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Cecil Lee

Reading between the lines of Sales Brochures

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Reading between the lines of Sales Brochuresfinal.thumb.jpg.8fc5184c64cba44d67f119d360a98384.jpg

1. It is always an excellent idea to spent some time to scrutinise a prospective sales brochure of our potential buy (purchase).

2. Recently, more and more clients have discovered to their shock (horror) that the least expected was the location of the central rubbish bin outside their unit.

3. A year ago; many had purchased a premium unit within the development .. and later shocked to learn that the central rubbish chute (for their entire floor) is just next to their main door!

4. Thus the morale of the story is to check first before signing on the dotted line.

5. In general, most developments have these:-

5.1. A central rubbish collection centre / rubbish bin collection point

5.2. Power Sub-station. Every development usually has one or more of these depending on the size of the development.

5.3. Design of club-house roof-lines / trellis / gazebo / pavilion. Are the designs a "threat" e.g. with spikes or like a razor's edge? Usually these are aimed towards lower storeys.

5.4. Any poison arrows in the form of a sharp corner of another block of neighbouring stack aimed towards one's balcony (hard to cure) or towards one's windows (if any)

5.5. Location of areas like BBQ pits and any impact e.g. the smell from these pits towards a unit.. especially low storeys such as #01  or #02 first or second storeys

5.6. Any tree trunk aimed towards a lower unit e.g. #01 or #02. Unfortunately it may be too late; especially if the development is under construction.

There are lots more considerations...  

Do remember "Read in-between" the lines..

TRILIVE reading between the lines.png

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Case Study: Check out the location of The Central rubbish bin.

final.thumb.jpg.b6c35c01695ccbc4faaee3970ef3ec09.jpg

1. Currently all ECs and condos do not indicate the exact location in their Sales brochure.

1.1 Even if the rubbish bin has a door, it is still not ideal under Shapes and Forms Feng Shui.

final.thumb.jpg.c61902f272503744c36c7da7ae2db7f5.jpg

Location of photos (above): Ecopolitan EC

1.2 May affect re-sale value. This is true if in the future, a potential buyer may themselves and/or bring along a geomancer to view the unit:-

You_Doodle_2016-10-20T05_02_57Z.thumb.jpg.97ce6d0e05213db2ec9651992c9e78e0.jpg

2. Inconsiderate Neighbours?

2.1 For example, Neighbours continues to leave rubbish outside the bin area. 

2.2 one cannot just stand around the bin area to "confront a neighbour doing so".  Which may result in bad relations.

3. In Bellewaters EC, the central rubbish bins are less obvious.

3.1. As the developer placed a small bin icon discretely on the TOP-right corner of the bin door.

3.2. Harder to notice if one is not actively looking out for the location of a bin. Nevertheless, in a resale; most geomancers may actively take this into consideration. 

599774f72ddea_centralrubbishbinicon.thumb.jpg.664c2cec4f974f75e292df4cda18e1a3.jpg599774fd9fab8_centralrubbishbinicon1.thumb.jpg.740d9e363d6869e8f08a654ceae5c7b8.jpg

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Ecopolitan Just T.O.P. 

1. These two photos taken from different stacks.

2. Unfortunately, there is no way one could find out where the Landscapers would place each tree.

2.1. Only a certainty when one had just collected the keys.

2.2. In both photos; one can see that this tree trunk stretches both ground floor unit and the second storey.

final.jpg

2.3 Looking at the maturity of these trees; their exposed tree trunk; therefore is considered a poison arrow aimed towards an opening of stacks.

3. If aimed at a living Cum dining room balcony open; then it is more difficult to cure. Vs it aimed towards a bedroom window. Here drawing the day current "permanently" is a possible cure.

final.jpg

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Want to avoiding buying a home without dry-wall partitions?

1. For re-sale homes; before signing on the dotted line; go around knocking on most walls in that potential unit that you and your family like.

2. In 2011 @ Livia Condo (the developer was CDL properties); not sure why, but out of curiosity I knocked on several walls: living room/bedroom 3 ; bedroom 2 shared with bedroom 2 ; master bedroom shared with bedroom 2.

2.1. I got a rude shock when I found these to be dry-walls.

2.2. A further shock awaited me; when I went into the master bedroom toilet. I also knocked on the external wall.. and also realised that these are some pre-fab walls or those seen in a few HDB flats in Sengkang where the toilet comes in modules or installed in modules.

2.2. In recent years: I also found HDB flats starting to use dry-partitions for certain walls. One development was Compassvale Mast @ Sengkang.

2.3. Just a few weeks ago; I realised that in Yishun: HDB Angsana Green also has some walls in dry-wall partitions.

3. Why might I ask.. are you so concerned with "solid" (concrete / precast concrete or red bricks / hollow brick walls VS dry-walls.

3.1. Let me put it this way.. especially for condos and ECs where one pays close to a "premium" for such flats; one would expect the traditional "Brick and mortar" type of house. 

3.2. A few years ago, a client in-fact sold his unit at Livia and bought an older condo unit further up-stream as he; like me don't really fancy dry walls for a home. Oh, it is just me.. or my preference.

4. What are some of the disadvantages of using dry-walls vs pre-cast / solid walls?

4.1. During renovation stage: these walls must either be additionally re-enforced internally with more support (if not practical/more expensive) then wooden framework has to be added each time one wants to mount top-hung cabinets say in the bedroom etc..

4.2. If the wall is shared wall. For example: on one side is the master bedroom TV wall; the other side is a family member's bed and/or bed-head. Unlike mounting a TV on a "solid" wall; even mounting the TV on a piece of wood and onto this dry-wall may if TV set placed at specific levels; majority of TV sets have a high EMF radiation at certain areas of the TV set. And this depends on both the brand and a specific model.

4.2.1. Don't want a family member's head to be next to such a device (if or should there be EMF radiation) behind one's bed-head.

5. Moisture: This may not be that common if the dry wall is shared between two bedrooms. But if the dry wall is not properly protected from moisture; and if it is sharing the same wall as a shared toilet. For example; do take a look at the attachment with the Amore EC to have an idea ...

6. Sound proofing. Most solid walls be it red-bricks / hollow bricks or pre-cast walls often have minimal noise transmission.

7. I know of homes built in the 1990's which uses dry-walls for the toilet ceilings / hiding concealed air-con piping and I can feel the difference between that era's dry-walls vs today's. 

7.1. 1990 era's local dry walls are simply very solid and heavy. While today's dry walls are so much different. I have even seen homes of the Livia era e.g. 2011 and later where some of the dry walls were punched in or kicked in by someone. During my rounds under the Can or cannot buy. Where a client asked for a review of such homes before they sign the dotted line.   

8. From the Sales brochure's layout; although it is easy to determine which are solid thick walls = thus brick / pre-cast concrete walls.

8.1 Often, I would take the cue from past projects that the same developer had worked on. Thus, since I know what are the standards of Livia condo; one could more or less guess where are the dry walls.

8.2 Except that perhaps; the difference is that nowadays; most walls surrounding toilets even projects by CDL are often solid walls not hollow... (dry-walls?).

8.3 Thus, even for yet to TOP developments like Coco Palms again also by CDL; more or less one would easily second guess which are the dry walls.

9. Attached is a floor plan from the soon to TOP Amore EC.

New condos potential dry walls.png

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Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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Almost certainly for CDL projects; and nowadays majority of new condos and ECs;

Even without going into the development; one could more or less take the cue by standing a far and staring "between" walls.

For example: the red arrow most certainly points to the inner wall will most likely use dry-ways.

Where the yellow arrow; there is a question mark. As in some cases the outer casing may be solid or load-bearing; but subsequently part of it may be a dry wall.

IMG_4428.JPG

In one of the illustrations where there are green letterings : 1 and 2 : these are often a shared wall between say bedrooms 1 and 2. Thus for sure most likely a dry wall between them.

IMG_4429.JPG

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Best to avoid stove at the NW sector of an apartment = search for the term "Fire at Heaven's Gate"

In addition, stove should not face a bedroom entrance:

 


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Case Study: Roof lines of Club-house or pavillions and Sha Qi or Poison arrows if aimed towards a unit's opening such as a balcony opening or window(s)

For ground floor or lower floors; check the roof-lines of club-house; gazebos etc for poison arrows aimed towards the unit.

Especially if it is aimed towards the balcony as this is the hardest to cure. As it is not like one wants to install an external blinds and draw them fully down 24/7.

If these "spikes@ are aimed towards a window: "if it cannot be seen or (nearly cannot be seen) no longer becomes a threat, applies". For eg. Day curtains is good enough.

final.jpgIMG_3485.JPG

Location: The Peak @ Balmeg

These two photos, below are from Riverbank @ Fernvale.  Do be careful of innocent looking pavilion roof lines and club-house roofings that may or may not "slice" towards a unit's opening such as a balcony or window opening

IMG_8086.thumb.JPG.d962588f723c102617dae26dcc6cc0fb.JPGIMG_8084.thumb.JPG.f041cd972b4e44ae51969d72342cd55d.JPG

final.jpgIMG_8143.JPG

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Majority are hidden.

Just that when the time comes for resale; anything goes...

Given that a property is not cheap. Some may even bring along a geomancer....

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Case Study of a Balcony/PES with only Three Panel Sliding Doors

1. This photo is from The Terrace at Punggol which had just T.O.P.

1.1 Three panel sliding doors at the balcony/PES:-

597d2b729c2f7_THREEPANELBALCONYSLIDINGPANELS.jpg.36f30512eb6d5bf83db9be163c23948c.jpg

2. As the size of flats gets smaller and smaller. There is a surge of flats with balconies that are only three (3) panels instead of the more common four (4) panels found in older condos, ECs and even HDB flats.

3. The benefit of 4 panels means that the openings are exactly at the middle. And the panels can slide to each side for ease of entry and exit of the living room/balcony.

4. Not anymore if there are instead three panels.

5. If so, it is thus not possible to have a large sofa or place it too close to the balcony sliding door(s). Plus the TV console or cabinets cannot be too thick or fully cover the sliding door panel on the other side of the sofa location.

6. Thus, this means that one has to seriously consider not only the length of the sofa but also the height of the arm-chair and the width of it. Make sure that it does not block the lock mechanism at the sofa side and vice-versa.

7. Another plus of a four panel sliding door means that often one may still leave ajar or a gap and not fully close the sliding panels. But for a three panel door; often than not the opening is close to the edge of the roof-line. And often, this is the first area where heavy winds and rains may come in.

8. For example: Sol Acres development has similar three (3) panels:-
(Note: This is an acutal photo from The Terrace EC Block 88 ground floor unit PES)

597d2b729c2f7_THREEPANELBALCONYSLIDINGPANELS.jpg.36f30512eb6d5bf83db9be163c23948c.jpg597d2b7a295e7_THREEPANELBALCONYSLIDINGPANELS-Copy.jpg.f85bcf616e8413ece537b430f6071eaa.jpg

final.thumb.jpg.a2da7b46a89d5fb99bae26c42acef435.jpgfinal.thumb.jpg.73bf30e70401d341cb535d3b600f910b.jpg

9. More: An added bonus if a unit has an outdoor power socket and water-point.

10. One will only know if there is a water point or outdoor power switch after collection of keys. As often, this is not mentioned in the sales brochure. But an added bonus if your new unit has them:-

597d2b8810655_TheTerraceandwaterpipeandpowerpoint.thumb.jpg.c78817279f64cf4000426a0db5300bcd.jpg

10. A Four panels balcony sliding doors. (Location: Bellewaters EC)

final.thumb.jpg.bc28387e7e0aedda5d4625debb8e5079.jpgfinal.thumb.jpg.8062f6f76066078cd88a519323e63c1d.jpg

10.1 The advantage of this four panel balcony sliding door means that not only the middle two panels can be opened; but also either of the side or corner panels can also be opened. 

10.2 Thus it incorporates the best of both worlds of the three panels with this four panel model.

 

 


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Case Study: Where is the drainage point at my unit's balcony? Common sense says that this may determine not only how many potted plants but also where it should be placed!

Question: I have many potted plants. Can I place them at the balcony of my new condo or EC?

1. Nowadays there is only one miserable drainage point at a unit's balcony.

2. This is because in the past, one was used to a large drainage running from one end of the balcony to the other. This has lead to ponding. And mosquito breeding.

3. For this reason, today's regulation allow only a specific drainage point. Many new developments I had recently visited e.g. The Vale at Sengkang, Rivertrees etc.. there is only one drainage point.

4. With this in mind, if one wants to place potted plants or even a water feature: determine where is the drainage point at the balcony.

5. And place these potted plants and (unfortunately) the water feature beside/at these drainage areas.

6. If not, and if one over waters the plants. The excess water has to flow a long distance to the drainage. Sometimes it may just flow across the balcony. Resulting in algae and in time, the balcony becomes slippery and a danger as one may just slip and fall.

7. The illusration on the left shows the drainage design of an older flat. But this has been phased out in new developments. In new developments since 2010 there can only be drainage points (see the right most illustration):-

Balcony drainage.png

8. In the illustration on the right: excess water may cause slime or greenish algae to form and make the entire blcony slippery. And may result in a serious fall. Or need frequent cleaning.

9. In the past, with a large drainage at the balcony stretching from one end to another, many choose to place a decking. And such balconies were prone to ponding and result in mosquito ponding.

10. Today, good news is that new owners don't need to spent money to cover such drainage since it is extinct. 

11. The yellow arrow (below) shows the drainage point:-

597d3b6c8014f_TheTerraceanddrainagepoint.thumb.jpg.8395f7b6a6ee4eee27fc622e1e18d92f.jpg

12. Common sense says to place potted plants close to the drain. And not too far off. Since excess watering needs to flow to it.

13. Therefore, one can only wait until T.O.P. to collect their keys or managed a sneak peak during construction stage...


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Case Study: Multiple Air-con Ledges and a look at Reinforced Concrete or RC Ledges

1. Multiple Air-con ledges: Two Air-con ledges: Inz Residence EC and 3-Bedroom Superior and Shapes and Forms Feng Shui

1.1 Under Shapes and Forms Feng Shui, it is ideally to avoid purchasing a home with so many air-con ledges.

1.2 This Inz Residence EC 3-Bedroom Superior design has an Air-con ledge at the frontage and another towards the rear of the unit.

1.3 The frontage of the unit is suppose to be a high asset value. And what worse than an air-con compressor spinning and generating noise and heat, here:-

3 bedroom superior.png

1.3 Even with units that has 4 or 5 bedrooms; often their planners still manage to place the air-con compressors at a single ledge.

2. Many RC Ledges:-

597f2a451c1d3_manyrcledgesexample.jpg.f1524d23b7aa14515674249f9c9afa67.jpg

2.1 There is a double edged sword with regards to having RC ledges.

2.2 In my opinion, the pluses outweigh the negatives.

2.2.1 This is because with such ledges, more often will encourage a family to leave the windows open (perhaps not fully) but partial. Making the entire home airy all year round.

2.2.2 Of course, Reinforced concrete or simply called RC ledges is not counted as part of the floor area. And often added by the planners for exterior asthetic purposes.

2.3 Bird resting place - magnet:

2.4 Below: iNZ Residence EC with a distinctive frontage full of multiple RC ledges:-

597f305976635_distinctivemultipleRCledges2.thumb.png.94da9542526f72b484735454ea316e97.png

2.5 The only dread is that if the RC ledges are not slanted at an angle like much of the RC ledges found in new and old HDB flats; it simply means birds can perch on them and often leave bird-shit droppings. And can or may be a source of bird-flu or other air-borne viruses.


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Case Study: Mixed Developments: Apartments & Shops + Roof-top aircon cooling fan/towers

1. I feel that one of most over-looked item to note is the roof-top aircon cooling towers of the mall.

2. For example: The Centris condo above Jurong Point.

2.1. Some clients realised that during T.O.P. they realised that their unit which is at a lower storey is in full view of the roof-top aircon cooling towers: Can hear the constant humming noise from the fans of the cooling towers. And on certain days can see the "smoke/moisture" rising from each of the cooling towers.

597fed8c0f221_ThecentrisnJurongpointcoolingtowers.thumb.png.e1d047369b5ab72d26a4816ec23c16e1.png

2.2. The most recent example is Hillion Residences. When a client wanted to purchase a unit, there.

2.3. I have advised my client to check out where is the cooling towers of Hillion Mall. As this is also a mixed-development. In addition to the location of the central rubbish bin etc...597fee7d5eb20_HillionMallroof-topairconcoolingtowers.png.40644e51b6a56cd79bdf0f0a3996ec34.png597fee8204ad3_STREETDIRECTORYHILLIONRESIDENCES.png.3101cbd653ac9dc8606bbcade63d3e55.png

2.4. Especially when the development ages. Hopefully, the cooling towner fans don't become noisier.

2.5. If a unit is too close to the cooling fans; the air-flow good or bad can affect the luck of that unit.


Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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Case Study: Interested a home (landed / HDB / EC / condo) facing South?

1. Take extra care when considering purchasing a home facing South.

2. This is because most likely for such a home, the kitchen could either be at NE or NW sector of a home.

3. This unit's stove and sink are exactly on the True NW cardinal point:-

59976c2521a8c_FireatHeavensGate1.thumb.png.3217c4811aaa7d3a2e316abf2c518e0a.png


3.1. Fire at Heaven's Gate: Even if the stove and sink were to be switched, the stove would still be located at the True cardinal point of NW:-
59976e4104abf_FireatHeavensGate2.png.9dd1bfd5f5667c8271514a243136da45.png

4. What happens if the kitchen is at NW?

4.1. In many instances, even if the kitchen is at NW, hopefully we do not encounter a situation similar to the above.

4.2. Especially when the stove is at a true NW cardinal point. However, if the stove is not exactly at this cardinal point; we still need to look at each unit on a case-by-case basis.


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Many potential owners of a home especially an apartment has no control over termite infestations (if any).

This has more to do with the Managing Agents/MCST's responsibility.

Termite infestations are more evident in developments beside a canal / river and reservoir.

Other know hot-spots include St Michael's estate and Towner Road area. In the past, a bank located at Towner Road had safe-deposit boxes that were also infected by termites...

Many developers only provide the standard one year warranty for workmanship + termites proof.

In the past, one developer (Goldenhill ...) also cited that some species of termites have wings and can fly towards a property. Drop their wings and attack a home.

Thus once, the 1 year warranty is over, it is the responsibility of the owner of a private property to do due diligence.

This development: Riverbank condo in Fernvale took to the next level by using seems to what this European company Anticimex claims "a modern pest ontrol system:-

Riverbank condo is right at the river bank. Thus will be prone to termite infestations.


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Case Study: Besides purchasing a flat near to a coffee-shop; another consideration is the barbecue pits?

Even if one’s home is a HDB flat, may also be “affected” by the whiff or smell from a near-by barbecue pit. In this case, from a neighbouring condo development...

6FBE32A1-8308-4398-9B73-8AED8A3011A4.png

This is another consideration when I do a Can or cannot buy review of a new development: “You don;t want your whole unit smelling of barbecued sea food & meat especially on a wonderful Friday, Weekends and Public Holidays...


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