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Category: Singapore

How To Find Child-Friendly Condos In Singapore

There is no doubt that Singapore is one of the best countries to be in not only in South East Asia but perhaps across the world too. It is one of the most developed countries of the world with one of the highest rates of per capita income. Hence it is a country which attracts many people from outside the country. They come here in search of better quality higher education while many of them also come in search of better job, business and career opportunities. Whenever a person migrates to Singapore finding a right accommodation is one of the prime needs. It would be always better to look for condos because of their obvious advantages and benefits. However, if you are moving in with children then there is a need to look for child-friendly condo Singapore. Over the next few lines we will try and look at a few such condos which are well and truly in favor of families with children.

There Are Quite A Few Options To Choose From

It would be pertinent to mention here that there are literally dozens of condominium options to choose from and quite a few of them have the best of facilities for accommodating children along with adults and elders. Here are a few of them which perhaps could be tried out. These are just a few examples and if one spends some quality time on the internet they will be able to come out dozens more.

The Hacienda On The East Coast – This is a wonderful place which has some of the best collection of child friendly condos. It is located in Hacienda Grove, Singapore 4576908 and is not very far off from MRT Station. It has 109 units in total and it has 2, 3 and 4 room condos ranging from 115 to 300 square meters.

Astrid Meadows: Astrid Meadows is also another wonderful place which could be chosen by those who are looking for quality condos which are friendly for those with children. It is located on Coronation Road and there are many condos which range from 1500 square feet to 2500 square feet. It is well located and not very far off from the various facilities and amenities needed for comfortable living.

Amaranda Gardens – Situated in the famous Serangoon Avenue in Singapore it is a sprawling housing complex with a big collection of condos of various sizes to suit specific needs and requirements of customers. There are a total of 189 units and many of them are available for rent. It has a number of features ranging from children’s pool, children’s adventure playground and much more. Therefore it is well and truly a great place to be in for those who have children to rear and take care of.

Woolerton Park: This is another worth mentioning complex which houses some of the best condominiums which are suitable for the entire family including children. It has the best of playground facility and 24 hour security. It is not very far off from Empress Road Market and Coronation Shopping Plaza.

As mentioned earlier, the above are just a few examples of the various condos suitable for children in more ways than one.

Should You Rent or Buy a Condo in Singapore?

When you are on the cusp of making a critical decision, such as buying or renting a condo in Singapore, many factors come into play. The burgeoning real estate industry on the island is a clear indicator of the ever-increasing number of folks scouting for living spaces. What, then, should you consider when in the catch-22 stance?

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Degree of Commitment

You might not be solidly sure of the neighborhood or the neighbors. Sometimes neighbors can be bothersome and pesky. Living in a condo for rent in Singapore instead of buying one gives you the freedom to move when you feel you don’t like the neighborhood. The moment your rental contract for the condo expires, you can move. In fact, any move before the expiration is possible, though you will (likely) forfeit your deposit.

Moreover, there are people whose life is somehow nomadic. To them, renting is a more viable option as it provides them the flexibility of relocating places and moving to different environments. For example, people whose professions entail a lot of international postings and travel.

Therefore, buying a condo as opposed to buying requires a high level of commitment, and should be done by people who are not likely to move every so often because the cost of buying and selling a condo is prohibitive. It is worse if you are financing the condominium with a loan, especially since you will incur a penalty for early repayment. And that is excluding the administration costs and agent fees involved. Worryingly, you may incur significant capital losses if you sell the condo property during a property slump.

That said, having a private condo to call your own comes with a beaucoup of benefits. There is that ineffable pride and prestige of being the owner of a high-end property. And, you also have the unfettered freedom to renovate it to reflect your whims and fancies, just as long as your pockets permit.

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The High Installment

The most practical concern for most prospective condo owners is the financial aspect of the whole thing. This is a huge financial commitment. Often, people spend the rest of their working lives paying off the mortgage.

But you will first have to come up with an installment, which in some cases is prohibitive. And in most of these cases, since it is a private property, you will get the mortgage financing from a private financial institution in Singapore. So, you will have to stump up a huge amount of cash for the down-payment. If there is no pre-existing home loan, the down-payment will be pegged at between 5% and 10% of the purchase price if the loan tenure is more than 30 years or extends beyond the age of 65. With a pre-existing loan, the down-payment shoots to 25% of the purchase price.

To many, especially younger people, raising the down-payment presents an insurmountable hurdle. Thus, renting becomes a lucrative option when looking for a place to live in, but do not have the requisite cash.

But there are people who can afford the cash to buy a condo, but have a more lucrative investment where they want to spend the cash instead of buying the condo. Consequently, they prefer to rent rather than buying. In such case, a person needs to carefully consider if the investment will fetch in bigger returns in the long-run more than buying the condo would.

Why Singapore Property is Hot

It is no surprise that Singapore tops among 189 countries in ease of doing business as per the report prepared by World Bank for the year 2015. Singapore is considered as one of the most expensive property markets in the world. The pace of the growth shows quite similar trends as seen during pre-economic-crisis period in the crisis ravaged countries. While some of the western property markets like London have witnesses only a little more than the double growth, the Singapore property prices have gone up by around 232%. The government of the country is trying to keep a check on the price levels at home. But, what are possible reasons behind this? Are foreign nationals considering it as an investment opportunity to park their money abroad? Is the interest rate too low to woo the buyers? Let’s find out!

 

Low capital gains tax attracts foreign nationals to invest in the properties

High capital gains tax can be pretty repealing for foreigners. Contrary to that, Singapore charges low capital gains tax. This attracts the foreign investors more than anything. The tax paid by the individuals from the foreign countries is one fourth of the investment made in the properties. This is the maximum as per the country’s tax rules.

 

US Federal Reserve has not hiked the interest rates

When US Federal Reserve hikes the interest rates, it impacts all the economies in the world. The Fed hasn’t increased the interest rates this time also citing the reasons as providing more opportunities for the insiders. This has further increased the demand for properties in the country unlike before.

 

The value of Singapore dollar has remained strong constantly

Price fluctuations can prove to be devastating for the buyers of the properties. It will be hard for them to speculate about the price in the long run. The value of Singapore dollar has remained stable for long. This has furthered the wish of the individuals to stick to their goal of buying properties as they have planned beforehand.

 

Subsidized mortgage as provided by the government works as an incentive for the property buyers

Most of the people, around 80 percent of the people in Singapore live in the social houses. This gives them a quality option as compared to other options and other high-end cities in the world. Working population of the country contribute around 20 percent of their salary in the national provident fund. They can use the provident fund money to subside their mortgage for buying properties.

 

Stable political conditions give security and attract people to the city

It is true that rich people especially highly rich people can buy properties in any countries. But after paying lump sum amount of money if you don’t get enough security there is no use of the money that you are paying. Regarding this aspect, Singapore is considered as one of the highly secured countries in the world.

 

Laws that give further freedom to investors

As per the laws of the Singapore, anybody can acquire non-land properties in the country which are free from holdings. This makes easy for the buyers to invest in the properties. This proves regulation as the main factor which woos the buyers and makes the Singapore property hot.

Best Areas for Expats to Live in Singapore

The lifestyle of an expatriate determine where he would like to live. Also, the distance from the work place, the family, accessibilities and priorities are other considerations. There are 28 districts in Singapore which are categorised in to Central, East, West, North and South.

It is a tiresome task to hunt for an appealing Singapore property. You want a location with good food, malls, plenty of culture, scenic areas. The sites below get you started on your search:

Orchard

Orchard has so many outdoor locations despite being a quiet place. Many facilities are within reach in this leafy scene. Its position is central although the prices are slightly higher than other areas. There is an overabundance of shopping malls and this area is a buzz of activities. There are several restaurants, cinemas, hotels and beauty services

Holland Village

Holland Village has a great atmosphere, plenty of restaurants and other facilities. There is a shopping centre that has jewellery and fashion. There are many cafés, hawker centres, health and beauty outlets, restaurants and bars.

Novena

Novena is easily reachable through the Pan-Island Expressway. It is close to the city centre and the MRT with a great array of houses. You also find high-rise condos in this area. This area is lively and has restaurants, shops and seafood joints.

Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road

Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road is appealing to single Singapore expats who prefer the city life. There are restaurants, bars and a vibrant nightlife. There are massive residential areas on Mohammed Sultan. You further find condos in Singapore’s Robertson Quay that face the river.

West

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

This area is convenient and has a great public transport system. The Canadian International School Is also close, and so are a number of condos in Singapore and detached houses. There are a number of shopping malls and bird parks.

Sentosa

There are many fashionable houses that are along the beach in Sentosa. There are also facilities such as a golf course, outstanding restaurants and countless entertaining activities. It also has one of the prime malls in Singapore-Vivo City.

Faber Park

Faber Park has spacious housing and a huge number of Singapore expats. It is a friendly neighbourhood which is accessible. There are parks in this area and an excellent sea view. Schools such as the Tanglin Trust School, UWC, Dover Court and ISS are in the area.

North

Woodlands

Woodlands has expansive housing that is also affordable. It is close to the Singapore American School and has a suburban feel. There are malls, cinemas and restaurants in this area.

Central

Thomson

Thomson Road has very nice parks and gardens. The houses are progressively cheaper towards the north and have huge spaces. Access to this location is through the Central Expressway.

Braddell

Braddell has alluring family houses that also have gardens. It neighbours the Australian International School and the French School of Singapore.

Serangoon

Serangoon is a quite area that has airy condos. It has an excellent public transport system like the Serangoon Bus Interchange and the Serangoon MRT station. It also has a number of good restaurants and has quick access to other parts of the island.

East

East Coast

Expats have been residents of the East Coast area for a long time. This location has roomy yet cheap condos in Singapore. There are many entertainment facilities, innumerable seafood restaurants and an invigorating sea breeze. It is close to Changi Airport and is easily served though the ECP and PIE motorways.

Katong

Katong allows Singapore expats to blend with the locals. It is a bright neighbourhood that has shop houses, intriguing shops, karaoke bars and local hawker stalls. There are other facilities at the East-point Mall and Parkway Parade shopping centre.

North-East

Seletar

Seletar has a wide selection of housing in this area. You also find houses with gardens here. This area is made-up of Upper Thomson locations such as the Lower Seletar Reservoir. It is also close to the American School and Seletar Airport, where you find chartered flights.

What Should You Spend On A Condo

Taking into consideration the recent real estate crisis, buyers must be able to take note and not overstretch their finances when buying real estate property. The money one is supposed to spend on a condominium unit is a function of two condo price guidelines:

  • How the unit will be used
  •  How much the buyer can afford

Mortgage financing has restrictions put in place to limit Banks’ risk probability and avoid buyers getting in over their heads. The Mortgage industry has increased the amount of down payments and applied tighter restrictions concerning qualifying for a mortgage; this limits the amount, which buyers will look to get.

There are two condo price guidelines when it comes to what you should spend when buying a condominium:

  • The general rule of thumb, one can only spend 30% or less of his/her gross income on housing costs including insurance, mortgage, property tax and condominium fees. Spending less than 30% allows you to improve your living standards.
  • Spend no more than 36% of income on total monthly debt payments. This means if you have more non-mortgage debt, the less likely you can afford a mortgage. Multiply total monthly income with 36%, deduct total debt payments and this is the amount that can be spent on housing.

Buyers are to consult qualified real estate attorneys or tax specialists on real estate decisions, especially those who plan to use the property as an income producing investment, since certain expenses are tax deductible.

Cote D’Azur Luxury Condo review

The Cote D’Azur is a 99-years leasehold development property set in the picturesque southern coastline of Singapore that consists of 612 condominium units. It is located at Marine Parade Road in District 15. Completed in 2005, it scales up to 26 stories high and is in proximity with the East Coast Park, therefore offering a panoramic view of the sea.

Cote D’Azur is a development in the heart of the busy East Coast. Its units include maximized full-height windows in the living rooms and master bedrooms. At the centre of the development is a n alluring swimming pool, which comes complete with a large stimulated sand wash and pebble beach.

Features of the Cote D’Azur

The Cote D’Azur consists of four types of units:

l Studio – 915sq ft

l 2 Bedrooms – 1357 sq ft

l 3 Bedrooms – 1389 sq ft

l 4 Bedrooms – 1680 sq ft

The location of the Cote D’Azur is convenient to amenities available in the nearby towns, and the East Coast Park makes it a convenient place to live, as it is also self-contained. It is just next to Parkway Parade shopping centre, a one-stop shopping destination and the East Coast Park. A number of buses for all destinations are available nearby, with direct buses to business district through expressway, a 10-minute drive to Changi airport and a 7-minute drive to the Central Business District (CBD) using the East Coast Parkway.

The Cote D’Azur condominium has both options of either buying or renting their property. StProperty.sg offers units of the property that are either rental or for sale on their website.

PropertyGuru.com gives the Cote D’Azur a 3.2 rating on their website. Other facilities found in the Cote D’Azur are:

l Wading Pool

l Jacuzzi

l Tennis

l BBQ

l Gymnasium

l Clubhouse

l Covered Car Park

l 24 Hours Security

Problems of the Cote D’Azur

 Despite the Cote D’Azur having numerous positives, the condominiums critics have it that they contain various flaws:

  1. Shoddy Construction

 

  1. a) Leaks

The contractors poorly did the construction and placing of the pipes. The pipes encasing is in the concrete walls thus no future hope of fixing or maintaining them. The water runs onto the bedroom floors and the recommended plumber cannot do anything about it, let alone the management.

 

  1. b) Crumbling Facades

The concrete is cracking off the facades of the Cote D’Azur. When diagnosing the problem, it appeared having hollow areas in the exterior concrete that they are now just repainting. For a building less than 10 years old, these are poor standards and it is only a matter of time before the concrete falls off the building.

 

  1. Run-down Facilities

 

Cleaning is rare in the gym and the machines are dusty. The tennis court has a cracked surface with moss growing in the cracks. Wooden decks are rotting in the facility.

 

  1. Unreasonable Management

 

The management does little when issues brought to its desk, and enforce their own rules without notifying the violator. With management like this, the place seems unpleasant for habitation.

 

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