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I Bought a Mega-Home : Hear 7 Homeowners Spill their Heartfelt Remorse

Posted by Jayson Ang on December 22, 2023
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The pool’s awesome, just wish there were more facilities around it

Meet Anthony. He’s got a tale to tell about his residential experience on Bayshore Road. Nestled in a vintage mega-building dating back to 1996, he shares a cozy abode with his partner amidst hundreds of other homes. The setup is pretty decent – the pool and facilities aren’t too shabby. But, there’s one catch – the showers!

Here’s the deal. There are just too many folks and not enough showers. Imagine the scene – a queue so long it could wrap around the block! So, what happens? Most people skip the post-swim rinse-off. Instead, they make a beeline for the elevators, heading straight up to their personal bathrooms.

We’re talking about a thousand-plus homes here, and that doesn’t even count the relatives and kiddos who come around for a visit. Picture this: hordes of dripping-wet people traipsing through the lobby and into the elevator. It’s a real slip-and-slide situation in the lobby, and the elevators might as well be mini swimming pools. Don some flip-flops, and you’ll get your toes drenched!

Can you blame them, though? Even Anthony, after facing the dizzyingly long shower line, sometimes throws in the towel and heads home for a more peaceful rinse off.

And let’s not forget the cherry on top – the ever-empty soap dispensers and the often missing towel paper. With the number of people using the facilities, these essentials vanish faster than ice cream on a hot day.

So, that’s Anthony’s wet and wild story from the heart of Bayshore Road. Quite an adventure, isn’t it?

This is one mammoth of a project, you can’t just stroll right across it

Kelvin calls a huge “near Farrer Road” complex home, but he’s not too thrilled about its massive size. According to him, the scale of the project, which spans over 800,000 square feet, can be quite deceptive. Some buildings in the condo are just a short stroll away from the bus stop or MRT, while others are quite a hike.

A side gate too far

“When we were checking out the models at the sales gallery, the true distance between the buildings didn’t really hit me,” Kelvin admits, “I should’ve made it a point to find the nearest side gate and how long it would take to walk to the main entrance.”

This has led to a bunch of problems, including his food turning up cold:

“Food delivery folks often end up getting lost, or they have to cover a lot of ground from the entrance to our building. By the time they arrive, even if I’ve only ordered something from the cafe downstairs, the food is usually nothing more than room temperature. Once, I had to wait an extra 20 minutes because the delivery guy went to the wrong end of the condo, then another wrong end, finally getting it right on his third try.”

Kelvin reckons that living here sometimes feels more like being in a block in an HDB estate, rather than a swanky condo.

Endlessly hanging around for elevators…

Seline’s biggest gripe with her high-rise living? The sheer number of apartments in each building, causing massive delays.

“Getting to work at 7.45 am is a nightmare,” she admits, “The elevator stops at nearly every floor. As I’m smack dab in the middle, it’s usually full by the time it reaches me. So, I have to wait for the next one.”

This issue crops up when she’s coming back from work too, but since she works late, she usually escapes the evening elevator rush.

And there are only two elevators serving all 30 floors!

The real headache comes when new folks move in:

“Imagine two elevators for 30 floors,” Seline grumbles, “Sometimes, one gets commandeered for moving purposes. Then, going up or down becomes an epic saga. Once, I waited so long, my Grab driver left because I spent close to 15 minutes waiting for the single working elevator.”

A similar tale was told by an elderly couple who shifted from a standalone home to a different high-rise project. Buying two neighboring units to mimic their old home’s size, they shared their experience:

“My main beef is with the elevator wait times,” one of them remarks, “I’ve spent 5 to 10 minutes just waiting sometimes, which is super annoying when I’m in a rush. Looking back, I wish we’d bought a ground floor unit. Sure, it would lack privacy, but it’d be a breeze to just stroll in and out of home.”

There’s a bit of a pinch when it comes to parking spots for bikes.

Isaac, who resides in one of those massive living complexes in Bayshore, has a real beef about bikes. He says:

“Living here, with all these people and the beach nearby, it’s a given that plenty of folks will be into biking. It’s an awesome way to chill on the weekends, cruising up and down East Coast Beach. Plus, our condo isn’t exactly next door to the MRT station, but it’s a breeze if you pedal there – so naturally, we’ve got a ton of cyclists.

But the big snag is, the builders didn’t really think through the whole bike situation. The designated spots for parking bikes are always chock-a-block, so many of us have started stashing our bikes in odd corners of the basement parking area.

Over time, it’s turned into this weird bike junkyard. Brand new bikes, deserted bikes, they’re scattered everywhere. It’s become a real eyesore in our otherwise beautiful condo, and all those warnings and threats of seizing bikes haven’t made a dent.”

So residents often park their bikes outside the official bike parking areas.

Isaac adds that he’s lived in four other condo projects before this one, and this bike issue is unique to his current place. He reckons it’s because there are just too many residents (over 1,030 units), most of whom quickly figure out that biking is the best way to zip around from Bayshore to Bedok.

Jam-packed spaces

A real estate agent shared a funny story once. He was on the hunt for the perfect property for his client and stumbled upon an anonymous, yet super famous condo complex. This place was huge! It even had two tennis courts.

But here’s the kicker. A local dweller revealed that there was a bit of a snag with these courts. Apparently, they were always packed, with the same group of people hogging the space every single day. As it turned out, this little crew had figured out a system to book the courts back-to-back, keeping their pals in the game and everyone else on the sidelines. Crafty, huh?

It’s not unheard of for this to happen in regular condos too, but it happens more often in these big developments. The wait times between sessions can be incredibly long. This sometimes triggers a bit of a ‘survival of the fittest’ vibe, especially among the more serious tennis players who might have private coaching sessions planned.

The good news is, according to our realtor friend, things usually start to change over time. Condo managers begin to notice the pattern and remember the names, putting a stop to this court-hogging shenanigans.

And now, many modern condos are turning to management apps to avoid this sort of thing. These apps restrict residents to specific slots, with some even having peak and off-peak hours for each user. While it helps deter any misuse, it does mean you can’t casually book the court multiple times a week like you could at a smaller development.

That lively buzz by the pool when the weekend rolls around!

If you’re thinking about living in a massive condo, Tommy advises going for the top floors. Yeah, you might wait a bit longer for the lift, but it’s worth it.

Tammy agrees. She lives by the pool which is open until 11 pm. No biggie in her old condo with less than 300 units – hardly anyone was around after 8 pm. But now?

“Too many people,” Tammy sighs. “It’s like two waves of folks. First kids and families till about 7, then an older crowd hanging out until nearly 10 pm. They’re all trying to dodge each other.”

That means Tammy can’t catch a break until midnight. Even a tiny opening of her windows lets in noise she calls ‘poolside roar’.

Holidays? The worst! Times like Hari Raya, Christmas, Deepavali, and New Year, when the condo organizes community events – kiddie shows, scavenger hunts, you name it.

“In a small condo, no problem,” Tammy says, “But here, it feels like I’m living in the middle of a night market, especially when techno music starts blasting.”

She wishes the management would manage these mega-condos differently. What works for a regular condo doesn’t necessarily work for a 1,000+ unit condo.

She’d love it if they spread out the events instead of jamming everyone into one spot.

Another reader shared a similar experience:

“Messed up by only checking out my new place on a weekday. Weekdays aren’t bad, but weekends and public holidays are crazy! Pool and common areas are always packed. Since I live on lower floors, it gets pretty noisy.

I do like some things about big condos – variety of facilities, having a minimart. Don’t totally regret it, but I should’ve chosen my unit more carefully.

There are quieter spots where fewer people pass by. Would’ve been nice to have one of those.”

No matter how great the amenities are, a bad floor plan is still a bummer.

One of our buddies, a solo homeowner who’s not yet hit 35, decided on a giant housing project as his first pad. You know, being single means you gotta manage the pennies, so he went for a one-bedroom spot. He told us:

“I could only afford the tiniest one-bedrooms, so to me they all felt alike. I work from home most days, so the place wasn’t that big a deal.

I kept getting pulled back to these large developments, they had so much cool stuff. Karaoke rooms, multiple pools, even a gaming room.

I kinda saw myself using them, but let’s be real, you spend way more time at home than using those extras. They’re nice to have, but not essential.

So yeah, I do regret putting those perks above a good layout. I mean, a layout that fits my lifestyle better. I ended up with a study next to the bedroom, which now I see isn’t great. I do have folks over sometimes, and separate spaces would’ve been better.”

Basically, these massive developments are at one extreme end of the property scale (the humongous side), while the boutique developments are at the opposite end (the tiny side). This can split opinions among buyers. Some dig the big developments for their cheaper prices and extra features, but others can’t stand the lack of privacy or the future competition for buyers and tenants.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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