TIPS: THREE HOUSE HUNTING TIPS (June 2022/Issue 145)
3 Insider House Hunting Tips
Whether this is your first time scouting for a piece of landed property or not, the task may be a daunting one as you search for that special one that suits you and your family. While emotions play a large part when deciding to secure that piece of property, some knowledge at the back of your mind may come in handy as well. This issue we share three tips that will be useful to know when property hunting.
Tip 1: Plot Shape and Terrain
Typically when house hunting, look for landed properties that are relatively flat and rectangular. This generally makes the building process and design more straight-forward. With flat terrain, there will be less time spent on excavation and also allows easier access for machinery onto the property during the building phase. Rectangle plots are less challenging when it comes to designing and are ideal for homeowners who prioritise practical living.
Tip 2: Check the zoning
Did you know that depending on location, residential areas are subjected to zoning height restrictions? This limits the amount of levels you are allowed to build within the subjected plot. If you are looking to fully maximise the built-up of your home, look for properties that fall within the 3-storey zoning. A 3-storey zone house allows you to build up to 3-storeys plus an attic. You can find which zone your property of interest falls under from the URA Zoning Masterplan.
Tip 3: Look out for the flaws
When touring a home for the first time especially if you intend to improve on the existing structure, layout would probably be the main thing you’d look at however keep your eyes peeled for the following as well:
• Signs of water leakage usually come from the roof and exposed slabs (roof terrace, balconies) will appear as stain marks along the ceiling.
• Sanitary/sewage issues are another form of leakage that may appear along exposed pipes and/or false ceiling of rooms located below bathrooms.
• Even though electrical for the house may have been done 10-15 years ago, it may not match the demands of today. Many old houses are functioning on single-phase but with current requirements such as wifi, fibre-optics, air-conditioning, smart systems, elevators and car charging points, a minimum upgrade to a 3-phase 63amp would be a starting point to power a house of today.
These flaws may not always be easy to spot especially leak marks if there was a recent paint job done to the house which can temporarily conceal it however it is good to keep a look out as this will add to the cost going forward during your building phase.