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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Loo

Read This First Before Viewing/Buying a Landed Property

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Read This First Before Viewing Buying a Landed Property

When looking for a landed property to purchase, the following are factors in which most homeowners will be looking into, which your agent should be able to provide information on.

  1. Location

  2. Number of floors

  3. Bedrooms

  4. Facing

  5. Traffic conditions

  6. Nearby amenities

  7. Pricing (Build-Up and land)

  8. Legal Requisitions

These are the factors that are most obvious to the buyer. In my opinion, experts will still be needed to be involved.

Some of the usual feedback from my builders is how homeowners will proceed with placing an option fee before consultation from builders/architects. This is extremely disadvantageous as there might be structural limitations in which the building works can be done. Even if you are not considering any building works which will require a Qualified Person’s (QP) endorsement, these will be in consideration for the next in line owner, when you are intending to sell the property.

Clients might underestimate construction costs (Rebuilding, Reconstruction or Additions & Alterations), which will lead to buyer’s remorse. Below are some key pointers in which your builder/architect will be able to assist you in.

Illegal Additions to Building Site

During the sale and purchase of a landed property, some works which are done on the plot might not be “accurately” reflected in the building plans. This might seem to be a minor issue, however, new works that are required for submission will be needed to be inspected. If caught, you will be liable to make right these modifications and potentially face further penalties.

One case which I have personally experienced is the unapproved works in which that the construction of the swimming pool was flushed along the boundary line of the land plot, without any setback.

Construction Costs

You might have chanced across my article on Guide to Rebuilding Landed Properties for Private Home Owners, which I feel has sufficient depth from a Real Estate agents’ perspective. In the article, I covered the aspects of the estimated costs of a rebuild project. However, I strongly encourage you to get a proper quotation from qualified builders instead of relying solely on my estimates.

Every plot of land has different structural requirements, such for example, land plots around East Coast/Bedok might require additional pilling works due to soil requirements. This can cost as much as a third of the total project sum.

If you require a referral to qualified builders, feel free to drop me a message at 96329840 or email I have referred numerous satisfied clients who are pleased with these builders’ service standards and pricing.

Seller Not Allowing Further Inspections On-Site for Architects/Builders Pre-Purchase

Another red flag that I’ve encountered is sellers not allowing potential buyers to bring along builders and architects for site assessment. Caveat Emptor applies here, but surely such risks can be minimised with a preliminary site assessment.

Preventing initial assessment just shows bad faith on the seller’s part and buyers should exercise extreme caution.


The above 3 points are what I have most commonly encountered throughout most of my dealings. There are still many things that you should carefully analyse before purchasing, which can be potentially overlooked.

Purchasing landed properties are very different from strata lots. The building shell and core of a condominium shouldn’t be much of a concern due to the systematic approval of its structural plans by the authorities. Renovation works and quick repairs on such properties can be done without significant costs involved.

The problem with individual land parcels is when landowners decide to “creatively” do unapproved works, and this liability will be handed over to new owners.

In a bid to secure cheap land, most homeowners will place an option before further consultation. The amount of works is often underestimated which leads to huge costs outlay.

If the clients can afford the project works in cash or is able to secure a loan, there is no issue. But what happens otherwise? I have seen cases where clients have bought an unhabitable property without any means to rebuild the property.

My Proposition

Working closely with a buyer’s agent and a builder/architect easily prevents most of the problems that I have mentioned above.

A real estate agent will be able to provide past transaction records and market information to ensure that you are getting a fair price for your property.

A builder/architect handles the technical aspects of the land plot by ensuring that the construction of your dream home is feasible. With a price estimate, budgeting will be an easier process.

The real estate agent and builder/architect will have to work closely to prevent miscommunication.

I work closely with builders/architects who can provide preliminary inspections for you. If you are interested, feel free to drop me a message at 96329840 or email for more information.

Please prepare the relevant building plans and service plans (i.e. SIP/DIP) to facilitate a smooth process.

If you have not yet purchased your future home, click here to see how I can assist you.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee, or other group or individual. The author does not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any harm or loss arising from accessing or relying on information contained in this blog post.

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