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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