Buying a new home is usually the biggest purchase we ever make in our lives – given the amount of money and effort we pour into building our dream home, it’s safe to say that a home purchase is very significant and important. However, with the hustle and bustle of our work and busy lifestyle, it becomes difficult to make time to do our homework before buying a home. Afterall, if we prepare our budget and the funds to purchase it, isn’t that enough?
Unfortunately, many of us fall into the trap of underpreparing, and end up making a choice we regret many years down the road when we actually move into the home.
Here are some mistakes you want to avoid before making the final decision.
#1 Buying a condominium expecting to make full use of the facilities, but ended up using none of them
When we make big decisions like buying a home, we often think about the new life we want to kick start when we move in. This leads us to imagine the high life, where we dream about how this would be the perfect to start a new and fruitful lifestyle in a new home – booking regular gym sessions, hitting up the pool and water gym, using the sauna and the outdoor spaces.
However, many of the actual residents don’t end up using the facilities as much as they assumed they would. In fact, we know individuals that didn’t even step into the pool once before, when it’s right in their living area! Many of them continue to have hectic work schedules, making it hard for them to settle down and enjoy the facilities well. Owning a car may end up being a hassle to maintain, so there are residents that also end up not using the parking lot as well.
While not using the facilities does not incur any extra costs, what you are sacrificing is the utility of the maintenance fees you are paying every month. Think about the $300 - $500 that you pay for your condominium facilities every month – and how you underutilise the facilities, making it not worthwhile to pay that money. And while a couple of hundreds a month does not look like much, it adds up over the years. A $300 a month means $3,600 a year, which in turn costs $36,000 across the ten years that you live there.
There is also opportunity cost to consider as well – instead of getting a condominium with a comprehensive (and expensive!) set of facilities, you could have opted for a condominium with lesser facilities but a greater selection of unit layouts and larger unit sizes. This could have been better for your family, since bigger living space means more flexibility in placing furniture and more.
#2 Insufficient homework done when it comes to purchase processes
This especially applies to those that are preparing to go for new launch units. Just recently, we hear about how GuocoLand's Lentor Modern condo 84% sold over launch weekend. In fact, all of its one- and two-bedroom units and most of the three-room units were sold, while 50% of the four-room units were booked.
Buying a new launch unit is extremely competitive – you really need to be on your tippy toes to get the right unit layout, the right section facing the view that you want, and the floors that you are comfortable with. You need to properly think about what your priorities are and be prepared to settle for something less than what you have in mind when it comes to units booking. More often than not, you will require the help of your agent as well, to be there with you to walk you through the purchase process quickly to seal the deal.
If you head in without a plan in mind, you might end up being left with units that you don’t want, making it a wasted time and trip. Or worse, you might rush into it, and end up purchasing a unit that you regret later on due to issues that pop up along the way.
#3 The unit choice matters more than you think
This brings us to the next point – the unit choice matters more than you think.
Many of us do a lot of research before settling on a development – the condo itself. Be it the location, the potential value it holds, the district, the nearby amenities, and the facilities it holds. However, when it comes to unit layout, we tend to get sloppy.
Think about what are your “Yes” and “No” when it comes to your unit – do you want the kitchen to be directly accessible to your dining area? Do you want your entrance to avoid facing your master bedroom for greater privacy? Do you absolutely want ventilation windows in all your bathroom and kitchen? Do you want to avoid having the bathroom being right near your kitchen?
These are things that might not directly pop up when you look at the showroom flats, which is dangerous since these problems will surface upon moving in. In addition, take extra caution that different unit layouts of the same bedroom size can have different built-in features. Make sure to check that the features that you absolutely want (e.g., ventilation windows) are also featured in the exact unit that you are purchasing.
#4 Done with checking the unit? Check the surroundings too
After checking the unit layout and the amenities inside the condo, make sure to check the surroundings thoroughly too. For example, check the noise levels in the surrounding across different periods of time across the day and night.
In addition, check the traffic in the busy periods of the day to make sure that you are comfortable with the travelling time when you get to and from work. Do a short walk around the area to know what the food and shopping options in the area are, and you are satisfied with the walking distance or mode of travel to get things done.
It will also be crucial that you check where your unit is facing – many of us would want to avoid having a unit that faces the road or the highway, since that means a lot of travelling noises.
#5 Want the views? Do your research to know what is being built in your surroundings
When buying a home, a great view across the city landscape is definitely a huge bonus. In fact, it might be a key factor in choosing a certain unit and floor. However, make sure to do extra research to understand what will be built in the surroundings according to the government’s URA Masterplan.
If there are high-rise buildings in talks of being built in the area, make sure that you are comfortable with the view being sacrificed, since it could be something you would forgo the higher floors for. If the new and upcoming buildings are not high-rise, consider going for a higher floor to ensure an unblocked view instead.
While going for a higher floor undoubtedly means paying for a premium, views across the balcony is something you can enjoy every day. Take some time to think about whether going for a higher floor is something you would want to prioritise.
Need advice for buying a home?
Buying a home is difficult – we get it. These considerations are just thinking points for you to kick start conceptualising what you envision your dream home should be. We aren’t even at the part of the purchasing process yet – which is tricky as well. If you want to know how to navigate through this in the most effortless way possible, we are here to guide you through your home purchasing journey. If you need guidance and help from someone with the right experience and knowledge, reach out to us to find out more.