A Millennial’s Guide to Buying Your First Condominium

Are you excited about buying your very first condominium? Have you set your eyes on that lovely new development with sea facing or panoramic city views? Or are you dreaming of a unit where you can have direct access to the nearby nature reserves?

Credit: City Developments Limited

Before you pull out your cheque book to book that dream unit, here are 4 tips you should take note of to make sure that you are zooming into the right property:

1. What are the unique selling points of this development?

It doesn’t matter if you are intending to buy your first condo for your own stay or for investment, developments with unique selling points would definitely be more attractive if you are intending to rent it out or sell it in the future.

The general rule of thumb is to look for condo developments with unique selling points such as award winning architecture or landscape, first class facilities, efficient layout or unique lifestyle offering. These value-added selling points will translate into a higher resale value as well as attracting a bigger tenant pool.

An example of such a property will be Reflections at Keppel Bay. With its award-winning architecture, waterfront lifestyle and proximity to VivoCity, the property attracts many potential tenants, and is definitely worth a second look.

2. Are there any facilities and amenities nearby?

When it comes to facilities and amenities, different property buyers will have various considerations on what they are looking for based on their lifestyle and daily needs. Generally, we will want to focus on the amenities that are within walking distance, high in accessibility and whether the development is near any tenant catchment area.

Choosing a development near MRT stations, transport hubs, shopping malls, supermarkets or prominent schools will definitely give you an edge over the others, whilst developments located near business parks or commercial hubs will attract more potential tenants for your unit.

3. What is the interior layout like?

Do check out the floor plan of the unit you are looking at to see if there are any unusable spaces such as narrow corridors, planter box and aircon ledge. Having more of these unusable spaces also means that you are paying more per usable square foot instead.

If you are buying a unit for investment, do consider more efficient layouts. For example, a 2 bed 1 bath unit will come at a cheaper price tag as compared to a 2 bed 2 bath unit, while both will attract similar tenants looking at 2-bedroom units in the development.

4. Which unit should I choose?

At your visit to the condo showflat, it is good to scrutinise the model and site plan very carefully.

For buyers who are concerned about heat, it will be wise not to purchase west-facing units as they are typically darker in the mornings and hotter in the evenings. The best orientation will be a North-South facing unit so your home would not be affected by direct sunlight and stay cool throughout the day.

If unblocked views of the city or the surrounding greenery and sea is important to you, do bear in mind that these units tend to carry premium price tags as well. To help you decide whether to purchase an inward or outward facing unit, you should check out the URA Master Plan to see if there will be any upcoming developments that may be obstructing your view in the future. You wouldn’t want to pay a hefty price tag for a beautiful view of the sea but find out belatedly that a skyscraper would be built right in front of you in the next couple of years.

Generally, we consider the cheapest unit or the most premium unit to be the best buy in the entire project. Choosing these options will ensure that you either enter at the lowest price, or you pick the unit with the best facing or layout that will bring you a higher resale value in the future.

Conclusion

While new launch condominiums seem all glitz and glamour from their marketing materials, it is still very important that you do your own homework by asking loads of questions at the showroom. Seaview may sound great in theory, but you may unknowingly pay too much for a unit that could be obstructed by an upcoming nearby development in the next decade. So, start with these top 4 questions and you will be on the right track to your very first dream condo unit!

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