Buying from developer is a rip off

Recently my husband and I have been thinking of moving to a new apartment. Not because we don’t like ours, but simply because we enjoy re-decorating and a change every now and then. So we started looking, and one of the few places on our list is the newly-launched Waterfront Waves in Bedok, whom they say would be priced from S$580 per square foot onwards.

Everything about this complex is amazing … great pool, great view, lots of greeneries, lots of eating place, relatively easy access to the city, and GREAT apartment! The layout is just amazingly efficient, the finishes are first class, everything about it is just right. In more than 100 condo development that we’ve seen in Singapore, genuinely speaking, there are no more than 5 that we consider as “great” … so trust me, this place is amazing 🙂

We were interested in making an offer for the four-bedroom unit (roughly 2,500 square feet), until the agent told us that the price would be S$800 per square foot … which means that the apartment would cost us S$2 million. That price ticked us off immediately, considering that Bedok is nowhere nearer to the city from where we live in West Coast, and that we would be “downgrading” from a freehold to a leasehold development. So much for S$580 per square foot … the agent quoted a price that was 50% higher than the advertisement on the same day … that should be illegal 🙂

After that, we started doing our calculation … at current market situation, condos in the city are becoming more reasonable. Datas of recent property sales of various condos (that will TOP soon or no later than early next year) suggest that we can get something in the city starting from S$1000 per square foot. That means that with the same budget as buying a leasehold new apartment in Bedok, we can actually get a NEW FREEHOLD condo in the city by buying it straight from the owner who want to flip before TOP.

Based on this experience, we then started looking online for asking prices from developers of newly-launched developments, versus actual selling price from owners of new condos in the same areas. Almost in each case, we found out that developer’s price is higher than the sale price from owners of new condos.

Not to mention that when you buy from a developer during a launch, you are buying a model and impression from a showflat. Some people I know have expressed disappointment over the finished product of the unit they bought a few years back, because the developer is cutting back on cost and cheap out the quality. Some of these people, who were disappointed over the finished product, now try to sell their unit at a price lower than their purchase price.

But when you’re buying from the owner of an almost-finished condo (or recently-finished condo that they haven’t lived in), you are looking at an actual building and can start observing the quality of the construction and finishes. What you see is what you get.

For this reason, my husband and I are now convinced that if you are into property investment, or are interested in moving around for a change every several years, don’t buy from the developer. Buy almost-finished condos straight from the owners. You can end up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars 🙂

~ by elinski on April 14, 2009.

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