I have always wanted to write a short guide about buying apartments/properties, but have the reservation to do it. The main reason is, there have been many good guides out there written by savvy professionals who are more experienced than I can ever be (I know nuts about buying/selling properties), and they probably are gonna laugh at my ass for writing craps that they know best. But today, I decided to say ‘fuck them’, and write it anyway, because I have nothing to do at work today. So here you go.
When you want to buy an apartment/condo, make it a habit to check the water pressure. Water pressure is fucking important. I’ve seen places with water pressure lower than my own piss and it is basically impossible to use a shower at all, especially those with a water heater… unless you get one with a built in pressure pump. Bathing and washing with low water pressure is just the saddest thing ever and you have to make sure you don’t pay for that.
Balcony / main entrance is in a direct line
I think this has to do with fengshui in a scientific aspect, I don’t know. When the balcony is directly opposite the main entrance, it will give an easier path for the air to pass, thus will give the place an ‘airy’ feel and in turn, better ventilation. I’ve been to apartments/condos with poor ventilation, and boy do they stink and musty. And for some weird reason if the apartment/condo you’re looking at does not have a balcony, don’t buy it.
Waste disposal system
Many modern apartments/condos do not come with a garbage chute like what we have in the old days. The tenant will have to dispose the trash at the dump located somewhere out of the apartment compound, which causes the elevator to stink like hell after a period of time. Quite contrary to popular belief that this is the ‘modern way’ to dispose trash, trust me, it is not. The reason for that is cost. It costs more to construct garbage chutes, and also to widen the road for garbage truck access. So to minimize cost and maximize profit, most greedy developers opt for this ‘bring out your own trash’ solution. Not a good idea. If possible, find an apartment/condo with garbage chutes. It is more convenient, and you won’t get to smell other people’s trash in the elevator everyday.
The number of elevators
Enough elevators for your block, that is. I’ve been to an apartment with 2 elevators, but fuckloads of floors and tenants. I had to wait longer than the wait for a public bus just to haul my ass up to the desired floor. And I also hate to smell some assholes or old people with strong BO in the elevator, and the fucking elevator would keep stopping at every goddamn floor just because the block does not have enough elevators. I’d blame this on greedy developers. Make a rough calculation. How many floors and units versus the number of elevators – you’d get the rough idea how many people are going to use the elevator during the peak hour spike.
Proximity of places of worship
I’m going to be honest here – if there’s a mosque, Chinese or Indian temple, church nearby, there’s a high chance that you’re not going to live a peaceful life there. Mosques will wake you up. I lived next to a mosque before, but I had no problem with that because I needed to wake up early and it kinda helped me – but I can’t imagine if I were to have an infant who needs an ample amount of sleep then. It would be catastrophic. Chinese/Indian temple – when they have celebrations like July hungry ghost festival or Thaipusam, you’d get the effect of a hundred mosques combined. And also, you’d get all these incense fumes etc. Church – you’d get assholes parking haphazardly around because they wanted to be with their god and they do it every Sunday just to make sure your weekend is fucked. Ergo, places of worship = troubles. So, in my opinion, it is best that a residential area/building has at least a 2km buffer from ANY place-of-worship. If you believe in god, then you must also believe that his wide-area-network extends beyond that measly 2 – 3km. (he covers the whole planet goddamnit!)
Proximity of a vacant land
A vacant land next to your apartment building is like a sleeping volcano waiting to erupt. Why? You don’t fucking know what are they going to do with that piece of land. If someday someone decides to build a fucking highway through it, there goes your property value. Or a water treatment plant to stink up the air quality (my father in law learnt this lesson before). Or another bigger condo with not enough parking space that causes its tenants to double park the fuck up the entire street. Or even, a place of worship! Your happiness level will be summarized in a 2 syllable word : HAILAT. Look out for those.
Proximity of a school
If you want to have a good life, you should avoid living near a school like a plague. For one, the school buses are going to fuck the air quality up real bad. Secondly, the parents are going to fuck up the traffic, really really bad. Thirdly, the school children are going to fuck up the neighborhood (vandalism, gangsterism, mat-rempitism, etc). If you want to live near a school, make sure the apartment has a helipad and provides free helicopter service to bypass the fucked up traffic with a helicopter – otherwise, it’s not worth considering.
That’s about it, the important ones. I’m sure there are many more, which you can read them off the net. But these, are stuff that none of those people are going to tell you. You’ll have to thank me for that.
Related post –
what to look out when buying an apartment/condo – part 2
what to look out when buying an apartment/condo – part 3