I have wrote about the topic of selecting your next home a few times.
You can check them out here:
- 8 Selection Factors You Must Consider For Your Next Home
- 10 Costly Mistakes Made By Sellers & Buyers – When An Agent Is Not Present!
The above are a necessary read if you are still in the research phase.
But once you start actively viewing homes in the resale market, you will need to take to pay attention to these 5 factors so you are aware of the potential pitfalls when selecting your ideal home.
Preferences aside, these are what you should avoid at ALL cost.
#1: Low floor units facing the multi-storey car park, MRT/ LRT station or
another block of flats or condominium
Such units could be attractive to first-time home buyers with a lower price tag.
Or some families may feel that it’s not a big deal (just a blocked view), only to realize they end up constantly with their windows shut or curtains drawn.
The lack of privacy would usually also translate to a harder sale in time to come.
#2: Units Near to the Bin Centre (Refuse/ Garbage collection), Multi-Purpose Hall or Pavilion of Playground
These may be less obvious negative traits but savvy buyers would steer clear of such units if possible, for obvious reason – the potential noise when events like funerals or weddings are being held at the pavilion and odour during the daily refuse collection.
You may think these are things you will NOT miss out on.
Yet, when buying a brand new flat or condominium with no physical units to view and so much to consider (price, ballot number, home loan etc.), it’s easy to overlook these small details.
Again, some home buyers may think these are inconsequential, only to regret when they have to deal with the noise while coaxing their newborn to nap.
#3: Buying a house with a troubled past
It is crucial to know what questions to ask the homeowner or the property agent marketing the unit you intend to buy.
If you are too shy or do not feel comfortable asking too many questions during viewing, then you must ensure your representing agent does!
There is only so much you can observe during viewing.
So while the seller/ marketing agent is not obliged to divulge/ disclose sensitive information, they have a duty to state the truth (to the best of their abilities) when asked or risk getting into trouble for misrepresentation.
Examples of some questions to ask:
a. Has an unnatural death or passing ever occurred in the unit?
Most of my clients are not too bothered with a natural passing for an elderly owner or passing due to illness. But not many would be comfortable to buy a unit whereby a violent death or suicide has taken place.
b. Are there any existing piping/ seepage/ electrical issues that we need to be aware of? When was the last renovation conducted etc.?
This would not be an issue if you are planning for an overhaul. But if you do not have the budget for an extensive renovation, these are absolutely necessary to ask.
For landed and HDB flats, I would usually suggest going an extra step to observe the location at various times of the day and also to speak to the neighbours.
You would be surprised how much people are willing to share (e.g. House A has a recurring issue with money lenders or the occupants of House C and House B do not get along etc.).
Or if they slam the door in your face, then that’s a sign of how things will be like in the days ahead.
Also look out for signs of unruly or inconsiderate neighbours.
Hoarding items could be a tell-tale sign.
But don’t assume the worst.
I’ve come across instances whereby neighbourly relations are so good that they allow the common space to be encroached willingly (not that it’s allowed as it’s still a fire hazard in many cases).
And usually, upon a cordial discussion, they are also more than happy to clear it when my clients are not too comfortable with having bulky items along the common corridor.
#4: Facing a POPULAR religious building
The keyword here would be popular.
Facing regular temples, monasteries, churches and mosques is really not so much an issue as long as you do not mind.
In fact, I had a Muslim family who wanted to be near a particular mosque so that it will be more convenient for their elderly father who visits the mosque daily.
There was also another family who wanted to be near a church which is also where their firstborn child would attend kindergarten.
However, some religious organisations hold large scale worshipping events at their premises. You or your agent would need to do some research or ask around since it may not be apparent when you are viewing the unit in question.
The photos below show how the basketball courts and HDB flat next to a temple, have “transformed” for an annual religious celebration that’s jaw-droppingly grand.
The same area is also used for the annual 7th month Getai (variety show of song and dance).
Again, not all buyers will shy away from such a facing but you as a buyer should know what you are buying and the potential noise you will need to endure a couple of times in a year.
That said, some religious buildings may look grand and imposing, but hardly hold any big events at all. So do your necessary due diligence if you value a quiet facing.
#5: Spending Premium dollar for an unblocked view
A friend shared that she had finally purchased her first home – a centrally located 4-room HDB flat earlier this year.
To her dismay, she realised only after receiving the keys upon Sales Completion in August that her view will be blocked by the new BTO flats that will occupy the “vacant land” next to her flat.
Her agent had checked the URA master plan before she made the offer and advised her that it is earmarked as a “white site” and not a residential site, and no plans had been made so far for that site.
But he failed to highlight that a white site simply means that there could be a range of uses for the site that the government has yet to determine at the point of planning.
To make matters worse, the BTO was in fact launched a few months before the purchase, but was simply not reflected in the URA OneMap plan nor the Master plan.
At the end of the day, whenever you purchase a unit facing a vacant land in Singapore, do be prepared that it may be developed and your view may be affected.
If you are bothered by the potential of a blocked view, try to avoid buying properties facing any vacant land parcels.
Going for viewings and checking out resale units are usually an exciting time. But it is also easy to get fatigued and make decisions that you might regret later on.
In the wake of the cooling measures, prices have moderated a little bit. This gives buyers some opportunity to get good deals.
But the amount of resale listings available for sale might also have reduced as owners cancel their plans.
Over the years, I have helped many clients from all walks of life to secure their dream home.
If you have questions on weighing your resale choices for your next home, I invite you to drop me a message via whatsapp for a no-obligation discussion.
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