10 things to consider when buying a condo

10 things

The following factors should be considered when planning to buy a condo:

MAINTENANCE FEES

Owners pay the yearly prescribed monthly maintenance fee to cover the expenses incurred in maintaining  the condo. The average rate for maintenance fees in the urban to semi-urban area ranges from RM0.28 to RM0.35 per square feet.

Depending on the condo’s build-up area, facilities available and unit density, maintenance fees can come up to a substantial amount on a yearly basis. If you do your math, a condo of 956 sq. ft with maintenance fee of RM0.33 per square feet can come up to RM316 per month (RM3,786 per year!). The maintenance fees for condos with low density (small number of units) will tend to be higher.

There is always a high possibility of an increase in the maintenance fee in the near future. If you decide to rent out your condo, the practice is, you as the owner will have to pay for the maintenance fees.

Some owners may not regularly pay the monthly maintenance fees. This will affect the upkeep of the condo and it’s facilities. Poor condo upkeep will affect the property value and make it harder for the condo to rent out.

NUMBER OF PARKING BAYS

Parking bays are always limited when it comes to condo stay. Normally, the number of parking bays allotted would depend on the number of rooms a condo has.

Always look for a condo that has at least 2 parking bays (covered bays preferred) as a typical family will have a minimum of 2 cars or more. If your family has multiple cars, you may have to buy extra parking bays which can come up to RM30,000 to RM40,000 per parking bay (provided they are available).

In case there is only 1 parking bay allotted, check whether there is available parking space around the condo area. It would be difficult to rent out a 2 or 3 room condo if there is only 1 parking bay allotted especially when there is no parking space available outside the condo.

LEVEL OF SECURITY

Besides ensuring the environment within the vicinity of the condo is safe (known to be a good neighborhood with no undesirable people, robbery or snatch cases), the condo itself must have a good security system. There should be at least 3-tier security system i.e. there must be some control over the access to the lift lobby, the lift itself (access card only allows the holder to access a specific floor) and the entrance to the condo.

For already built condos, try to find out the CCTV locations and the patrol schedules plus areas covered. Preferably, there should be a good and strictly enforced security system to handle visitors to your unit and people going in and out of the condo entrance.

GOOD FACILITIES

Condos with stand out facilities such as large sized swimming pool, large gym and thematic gardens will be a plus for residents in terms of comfort living and the ability to rent out the property.

CONDO UNIT DENSITY

Condos with a lot of units can lead to waiting for lifts and traffic congestion especially during peak hours in the morning. For a project with many blocks of condos, it is advisable to look at the planned traffic flow as the traffic lights around the property may not be able to handle the heavy traffic flow during peak periods.

NUMBER OF BEDROOMS

If you are an investor, you would probably want to look for a 2-bedroom (lower investment outlay and lower maintenance fees due to the smaller size unit) instead of a 3-bedroom condo as it is easier to rent out a 2-bedroom condo because of the lower rental rate and a lot of tenants only required a 2-bedroom condo.

AMENITIES

Look for a condo which is situated in a place with good amenities such as varieties of eating outlets, shopping malls, schools, banks, post office, public transportation etc. Condos with lots of nearby amenities are well sought after by people looking for a place to stay.

ACCESSIBILITY

The place you want to stay should have an alternative enter and exit points. This will come handy as you can take other routes in case your regular route is jammed up (due to accidents etc.). It is a plus point if the location allows you to quickly access different highways

PROPERTY CAPITAL APPRECIATION POTENTIAL

DEVELOPER’S BACKGROUND

It is always preferable to go for an established developer with a strong track record of delivering completed projects within the time frame and with quality finishing to boot.

Conclusion

While the above list is not comprehensive, it should be sufficient to help you to make a decision when buying your dream condo.

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