Learnings after over 10 different condo viewings

I recently enjoyed a late drinking session with a close friend. Sorry, the drinking here refers to just Chatime. Haha. She has recently moved to KL and is now attached to a public listed property developer. As she would be helping her new employer launch a luxury high-rise project, she had to understand all her competitions. Within the past few weekends, she has visited over 10 different luxury projects. From all these visits, she shared the following which I think is extremely important for all buyers who are not as rich as the super-wealthy yet.

Value is NOT the price per sq ft. She told me about her top two projects. It is not the highest priced ones. For example, the furnishings. We must not assume that the higher the price per sq ft, the furnishings would be something we love more. Or even that the brands being used would be of top notch. Sometimes, it may be just the usual brands that cheaper condos are using too! It’s not going to break down soon but we are paying premium.….

Design differences are huge! Higher price has nothing to do with emotional appeal, with regards to the interior design. One unit was designed for a specific target market and she told the agent that it was too dim for her liking. The real estate negotiator could only smile which meant that she may not have been the first to comment so. International designer names helps tremendously but designs would always remain subjective. View more and compare….

Showrooms help tremendously. By virtue of the developer being better known as well as more marketing dollars being spent, the developments tend to get more attention. This is very important but as this is a luxury high-rise, the showroom MUST be done right. For example, do the showroom show more than just the unit itself? What about the views? If the show unit could not be built high up, how about ensuring that these premium views are shown on a huge screen LED TV? Detail matters.

Understand the options. Nope, not about huge discounts but do ask about all the available options. For example, fully renovated, partially renovated, guaranteed rental income schemes, pay less now and pay more when completed and more. Choose the one most fitting to our circumstances. I think all of us would hate it if one of our friends were to tell us that they got a better deal when they bought the same development as us one week later….

This last one would be for developers to read.

Ethical agents are critical and developers should check them. One project she went to, the agents showed her around the unit and then told her that they could also bring her to another development nearby which is also a luxury development. She was taken aback. The agent was showing her another unit from a different developer! Haha. Perhaps current times are bad, therefore the agent wanted to provide more choices?

Happy viewing and deciding.

written on 2 Sept 2016

Next suggested article:  The slow but resilient luxury condo market in KL

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