When it comes to property, many would agree that it is all about location. While we wouldn’t venture to say that it is all about location, location is nonetheless a very critical aspect for consideration whether you are looking to buy or to rent. The big question is, what makes a good location?
Having spent the past 3 years house hunting and developing DREA at the same time, we would like to share our own idea on what makes a good location.
For us, location is about EAT
- Environment – What’s around the property?
- Amenities – Are there essential services, shops and food options nearby?
- Transportation – How easy or difficult it would be for you to get around
Environment. You should always physically visit a property and walk the ground. The environment around a property is something that cannot be quantified or viewed on a map. For example, a property might be situated in a very pristine district. There may also be great amenities and transport access. Imagine if this same property is situated near various adult entertainment establishments? Or maybe a military camp?
Do these things matter? We think so. Even if you are perfectly comfortable with it, negative environmental factors will inevitably affect the price and liquidity of a property. If you are a buyer, you should be using these as negotiation points. Should you need to sell sometime in the future, such factors may also limit your ability to price or transact. As such, it is prudent to keep a lookout for any potentially negative environmental factors.
DREA profiled more than 2600 properties to identify some of these potentially contentious environmental factors. Our objective is to make sure you don’t miss any of this when considering whether to buy or rent a specific property.
Amenities. Proximity to schools, preschools, grocery stalls, malls and food options make a big difference. There’s a world of a difference when your kids’ pre-school is a 5-minute walk away and when the nearest mall and NTUC is within walking distance. Based on our observation, amenities also make a big difference on property prices in a particular area.
Districts alone do not always paint the full picture. For example, District 11 stretches from Moulmein through Novena to parts of Thomson. There is little debate however that the residential area immediately around Novena Square is very different from the area along Thomson given the amenities around Novena train station.
In other words, amenities matter more than district and it is useful to think about amenities from both a lifestyle and pricing perspective.
DREA’s condo page shows you how long it would take to walk or drive to amenities nearby.
Singapore is becoming increasingly connected. For many of us, public transport and access to MRT is an important aspect to look out for when evaluating the location of a property. Within the property space, it has been widely speculated that houses within 500m from a train station would command a premium. Is this factual or is this just a negotiation pitch that agents or sellers use? There’s no way to tell.
But straight line distance to train stations really shouldn’t matter. We believe it would be far more intuitive and reasonable to think in terms of how long it will take to walk to a train station? I once viewed an apartment at Jalan Rajah and was told that the Toa Payoh station is 600m away which would translate to a 5 mins walk. I looked out from the balcony in disbelief as i pointed at the long walk across Kallang River, PIE and Toa Payoh Town Park. I pulled out DREA to validate his comments and showed him that it was a 17min walk away.
All in all, we made a decision to break away from norm when we first started designing DREA as we would only show users what’s truly relevant to them.
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