My condo is LOW DENSITY – are you sure?

This is a very interesting topic. In fact, most recently two friends were debating about the condos that they were buying. A said, ‘It’s not worth paying so much for a HIGH DENSITY condo and the developer brand premium. Mine is almost same price but it is low density and I do not need to pay premium for the developer brand. That’s the best for me.’ My close friend, H said it is ok, as long as you like it, just buy it. We are not competing for the same unit anyway.

Let’s discuss on the topic of low density today. How do you define low density? Lesser units per floor? By lesser, do you mean 4 units? 6 units? 8 units? Of course, 10 units and above should be high density? How about the levels? Over 20 floors? 30 floors? 40 floors? Total number of units. Do you say 200 units? 300 units? 600 units?

If the developer tells you that their condo is LOW density but then they tell you that you are given just one car park or that some units have two and some units have one. As at beginning of 2013, every condo launching that I know of and costs minimum RM500,000 or more from most developers whether in Penang or Klang Valley already include TWO (2) car parks as standard. For those without, think deeper why.

If the developer tells you their condo is low density because they only have 250 units, ask them why they are building just ONE (1) block, why not build two blocks and make the place lower density? Then, at least per block, it is now only 125 units? If it is because there is no land space available for two blocks, do you now know why?

If the developer tells you their condo is low density but their facilities needs many floors, say 3 floors or even 2 floors and all around the condo, there is no space to build any of the other facilities, think carefully, why? FYI, some condos are so short of space that the car parks consists of first 6-8 floors before the ground floor of the condo starts. Think, why.

Many times, when you go to a so called ‘High Density’ condo, for example, Regency Heights, Penang (500 plus units), you would notice that the corridors are wide, airy and not at all dark. Reason being there’s space in between units for the sun light to come in. Normally this requires bigger land area compared to one long block of 8 units  The units in the middle will feel a little dark, void of natural wind and definitely do not feel spacious. Driving into the project, everyone says, wow, huge place. Lots of places for trees, plants, wooden seats here and there and more. For these high density projects, there would be much more facilities and yet the maintenance fee is lower or the same as a low density condo.

Hope you understand, if you want to buy a certain condo because you just like the location because it is near to your parent’s house or you must buy that location, then just say you love the location. You can even say you love the interior design or even the fact that the developer is your favourite for no special reason. However, think twice before you say, it’s low density because it may not be true. Low density versus high density, think carefully. Based on the price and advantages, I’d choose High Density anytime if the reasons for your low density is above.

Written on 8 April 2014

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