Condo facilities - worth it?

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Big Mac
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Condo facilities - worth it?

Post by Big Mac » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 10:27 pm

Hi all. New to this forum and looking forward to my move to singapore which is happening in the very very near future! Just have a couple of questions was hoping anyone would kindly help me out here -

1) condo facilities - do people actually use it? I am thinking if it is worthwhile to pay extra for a condo that has nicer facilities. Is it worth the extra money?

2) Novena seems to be the front frunner atm in my choice of location. If anyone currently lives there or can please provide some pro/cons about that place would be much appreciated

3) I emailed an agent the other day and they said i dont have to pay them any fee (which i know from reading the forums) but they say i have to agree to use them exclusively. Is that common?

thanks in advance guys and gals!

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Strong Eagle
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Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 11:48 pm

Why the hell are you asking question #1? Who cares if anybody else is using it? Are you going to use it? Hello? What if every last person uses it and you don't? Will that make you jump? Or sit around saying, "Gee, everyone uses it except me?"

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Post by Big Mac » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 1:13 am

Strong eagle: How is that different to asking a question as to why someone likes a particular area. Would it be fair to say then that it is irrelevant because a particular sample group likes the area does not neccessarily mean you will like it too?

As to why i ask #1, if people's response is that yes it is good to have facilities as singapore does not have many gym's or tennis courts or swimming facilities around the city, then it might be worthwhile for me to consider paying extra for those facilities.

In any case, i do not see why my post would warrant such an aggressive response.

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Post by Splatted » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 2:16 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Why the hell are you asking question #1? Who cares if anybody else is using it? Are you going to use it? Hello? What if every last person uses it and you don't? Will that make you jump? Or sit around saying, "Gee, everyone uses it except me?"
Currently I am living in an apartment block which has it's own gym, but most tenants do not use the facilities. (back in Melbourne)

Many instead opt to pay extra money and join fitness first (or other), where they pay a premium but get a personal trainer.

Second reason why people opt not to use our apartment blocks facilities are that there are never enough equipment to go round (ie if you want the single and only treadmill and someone is already using it, they wont budge knowing you want to use it), and it does not have the full range that a proper private gym would have.

Perhaps the OP is asking from this perspective... in which a rephrase of the original question would have clarified...

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Re: Condo facilities - worth it?

Post by Splatted » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 2:22 am

Big Mac wrote:Hi all. New to this forum and looking forward to my move to singapore which is happening in the very very near future! Just have a couple of questions was hoping anyone would kindly help me out here -

1) condo facilities - do people actually use it? I am thinking if it is worthwhile to pay extra for a condo that has nicer facilities. Is it worth the extra money?
From what I was quoted, the cost of joining private gyms seems rather high in Singapore. This was a few years back, though.

If you have the facilities you need within the condo establishment and it doesn't cost you much extra, and you are able to use it at the time of day you want to (since it's shared facilities), then it's worth it... you wont know until you move in what sort of people traffic each condo will have for their facilities.

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Re: Condo facilities - worth it?

Post by Saint » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 8:54 am

Big Mac wrote:
3) I emailed an agent the other day and they said i dont have to pay them any fee (which i know from reading the forums) but they say i have to agree to use them exclusively. Is that common?
This is an interesting statement as it is rare for an agent to be so bold and upfront like this. Agreeing to use an agent exclusively will limit you to properties that the agent can co-broke with the LL agent. These type of agents don't normally have any properties for which they are the agents. All they will do is trawl the various websites and find possible suitable properties and arrange viewings. If the other agent isn't willing to co-broke then can't view the property.

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Post by Big Mac » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 9:12 am

@ Splatted - Melbourne is a good spot. Much more european feel to it than sydney (where i currently live). Great golf courses - in fact im heading over there for a week to play to get my 'hit' in before i move to sg as i have heard that its ridiculiously expensive to play golf in sg. Not to mention a lack of courses!!

Yeah see i live in an apartment in sydney and their so call 'facilities' are not really facilities. I mean noone ever uses the gym inhouse nor do ppl go down for the pool. I guess the question came about because a friend of mine that is in SG is telling me why am i renting a condo and paying the premium when HDB's are much cheaper. He said the main difference between HDB and condo's are really one does not have any facilities! I tried looking at websites for HDBs and tend to notice that locationwise condo's seem to command a much more premium location but was just hoping to clarify the facilities part.

@ Saint - I am surprised you say these type of agents dont normally have their own property :? From your response it almost seems to indicate that anyone can be in the real estate profession :? He came highly recommended by a friend so i just agreed to it. Although it was verbal and he did say if in 2 wks time i dont find anything i can use other agents. Now i am a bit nervous about committing to just him - this is especially so when i gave him 3 criteria's that i cannot compromise on and last night he responded with a suggestion that satisfy none of them!

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 9:38 am

Big Mac wrote:Yeah see i live in an apartment in sydney and their so call 'facilities' are not really facilities. I mean noone ever uses the gym inhouse nor do ppl go down for the pool. I guess the question came about because a friend of mine that is in SG is telling me why am i renting a condo and paying the premium when HDB's are much cheaper. He said the main difference between HDB and condo's are really one does not have any facilities! I tried looking at websites for HDBs and tend to notice that locationwise condo's seem to command a much more premium location but was just hoping to clarify the facilities part.
Facility is one thing but all this may have at least one more dimension depending on your individual preferences. Most reasonably priced HDBs are (at least in my opinion) not that nice in terms of the look and condition of the interiors. If they are nice (some recent, modern ones) they are priced almost like the condos. Purely on functional and down to earth ground, the major difference is indeed the facilities unless you are paranoid and need the security.

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Post by BigSis » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:52 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Why the hell are you asking question #1? Who cares if anybody else is using it? Are you going to use it? Hello? What if every last person uses it and you don't? Will that make you jump? Or sit around saying, "Gee, everyone uses it except me?"
I assumed he'd asked that because he was wondering if people have moved to big condos and found that they didn't end up using most of the facilities after the initial 'honeymoon' period had worn off...........which is exactly what we've done. We live in an all singing, all dancing condo with gym, tennis/squash/badminton courts, massive pool and even a putting green (does anyone at all ever use those putting greens BTW?), and we've used the tennis courts twice, never used the squash, the kids have played badminton a couple of times and I've only seen someone on the putting green thingie once and it wasn't me!

We do still use the pool and the gym but not that regularly and I think it is about 3 weeks since I've been to the pool, so yes, the initial excitement about having all these facilities can wear off, but I think much of that depends how sporty you are. There are plenty of people who go to the gym and play squash and tennis regularly at our place and they have done for years so if you're sporty then you probably will use the facilities, but if you're not then you'll no doubt have a go at them for the novelty value and that will be all.

Re the other facilities - we use the BBQ pits quite regularly and the kids play in the playgrounds. We've also got shops at our place and we use them, so it can be good living in a big place with facilities like that but if you lived near shops anyway it wouldn't be such a necessity.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 1:19 pm

Big Mac wrote: @ Saint - I am surprised you say these type of agents dont normally have their own property :? From your response it almost seems to indicate that anyone can be in the real estate profession :? He came highly recommended by a friend so i just agreed to it. Although it was verbal and he did say if in 2 wks time i dont find anything i can use other agents. Now i am a bit nervous about committing to just him - this is especially so when i gave him 3 criteria's that i cannot compromise on and last night he responded with a suggestion that satisfy none of them!
And therein lies the problem of professionalism in the realty sector. There are lots of these types and it's only recently that something is trying to be done about reigning in the cowboys who give the industry a name that is on the same level as recruitment agencies and insurance agents. You friend got lucky with him, and therefore recommended him. Normal, but unfortunately, probably just a fluke-shot. These kind of agents are a pariah in as much as they just try to piggy-back on the agents who actually work the ground to get listing of their own. That's why you often see ads indicating "no co-broke" in order to avoid the leeches.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 1:30 pm

I am an HDB dweller. Almost makes it sound like I'm at an AA meeting doesn't it?!? :lol:

I wouldn't have it any other way. I have just about all the amenities I could want within walking distance of my unit. I have a basketball court just outside my block, also a nice park. I have numerous buses plying the area and while I'm way, way, out in the North East, I am 5 minutes by bus from one MRT on the NE line and 7 minutes out from 2 MRT stations on the NW line. We have a large public pool 15 walk away that only costs $1.50 to get into when I want to use it - it's not a fixed cost. (5 minutes by bus) and the Community Centre for the Housing Estate has a pretty nice Gym that can be utilized by monthly membership or day rate per/entry. Of course, the difference is my flat is done up the way I like it because I bought it, but very nice HDB Flats can be found in some of the newer HDB estates where they are only around 5-8 years old (they cannot be rented out until they are at least 5 years old - 3 in some instances).

What I like the most is the fact that virtually all the amenities are conveniently available in most HDB Estates usually within walking distance - this in not usually the case for the condo though.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by raden888 » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 2:08 pm

I second SMS! Most of these so called gyms are like common rooms with one or two treadmills, one or two stationary bikes , rack with dumbbells and a circuit trainer. If you take into consideration the population density of the condo, the facilities are grossly inadequate. That is probably why so many still prefer using commercial gyms.

Mmm, Melbourne has the best pizzas in Australia!

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Post by Big Mac » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 9:44 am

Thanks guys. I think that is exactly what i am after.

@Bigsis n Raden888 - yeah i think alot of it has to do with the novalty. Once that wears off or lack of time kicks in then the facilities all get cast aside. And as Raden points out, this probably doesnt help as you have 1 tennis court or 2 treadmill servicing a block of 100+ units! I think i will pay much less attention to the facilities but more so to the location of the place!

@SMS - its ridiculious really. I am surprised that there is no governing body that overseas the real estate sector. Surely there must be an entity that polices the industry to maintain some form of professionalism. Anyway the funny thing is i replied the agent saying look i dont think the condo you suggested meets any of my criteria - to which his email reply was: I have 2 ads for 3 bedda flat for you (Which makes it all the more absurd since i said i want max 2 bedroom since it is only me and my gfriend going). *sigh* Why do i get all the duds!??!?!?!

As a side note, i just got my in-principle approval for EP yesterday :D Highly impressed with the efficiency of MOM. Took less than 5 days from submission date! So SG here i come :D

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:04 am

When you got sumtin' the country needs, they can move damned fast! :cool:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by BigSis » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:27 am

As a side note, i just got my in-principle approval for EP yesterday Highly impressed with the efficiency of MOM. Took less than 5 days from submission date! So SG here i come
Congratulations - it's very exciting when it all starts to come together :)

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