So we have checklists for buying a new car, and why not one for a new home?
I've consolidated what I have previously written here, so everyone can benefit and also contribute and some of the info comes from other bros.
Before we even go into the list, there are some basic things to do:
- make sure everyone in the family agrees to this purchase, and whether it's for investment or as a home
- check your financials well and get a large enough budget to buy and for renovations or other costs
- do your homework! Check the online property forums, buy and sell places and see what your money can buy and which regions suit your needs best
So, now onto the buying process
Is it going to be landed, a flat or a condo?
Some of the general principles which apply to all three types:
Is the home paid for or is the seller still in debt and not bankrupt
How many owners are there, and any divorce in process. Who is the legal owner or executer of the property if the owner is deceased?
Is it tenanted and when does the lease run out
Can you break the lease
How old is the place. As a general rule, most places under 10 years can do without major renovations and you can use the piping, aircons and wiring. Most places above 20 years old will need more extension renovations
- freehold, 999 years or Leasehold (how many years left)
- is it within 1km to a primary school and how many places are there
- sun direction - North South is the ideal
- developer matters too - some are cheap and use poor quality materials
- neighbours - good ones to whom you can entrust your keys, psycho ones, and nosy ones
- visit the location at different times - if you go over a weekend it's usually quiet and the traffic is light, so see at at peak hours and see if there's any choke points and if the streets around it become very noisy or is there a school or some place that attracts a lot of noise
- amenities eg market, food places, 24 grocery, petrol station, postbox
- near work
- near a clinic or GP
- MRT, bus or good roads etc to work, school etc
- wind : how well ventilated it the place
- how high is the place
- the interior of the place, can you salvage the parquet floor for example
- TV reception
- is there a fibre / home line (will cost $288 to run a new fibre line for example)
- where is the mains and the PUB meter located
- do you have the plans for the electricals
Items specific to an apartment:
- the shape of the unit, any odd unusable corners, how square is it
- how many units are there? Is it going to be too crowded over the weekends to swim?
- what are the amenities? Sometimes too many water features, landscaping or pools will mean higher costs to maintain
- pools: regular shape? Good for swimming laps or merely for wading? Any lifeguards?
- maintenance fees
- sinking funds - more units will mean more people to share costs. Small developments will need larger contributions to fix items like lifts, repainting costs etc
- number of lifts, is it private
- ratio of parking lots to units and the number of visitor lots
- number of entry and exits, side gates
- how much power is there? As a rule, you need a minimum of 45A and up
- any provision shops?
- who runs the place? which security company do they employ?
- get a copy of the house rules - eg no moving in hours and are there a lot of AirBnB listings?
Items specific to houses:
- plot ratio and GFA
- zoning and potential developments of the area
- who was the designer or builder and are they still around
- cul de sac
- land size, is it square or narrow, can you expand the built up area? (remember to account for set back if you do more than A&A)
- soil analysis - is it reclaimed land
- fengshui : water, wind and mountains etc
- at a junction
- noise level in the neighbourhood
- any new developments - renovations or reconstruction can continue for years around the place
- is there going to be enbloc or a new road running through the area
- if the homes near you are going to be replaced by flats, the roads can be much busier
- flooding / ponding
- any religious building around you or a popular eatery that attracts a lot of visitors eg illegal parking during peak periods and noise levels
- any piped in gas... so you don't need to use gas tanks
- any retaining wall, and is it near a 24 hour gas station - noise and fumes
- is the place close to electrical plant or substation
- how much power is there? Single Phase or Triple Phase
(most modern terrace houses will have a triple phase 63A main DB, which can support the needs of most homes, even those with a swimming pool)
Don’t forget to check for termites and mossies.
How windy and well ventilated the place is.
How wide is your lane and even the type of roof and tiles used.
Bring a builder along to give you an idea of renovation costs..
But before you even look around, do the financials first. Make sure you have a loan approved in principle and also enough cash for the renovations with a 20 percent buffer.
Then bring the check book for every viewing.
A basic renovation for a landed place can go from 2-300k, and for a A&A you might be looking at twice that. Adding a new roof 50k, and a new floor around 150k.
A tear down? It can be 600k and up and these costs don't include furniture or fittings.
Time is the other factor you have to budget in. Add 20% to any schedule, especially if you are doing it around Chinese New Year or Christmas.
Be detailed in your planning, for example:
If you are doing a rebuild, make sure you work with your builder and neighbours. A small road - like the Countryside one, yes that 'wide' road, may not be able to take a full truck or a cement mixer coming in. And with such a long road, you need to coordinate with the entire road of owners, so they clear the road such that the truck can come in. Trust me, it's not a given nor an easy task. If a car gets scratched... be prepared for an ugly scene.
So also check that your contractor is registered and has insurance. One of your neighbours might own a limited Maclaren that your builder just happens to nick whilst transporting your tiles into your plot...
Are there any other persons building in the same area, maybe you two can work together and save cost on building materials or if the other person started first, they can share some of their experiences
Is there space for your builders to park?
Is there good road outs of your estate or are you reliant on a single exit which can get very clogged up during peak hours?
Here's a BCA owner's checklist guide
Finally, I would like to start that I'm not an agent. I'm just trying to share since others have helped me before and I'm giving a little back so everyone can benefit.
But YOU and you alone need to get that info you need. No one will spoon feed you and there's no charity. You find those good deals, with the aid of a good agent.
Look at as many areas as you can, and take your time. But timing is everything and sometimes, that dream home just pops up and you have to be ready.
You snooze and you lose...
Edited by therock, 01 May 2019 - 02:10 AM.