50 Things You Need To Ask Before Buying That New Launch Condominium

By on May 17, 2013

If you don’t follow the new launches, you might find yourself being left out of the conversation during lunch with your colleagues. Everyone is talking about new launch condominiums, including your assistant. Properties have become a topic of special interest with every working adult. Hey even teenage boys try to impress girls in university by talking about their future together in an Executive Condominium.

It is not difficult to see the logic of aspiring to own private property. It is an indicator of social status, you get to use exclusive facilities as a resident, you get added security, prices are going up no matter what is happening, and you get to boast about living at a place with a cool Spanish or French sounding name.

But before you rush down to a sales launch more than ready to dump your life savings onto a property you just learned about last Thursday, there is a checklist of items to learn about your “dream” home. For goodness sake, you have not even seen the real property as it has not even been built. If a 1 hour visit to a show flat is enough to convince you to fork out $1m and commit to a lifetime of debt, maybe you are making it too easy to sell you something. The weird irony is that we probably spend much more time researching our travel plans for a $5,000 trip compared to buying a $1m condominium that has yet to even have it’s foundations laid.

What questions?

What questions?

Here are a list of items you need to find out the answers to. Either do your own research or get your real estate agent to provide you with straight answers without beating around the bush.

1) Who is the developer? Maybe they are in the news lately.

2) When is the estimated T.O.P? You need to plan your dates and logistics.

3) What is the URA master plan for the area? Better know what is in store in future than not.

4) What is the price per square foot? Compare with other launches.

5) Is the property freehold or leasehold? Your home could be leasehold even though it sits on freehold land.

6) What are the prices of comparable homes in the vicinity? Compare with completed properties.

7) What are the facilities available in the project? Don’t just assume it has a tennis court.

8) What are the prices of the competing new launch located next door? This is the best comparison.

9) What are the management fees? A lot of people forget about this.

10) Is there shuttle services provided for residents? This is priceless if you don’t drive and the MRT station is some distance away.

11) How many households are there in the project? This estimates how many people you are sharing the facilities with and how crowded the space could be within the development.

12) Where are the nearest expressways? Great if it is near an exit.

13) Are you eligible to purchase that property? Don’t assume. You will cry if you only find out you cannot buy after making your commitment.

14) Will you be subjected to Additional Buyers Stamp Duties? Better be safe than sorry.

15) How much do you have to prepare for regular stamp duties? You cannot get away from this.

16) How much cash exactly do you have to prepare? Have to beef up your cash.

17) How does the payment schedule look like? Learn about the percentage of payments based on milestones.

18) What are the discounts and freebies offered by the developer? Ask for more.

19) If the launch is not that new, what were the previous selling prices? Is the rise in prices ridiculous?

20) What are the fittings that come with your purchase? Check the items and brands.

21) In which direction is the morning and afternoon sun shining? Sweating like a pig throughout the day in your own home is not exactly sexy.

22) Where is your view facing? You could be facing a construction site for many years.

23) What is going to happen to that empty plot of land opposite? A building tower could be erected blocking all your view.

And you only learned after buying that a nuclear plant is planned in front of your home

And you only learned after buying that a nuclear plant is planned in front of your home

24) Are you in an area where your mobile automatically connects to an overseas network? This is a pretty senseless expense.

25) Is there good reception for your mobile network? Imagine being disconnected to the world while you are at home.

26) How much livable space is your unit as a proportion to total floor area? What if I tell you an aircon ledge might take up 10% of your total floor area. Add that to a high ceiling and exuberant balconies and you might actually be left with 500sf livable space when you paid for a 900sf unit.

27) Do you have a pre-approved mortgage ready? Learning you are not able to get a loan after buying a house is not an experience for the faint hearted.

28) What is the loan to value you can qualify for? Need to know this to see if you can afford the house.

29) What are your monthly commitments if mortgage rates hit 4%? When interest rates spike, you could be cursing the heavens.

30) Where is the closest MRT station? Is there even one nearby?

31) How many minutes it takes to walk to the nearest MRT station? Preferably within 5 to 10 minutes walking distance.

32) Is there shelter if you indeed have to walk to the MRT station? You will be sweating in the morning sun if there is no shelter.

33) Where is the nearest place you can get food and groceries? Important for those who don’t cook.

34) Where are the nearest Primary and Secondary Schools? Peace of mind when you children attends school nearby.

35) Where are the nearest temples, churches and mosques? Religious needs.

36) Where is the nearest retail mall? Sometimes you just want to go out and look around.

37) Are you in a situation where you cannot use CPF for your purchase? Odds are that you will already suspect your eligibility if there is something wrong.

38) Is the property close to noisy night spots? You might run into a rowdy crowd late in the night.

39) If you are investing, who are the tenants who will rent in the area? This is your target market.

40) What is your projected return on investment based on current price and current rental? Don’t be lazy and get some calculations done.

Additional things you might also want to know

41) Where is the nearest AXS station? You don’t want it to be a big hassle to pay your bills and fines.

42) Where is the nearest mail box? They seem to be everywhere but disappear when you need one.

43) What petrol kiosk is closest to you? Maybe you will have to forgo loyalty to your favourite brand.

44) Is the nearest convenience store within walking distance? For convenience of course.

45) Is there a 24-hour eatery in the vicinity? Supper lovers see this as absolutely necessary.

46) How does the peak hour traffic in the area look like? Some residential areas have horrifying peak hour traffic.

Home is so close... yet so far away

Home is so close… yet so far away

47) Does McDonald’s deliver to your area? There really are places they don’t deliver to.

48) Do you think the place is so secluded that it could be difficult to hail a taxi? And you think you won’t be late as long as you take a taxi… if you can find one.

49) What are the buses that are serving the area? Can be inconvenient if there is only a feeder bus available.

50) Are you going to get a scolding from your mother for buying? Mother knows best.



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