A showflat is built as a representation of an actual unit, but sometimes other features are added inside to impress buyers.  

Condominium showflats are extravagant. They are fancy structures that aim to entice and encourage people to buy a unit on the spot. With so much visual stimuli and large discounts offered, the line between reality and illusion is sometimes blurred. When it comes to million-dollar properties, you can’t afford to be wowed by grandeur alone. Furthermore, if your home is meant for the long-term, presumably until you retire, then more prudent evaluation is needed. Here are some things to consider when viewing a showflat.  

By Christopher Chitty 

1) Light and bright  

Showflats are known for using extensive lighting. This is necessary when it is crowded, but it makes it hard for a buyer to determine the natural luminosity of the actual unit without artificial lighting. You can counter this by checking where and how big the windows are. Also, identify which stacks receive the most light and which ones are blocked by neighbouring buildings. The last thing you want to do is to buy a unit that either has no sun at all, or too much of it.

2) Parting spaces  

The government requires showflats to be representative of the actual units. This is beneficial for the consumer as it ensures that room and balcony sizes are accurate. You may need to inquire separately about planters and air-con ledges. However, developers have the right to decorate the showflat as they wish, provided they clearly indicate where certain walls are if they were removed. Look for signs of these partitions on the floor and on the walls. If a room looks too big, then ask the developer or agent to confirm the actual size.  

3) Go with the flow

Ignore the expensive furniture and attempt to see the showflat as an empty unit. Visualise yourself and your family living in it and determine how you would interact with the spaces. For example, will your cooking habits work with the layout of the kitchen? Is the kitchen separated from the living room with a door or is it open? Such factors can run up expenses if you purchase without considering the implications of a pricey renovation.

No time to visit showflats? Check out some of our 360 photos in our Project Reviews and get a virtual tour of the place. 

4) Free appliances

Most developers will provide some appliances for free with the purchase of a unit. These may include a built-in fridge, washer-dryer combo, coffee maker, microwave oven and baking oven, allowing you to save some money. Furthermore, you avoid the risk of buying a fridge or washing machine that does not fit into the allocated spaces. Condo owners are also disallowed from drying their clothes on the balcony, so a washer-dryer combo is necessary. Check what appliances are provided and how much space allocation is provided to help you determine the size of the appliances you should buy.

5) Smoke and mirrors

Often, the common bedrooms lack size and there are ways to make the spaces look bigger. The use of mirrors and reflective surfaces against white paint will do just that. Mirrors can add a sense of scale and size. Add bright lights and tiles to the mix and it’s easy to get distracted. Pay careful attention when entering a showunit, especially if it’s a one- or two-bedroom unit and you see mirrors everywhere. And when you see it in a supposedly bigger unit, then take note of where the mirrors are placed, how often they’re used and if any walls were removed to give you the illusion of space.

6) All in the details

Showflats are also meant to showcase the developer’s commitment to quality. The type of materials they use and how things fit together, such as whether a cabinet or wardrobe’s door closes properly, will help demonstrate the developer’s pride in their project. If the workmanship is poor, then it might be risky to make a purchase. Conversely, just because the showflat is fantastic doesn’t mean that the actual development will not have any issues.  

Ready to visit some showflats? Check out the list of new homes today.

Buying a new home? Don’t be hit by an unwanted surprise! To make better property decisions, get the Guru View. Visit PropertyGuru Project Reviews today.

  The PropertyGuru News & Views   This article was first published in the print version PropertyGuru News & Views. Download PDFs of full print issues or read more stories now!