15 June 2010

Choosing an Apartment...

As posted here.

I may stay on a landed property - but truthfully speaking, my company have built so many high-rise apartments and condominiums in the past 5 years that I have slowly became a pro when it comes to high-rise developments. In the past 5 years, we have completed various high-end developments such as The Residence at Taman Tun Dr Ismail, The Meritz at Jalan Ampang, Gateway Kiaramas and Kiara 1888 at Mont Kiara and are currently building other high-end developments such as the Northshore Gardens at Desa ParkCity, Verticas Residensi, Bukit Ceylon, Twins at Damansara Heights as well as the Setia Sky Residences in KL.

When it comes to choosing an apartment - there are many many different factors to choose from. Of course, price and location as well as the developer are important - but these are the fundamentals of choosing a property.

What I will introduced to you today is the hidden elements - the hidden factors when choosing an apartment.

The number of lifts available decides your daily experience.

The number of lifts/elevators.
Whatever you call it - whether you wanna call it a lift or an elevator - the number of elevators, or rather sufficient number of elevators have to be one of the key criteria. There's no point in choosing a cheap apartment and end up having to suffer for as long as you live there. There are certain developments that I would say is a no-no - there are some low cost apartments in the Damansara area that has 600 units in one block - and just plainly 3 elevators. There are 30 units on a floor, on 20 floors. Do you think 3 lifts can serve the purpose?

To me - when choosing an apartment, I just need one lift. A private lift. A lift that goes right to your doorstep. Hijauan Kiara and One KLCC has this privilege. I would love to own a unit there. =)

Hijauan Kiara - the private lift that only serves your side of the block.

The water pressure.
This one is more for existing condominiums. I studied physics - and it is obvious that the lower your unit from the water tank, the better the pressure (Head) - this is according to Bernoulli's Principle. If you are buying an existing condominium, make sure you check the water pressure.

With low water pressure, it is practically impossible to shower.

I shower quite a number of times daily - and it would annoy me if the water pressure from my shower head is too low. For new developments, make sure you ask the salesperson if they are installing water pumps for your floor. If they are, then it is not too bad. Otherwise, having a unit at the top floor may give you the best views - but also the worst water pressure.

Location of your unit.
Staying right next to the elevators has its benefits as well as downsides. Of course - convenience is a key factor, and it would be good to stay right next to the lifts. Lesser walking, lesser hassle. Less sweat. However, my experience from my days in London will tell you that staying too close to the lifts also mean unwanted disturbances and disruptions all day long. Imagine hearing the 'ting' sound over and over again every 10 minutes. It will annoy anyone.

The X indicates units that would be discouraged, and the yellow ticks indicates the okay units. Staying right next to the elevator also mean that you can sometimes hear the elevator passing through because you are sharing the same wall.

Another reason for choosing the location of your unit on the floorplan is also to make sure that you get a unit that can open up into the outside world i.e. you can see the skies when you open your windows - rather than facing a void area. Some say it may be bad fengshui - but to me, I think its purely having natural lighting. A bright house leads to a healthier life.

Location of the building.
There are three main criteria to remember and take note!!! I would be very particular if my property is next to an empty land. Or rather, my window opens up to an empty land. Unless you plan that unit as an investment property - very likely something or another high-rise will spring up right in front of you. I have seen how bad it is for some apartment owners - of which they start off having a nice place. And then soon after, they are facing the Phase 2 of the development - which is yet another high-rise. Whatever views you had - would all be history.

A mosque calls out 5 times a day - do you want that daily right next to you?

If the building is next to, or very close to a mosque, temple, kuil or church - then I guess the value of the property would drop too. Do bear in mind that in Malaysia, the mosques would call out to the Muslims five times a day during the prayers; and then on Fridays, cars would be triple and quadruple parked during the Friday prayers. A Chinese temple would mean plenty of joss sticks and burning of incense and the worship papers - open burning = carbon monoxide. Also unhealthy. Churches are also the same - every Sunday, the roads would be packed up with cars doing the same thing as what the Muslims do on Fridays.

In the event the apartment/condominium is right next to a school, or very close to a school, you have to make that important decision. Your kid could go to school easily when its so close - but think of the negative repercussions occurring from it - noise, noise, and more noise. Every morning, you get the morning bell, and then you have your school buses horning and horning picking up the school kids, and then the parents would also jam up the road.

Jams at the morning peak hours, afternoon, and evening peak hours because of schools.

I think it is very important to consider the above factors before making your decision to invest in an apartment. Make the wrong decision and you might regret it for life. =D


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