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Looking for a unit? Read this before you buy your new home

With the extremely “hot” property market now, it seems that almost everyone is out to secure a home upgrade or a new home. If you do not snag the deal fast enough, someone else would have been waiting to take the deal readily.

In such a climate, it becomes difficult for many of us to make proper review and research on different resale flats or condominium units to make an informed decision, since we competing with so many other potential buyers against time. Just take a look at the new launch units - units were being snagged in mere matter of minutes, and if you’re a second too late, you end up with very little option to choose from.

However, making hasty decisions in the interest of time lies the danger of making the wrong decision. Many a times, we want the home purchase to work to begin with. By seeing a potential home in a favourable light, we tend to ignore the telltale signs of a problematic home, and end up being convinced over the selling points of the home and seal the deal quickly.

Here are a few key factors you should take a good look before securing the deal - better safe than sorry!

#1 Pre-existing renovation works that may not be functional or are deteriorating

Sometimes, we enter the unit and are impressed by some of the pre-existing renovation works that really bring out the aesthetics in the unit. However, some of the these renovation works, while beautiful, are not practical overtime.

For example, many of us see concealed trunkings becoming more popular in many units - the drainage pipes and wires are all concealed to create a seamless and clean look in the unit. However, this means that repairing the electrical appliances become very messy - imagining hacking away the access pipes just to fix your malfunctioning air conditioner.

Some of these renovation works has also resulted in poor drainage systems or leaks, which will only be apparent once you move in. Try to do an extensive check on the unit’s plumbing system - if you are unsure, be sure to hire an expert to take a good look before making any rash decisions.

Also check for signs of poor ventilation and any condensation in walls or ceilings that could make it peel and rot overtime, as these can cause serious and costly damages.

#2 Wear and tear in common areas

Understandably, common spaces may not be a key point of observation, since they aren’t within your own unit. However, they do affect your lifestyle overtime when you start to use the facilities within the condominium.

Instead of starting your observation from the moment you enter the unit, try looking at the surroundings of the common spaces from the walkways, lifts, gardens and the pool. Make sure that there are obvious signs of good maintenance. If there is algae or rust growing in the facilities, ask the necessary questions on the maintenance schedule and point out the discrepancies should any arise.

Another obvious one would be ill-maintained walkways, withering plants in the drop-off points or “spoilt” facilities. For example, the jacuzzi in the corner that has not been in use for 5 years, or the barbecue pit that has not be replaced since forever. Worse would be faulty lifts that makes your life difficult by having to climb up 26 floors to get to your home.

One way to mitigate this would be to have a quick conversation with the surrounding neighbours and the make more than one visit to have a proper look. Otherwise, you can take a look at the reviews of the property, be it on Google reviews or on discussion forums. Take a good and extensive Google search or reach out to property agents that specialise in the area to hear more about the property.

#3 Nightmare Neighbours

Neighbours make a huge difference to your living space, so it is important to take that into consideration when looking for a unit.

If you have a neighbour that likes to host drinking parties and play loud music beyond midnight, one can imagine how terrible it would be to sleep at night for work the next day.

The same would apply to hoarder neighbours that love to amass a huge spread of furniture that they clutter outside of their homes, making it difficult to even get through to reach the lift.

The worst would be those that have poor hygiene practices, throwing their rubbish everywhere in the corridor and making a mess of the common areas across the floor. This will also attract pests, allowing cockroaches and flies find their way to your own home.

If you are someone that is sensitive to noise, be sure to do your viewings across different timings of the day, and check out the neighbours in the same floor. It might also be good to check out who are the neighbours living directly above and below your unit - you wouldn’t want to be subjected to loud shifting noises and banging from below or above your unit late at night as well.

#4 Bustling environment - lively but chaotic

Similarly, you should also take a good look at the vicinity around your flat or condominium before making your purchase. Find out if there are any schools, shopping centres or hawker centres nearby that could make your living area tricky. Think screaming kids passing by your area and the screeching of the school bell - and the traffic jam in the morning as well. Those living very near hawker centres might enjoy the easy access to food, but suffer when the smoke from cooking food spread to your area. If not well kept, pests like rats and cockroaches might also find its way to your home as well.

The list of things to check can look very long and daunting, but we assure you that it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to viewings and purchasing your dream home.

If you are unsure, you can always reach out to us to help you conduct extensive research, viewings and guide you through the red flags you should look out for.


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