High Ceiling Is Part Of Floor Area In New Condominiums

By on April 22, 2014

If you have visited new condominium show flats and taken an interest to apartments with high ceilings, there is something very important to take note of.

I don’t know how this unhealthy practice started or when it started.

But I only learned about this when I was browsing the sales brochure of a particular new launch condominium. And it was an amusing discovery that totally changed my perception of how things are run here.

I was comparing the penthouse on a particular stack and the unit directly below it.

And the decision on which unit to purchase rest heavily on the penthouse as I was thinking that for the extra few thousand dollars, I get an additional speck of floor area to live in.

On hindsight, it was my own mistake to assume that the floor area specified on the sales brochure can be taken at face value, meaning the size of the floor.

I really don’t believe that something measurable can be misrepresented by reputable big name developers?

But credit has to be given to the sales staff.

When questioned about the bigger space, he did mention “high ceiling”. It’s just that those 2 words are not enough to inform me that the additional floor space takes into account the high ceiling.

It was only when I studied the 2 layouts of the lower unit against the higher unit did I realise that they are virtually the same. And upon further questioning the sales staff did it start to sink in that the “floor area” of the high ceiling is counted as part of the official floor area.

I don’t know how these practices started. And I’m sure that if I were to question the people at the top, they are going to come up with some “industry practice” or “construction jargon” that will justify their use of empty space as part of floor area.

But expecting the regular individual to implicitly understand these things are really pushing the boundaries.

We, the market, are already living with the free-scaling illustrated maps used in advertisements, accepting the huge air-con ledges that can probably fit a tank in, and celebrate the “discounts” that are mere marketing gimmicks. Now this?

It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I find that developers go to such an extreme as to count an empty space in the ceiling as “floor area”. Although empty roof terraces and air-con ledges are not livable space, most people can acknowledge them as part of an apartment’s floor area.

But a ceiling? Unless we have the ability to walk on air, how in the world can that be “floor area”.

With our high ceiling, I declare this building as 1 million square feet!

With our high ceiling, I declare this building as 1 million square feet!

The reason why these methods of measurement are used can be this: Because when there is a higher area, the price per square foot, a unit that most buyers use as a price measurement, comes down.

This creates a perception of getting more value. Or getting a “discount”.

But as a buyer, I would prefer that I know what I’m getting up front rather than having to leave it to fine prints and superscripts to find out.

Floor area is a decisive factor in property buying. Not a small negligible factor. Even if it means that the price per square foot is high.

Buyers won’t mind paying more for a high ceiling unit. But there is really something wrong somewhere when buying a 1500 square foot apartment when it is actually 1400.

We are talking about big money here. Not a $2 dollar product that scammers and con-men push around.

If we are to apply this concept to completed resale properties, I guess the only thing a home owner needs to do is build a high ceiling to increase it’s floor area, resulting in increased value.

So a 1500 square feet landed home can effectively transform itself to 2000 square feet or more by building a higher roof, effectively doubling the price it can fetch in the market.

Does this sound ridiculous?

When buying a new condominium at the sales launch, here are some other things to look out for.

Air-con ledge area and roof terrace as mentioned previously. Where the morning and afternoon sun is shining. What fixtures and furniture comes with your purchase. The guarantee that comes with apartment and what it covers. What are the terms if you decide to withdraw your purchase.



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