“I just bought a unit at ABC Condominium”
“Oh but wasn’t that an abandoned project?”
“It was?! How come I didn’t know!”
“Didn’t you do your research??”
Buying a property is probably going to be the biggest investment you ever make in your life, whether it is your first or last. So whether you are planning to be a property investor or just a normal home buyer, you should spend some time studying the property market or at the very least keep abreast of it.
Fortunately with the media we have now, there are many ways to do it. Most newspapers have their own dedicated property sections, and there has been an increasing number of dedicated property portals aimed towards better informing property buyers.
But even all the reading you do will not yield the knowledge you need if you do not know what you are looking for. So below is a list of things you should pay attention to:
Location is the most important factor that you should ever look at. First things first, is it in an area that you are familiar with, do you know where to at least find the closest hypermarket and whether it is within reasonable travelling distance of your workplace and parents’ house.
2. Surrounding Amenities
There is a reason why integrated townships are the new in thing. It is because of its extreme convenience, being able to catch a movie, grab a cuppa or send your pet to the closest pet grooming centre to home. So if you’re not planning on buying a home within an integrated township, it’d be wise to survey your surroundings to ensure that you have everything you need. Amongst some of the things you might like to keep an eye out for are:
– Places of worship
– Mini marts
– Wet market
Your new home is not going to be very attractive if you are going to be stuck in traffic on a daily basis or if you have to drive for miles to get to the neighbouring housing development’s mini mart just because there are no access routes.
So always make sure that the roads are well connected, otherwise you are going to have a very frustrating time.
4. Land Title
Did you know that whether your property carries a residential or commercial title plays a big role in your future utility bills? If your property is under commercial title, your bills will be almost doubled and your property will not be protected under the Housing Development Act (HDA).
5. Facing Direction
While this might not seem very important especially if you do not believe in Feng Shui, think about how you’ll feel if your home faces the West and you get to enjoy the full impact of the setting sun’s heat on a daily basis. Hence the direction of a house is always important.
6. Maintenance Fees
Maintenance fees are the fees you pay for when you live in a high rise. You will be paying for the maintenance of the swimming pool, playground, badminton court and so forth even if you do not utilise it. And sometimes some developers charge a very high maintenance fee even though they only have a handful of facilities.
So take note of the facilities and whether the maintenance fees are proportionate to the facilities you are getting. Of course, the number of units will also affect the maintenance fees, which brings us to our next point.
7. Number of Units
Lower density developments are always more exclusive and therefore more pricey, and they generally have higher maintenance fees if you are staying in a high rise. The logic behind this is that the cost of upkeeping the building is divided between less people which then equals to higher maintenance fees.
8. Neighbouring Developments
This is a very important thing to look out for, because just because the Penangites do not mind living next to a cemetery, doesn’t mean that the KL-ites don’t mind it either! And imagine if you have to smell the stench of that water recycling plant every time you open those windows or see the wall of the next building every time you look out.
These are some of the things that you need to keep an eye out for, but then again these are just some of the very basic things that you need to know. You will need to go out on-the-ground to survey the area, get a feeling for it and see if you get a good vibe from the neighbourhood.
This process may seem rather tedious, but not researching these criteria may potentially end up in disaster.
However for those who would rather save their time and legwork, PropertyGuru strives to keep up with the latest developments and provide extremely detailed information on them from a first person’s view. PropertyGuru also provides the analysis of a project’s location and pricing, plus its future potential.
So for a general idea of any project you are interested in, it might just be best to look it up on their website first.