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10 Things to Look Out For In a New Home (And How to Avoid Getting Conned!)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Excerpt from the Waves, Vol 10, 2014

Buying a new home is an exhilarating process. However, don't be overwhelmed by the excitement and have your judgment clouded as certain showrooms and terminology are not quite as they seem.

Here are our top 10 things to look out for:

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the slyest of them all? (Source: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc)

1. Mirrors

Mirrors can be cleverly and easily be used to make a room appear larger and lighter than it actually is. Some showrooms actually take this to the extremes - using mirrors in a frame made to look like a window, complete with hinges to further the façade!

Size really does matter. (Source: Portlandia)

2. Scaled-down furniture

Some rooms are only designed to their bare minimum, to make them look more spacious. With the help of scaled-down furniture, child-sized beds, 4ft wide double beds, smaller sofas, and fitted furniture - -this gives off the impression of overall larger space. Always check the space for yourself!

3. Doors No More

Doors not only take up room, but they also close them off as well. To avoid this problem, many showrooms take the closed doors off entirely, allowing the rooms to look larger and increase furnishing options as the door-swing area can now be utilized. Be wary!

Show unit without gate & fences

4. Lack of Fences

The show villages are normally displayed without fences, misleading the naked eye to the actual size of the house and its surrounding space. By making the rear garden area one large landscaped space, you may find it harder to visualize how small and narrow the actual garden area will be when fencing is eventually put up.

"Wait, I thought I had extra land for that gazebo..."

5. Gross Built Up vs Net Built-Up

There is a major difference between the two. Gross built-up area counts for all the area covered and semi-covered while the net built-up only calculates the covered space within the building. It is important to know the difference because this may make all the difference when purchasing a house.

"Ok I swore I really had enough space for that new gazebo..."

6. Built Up Area

Most of the time homeowners will think they owned a bigger land and they will definitely get a bigger house. In fact, they forget the size of the built-up is important where it is the space they would actually need to stay in. A bigger land area doesn't mean the built-up area will be big as well.

7. Luxurious Specification

Showrooms are nearly always fitted out to higher specifications than the actual homes for sale. For example, using granite worktops to give that superior luxury look which all too often is available.

Be sure to look out for the fine print too, maybe even for invisible inks

8. Check the Brochure License

If you are buying from a developer, the back page of the Sales Brochures will always include the Developer's License & Advertising License Number. Always check the legitimacy of the Developer and also keep an eye out for:

  • Land Status- Ensuring Whether it is: (a) Freehold Land - check its perpetuity (b) Leasehold Land - check the number of years left.

  • Land Encumbrances - whether the land has been mortgaged to the bank for a loan

  • Expected date of completion

  • Min & Max price of each type of house

  • Number of units for each type

  • Reference number of the approved building plan and the name of the local authority

9. Expiry On Your Land?

When a salesperson tells you that it's a leasehold project, they might leave out the expiry date, and for good reason too! This may be a problem to continue living in, as the 'owner' will need to apply for a lease renewal. So generally, go for freehold property as they're usually more stable and tend to appreciate in the long run.

10. Beware of Gifts and Rebates

Don't be enticed to buy a home just because of discounts, free gifts, air conditioners, or even a free holiday! Pay attention to the actual value of the home as this is the most important item during the transaction and make sure that value is true to you!

Now you know what to look out for, it's time to take what you've learned and started visiting some showrooms! Why not drop by any one of our showrooms or hit us up at our website or follow us Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin today!

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