Property

6 Factors to Consider when Hunting for Your Next Dream Home

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Lynnette Goh

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After getting your first BTO and tenaciously scrimping, saving and working hard for the next 5 years, you‘re now financially stable enough for your next home upgrade.

Larger HDB flats, condo units, landed property – options in the market are vast when you’re thinking of upgrading to a bigger property. So what’re some factors you should be looking for in resale properties besides the usual psf value and en-bloc potential? Here’re some factors to look out for in your next dream home:

 

1. Facing

Singapore faces sunny weather almost year round, so unless you enjoy coming back to a free sauna, you’d want to consider units that are naturally cooler.

These units would be largely facing East, North-East or South-East where the sun rises, as the sun tends to be hotter in the afternoon. In addition, concrete walls also tend to trap heat – and that heat would be slowly released as the day draws on. Considering most of us mere mortals usually head to work in the morning, a home facing East would not only trap less heat, but cool down substantially by the time we get home.

Of course, you don’t have to be anal and make sure it zhun-zhun face East la, some variant such as North-East or South-East will also suffice as the direction of the sun varies from its true East during different times of the year.

Property agents (the shady ones at least) would sometimes try to overcome this issue in West-facing properties by scheduling appointments earlier in the morning or later at night, or turning up the air-conditioning. So if you’d intend to save on the air-conditioner bill without compromising on comfort, arrange to view properties on sunny afternoons.

 

2. Wind

There’s more to buying a unit on a higher floor than just a great view. Making sure the view is open and unobstructed also ensures wind flowing through your home. This means if you’re thinking of picking that condo unit with the picturesque view of the swimming pool or clubhouse (and nothing else) be prepared to have little to no wind.

And for your utility bills to shoot up the sky because of how warm it’ll get.

For the best unrestricted views, consider high-rise apartments that are built next to landed homes. Chances of the landed owners giving up their plots of land for redevelopment and “blocking your wind” are slim.

 

3. Furnishing

If you’re buying a resale, interior furnishings matter as it affects how much you might potentially have to fork out for renovation in the future. But on the bright side, a large part of those costs is dependent on your own expectations of how you would like your home to look like.

While there are units that are so well-furnished that some of us would just move in and stay, most of the time these furnishings may be too old, or they do not meet our expectations. We’ll either end up spending a little to give a few things here and there a “facelift”, or just hacking the whole interior altogether and start anew.

The good news is you can always wait till you find a home that suits your tastes, or you can just lower your expectations. Always remember to give a thorough check to the furnishings for any cracks, broken tiles, peeling wood, etc. if you’re not planning to renovate.

 

4. Convenience

Besides the OBVIOUS “near MRT/ good schools/supermarket etc.”, you should look out for nearby places that speaks more to YOU.

Do you and your partner have a habit of sneaking out for a movie date while the kids are sleeping? Look out for places near malls with a movie cineplex.

Are your kids into sports? Make sure the condominium you’re moving into has all the sport amenities you’d like to have. Or, if you’re hunting for a landed property or HDB flat, that there’s a sports complex nearby.

Do you have a dog that requires monthly grooming? Pick a neighbourhood that has a vet and/or a groomer you can walk to in case of emergencies.

 

5. Peacefulness of environment

I tell you, that great view of the communal pool might seem really nice to look at now la. Come morning when you hear kids screaming about crying ar, you’d start hating yourself for your bad decision. They play catching here catching there, scream scream scream. Then cry because they kena caught. Then there’s the 20-something year old always coming home at the wee hours with his ultra zhng-ed out car, vroooming away.

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Ain’t got no satisfaction

If you’re choosing to stay near the carpark or the main road for the “convenience”, please make sure your property isn’t right next to it. Unless you’re a deep sleeper, you’d want to check out the distance of the property to the nearest road or carpark. And why stop there? Measure the distance from your place to the town centre, playground and swimming pool.

Live TOO close to any of these amenities and you and your family will seriously have no peace. And we all know how that can affect a child’s concentration in their studies.

 

6. Geographical location

Regardless of whether you drive, you’d want to consider the geographical proximity to family members you’ll visit often. In case we need to spell it out, we mean your elderly parents or married children. In a perfect world, the ideal location would be somewhere that has easy access to an MRT and expressway slip roads.

Because when it comes down to convenience, a place near an MRT would be more accessible than a centralised location where you’d have to wait to get on a bus. In this way, you got car no car, go north south east west also fast. Wanna visit ahma also can, visit your daughter also can, go town also can.

 

Of course besides the above factors we have our home loans to consider also lah. But that’s a topic for another day. Meanwhile, if you need help with your home loans, feel free to check out our home loan comparison tool on the best home loans, and give our mortgage specialists a call.

 

Do you have any tips on home-buying you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

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Lynnette Goh

Spoilt kid turned free-spirit, I’ve struggled finding and funding myself taking a road less travelled. These days, I enjoy writing lifestyle topics that bring value to life and its future, injecting humour to otherwise boring topics. Who said personal finance can’t be fun? In my free time, you can find me chasing American dramas, and having the occasional glass of wine over conversations with friends.