8 things to look out for when choosing a condo

November 11, 2022

Before you embark your journey to buy the next condo, you may be wondering what attributes make a condo worth buying? Are there pitfalls that I should avoid? In this article, I will be sharing with you what are the eight important things that you must look out for before putting down your deposit for the purchase. 

1.The number of units in the project

The number of units in the condo projects can affect the amount of maintenance fees you will need to pay. For example, if comparing 2 different condo having the same types of facilities, the condo with more units will be able share the cost of maintaining the facilities more efficiently than the one with less units. Especially when it comes to big expense items, or major facilities facelift or upgrade. 

At times, if the amount of expense is huge, owners of condo with small number of unit may have to top up additional amount on top of the maintenance fee to finance it. Also, condo with smaller number of units usually have smaller or lesser facilities. Eg smaller pool/ gym, no tennis courts etc. If you are buying to rent out, some tenants may prefer condo with better facilities.  

2. Distance to MRT station 

The shorter the distance to the MRT train station, the more convenience it will bring to you or your tenants. As most tenants don’t drive in Singapore, the distance to a train station is definitely an important consideration for tenant in choosing their accommodation. 

3. Future growth and development

If you are looking for price appreciation in the condo that you are buying, do consider what can cause the price of a condo to increase? Usually one of the things that can cause price appreciation is the future developments that will be happening around the property. For example, the construction of a new MRT station, shopping centres, educational institutions etc. With improved amenities, this can lead to property price appreciation. You can take the Jurong Lake District, Punggol town and Bidadari town as examples. 

4. Layout fit your family or tenant needs?

Do consider the kind of unit that you are buying. Does the number of bedrooms, unit size, floor plan  layout (eg open or enclosed kitchen, study room, balcony etc) suits your family needs. Or is the type of unit that you are purchasing similar to what your potential tenants are looking for also. 

5. Facing of unit 

Determine what are the different facings (windows, balcony etc) of the unit you are buying. Some items you that you may like to take note of: 

  • Afternoon sun
  • Traffic noises 
  • Bin Center 
  • Swimming pool
  • Blocked by another flat
  • BBQ pits etc

6. Facilities in the condo project

What kind of facilities do you want in the condo that you be buying? Conversely, what are the kind of facilities that you do not have a need for? For example if my growing up children need a swimming pool or I need the gym to do my work out, then I will choose a condo with them. 

On the other hand, if I do not see myself using any of the facilities, I may prefer a condo without facilities. Especially if I have to pay the maintenance fees which part of it goes towards maintaining such facilities. 

7. Maintenance fees

Before the purchase, do determine the exactly amount of maintenance fees that you need to pay. This amount can affect your profits when you sell the unit, and it can also affect the nett rental you will get:. Do expect this maintenance fees amount to increase with time due to inflation (wages increase for the condo management staff, services cost etc.)

8. PSF of the unit compared to the district

This is one of the most important thing that you must do if you want to make a profit out of your purchase. 

Make a comparison of the relative PSF of your unit to the district, especially those condos that are just next to your condo project. Make sure that you are not overpaying for the property. 

Moving ahead…

The above 8 points should generally help you to be clearer on how to get your initial shortlist of condo that you what to consider. 

However, sometimes in the purchasing of a condo may not be just so straightforward. There are also other aspects like exit strategy, ownership strategy, risk management strategy and legal aspects to look out for. Do engage a qualified advisor for your purchase if you want to be absolutely clear about your property purchase.