Updated: Jul 16
Enter any of the new launch project showflat, visitors can be easily wowed and distracted by the lavish interior design, warm and welcoming ambient lightings, designer furniture décor coupled with scented smells inside these showrooms.
New launch buyers more often will need to be able to visualise the spaces and layout of the unit, the views from the rooms/balconies and how the property would eventually turn out to be upon the collection of keys.
There is usually a high level of excitement for a first time buyer stepping foot into a showflat for the very first time. As you can’t see the actual finish product yet, it can be a frightening experience for any first time buyer if they are unprepared.
If this is your first time checking out a new launch project, here are some of my personal tips to look out for.
#1 Understand the actual orientation of the site
A new launch showflat is usually constructed right next to the actual development site or sometimes nearby it. It is extremely important to know and understand the actual orientation of the project, the surroundings and to take note of the nearby amenities around it.
Paying close attention to the mock up model, location map and site plan will help you understand more about the orientation of the project you are visiting.
An example of a Site Plan of JadeScape @ Bishan
It is also encouraged that you walk the actual ground yourself to experience and determine the time taken to access the nearby amenities, MRT stations, bus stops and schools. Sometimes, these walks can take a longer time than expected due to factors such as uphill slopes, traffic road crossings and unsheltered walkways etc.
It is also important to consider the distance between each blocks of the new launch project to the nearest entrance/exit and side gates.
#2 Identify the facing of premium units
A new project typically consist of different blocks of different floor levels and facings.
For a typical mid to large size project, developers often build the larger size units (such as 5 or 4 bedrooms units) within the most premium facings. These views are usually overlooking unblocked lush greenery or beautiful skyline, landed property enclaves, pool, or sometimes the sea.
Other premium units may include additional feature such as private lift access and they are generally priced higher comparing to units without it.
For example, the selected 4 and 5 bedroom premium units for the newly launched Amber Park at East Coast (District 15) enjoys superb breathtaking sea views with their very own private lift access.
#3 Avoid the west sun
Premium facing units normally enjoy north south directional facings, instead of west facings. Especially in tropical sunny Singapore, a west facing unit can get extremely warm during dry / humid weather and such units are usually avoided by the locals.
I had an European Tenant who once described to me her experience of returning home from work and opening up the door of a west facing unit during sunny days are like her stepping into a heated oven! And she would make sure she does not make the same mistake of choosing a west facing unit for her next rental apartment.
Look out for for the compass marking on the mock up model of showflat to determine the direction facing of each block, stack and unit of preference. Generally, you should avoid any facing towards the west for all rooms if possible.
It is also interesting to note that the sun sets more towards the North West direction during the middle of the year period. From end of year to start of year period, its sets more towards the South West direction.
#4 Should I go High or Low?
Higher floor units typically enjoy better views compared to lower floor units. Higher floor units are also priced higher than the other when they go each floor up. High floor units enjoy much better air ventilation, privacy and are less prone to insects.
Ground or lower floor units will be suitable for families with younger children and pets. They also tend to enjoy better views of the landscaping, gardens and other features.
Ground floor units usually comes with a good size patio area, suitable for families who enjoys their outdoor activities such as gardening, dining and playtime with their kids or pets.
Mid floor units however are recommended if you prefer a better view of the greenery or facilities such as pool area.
#5 Efficient layouts
A unit with an efficient layout has minimal wastage of space. Sizeable corridors and walkways lowers the total usable space, resulting in higher per square foot price for the unit.
While it is impossible for developers to build and achieve 100% efficiency for the use of space, buyers will therefore have to prioritise and decide which is the most ideal layout that suits them the most. You will have to visualise your movement around the house and preferred placement of furnitures.
Squarish layouts are usually preferred by most buyers as they allow easier placement of furniture and construction of any additional carpentry works.
Developers tend not to install any actual doors and walls in a new launch showflat. It is however mandatory for them to indicate the dimension of these walls and doors.
The location of these features are marked by tapes (usually taped on the ground) so it is extremely important to pay attention to such demarcations while you walk through the showroom.
#6 Potential noises
Very often, units facing MRT tracks or roads with higher vehicle traffic will experience a higher noise level. You may also experience noises from units facing common facilities such as kids’ pool, tennis courts, water features and vehicle driveways.
If you are a light sleeper or someone easily disturbed by such noises, it is recommended that you make considerations to select units away from such facings.
#7 Number of units on each floor
Residents usually enjoy more privacy and lesser waiting time for the elevators if there are fewer units on their floor level. You will also want to take note how many elevators are serving on each of the block.
Typically on a block consisting of smaller units such as studios, 1 or 2 bedrooms, the waiting time may take longer during peak hours due to higher density of residents staying within the same block.
#8 Materials and Fittings
Identifying the standard fittings and materials used allows you to make very useful comparisons between what different Developers have to offer for their projects.
For example, the different types of floorings such as marbles, ceramics, laminates, vinyl, hardwood all contributes to the value you are paying for the unit.
Other items to look out for will be the carpentry works, cabinet fittings and inclusion of false ceilings.
Very often, I have mentioned to my clients the additional spendings they have to fork out if there are additional carpentry works they have to do up in the unit if there are insufficient storage spaces.
Most times, Developers are throwing in complimentary branded appliances such as fridge, washer, dryer and dishwashers with the purchase.
Having some basic knowledge of major appliance brands also help you to determine which quality products are provided together with the purchase.
Other areas you could have miss out
Lastly, you may wish to take note of the locations where bin collection centre, substation, driveways/drop-off points and BBQ pit areas are build within to development. Bin collection centre and substation are usually located next to one another and are normally unsightly and prone to pests. BBQ pits are potentially noisy and smelly during gatherings so it is encouraged to avoid a unit being close to such locations.
There are usually lesser concerns for driveways/drop-off points as they are less noisy but it is recommended to check carefully how close these areas are located to your selected unit.
Early last year, I was marketing a low floor 4 bedroom unit for sale at Costa Del Sol. This unit enjoys beautiful lush greenery from the living and master bedroom. However, the major downside was the smell and noise coming from the BBQ pits located few meters below and the home owners will have to keep their windows shut for most of the days, especially during weekends and public holidays when BBQ pits are always booked.
Do feel free to drop me a message should you require any assistance or advice for your new property unit selection!
Thank you for reading this article!
Since 2009, I have actively been transacting private properties in the prime districts and East Coast while building my team of managers and associates.
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