what to look for in a condo

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hhnc
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what to look for in a condo

Post by hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:24 am

In reading various posts, I've compiled a list of things to consider when looking for a place to live and thought I'd post it here to help others....feel free to add.

1. Choose north/south facing instead of east/west since the morning sun will wake you up and afternoon sun will make place too hot = higher a/c costs
2. Higher floors>6, less mold, tree pollen, pest issues and you'll enjoy nice breeze when you open windows
3. Check surrounding buildings..if older, be ready for pending construction
4. Don't overlook basketball court - too noisy
5. If master bedroom overlooks freeway, be prepared for lots of noise when windows open
6. If you want quiet, don't overlook pool area or areas where Expats tend to drink and bbq
7. View the property 2-3 times - daytime, evening, weekend to get a feel for who'll be living there
8. Pay attention to noises on floor above and che k out hallways of floor above and below to get a feel for occupants
9. Sometimes, balconies and bay windows are included in sq footage calculation
10. To save money, live close to wet market and MRT
11. Ceiling fans help in controlling a/c costs
12. Be aware that hot water may not be available in kitchen

Hope this helps

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:17 am

You HAVE been doing some research of the threads! That's refreshing! Welcome aboard! Hopefully somebody will get to your other post soon. I've owned an HDB flat for the past 13 years so am out of touch with the rental market.

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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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aster
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Post by aster » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:52 am

1 & 2 seem like the main ones, I've never had a problem with mold but apparently living above the "tree line" is a big plus. Not sure if it's just morning sun that's the problem, I know a building where people seem to have cardboarded their windows/balcony area due to the late-afternoon sun.

I'm wondering too which direction you'd ideally like to have most of your windows face... probably north?

10 & 11 are obviously big ones too. MRT-access is always going to be important though personally I've changed my mind and prefer buses nowadays. And of course fans not only save you money on electricity costs but are much more healthy too.

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:14 pm

I don't have ceiling fans, but plenty of room fans. I can easily sleep now with just a fan and not the A/C.

The South/West view thing is pretty key. I live near a lot of new tall condos (well, so does 90% of Singapore heh) and I always look up to see floor-to-ceiling windows with "sea view" completely covered and closed by heavy white drapes. Why pay the extra for the view if you're just going to keep it closed? I'd imagine a lot of those buyers didn't consider that before moving in.

I wouldn't worry nearly as much about the morning sun, unless you're a very late sleeper. Singapore (being near the equator) has very stable sunrise/sunset times. Sunrise is slightly after 7am nearly year-round. It's not like a lot of places where half the year you might have the sun smacking you in the face at 5:15am.

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Post by hapa-girl » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 2:14 pm

I just wanted to add that I wish I had looked for aircon in the kitchen. condos with aircon as standard exist in newer developments and even in the older ones, some individual units have them. My downstairs neighbour has one.

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Post by hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 3:01 pm

Since I love a bright place, I'd started off wanting south facing windows ...so glad I came upon that thread!

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 3:58 pm

hhnc wrote:Since I love a bright place, I'd started off wanting south facing windows ...so glad I came upon that thread!
Keep in mind the sun is almost directly overhead. I'm on a high floor directly facing the water, south. At noon in the northern hemisphere winter, when I should have the most possible sun-light, I'll have just a few inches coming in. Now if you just want ambient light, you'll have that in any direction...

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Post by aster » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 9:31 am

zzm9980 wrote:The South/West view thing is pretty key. I live near a lot of new tall condos (well, so does 90% of Singapore heh) and I always look up to see floor-to-ceiling windows with "sea view" completely covered and closed by heavy white drapes.
To keep the sun out I was thinking more of north-facing windows.

My apartment has windows on 3 sides (not that it's big, it's just a corner unit - end of corridor) and the morning sun on the east side isn't a problem. South side is also ok as the sun is high up during the day. But the west-facing windows with the sun coming down can really heat up your apartment on a clear day.

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Post by Saint » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 10:50 am

You've missed off one of the most important points when choosing a condo, the Agent and Landlord!

You might find the perfect Condo but if you feel uneasy with the Agent or Landlord or both it could end up being a nightmare. I have previously found great apartments but have walked away because of the Agent/ Landlords.

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Post by Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:09 pm

Here is a few more to add to your list:
- Look around the condo area to see if there is any potential "up & coming" condo under constructions.
- If you are a light sleep, you might want to stay higher than 6 floors if there are big trees around the condo. I'm staying in an older estate and the birds wake me up everyday at 6am (including weekends).
- Dishwasher is extremely rare in Singapore. Even options to buy one is very limited.
- Everything is negotiable, whether it is rental rates or furnishing.

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:42 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:Here is a few more to add to your list:

- If you are a light sleep, you might want to stay higher than 6 floors if there are big trees around the condo. I'm staying in an older estate and the birds wake me up everyday at 6am (including weekends).
I can assure you the birds are audible from at least the 13th story also :)

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Post by hhnc » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 1:43 pm

Ya, from what I gather on this forum, if you're not careful, you can end up with a really bad agent but wasn't aware that you have to be careful of landlords too!

What should I be on the look out for in terms of agents or landlords?

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Post by stueyhall » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 2:07 pm

I would add to avoid an 'open kitchen'. Despite my condo being just a couple of years old, the kitchen has a door to close it off internally to the house and then opens up outside via the A/C landing. Result - sauna like kitchen conditions as you cant cool the place down with any aircon...

When choosing our place we thought it wouldnt be much of a problem, other then perhaps neighbours cooking smell coming in or the odd insect that might come in, but in reality we dont get any of those. Just an unpleasantly hot kitchen in an otherwise perfect apartment...

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Post by nakatago » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 2:51 pm

hhnc wrote:Ya, from what I gather on this forum, if you're not careful, you can end up with a really bad agent but wasn't aware that you have to be careful of landlords too!

What should I be on the look out for in terms of agents or landlords?
Agents--bait and switch ads.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 21 Mar 2012 3:45 pm

hhnc wrote:Ya, from what I gather on this forum, if you're not careful, you can end up with a really bad agent but wasn't aware that you have to be careful of landlords too!

What should I be on the look out for in terms of agents or landlords?
Look up the word "kiasu". You will find it applicable not only to the LLs. Agents are more easy to control if you know what you are doing and are not compromising on your common sense. LLs are those who you marry for 1y or more and have a peaceful time or struggles & troubles.

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