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Condos – more facilities does not mean it is better

Posted in Buying Condos, Property, KL / Selangor, and Starting Property Investing

These days, we can see new condos in the KL market offering ever more facilities. Tell me, should we just buy that condo with the most facilities? After all, more facilities meant it’s going to be more valuable in future, right? Haha. Let’s listen to a close friend of mine who’s a regional sales manager. When I asked her why she bought just an apartment but not a condo. “Condo has more facilities you know,” I reminded her. She said she has no time to use the facilities at all as she is taking care of her mother and thus it would be a total waste of money paying for the maintenance. She does have her point but since I use the facilities on and off, I would definitely prefer a condo compared to an apartment. About 2 years ago, I got to know a sales manager of a property developer and she shared with me something which I have since learnt to be true. She told me that the more facilities that a condo has, the higher the maintenance fee needed. In fact, as soon as these start to break down, the cost to replace is likely to be huge. All these are not really controllable too.

Looking back at my condos, my sister’s condo, my Toastmater’s friend’s condo, those condos that I have viewed before and even my current condo, I realised that those with more than the usual tend to have more issues. For example, if there are squash courts and the roof leaks, it is unlikely for the management to replace the flooring because it is very expensive. Sometimes, they did not respond to the leak fast enough, making it worse. Even the tennis court after a few years meant puddles of water here and there and some wear and tear may mean more potential injuries. The swimming pool when not maintained properly may have algae and stuffs that keep you away from using. So, what happens when a new condo launch announce to the world that it has many more facilities than everyone else?

I think it may be good to check out the developer. Many times, facilities also break down faster simply because the developer started with inferior products in the first place. Do check out all the facilities. Swimming pool and gym would be cheaper and easier to maintain compared to a sauna or jacuzzi pool. Basketball court (cheaper to replace the hoop) or even tennis court (lesser wear and tear) is certainly easier to maintain than a badminton or a squash court. (both entail high flooring costs). If the badminton court has only cement flooring, get ready or lots of injuries. What about bowling alleys? WOW. What about cinema? AWESOME. What if the condo has EVERY SINGLE of the above? You can buy but please expect the potential that some of these facilities would soon not be available after a few years or earlier. Of course, these may not apply to those luxury condos, I hope.

Actually, one of my condos in Penang as well as my current condo in Damansara Damai, the maintenance has been godd thus far. Both are in their 10th year. However perhaps this is also because it is fully occupied and maintenance fees are all paid on time. Plus the JMCs are working instead of sleeping. I cannot say the same for all. A friend’s condo in Penang already have leaks, paint fading, lifts buttons are no longer complete and many other facilities have shown tremendous wear and tear, despite being completed just over 2 years ago. Many times, luck plays a part but most of the time, when things are too good to be true, they normally are. I would look at advertisements with ‘most number of facilities’ carefully. Perhaps just aim at majority of all that you would want and that’s it. Happy selecting.

written on 5 Sept 2015

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