A lot of people these days look to condominiums for their urban dwelling needs. Apart from all its amenities, a lot of people are drawn to them because of their prime location – most of which are situated at the center of the city, and their many modern amenities. PropertyReviews.my (hands down my favourite Malaysia property reviews site) actually helped me locate my current place after I typed “condominiums near pubs and libraries in the KLCC area” on its search bar. Bottomline is– location is of extreme importance.
However, just like any investment, you cannot simply look into how pretty the condo’s well-kept landscaping looks like or how tall the building is or how conveniently close it is to your favorite restaurant or to your work. More than that, you have to make sure that the living conditions here are worth all the expenses you are to take – yes, they are mostly more expensive.
So if you’re a first time buyer and you’re not too sure about what to look for in a condo, please be my guest and read on.
Kara says…look both on the outside and the inside.
A lot of people make the mistake of settling for less-than-satisfactory condominiums only because they are drawn to what they see inside the units. It may have big rooms and large hallways and a carpeted elevator – but does the building look well-kept to you? Can you stand living in a 40-floor building or are you more low-key?
Kara says… check the neighbourhood and safety.
Are you a yuppie looking for a livelier crowd? Are you married and you have kids and you want to live in a child-friendly environment? Or maybe the security of your area does not go well beyond 500 meters of the building, that you do not feel safe when you are out of your building security’s sight? I go pretty anal over safety– I actually Google these things.
Check this very helpful apartment safety checklist, provided to us by our friends over at the National Crime Prevention Council. Haha.
Check the amenities.
Every condo has its own story, and thus each one has its own set of amenities – pools, bars, gyms, party rooms, etc. In a city that never sleeps like KL, it’s almost impossible to run out of activities, whether it’s during the day, and most especially at night. Getting a unit means you are paying for these amenities whether you like and use them or you don’t. So at least check to see if you’d like what you’re going to pay for.
In my case, I checked fervently by calling my favourite property agent Alyssa Lee (from Harta Emas Realtors), and by doing so, I was able to get good results. #winning
Fees. It’s all about the mullah
On top of your monthly mortgage fees for getting your condo unit, you’ll have to pay for association fees. You are paying this simply because you are part of the people who own the building. Compare the fees because they may end up more than what you can afford or are willing to pay.
Rules and regulations.
Some condos (not those inside the posh Mont Kiara enclave) allow you the freedom to repaint and do some alteration jobs in your unit. Others don’t allow even so much as change your light bulbs without their permission or outside of their prescribed items. Check to see if the building and association’s rules on occupancy suit well with your own preferences or not.
Just as with every other real estate transaction, you should make your choices well. You can’t just drop your money and sign a 30-year mortgage contract over something you are unsure of. Seek the help of a real estate agent to get a better look at the choices you have. Good luck.
Misbehavin’ Librarian would welcome guest posts and submissions soon! Email me at KaraAWithrow@misbehavinlibrarian.com if you want your 15 minutes of fame. Til next time!