Although the past year has been full of uncertainty with regards to our finances – think job cuts, business closures, low interest rates – the demand for housing, especially in metropolitan areas has remained bullish as demand outstrips supply. Due to land scarcity in pretty much every developed urban area, the focus in many of these places where possible, is to build upwards. Apartment blocks and condominiums in and around city centres are becoming more and more prevalent and this is very evident especially in almost every Asian metropolis.
If you are one of the many people looking to purchase a unit in an apartment block or condo to live in, there are a few things you need to take in consideration (see below).
Figure out your budget and work form there. There is no point in searching for apartments if you don’t know how much you are willing to/can afford to spend. With apartment blocks, especially those newly built, it is easy to compare prices between units, as the floor area is the common denominator.
Since you won’t be able to expand your unit size, are you ok with this unit size for the foreseeable future? Are you planning on having kids and therefore possibly require more bedrooms, or even a garden? These are important considerations before purchasing a unit.
Most condos at the mid-level and above price range will have a range of amenities to make it a more holistic environment. Pools, gyms, recreation rooms, convenience stores etc are all common place such housing developments, with the purpose of giving the dwellers most of what they need within walking distance.
Think about what amenities are essential for you and how often you would use them. Are these deal breakers when looking for units, or are you looking for somewhere cheaper that do not necessarily have to have these?
Is there 24/7 security? Is it physically manned or is it a digital visitor management system? For larger and more upmarket developments, there will usually be a reception desk which is manned all the time. Does this make you feel safer or are you ok being able to walk into a building without a physical greeting. Remember, such features will add to the cost of living. Condo or apartment dues will include charges for maintenance and security, so hiring multiple people full time could add a significant amount to your monthly or yearly dues.
The overall quality
Higher-end developments will most likely be built by more experienced and high-quality developers, so you can usually expect better build quality and finishing. A block with 1,000 small, more budget units, will often have more issues than a block with 200 high end units, purely because of the number of people living there. It is common to see the low-end builds showing more wear within 5-10 years compared to high end developments, especially if the standard of maintenance is not upheld.