Many people in Singapore aspire to live in a condo. But one thing that scares a lot of them is the price of the condos. While the price of the condo is important, they tend to forget other costs they incur each month. One such cost is the maintenance fees. Most condos’ maintenance costs amount to about $300 to $500 a month and can easily get to the thousands for bigger projects. This can be daunting for many homeowners and can crawl into the net rental yield. If you are looking to avoid this kind of situation then it is best you spot projects that have lower maintenance fees and here are the top ways to do so.
1. Projects with Higher Unit Count
Big projects tend to have a lower maintenance cost and this can be attributed to the volume of homes sharing the fees. Take for instance a mega-project like Treasure at Tampines (the biggest condo in Singapore) has a total of 2,203 units and has some of the lowest maintenance fees. A one-bedder has a maintenance fee ranging from $150 to $165 per month, while larger bedders like the five-bedder go as low as $240 to $264. Unlike a smaller structure/project like the Robin Residence (with 134 units), a 2-bedroom unit has a monthly maintenance fee of more than $400.
2. Condos with Smaller Parks
Condos with smaller parks or that don’t provide one car park lot per unit are known to have lower maintenance fees. For instance, the People’s Park Complex has one of the lowest maintenance fees among private properties. It has a fee as low as $100 per month for some of its units. Note that the LTA as of 2019 gave the leverage for projects in some central areas or close to MRT stations to have smaller parts. This can help reduce the cost of maintenance.
3. Get Pure Apartments
Good examples of pure apartments are Sin Ming Plaza, People’s Park Complex, and Lucky Plaza Apartments. What characterizes these apartments include – no full condo facilities, no full-length pools or courts, no common facilities, and sometimes no onsite security.
These can contribute a lot to the maintenance cost and on average get to $200 a month.
4. Condos with Unit Size under the Next Share Value Category
Maintenance fees for condos and different properties are usually determined by their share value. For instance, if the fee per share value is $60 and a unit has a share value of 5, then the monthly maintenance would be $300.
Conventionally, the share value begins at 5 for most units of 50 sqm or lower. For every increase of 50 sqm, the share value increases by one. So, from 51 sqm to 100 sqm, the share value would be 6.
5. The Nature of the Facilities
We can never talk about maintenance fees and condos without talking about the nature and type of facilities available within them. The fewer the facilities the lower the cost. Pools, gyms, and clubhouses might be standards but here are some things you should keep an eye out for:
- Concierge services: these are usually for luxury condos. It can be a great one for your front desk, but consider the cost when going for this.
- Facilities like rock-climbing walls and bowling alleys: While these are innovative in themselves, maintaining them comes at a great cost.
- Private elevators: Having private elevators or elevators for your cars or sorts can add costs to maintenance.
6. Condos from 2019 or Later
Condos built around 2019 or later have a great chance of being cost-effective. This is attributed to the BCA initiatives and the implementation of the MIDAS scores. Before these eras (before 2019), developers were more concerned about making their projects more marketable and didn’t have maintenance fees in mind. Newer buildings followed recent building standards. These properties are more energy efficient and will have lower maintenance fees than older ones.
We see great efforts to meet standards due to awards in the past few years by BCA including the Green Mark Award of Sustainability. These things have made new condos more energy efficient, lower maintenance fees, and lower taxes.
If you are considering buying a home, this is one thing you must consider.
There you have it, information on how to find condos with low maintenance fees in a developer-friendly environment. Do look out for these six factors when you search for a project or a condo unit. It will help you get the condos with lower maintenance fees and easily boost your return on investment.