If you are looking at the convenience of not having to be too worried about security and privacy, you may wish to put your money in for condominiums instead of landed properties. Condominiums may have higher monthly maintenance cost, but for most of us in this modern era, it is probably the most convenient if for more than two-thirds of the time nobody is home.
There are some things to note when you are buying a condominium, and here are some tips of things to look out for:
1. Land Status
The first thing to look out for is the land status of the development project. Is it residential or commercial? If it is for commercial, you may expect higher quit rent, utility bills and assessments. All these add to the cost of your stay, or lower your profit as an investor.
2. Water storage tank
Unlike individual homes where piping goes directly to your unit, condominiums and other high-rise buildings will have a main water storage tank and intermediate pumps to send the water to your tap. It is a requirement to have water storage tanks keep storage of one day water demand for the whole block as a safe back-up in case of water supply interruption by the authorities. As the storage is an automated system with detection to start bringing water into the tanks when it reaches a certain level, some high buildings may require two pumps instead of one. Does your block adhere to these requirements?
This is a relatively sensitive issue. Some homes may be really beautiful inside, but the elevators look ‘haunted’, and does not help to increase your property prices too well. Your potential future buyer may feel spooked by the elevator and avoid going up to your unit. Anyway, try to avoid buying a unit which is sharing wall with the lift core to avoid the noise and vibration.
Condominiums are such that the higher floors demand higher selling prices. Very often, penthouse or duplexes are built only on the few top floors of a condominium. If you are considering one yourself, do check what type of roofing it is. The construction of the roof should be well enough to ensure that there are no problems ahead. Some might have a rooftop garden too. Will the structure cause cracking later on?
5. Car Park
How many car parks are allocated to each unit? You might wish to pay a little attention to this, because you may have more than one car at home. Look at the surrounding area, is the car park shaded or an open space? What is the potential of someone throwing rubbish or an air condition outdoor unit falling off (maybe due to bad installation or weather) and hitting the roof of your car? Is the parking lot far away from your unit? Check carefully, ask the owner well before signing the agreement to make the unit yours.
6. Refuse area
All high rise condominium are designed with a refuse room at every floor to avoid having to bring rubbish out with the elevators. Check for the exact location of the refuse area, just to be sure that it is not going to be directly next to yours and check its cleanliness. True, you cannot possibly expect the refuse room to be as clean as your living room, but do look out for cockroaches or any fungal growth on the walls.
Some condos come with free air conditioning units by developers as part of a launch pull factor. The more important thing is to look at the piping. Does yours include piping, or just electrical points? Will you need to drill any holes for the drain pipe?
8. Security and Maintenance
For most of us, purchase of a condominium unit as a home is probably for the sake of convenience. Look out for the security, which security company is contracted for the task? What is the entry system employed at the gate of your block for visitors and residents? Are the gates always closed to ensure safety, with a pass code or a sensor device to identify you as a resident? For maintenance, is the walkway sparkling clean? Are the rubbish tank at the main rubbish area well kept? Is there a 24-hour surveillance camera at your elevators, and is there any number plates tracking and identification surveillance camera at the entrance?
Whether you are buying the condominium unit as your private home or an investment, use the 8 pointers as your guide to ensure value for your money.