Many Singaporeans aspire to move up from the HDB flats that they occupy. Condominiums provide an attractive option. They offer a host of facilities that aren’t available to public housing residents.
If you move into a condo, the amenities could include private tennis courts, playgrounds for your children, and access to a gym and a swimming pool. There are other advantages as well. Maintenance issues are taken care of by the in-house property manager’s staff. You will have a place to park your car, and it is also quite possible that the condo you live in will provide guest parking as well.
Of course, the facilities that are available should not be the only factor that determines your choice. There are a number of other points that you should consider.
Here are 6 tips for HDB upgraders who want to move into a condominium:
1. Decide on the type of condo that you want
Are you looking for a three-bedroom unit or one with four bedrooms? Do you have grown-up children or elderly parents living with you? It’s advisable to keep your long-term requirements in mind when deciding upon the size of the condo that you will be buying.
There are other options as well. A penthouse could be a good choice if you can afford it. Some buyers opt for a dual key condo. This has two separate self-contained units within it and some common areas as well. Study the layout carefully before making a choice.
2. Buy what you can afford
When you are upgrading from an HDB flat, it’s essential to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. Are the additional amenities that the condo offers worth the extra amount that you have to pay? Will you or any of your family members use them on a regular basis?
For many new occupants of condos, the initial excitement of the additional services soon wears off. If you can save a ton of money, by doing without some facilities, you may be better off choosing a lower-priced condo.
3. Stay within your budget
Here’s a trick that you can use to find the perfect condo at your price. Say, that the upper limit of your budget is S$1 million. When you are shopping around and viewing the various options, you are likely to find that the best places cost about S$1.1 million – a little more than your budget limit.
That’s how the human mind works. The price of the ideal condo would exceed your budget. It’s advisable not to give in to the temptation of overshooting the limit that you have set for yourself.
The solution? If your budget is S$1 million, look for condos in the S$900,000 range. If you do this, you are more likely to find a unit that you can afford.
4. Check the amenities carefully
Remember that access to various facilities is one of the primary considerations for your move from an HDB flat to a condo. So don’t just carry out a superficial review of the benefits and amenities on offer. Ask pointed questions and try and understand whether the add-ons are all that they are made out to be.
How efficient is the staff? Is the building security well managed? It may be a good idea to compare the different features that are available in the condos that you have shortlisted.
Ask about the monthly maintenance fees as well. The amount that you will have to pay will be a multiple of the sum that you had to bear for your HDB flat.
You should also make enquiries about the parking facilities. Is the cost of parking included in the price of the condo or will you have to pay on a monthly basis?
5. Familiarise yourself with the URA Master Plan
Consider a situation where you spend weeks looking for a condo and finally identify one that meets all your requirements. It’s located near a school, there’s an MRT within walking distance, lots of shopping options, and above all, it’s within your budget.
You go ahead and finalise the deal and move into your dream condo. A couple of years later, a highrise comes up in the adjacent plot. The stunning view from your windows is replaced by a new tower.
Is there is any way to prevent yourself from falling into this trap? Fortunately, there is.
You can study the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan to get an idea about proposed construction activity in your area. The plan lays down the guidelines for development activity in Singapore’s different regions over the next ten to 15 years. If you find it difficult to understand, you can use the help of a good real estate agency. But don’t finalise your choice without referring to this document.
6. Choosing between a new condo and a resale unit
When you are in the market for a condo, there is a wide range of options to choose from. You also have to select between a resale unit and a new one.
Sometimes, the decision can be simple. If you are in a hurry to shift, a resale may be the only option. In fact, a resale condo has many advantages. You know exactly what you are buying. It is possible to carry out a thorough due diligence exercise. You can meet your future neighbours, get a feel for the place, and decide whether you like it or not.
A new launch does not offer any such advantage. Although you will have the benefit of moving into a brand new unit, you won’t know what it will be like to live there until you finally shift. However, a new launch is superior in many ways. Everything is spanking new. You will get the most modern amenities with the latest features.
The bottom line
When you are upgrading from an HDB flat, remember to seek professional help. Buying a condo can be a complicated exercise. A top-notch agency like OrangeTee can help you to find just what you are looking for. They can also guide you through the buying process and ensure that you get the best possible deal.