Buy smaller and then try make bigger?

We should note that available sizes for homes are slowly getting smaller. It’s the only way for it to be affordable. In Hong Kong, an apartment is already as small as 180 sq ft, complete with a bathroom! Location is of course within the Central Business Districts (CBD). Prices are in the millions. In Malaysia, when we are looking at small parcels of lands within the CBD or even right next to the MRT stations, the only way for developers to build is to build as high as possible and as small as possible. Typical sizes currently for SOHO would be around 550 sq ft. This is where the launch price can still be advertised as ‘affordable.’ Can a couple stay in one of these? I think it’s doable lah. For a family with baby, maybe it will be harder but as we noted, when location is the main criteria, some sacrifices would have to be made.
To the usual readers of, you would know that I prefer buying a bigger place instead of a smaller one. You are right. I do prefer to buy a bigger place. However, whatever place we buy and whatever size we buy, we should always strive to make them look bigger. The reason is simple, everyone loves a bigger place, even those who thinks 550 sq ft is enough would still want that 550 sq ft to be fully usable. That’s the reason why renovation costs for a smaller unit is not necessarily lower than a bigger unit because of the many special customisations involved. Once renovated, the unit looks better and bigger. When you need to sell it in the future, your main competitors are other units within the same development. If I am a buyer who has viewed five units within the same development, which one would I choose? The bigger one lah.
Objectively, the buyers / renters who have decided to view a certain 550 sq ft units in a certain development would view 10 of these to decide which one appeals to him the most. Many times, location is already the reason why he selected to view the project. Thus, your competition would always be with the similar sized units. Imagine conversations like, ‘this unit has many built in cabinets which helps to ensure as much of the unit is usable. Without these cabinets, it will be messier and smaller.’ The conclusion is thus very simple. Regardless of the size of the unit that we buy, it’s always advisable to renovate it with the aim of’ maximising space available.’ It is always a plus whether for future buyers or renters. Happy enjoying your unit.
written on 7 Jan 2017
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