So, you’re ready to start a family and upgrade to a condominium. While a BTO flat is more suitable for families since they’re bigger and more affordable, condominiums make up for their lack of space (comparatively) by having a multitude of facilities built within the development. A far cry from a neighbourhood playground, we’re in a time where childcare centres, kids’ pools, children play & exercise corners and exclusive classes for the young are as much selling points as location and price.
But what makes a condo family-friendly? Facilities are all fun and good but if a project doesn’t do anything different other than include a pool and gym for the children, how is it distinguishable from the horde of clones out there?
Fortunately, we’ve got some idea.
If you’re looking for a condo to put down roots in, where some family-friendliness exist, here’s five suggestions, in no particular order:
How many projects are there in Singapore that offer not just the typical kids’ pool and gym but also guitar and violin classes in-house? That number can be counted on one hand, maybe even half a hand. Managed by Mandeville Conservatory of Music, Grandeur Park knocks the ball out of the park by including extra-curricular activities for the whole family.
The development being a minute walk from Tanah Merah MRT station (and bus stop) is another tick in the right place. When you live in the east, it’s to live in an extremely well-connected area.
This is one of those must-have projects if you’re not already mortgaged to your ears. A rare execution of class, style and substance, Artra offers big, spacious units with unique layouts. At a glance, it’s suitability for accommodating large gatherings at home is immediately apparent. And when kids are thrown in the mix, there’s plenty lot of room for them to run and play in.
On top of that, there’s a childcare centre and several retail shops in Artra. That it’s also a minute’s walk from Redhill MRT station makes it even harder to ignore. A true gem amidst a sea of sameness, Artra is a fantastic option if family-friendliness is high on your list of wants when choosing to live in Redhill.
Not all family-friendly condos need to have crazy facilities. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a childcare centre, which Sims Urban Oasis has. Other times, it’s walking distance to schools, which Sims Urban Oasis is. Let’s face it, buying a condo for a kids’ pool is great only if you’re playing The Sims and have entered a cheat code to keep your kids from growing up.
In real life, they will grow up and migrate from kids’ pool to regular pool. Distance to schools is a far better requirement of kid-friendliness. And in this regard, with the James Cook University within walking distance, Aljunied MRT station also close-by and the upcoming gentrification of the Kallang area, there’s much to enjoy here for the long term.
The coolest thing about Kallang Riverside has little to do with its facilities and everything to do with the utter uniqueness of its design and implementation into the land. As a fenceless type of development of which there is only one tower, Kallang Riverside will be surrounded by a swath of green and the Kallang river. The image is of a large communal garden open to everyone since it’s not gated.
Families can exit the development and walk out to picnic under a tree, or cycle around. Verdant greenery lasts far longer than facilities. Furthermore, they’ll always be relevant, even when your kids grow up. The riverside is one to watch because it looks primed to introduce something visually arresting and special to Singapore.
Rounding up our list is High Park Residences. It’s no small feat to end on a high note but this is one of the handful of projects that take family-friendliness to another level. For the first two years, the management is offering fitness classes (aerobics, yoga, kickboxing, Pilates), cooking lessons (baking, cuisine, aqua-related lessons (swimming, aqua aerobics), tennis lessons for both adults & children and violin lessons for kids.
It’s also across the road from Thanggam LRT station, one stop away from Seletar Mall and about a five-minute walk to Jalan Kayu and its eateries. To top it off, there are some shops to be available at High Park. Therefore, High Park’s extensive suite of family-friendly facilities and services makes it a perfect bookend to this article and probably why it was voted best condo development at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards 2017 for its practicality and family-friendliness.
Choosing the appropriate home for you and your own family is a decision only you can make based on your lifestyle. Some people prefer condos with plenty of features and facilities while for others, it’s irrelevant how large the pool is; they’re only in it because of convenience or they have a bit more buying power.
Ultimately though, purchasing a condo for family-friendly facilities is to think short-term. Not a whole lot of people are committed to utilising the facilities consistently a few months or even a year after they’ve moved in and the novelty has settled. Look for projects with more holistic features, such as High Park and Grandeur Park’s classes. Having access to yoga, aerobics and even music lessons are timeless attributes compared to things like a kid’s pool.
Come 2018, a new and larger slate of projects are expected. One can only hope that more of those will come with such features.