How to Decide the Best Condo Location (4-Steps)

Singapore is not a big city but deciding where to stay is not an easy question, especially when you need to find a common ground with your spouse. This is a simple 4-steps guide to help couples decide on their most ideal condo location


     Table of Content

  • Step 1: The Familiar Places
  • Step 2: Primary Schools
  • Step 3: Budget vis-à-vis MRT Distance
  • Step 4: Big or Small Projects


📌Step 1: The Familiar Places

  • Human beings like to live in places where we are comfortable or familiar with.
  • When searching for your dream home or ideal condo location, you will likely settle in these 3 comfort zones.
  • First, the area where you or your spouse grew up or are currently staying in.
  • Second, locations near your parents or in-laws because of proximity to family.
  • The third is the area near you or your spouse’s work places.
  • Shortlist 3-5 areas (towns) in these 3 familiar zones.

📌Step 2: Primary Schools

  • Do you need to consider your child’s primary 1 school registration matters?
  • Skip to Step 3 if this consideration is not relevant to you.
  • If YES, then you may need to find a property near your ideal primary school.
  • Ministry of Education’s (MOE) P1 registration process has 4 phases: 1A, 2A, 2B, 2C.
  • For parents without the required affiliations to qualify for phase 1A or 2A, you will need to buy a property within 1-2 km from the school. This will increase your enrolment chances in phase 2B or 2C when these phases are over-subscribed.
  • Read my article ”3 Tips for Parents looking to Buy Property Near Popular School” for details.
  • To qualify for phase 2B, you will need to join the school’s parents volunteer scheme.
  • Every school will have different selection criteria for their parents’ volunteer program but many schools will give preferences to family who live near the school
  • You can use MOE’s SchoolFinder to find out which properties falls within the 1-2 km of your school

   📌Step 3: Budget vis-à-vis MRT Distance

  • Besides school, distance-from-MRT stations is another popular method to decide the location of your next property.
  • In my opinion, the 1km radius is the maximum threshold for anyone to be able to walk comfortably to a MRT station
  • Condos within 300m from MRT will be considered very convenient.
  • Based on your budget, you can search on Propertyguru portal and shortlist at least 20 listings within the few zones you have identified in step 1.
  • You can then start viewing these properties and narrow your search to “1 priority zone” or “5 condo projects” that match your needs 
  • Some people may prefer to live nearer parks or sea, which may not be near to any MRT stations
  • This is because the conveniences of online ordering and private car hires have made “near MRT” a less important factor when choosing our next property.
  • Electrical cars and even driverless cars will perpetuate this trend as the government pushes to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
  • Work-from-Home trend have also reduced the needs for commuting
  • Given time, living near green spaces or nature may become more attractive than living near MRT stations

📌Step 4: Big or Small Projects

  • If you still have trouble deciding on the the best condo location from your shortlist, you can use the “number of units” in that project as a comparison factor to help you
  • Projects with more than 1,000 units are considered big developments and are favoured by buyers who like condos with full facilities.
  • Boutique apartments with less than 100 units attracts buyers who like serenity.
  • It will be easier to get an updated market valuation report in bigger projects when you are ready to sell your property
  • You may also see better capital appreciation because big projects will have more transaction records
  • Boutique apartments with less than 100 units may sometime see no sales in the past 1 year
  • The banks may have to base their valuations on older transactions that are sold at lower prices.
  • Having more transactions will also reduce the negative “average effect” when a distressed owner sells his unit at fire-sale prices.

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Dennis Lim

Dennis has more than a decade of experience investing in real estate. Like many fellow Singaporeans, he grew up in a HDB flat with dreams to live in a condominium. Through careful financial planning & hardwork, this became a reality when he was 30. He now owns 3 private properties in Singapore and has helped hundreds of Singaporeans to achieve their goal of upgrading their homes in land-scarce Singapore.

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