Condo facilities - worth it?

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:33 am

Big Mac wrote:
@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!??!?!?!
YOu could do the leg work yourself, search online for properties and when you see one you like just give the agent a call. Half the time they will say the property has just this minute been rented but I what are you requirements........... basically they don't have any properties on their books. Looks for ads where the agent actually show pics of inside the property. These are more than likely to be genuine and the agent is acting on behalf of the Landlord.

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Splatted
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Post by Splatted » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:44 am

Big Mac wrote: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!??!?!?!
Was he offering 3 Bedroom flats .... or 3 room flats ...? The terminology in Singapore is a bit different to Australia.

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 11:09 am

Big Mac wrote:Why do i get all the duds!??!?!?!
Trust us, it's not just you. Everybody who uses an agent does. The 'ole bait-and-switch.
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Post by macaroonie » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 11:36 am

Unfortunately finding a good agent is an oxymoron! It's finding that needle in a haystack. The way to protect yourself is to know the law, know what to look out for and what to protect yourself long term eg take photos of everything before moving in, issuing a cheque instead of cash, getting the agents name, NRIC etc (lots of bogus agents out there too who are in it to take off with your deposit and never to surface again)..make sure the landlord is truly the landlord of the place (ask for the owner's search or some documentation), get a properly stamped contract, sign a letter of intent (so they don't give it to someone else who offers a higher price 5 mins after you've left).

Read this website carefully, there is a great list of what to look out for on one of the stickies at the top.

Good luck! hope your time in Singapore is smooth and not full of dramas like someone us

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Post by Big Mac » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 7:55 pm

@SMS - cant think of anything but tell u what, either way i aint complaining thats for sure :D

@BigSis - i know. Still feels a bit surreal i think. Been told once i start packing then its gonna really hit home! but definitely quite excited by this move - asia is where it is all happening for the next few years!

@Saint - yeah i might give him the benefit of the doubt and meet up with him first before i be too harsh on him. As i said he did come highly recommended by a number of people that used him. So fingers *crossed* + toes

@Splatted - i actually had to dble check his email and to be honest it wasnt very clear but at 1300+ sqft i would say its more likely to be 3 bdrooms but thanks for the tip, something to look out for. Terminology definitely alot different

@macaroonie & nakatago - thanks for the tips! Definitely will be looking at fine prints and much more careful. The thing is my lease is going to be a corporate lease so hopefully that would help minimise the run of the mill scams but either way will keep in mind what to watch out for


Another thing, when an agent says "... the TOP was in 2009, what does that mean? i assumed it referred to the date of release or somethign similar?

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Re: Condo facilities - worth it?

Post by Edmundfo » Thu, 06 May 2010 3:40 pm

The price difference between a condo with facilities and a private apartment without facilities is not big. As others have pointed out, an HDB of similar standard can easily reach a similar price as well (except there are not many HDBs in Novena). So I wouldn't say that you should avoid the facilities for the sake of money.

However, you do pay significantly more for living in Novena than in nearby Toa Payoh or Bishan. If you seriously are thinking about saving money, reconsidering location is the first thing you should do.

The real problem with facilities is as far as I have experienced that they make security guards necessary. The security can be a real pain in the ass when the management turns sufficiently paranoid/impractical. See http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic68845.html for my experiences with this. So I am moving to HDB now simply for the sake of avoiding the goddamn facilities.

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aster
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Post by aster » Thu, 06 May 2010 5:55 pm

I'd say go for a place with a nice pool, that's it.

As for a gym, there are plenty of places to go to where people run in one spot while gazing out the window like zombies. Best to run the real way and go outside...

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Post by Big Mac » Thu, 06 May 2010 6:09 pm

@Edmundfo - yeah i mean we are open to where we live, but Novena just seemed like a close spot and slightly far enough from the city that it doesnt command as high a premium as say your orchard road area. But looking at Bishan, it does seem much cheaper. Anyway i think the decision really can only be made once i am on the ground.

@aster - i think IF i was to look at facilities, a good lap pool, squash and tennis courts would be my priorities. I do enjoy the occassional morning swim.

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Post by Edmundfo » Thu, 06 May 2010 10:35 pm

Big Mac wrote: Anyway i think the decision really can only be made once i am on the ground.
swim.
Yes, it would be a very bad idea to rent a place before seeing it first. Even a pretty fancy condo may have rather substandard toilets and kitchen etc.

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Post by snowqueen » Fri, 07 May 2010 10:22 pm

Looking for a place to rent here is THE most frustrating thing on earth and you will most likely have to pay an agency fee, and don't forget the stamp duty fee as well. It feels like you are paying through your eyes, nose and ears in the beginning.



We did allot of research before we left the UK and had a number of condos in mind - we were looking quite central or on the west coast but now happily living on the East coast.

In answer to your original question, we think the facilities are totally worth it. We've used all our facilities here, the pool being the main one that gets used. I use the gym once or twice a week and we have used the tennis courts and BBQ pits in the past.

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Post by Big Mac » Tue, 11 May 2010 8:31 am

snowqueen wrote:Looking for a place to rent here is THE most frustrating thing on earth and you will most likely have to pay an agency fee, and don't forget the stamp duty fee as well. It feels like you are paying through your eyes, nose and ears in the beginning.
its certainly starting to feel this way!!Although to be fair i havent touched down on the ground yet so its a bit unfair to come to such a hasty conclusion! - although that date is drawing nearer and nearer :D [/b]

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Post by thefurz » Wed, 12 May 2010 2:16 am

Big Mac,
Novena (Velocity mall) has a California Fitness gym which is pretty good. The gym at our condo is pretty small so we use it for the odd run on a treadmill but go to CF for a proper "workout".
We have tennis courts and use them often although they aren't too busy. Swimming pool - surprisingly we don't use it as often as we thought.

Novena area - good transport links, easy access to supermarkets and shops and also Orchard Road if required.

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Post by Big Mac » Mon, 17 May 2010 5:01 pm

thefurz wrote:Big Mac,
We have tennis courts and use them often although they aren't too busy. Swimming pool - surprisingly we don't use it as often as we thought.

Novena area - good transport links, easy access to supermarkets and shops and also Orchard Road if required.
thanks thefurz, the answer im looking for :)... FINALLY in sg, went to have a look at the novena area and i have to say its quite convenient. Could be a top candidate atm!

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Post by Big Mac » Sat, 29 May 2010 11:17 pm

finally threw in the towel and rented a place.. kinda got sick of the whole apartment hunting!!!

Comes the next frustrating part of furniture shopping!!

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Post by UnexpectedAdventurer » Mon, 31 May 2010 5:25 pm

I second the frustrating experience comment. We used three agents, who didn't take us to any place that matched our criteria. Finally decided to rent a place we found on the internet ourselves. But... it wasn't actually available, so we had to move out of the hotel (the company only put us up for two weeks) into someone's spare room for a night, then into a Serviced Apartment for a month (whe we only need three weeks).

I have moved many times, interstate and overseas, and I have NEVER had such a frustrating experience.

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