Which Should You Choose? Boutique Development or Full Facilities Condominium

The Colonnade designed by Paul Rudolph on Grange Road. Photo Credit: Pricey (Flickr)
The Colonnade designed by Paul Rudolph on Grange Road. Photo Credit: Pricey (Flickr)

This has always been a very tricky decision when it comes to buying a dream home of your choice.

Property A

A 65 unit boutique condominium development that has a pool, bbq, children’s playground and underground carpark facilities. The location is quiet, and considered quite close to amenities around the vicinity. Price is $850 psf for a 3 bedroom.

Property B

A 4,35 unit condominium development has full condominium facilities, location is about the same as Property A. Price is 950psf for a 3 bedroom, an additional of 100psf as compared to Property A.

Which would you choose?


My advice to home buyers has always been selecting a home which allows you to have good capital gains even though subjected property is for their own stay. This ensures a good chance of making a profit when the property cycle is trending upwards, you have an option to lock in or even upgrading to a bigger and newer development.

I’d pick B because of better capital gain potential and also a healthy resale transaction levels.

The Deciding Factors

The Location

Grayscale photo of The Sail @ Marina Bay, photo credit: dearchivism_yanson
Grayscale photo of The Sail @ Marina Bay, photo credit: dearchivism_yanson

Look out for locations where they’re usually in demand. We all know that the crème de la crème in Singapore has got to be the old district numbers 9, 10 and 11 areas. For some reasons, many new areas are springing up to be potentials as the Government is focusing on spreading the central CBD hubs into different parts of Singapore (example, Paya Lebar Business District, Jurong East Business District and Marina Bay Financial Centre)

Getting a project in these area ensures a long interest from buyers on your purchase. Do not also drop the intention of looking at 99 years leasehold properties as most are strategically located close to MRT stations or prime district distances to malls and offices.

The Sail is a good example of most people missing the boat. At launch, The Sail went for $600+psf during launch amidst many skeptics on its tenure. The first owners who might have even held till today has the last laugh with sub-sale before TOP and resale prices hitting $3,387psf in April 2008.

The Layout

Odd layouts are usually unpopular with families if they’re not squarish or rectangular in shape (tsk, its okay with the balcony though). Typical families in Singapore prefer more built in spaces than Private Enclosed Spaces (PES) such as terraces and balconies though they’re welcomed.

Having a good size apartment with a good layout will safe guard your potential in selling your place in the future. During bad times, developers shrink sizes of the apartments to reduce the quantum so its much easier to sell, but during better times, families would ultimately prefer a decent sized apartment (good living and dining area, enough kitchen space, good sized rooms).

The Facilities

Condominium projects with full status (with tennis court, swimming pool and more) tends to edge a little over projects which only has a pool or basic amenities. The most important is the mixture of facilities with your landscaping of the surroundings is right in the condominium. We understand that land is scarce in Singapore and developers tend to squeeze in as many units as they can when they’re designing the project, but if its overdone it will make the whole living environment very cluttered.

Some of the unique projects that stands out in facilities and has unique factors on its own are like the recent Double Bay Residences which features band rooms with musical instruments, piano room and even a library, or conservation club houses such as the ones that The Wharf, The Seaview and Grand Duchess at St Patrick’s feature.

The Amenities

This ties very strongly with the first criteria of choosing a great location as whichever amenities it provides. Should the location be great, amenities will be the next critical factor. Good schools around the project ensures a very healthy sale and resale value. Look out for easy access to train stations, buses and eateries around. These are all selling points.

The Developer

Surprise surprise! A good developer always ensure quality is of a decent level as reputation is at stake. Hearing big names like UOL, Wing Tai, Wheelock Properties, MCL Land, City Development always put you in a comfort zone whenever you’re buying an uncompleted project as finishings are not disappointing. It makes a difference.

The Difference Between Boutique Development and Full Fledged Condominium

It boils down to the lifestyle of your choice in living. A boutique development ensures more privacy and less hectic in terms of the number of residents staying. That would be the most major difference. According to my observation, depending on the projects you choose (as all projects varies in quality), numbers between 10 – 50 are usually very, very quiet.

And you should check the maintenance too as the lesser the units supporting the project in terms of sinking funds and maintenance cost, usually the monthly management fees is much higher.

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