showflat sounds like an easy feat; yet, we cannot say that purchasing a house is like regular shopping. It is simply outrageous to liken this long-term commitment to a single payment at the cashier.
Showflats project a pseudo environment that we will live in, arguably, for the most part of our lives. Here’s how to make the most out of your short trip to the showflat.
1. Preparation Pays Off
First things first. Find out your financial capabilities, before diving head first into one of life’s largest investments.
Call up a banker or a mortgage broker and obtain an In-Principle Approval (IPA). You will need several financial documents, such as your latest income tax Notice of Assessment, existing term loans or car loans if any, and monthly credit card payments. Your IPA will give you a good representation of which projects you can afford and helps you zero in on your property search. Prospective buyers who skip this step often find themselves leaving the showflat in disappointment, having found out that they cannot afford the unit that caught their eyes.
2. Follow Your Heart...
… but don’t neglect your mind.
Feasting your eyes on all those superlative interior designs, it hits you that love at first sight may be true after all. You begin painting an overly-romanticised picture of yourself lounging in your new home. Well, as they say, love is blind; but, so are consumers.
Perhaps, now is the time to engage in an inner discourse. Ask yourself: Can my old furniture fit into the space specified in the showflat? Will I have to pay higher air-conditioning bills, as the direction the house faces means bearing the brunt of the hot sun? Check if your home is future-proof; you might prefer your furnishing to be upgradable and your home to still be able to accommodate more people after you start a family.
Changed your mind after the reality check? You are welcome.
Leedon Green in Holland
Viewing the showflat only shows you the interior of your home. Yet, our daily activities are not confined within these four walls. Remember to check your surroundings as well.
You might want to take a look at the actual site to check out the amenities around the area. Look out for restaurants, supermarkets, clinics, schools, sports complexes, shopping centres, childcare centres, transportation, etc.
Check the traffic at different times of the day to see if your home is situated on a rat run, and find out the time you take to travel to work.
4. Heightened Your Awareness
The Avenir Showflat in River Valley
Do not let the ambience of the showflat fool you in your decision-making process. To give potential buyers a cool impression of their future home, bear in mind that showflats will have light background music and the air-conditioners will be set at the highest possible setting. Additionally, yellow toned-down lights are also installed on the ceiling and at all the right angles to throw focus on the furniture and fittings as well.
With the mood set right, potential buyers would feel more relaxed and thus be less aware of any shortcoming and flaws that might be evident. One should always keep a clear mind and not be easily swayed by the cosy and welcoming atmosphere when purchasing a new launch property.
5. Keep An Eagle Eye
Pay attention to how the optical illusion of a bigger showflat is created. Lavish furniture in the showflat are strategically sized and placed, and doors and walls are removed in order to make the showflat unit look bigger.
Developers often used tapes to demarcate the absence of walls, so do keep a lookout for them, which can help you get a more realistic perception of your new home. Check the floor plans to see which walls can be taken down if you are intending to do so. Bring along a measure tape to measure if there will be enough space for the furniture and if there will be enough space you have left to walk after placing furniture in.
Take pictures. It allows you to look back at your new home without the need to visit the showflat again. It also allows you to compare among other showflats, and against your expected home when completed.
Do bring someone along when viewing a showflat. Having one more pair of eyes helps. Try not to bring your children or pets along and give yourself enough time to view the showflat.
Be sure to compare estimated prices of different showflats, different tenure properties and locations. Weigh the pros and cons, and look around other showflats before coming to a decision eventually.
7. What's In The Package?
Parc Canberra Showflat in Sembawang
Look at the fittings, appliances, materials and types of finishing used. Check with the developer if they are included in the new home and what you will need to pay extra for. Should the white goods not be provided and your old appliances do not fit, then you would need to buy new ones.
Obtain essential information from the developer. For example, specifications of the building, breakdown in strata area for strata-titled properties, scaled location plan, site plan and unit floor plan, etc.
8. For Investment Or Own Stay?
During its initial launch, you would usually be offered discounts. This is a good time to buy your properties, be it for your own stay or investment. For home buyers, this means that they have a wider range of choices. For investors, this means that significant capital gains could be made, especially when the property is sold during a seller’s market.
Some properties may be worth more in the long run, such as those where new MRT lines are to be built. You should check out the URA Master Plan to see how future developments may affect your property. While you get to enjoy the convenience in the long run, it can turn out to be a worthy investment as well. Do note that buying an apartment with irregular corners may result in buyers shunning the property due to unfavourable fengshui, thus making it difficult to sell off.
Showflats often showcase the potential of what a home can be. However, we should always remind ourselves not to keep our heads in the clouds, and make the most plausible and feasible choice for ourselves. Buying a home is a huge responsibility and it involves different kinds of payments that first-time buyers may not be aware of, such as stamp duties, property valuation reports and home insurance. Do not hesitate to engage a professional agent to help you manoeuvre through the complicated process of buying properties. We hope you will be able to find your dream home soon!