Moving into your new home should be an exciting time for you and your family. A time for putting down roots, getting to know your new neighbourhood and neighbours, and having a safe, relaxing place to rest your head at night. For all that to happen, and it not to turn into a nightmare, you need to make sure you do your research first. Here are the things you should ALWAYS look for when viewing and considering your next home.
As the saying goes the three most important aspects about choosing a home are location, location and location. And there is a lot of truth in that. Most of the other things about your home, you will be able to change. Unless you hold an incredibly senior position in the SLA, you are not going to alter your neighbourhood.
There are several tricks to checking what the area is really like, as opposed to relying on the seller’s glossed over version. First of all, Google is your friend. As well as checking out local eateries, cinemas, shopping etc, it is always a good idea to do a few online searches for stories in the area. You don’t want to be living next to an accident hotspot, or one that is often in the news for disturbances. It is also good to check out if that lovely green area opposite your front window is likely to turn into a building site for the next 8 years.
Online is helpful, but nothing replaces actually walking around the area yourself. Go at different times of the day including rush hour and in the evening to get a real flavour. It will also give you a chance to test the “5 minute walk to the MRT” claims.
The House Itself
First of all, check the aspect of the house. If it faces east west you will have to deal with direct sunlight. Check in person and on the floor plans if there are any weird angles that will result in wasted space, turning your 800sqft into 760sqft.
Check that any fixtures and fittings that come with the house are all fine, and the water heater for example works. One feature of older buildings is the doors can become stiff or even unusable as they sag. Thoroughly check all doors, not just that they open, but also close.
Know the dimensions of your furniture, so that you can check if it will fit into your new home.
Scratch a Little Beneath the Surface
If a wall has been recently painted, look to see if the new coat has been applied to hide anything that will come back to bite you. Look to see if there are there any signs of loan sharks’ graffiti. It is always good to check the nearby walls and corridors for that too, as any loan shark activity can easily spill over. Sometimes paint can conceal cracks in the walls, which will quickly reopen once you have moved in.
With all of these, it is important to take your time, and don’t let anyone hurry you. If the agent or person selling is trying to rush you, there is probably a good reason. If they claim there is no time to do a proper search, arrange for another time when there will be time. Like marriage, buy in haste, repent at leisure.
Below are some of the latest new launch condos in Singapore