Until today, I have never bought any ‘low density’ condo. My friend said, ‘low density’ means anything below 300 units. I do not agree and have even written an article about ‘Low Density, are you sure’. Anyway, does not matter, I shall assume my friend is right in terms of using the number of units to determine the ‘low density’ or the ‘high density’. I do not know how to rate Country Garden’s 9,000-unit condo in Iskandar though. 🙂 When I talk about condo, I meant condo projects with full facilities; swimming pool, tennis/squash court, walking path / jungle track, playgrounds, fish ponds, gyms etc. For those condo projects without any facility, I have no interest. Definitely not for own stay. Why high density condo is better for me?
Quantity of facilities. Typically, the swimming pool size is not just bigger but definitely twice or three times bigger than a so called, ‘low density’ condo. The argument is that low density means lesser units, thus there would be lesser residents using the facilities. Thus, a smaller swimming pool, a smaller gym, perhaps no tennis courts, a very small children’s playground would do, so few units, how many kids are there anyway right? WRONG! If you ask me, if my condo is truly low density, then I should pay a premium for it and I would expect an even better if not equivalent number of facilities compared to a much higher density condo! Why would I be contented with everything smaller or non-existent? Think rationally, low density means low quantities of facilities?
Usage of facilities. The understanding that more units means more usage of the facilities are not true at all. I was at my swimming pool today, total kids or adults in the huge swimming pool and the two jacuzzi pools and even the children’s pool? Less than 25, including my wife, my baby and myself. I repeat. Huge swimming pool, TWO jacuzzi pools and One Children’s pool which is twice the size of a my friend’s low density condo. Total units for my condo? 733. Ok, if all the residents come out and use the facilities at the same time, there would not be enough space but… you think if the all the residents in the low density comes out to use their small pool, there would be enough space for them? 🙂
Maintenance fee. Even with much more facilities, many more security guards and a much bigger compound / area to cover, typically I pay lower maintenance fees. I think this is much better than paying almost the same if not higher despite having smaller / non-existent typical facilities and staying inside a similar sized condo which definitely give the same kind of feeling of either spaciousness or the lack of it. Low density, fewer facilities, smaller space to cover, should the fees not be lower? Unfortunately, it is almost most of the time higher.
More opportunity. Just like the stock market, after a while if you are holding on to a stock which has very few transactions, it will not be easy to buy / sell. With a high density condominium, the number of transactions are definitely many times higher and this will in turn help to increase the prices too. Yes, for the first year I think the pressure is on the sellers but after that, the advantages of having a transaction every now and then with a price which is inching upwards is definitely much healthier! A ‘high density’ condo definitely has much more transactions.
My friend also told me that for high density condominiums, the people staying there are most of the time ‘poorer’. I agree somewhat because I think I am considered the poorer ones. Today, when I drove into the car park, even if many of the cars are only slightly more expensive than my Persona but I saw Mercedes E320, BMX X5, those huge TOYOTA MPVs and when I parked my car, right next to me was a BMW 5 Series, not so new, perhaps a 4-6 year old car.
Always remember, when you buy a condo, buy it because everything in it fulfills your requirement; location, facilities, reputable developer and more. However, when you are still paying just RM550 – RM600 psf and the developer tells you that the project is low density, just smile and understand that for such a low price psf, ‘low density’ simply means you should ‘lower’ your expectations of whatever you will ever have with a high density condominium. This is why for me, I would continue to buy high density condominium instead of ‘fake’ low density ones.
written on 13 April 2014
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