I could not believe it when a close friend sent me a photo of the lift panel of a condo project. At least half of the buttons were malfunctioning and the ‘G’ was also not working! She tried to stop at Level 1 but when she tried to go down via the staircase, the door was locked on the ground floor. She could not leave the condo! She walked back up to Level 1, took another lift. There were four lifts, two were out of service and the other one she took fortunately had a working ‘G’ button. Thus, she was able to leave the condo after she had visited a common friend on 13th floor.
If you think this must be an old condo building, it is not. From the key handover until today, it’s just 3 years. The condo which I was staying had no such issues though I have stayed there for 6 years. The condo which I am staying today has not such issues and my current condo is already 9 years old. This brings us to a very important point when we are considering a secondary high-rise unit. Maintenance should be the key consideration. This is way before location, the size, the facilities and whatever other considerations in your head.
So, yes use the lift as the most key considerations. Are they working? Are the buttons working? Are there stickers over some buttons? Is it dirty? Is it smelly? If it is dirty or smelly, try visiting again the next day. Most of the time, you would be able to decide there and then whether to still buy that condo. Reminder, if you do not feel uncomfortable do not hope that the future buyer would. Plus, a bad maintenance just within first few years is likely to get much worse before some very committed committees could make it better after a few more years later. Oh yeah, there are cases where the maintenance went from bad to better and then to excellent! I have been to my colleague’s apartment in Penang. It was already over 15 years and it’s not even a condo but the maintenance is considered excellent!
This is a serious reminder. You want to stay in a good place. Unless you intend to volunteer to be the next committee chairman and you have experience in condo management, it may be better to skip these condos which have ‘awesome’ maintenance when you visited it for the first time and the second time. Yes, I always advise to give the condo a second chance if you really like everything else except the lift. Happy buying.
written on 1 May 2015
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