High-rise residential units have become the most popular residential choice over the last decade. Other than the lifestyle conveniences they provide, buyers are motivated into strata living because land scarcity and hefty price tags for landed properties have made it the most viable course towards homeownership. Likewise, developers have reciprocated by focusing their development efforts skyward.
While staying in a high-rise provides multiple benefits over a landed counterpart, especially for the younger “on-the-go” generation of homeseekers, it is also important to be aware of the pros and cons that come with it.
Condominiums with multiple facilities can be very enticing at first, but many buyers are often caught off-guard by the hidden costs associated with a state-of-the-art lifestyle.
Bills and payments
The various payments and bills that you commit yourself to when you purchase a high-rise unit may not be immediately obvious, but most will at least know that there is a maintenance fee to deal with.
For high-rise properties like condominiums, a monthly maintenance and sinking fund fee is used to pay for maintenance, repairs and upgrades. The average rate for maintenance cost in Kuala Lumpur ranges from around RM0.25psf to RM0.45psf. However this can fluctuate in accordance to the premium attached to your property and its location.
Maintenance fees also tend to be higher for older properties because of ageing facilities. There is also the possibility of an increment in fees as time goes by. Also, if you are renting your property out, it is still your duty as the landlord to pay for the maintenance bill.
The other fee most buyers overlook is the parking fee. If you own multiple cars, you might not be allocated enough lots for them. You can either choose to rent or buy additional car-parking spaces to complement the number of cars under your belt.
Many serviced residences are built on commercial land which equates to commercial billing of water and electricity bills. In short, you will be paying the traditionally more expensive commercial rates. It can add up to more than double of what you would pay for a residential unit. So if you like living on top of a shopping mall, ask yourself if it is worth the premium you are going to pay.
Mega lavish homes aside, landed residential units don’t usually come equipped with swimming pools, gyms, cafeterias and the lot. In general, the more facilities a property has, the more comfort and activity it provides for its residents. This comes at a price, but it could very well be worth it.
In making your choice about how much you are willing to pay for a high-rise unit, do not limit your selection to just the size of the unit and the number of bedrooms. Also take into consideration the various amenities and facilities the property allows you to have access to because it will make you a lot happier about the choice you are making.
There are multiple factors that affect how liveable a high-rise really is.
For example, a higher density condominium can get a little overcrowded. Your overall experience with lift waits, tiny car parks and traffic congestion may be an unpleasant one.
Ask yourself if the environment is quiet and peaceful. You might prefer higher units or units facing away from the swimming pool to avoid the noise. Also, is the environment safe? If you frequently hear of robbery and snatch theft cases within the vicinity, you might want to live elsewhere.
Take a good look at the overall community. Are your neighbours mostly students, families or foreign labourers? The community builds the ecosystem of a high-rise residential area.
You might want to make sure you have a strong community of like-minded individuals in your area to maintain good relationships and a healthy overall environment. Remember, you are sharing space.
For property investors, the rate of appreciation plays a major factor in the decision-making process. The capital appreciation of high-rise buildings is determined by its facilities, liveability, accessibility, whether it is freehold or leasehold, the impact of future development in the area, as well as, demand and supply.
The driving force behind the value appreciation of a high-rise must be correctly identified lest you run the risk of burning a massive hole in your pocket.
With all these factors put into consideration, you should be able to gauge and make the appropriate compromise to get yourself a good unit.
The differences between high-rise and landed properties may be stark, but it really boils down to the individual. So do weigh the pros and cons methodically before taking the plunge.
This article is courtesy of Loanstreet.com.my, an independent loan comparison and application website that also offers personal financing tips. Visit the website to learn more about your current financing options.