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Buying or selling a west-facing landed property in Singapore? Here are 3 workarounds

Yet another enigma weighs on the minds of our buyers – the grand question of facing directions.

Within the condo realm, a west-facing unit might raise a cautious eyebrow, but there's often room for manoeuvring as developments play with terrain and angles to shield dwellers from the full tropical blaze. Sadly, this luxury isn’t extended to the landed properties in Singapore, and you’d want to manage your expectations when trading in your apartment for one.

First-time buyers of landed properties in Singapore may not give too much importance to this concern, but for the seasoned eye or those embarking on their second foray into landed ownership, it’s a pivotal factor. My SRI colleagues – Jackie and Rama – .and I have cooked up a podcast episode to offer a more nuanced take on the matter. In the following video, we pull together over half a century of collective wisdom, steering both buyers and sellers through the conundrum.

The Feng Shui factor

It's no secret that west-facing homes often get the side-eye, but is the heat factor the lone culprit? Not quite. Especially among Chinese buyers, the world of feng shui is another heavyweight player.

12 years ago, Rama had a west-facing landed property up for grabs. Lo and behold, an elderly Chinese gentleman strolled in and, without so much as a glimpse at the property, made an offer. The reason? The facing direction supposedly cast a favorable spell on his seafood supply business for F&B joints. Now, feng shui experts aren't all cut from the same cloth. Some serve up precise prescriptions, while others dish out more lenient guidance, giving clients the freedom to explore options like north-west or south-west-facing landed homes. So, what's the lesson here? Sometimes, it just takes that one eager buyer to emerge from the shadows. But on other occasions, it's wiser to gauge the pulse of the market. Case in point: a west-facing inter-terrace might not be a total deal-breaker, thanks to a buffering effect from its neighbours. However, bungalows don't enjoy such luxury. One side is destined to face the wrath of the west sun, and any listing that implies otherwise might as well be labelled as, well, BS.

Making good a west-facing landed property

But hold on, don't let that west-facing label dim your hopes. There are three ingenious ways to work around it.

1. Furnishings

Equipping yourself with practical tools is the first step towards conquering the sun's intense rays. Sun screens and solar films are your trusty allies in warding off unwanted heat and glare, allowing you to maintain a cooler indoor environment. Beyond that, consider strategic landscaping to further shield your property from the harsh westward sun.

Thoughtfully positioned trees, shrubs, and vines can act as nature's cooling agents, but they’re not merely a battle against the elements; it's an opportunity to infuse your living space with greenery and transform it into a restorative sanctuary.

landed property in singapore

2. Rebuild

Should you have plans for a future rebuild, seize this chance to truly optimise your west-facing property. When selecting a plot, prioritize depth – a strategic move that pays off in the long run as it enables you to create an air well or a charming courtyard, allowing the refreshing breeze to flow freely throughout your home. These not only enhance natural ventilation but also introduce a sense of "zen" to your living space.

landed property in singapore

Read our guide to heat-proofing a landed property in Singapore.

3. Location

Believe it or not, that daunting condominium complex or HDB block staring you in the face might just be your silver lining. These structures become your natural shade providers and might bring handy amenities closer to your doorstep. And hey, what if you're facing a park that serves your entire enclave? It's all about perspective. The glass can be half-empty, meaning your property could be the trickiest to market in your area. trickier to market due to less-than-ideal neighbours. Or, if you're an optimist, consider it an upside. Mature trees offer a leafy screen, saving you from landscaping chores. No pesky blocks disrupting airflow and traffic is a breeze, freeing up parking spaces - a perpetual headache for landed homeowners. Here's the takeaway: Don't judge a listing by its cover, and don't get too caught up in checkboxes. Facing direction isn't a criterion in silos; it interacts with other factors. So, if the pros outweigh the cons, why not give it a chance?

real estate in singapore

The difference an experienced agent makes

It's quite the common tale: buyers take matters into their own hands, embarking on scouting missions to size up a location. While this DIY approach might seem like a swift route to qualify a listing, it often falls short. Without grasping the lay of the land and its unique geography, they might overlook the potential of a hidden gem. And that's where a seasoned realtor comes in. For instance, a veteran realtor needs nothing more than a glance at the parquet floor's discoloration to gauge the sun's westward prowess. They might even enlist a drone's help, offering a full debriefing of the property’s perks and pitfalls. Sellers, too, stand to gain from the wisdom of a seasoned realtor. In some cases, agents may propose to arrive a mere half-hour before the potential buyer strolls in. Their goal? Prepare the stage - fresh air or air-con at the ready, all to ensure the spotlight shines on your home's finest features. And trust us, it's wise to extend the welcome mat for this extra touch of professionalism.

To learn more about what we can offer, reach out to me (Harvey Chia) for a non-obligatory chat at 9199 9141.


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