PROS AND CONS OF BUYING A LANDED PROPERTY
Updated: Apr 7
In Singapore, where land is scarce, owning a coveted landed property is a dream for many . Imagine living in your dream house with lots of space for your family, your own car porch and even a small garden for you and your pet to relax in!
However, due to the scarcity of such properties and their high cost, owning and living in one remains a dream for most.
Is a landed property really the dream home? Are you indeed better off living in a landed house rather than a condominium?
Firstly, let us look at the definition of a Landed Property. Basically, a landed property is a type of private residential property which comprises of terrace houses, semi-detached houses, detached houses (bungalows) and strata- landed houses also known as cluster housing.
According to the latest data by the Department of Statistics Singapore, in 2019, 78.6 percent of the population in Singapore lives in a HDB flat while 16.2 percent of the population lives in a condominium/apartment. Only 5 percent of the population lives in landed property.
We will not consider strata landed for this article and instead focus on those properties where the owners have the actual title deed to the land.
Let us examine 3 pros and cons of living in a landed property as compared to a private condominium.
Even the smallest landed house eg. a terrace house offers more space than a standard 3 bed room condominium. With developers building smaller and smaller units, a landed property really is a luxury in terms of space. Aside from some single storey houses, most landed houses are typically 2 storeys.
These days, many landed owners have rebuilt their houses to 2 and a half or 3 storeys. Many have also added a basement and attic. Thus the living space is just so generous and comfortable even for the smaller houses. Most have at least a small garden and a small car porch to park 1 car.
For the few privileged ones that live in big detach houses, the spacious houses sometimes even come with big swimming pools and tennis courts!
As compared to a standard condominium unit, a landed house is definitely much more spacious as the built in space is usually more than 1500sqft, not including the small garden or car porch. If space is a top priority for you, a landed house might be a better choice!
2. NO MONTHLY MAINTENANCE FEES
One of the pros of living in a landed house is that there is no monthly maintenance fees to be paid. if you are living in a condominium, there is a monthly maintenance fee that varies from condo to condo. It is usually within the range of $200-$800 with some high end condominiums crossing the $1000 mark.
The maintenance fees also include the sinking fund which is used for future capital needs such as the painting of the condominium and installing of new lifts to replace the old ones.
The maintenance fees are used to maintain the shared facilities of the condominium such as the swimming pool, tennis courts and gym. The surrounding area of the condominium needs to be maintained and security needs to be hired.
For those staying in a landed property, you are in charge of your own maintenance of your house, hence, there is no need to pay a monthly fee. There is also no security and shared facilities to maintain! This savings can work out to a significant amount over the years.
Therefore, if you are one of those that hardly use any facilities such as the swimming pool or gym, you can consider moving into a landed property and save on the monthly maintenance fees!
This is one of the best thing about staying in a landed property for those introverted ones! There is no need to make small talk in the lift every morning when you leave the house for work!
When you are relaxing in your own garden, you will not run into another neighbour who may want to share details of his day with you. You don't have to worry about the neighbours gossiping about your son who was punished in school after hearing it from your maid who was walking your dog!
There is hardly any opportunity to run into any neighbours especially if you drive. Just imagine this, you get into your car, open your gate and drive out. On your way back, you open the gate, drive into the car porch and get off the car. Then , within seconds, you are in your house. The timing has to be perfect for you to run into anyone in the neighbourhood!
For those who value their privacy, a landed property offers that!
1. BIGGER - MORE TIME AND EFFORT NEEDED TO CLEAN THE PLACE
Okay, a big and spacious house is wonderful to have and your family have lots of living space and the comfort that comes with it, however, when it is time to clean the place, it might be a very daunting task!
It is definitely much easier to clean a single floor 1500 sqft apartment as compared to a 3 storey 3000 sqft house. Even getting a helper might not be easy. Most domestic helpers are not very keen to work in a landed property.
A friend who lives in a detached house complained many times of the difficulty of engaging domestic help. Even if she succeeds in hiring one, they usually do not stay on for long!
2. NO FACILITIES, NO SECURITY AND NO VIEW
Most landed properties do not come with facilities. Some do have lap pools or small swimming pools but they are definitely on a much smaller scale than those found in condominiums. Some condominiums have more than one large swimming pool. Other facilities include gym, tennis courts, function rooms, library etc.
Families with young children may enjoy using the wide array of facilities found in condominiums. Most importantly, the facilities are actually at the vicinity of your home. All you have to do is take a lift downstairs and you are able to enjoy the various facilities.
For the frequent travellers, unlike a condominium, a landed property does not have a security guard. It might be wise to install a security camera especially if you are constantly away and there is always no one around in the house.
A high floor condominium offers a paranomic view of the city and for those that enjoy the breathtaking view, you might prefer to stay in a condominium as a landed property offers little view.
Some condominiums even have a view of the fireworks on special occasions! If you enjoy looking at the beautiful skyline of the city on your balcony, a landed property might not be your cup of tea!
3. MAINTAINING YOUR OWN PROPERTY
As your landed property ages, it is the sole responsibility of the owner to maintain the property. You might have to fix that leaking roof, or paint the facade of the house. The cost can come up to a huge amount.
Of course you can choose not to do anything, or do it yourself to save the cost but ultimately, the owner still has to make a decision on the maintenance of the house.
If you find this a huge hassle, then, perhaps, a condominium unit is a better choice for you. You only need to worry about the interior of your unit. The maintenance of the facade and exterior of the condominium will be handled by MCST.
Depending on your lifestyle and interests, a landed property might or might not be the most suitable property for you. Before you commit to a landed property, think and evaluate carefully all the pros and cons before making a decision.
If you would like to find out more, please feel free to contact me for a non obligatory 90 min free consultation at 96658596
Having a keen interest and passion in real estate led Caroline to join the real estate industry. An investor herself since 2006, Caroline is constantly learning and upgrading herself through courses and seminars so that she is able to provide meaningful insights to her clients and to help them successfully manage and restructure their portfolios in the ever- changing market conditions.
Caroline strives to be honest, transparent and professional in all her real estate dealings with her clients. She understands that clients need to work with someone they trust, as they will be entrusting their valuable assets to that person. She is known to be trustworthy and reliable and will ensure that her clients’ interests are protected always.
With a strong commitment to client satisfaction and with the support of her teammates from Navis Living Group (Orange Tee and Tie) , she is confident that she will be able to share her experiences and knowledge to assist her clients in making the best decisions for their real estate needs so that they can achieve their desired real estate goals.