Room with a view? Not always

VIEWS from the top are often coveted and many buyers are willing to pay a premium to secure high-floor apartments. 

But these prized views of the city skyline or the sea front, for instance, are not always guaranteed to stay as long as the home buyer. 

At times, new developments spring up right next to an existing project, obstructing both the breeze and the panoramic views. 

For instance, The Bayshore near East Coast Park used to enjoy sea views, but most of the units there are now blocked by Costa Del Sol. Silversea in the same area, expected to be completed by the end of 2014, is also likely to block the views of some apartments at The Sea View. 

But buyers should be savvy enough to know what to expect, experts said. Even if marketing agents push the unblocked views as a key attraction of a newly launched project, their claims can be checked, they added. 

By checking the Master Plan and the gross plot ratio given for surrounding sites, home buyers can get a sense of what project might get built in front of them. 

The masterplan indicates whether an undeveloped land parcel, for instance, might be earmarked for residential, commercial or mixed-use development. 

The gross plot ratio also determines how intensively the land can be used. For example, a ratio of 1.4 allows developers to build up to five storeys. 

The Government Land Sales (GLS) programme on the URA website - which lists the land parcels the Government puts up for sale every half-year - is also a good resource to check where new projects might soon rise. 

Research is crucial because buyers can either negotiate the asking price or think twice about purchasing a unit if they know that its views will not last. 

Source: The Straits Times – 2 June 2012