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  • Living in a condo

    Posted on November 10th, 2010 Andreas Linder No comments
    View from the lap pool

    View from the lap pool

    Some people might think, what is a condo? There is no equivalent to this type of living in Sweden for example. A condo can be summarized to be a nicer type of apartment with shared facilities. It’s quite affordable depending on which area you choose to live in. But a rule of thumb is to choose a condo not too far from work. This saves you a lot of time to do other things than being stuck in a traffic jam. In a major city it’s my absolute preferred way of living. In fact, it’s something I will sure miss when and if I ever move back to Sweden. All examples of costs in this article are based on local prices 2010.

    Condos are normally quite large buildings, for example, the condo where I presently live is 17 storeys high. This is considered quite normal and the really huge ones are now at about 40 storeys high.

    A condo will always have a set of shared facilities. Depending on the price range of the condo unit, these facilities will be different in number, type, finishing and maintenance. Our condo for example has: 24/7 security, a tennis court, 3 swimming pools, a water slide, 3 playgrounds, a basketball court, an indoor and an outdoor gym, a sauna, a cabana for approximately 80 pax and 2 barbeque pits. The use of all these facilities are (usually) included in a modest maintenance fee that every unit is paying monthly. For our condo this fee is around RM160, or roughly50 USD. There is also daily cleaning of the premises also covered by the maintenance fee and garbage collection service.

    Condos usually have commercial units on the ground level. Amenities could include, dry cleaning and laundry services, kindergarten, hair dressers, beauty parlors, restaurants, convenience stores, clinics and in some cases even traveling agencies. This is of course based on a case to case scenario. Some condos are built on top of huge shopping malls, and some don’t have even a single store within the premises.

    Condos also tend to attract entrepreneurs who come up with quite clever services at an affordable price. For example, in our parking garage, there is a independent car washing service where you pay RM 40 or roughly 12 USD to have your car washed once a week while you are parked there. Excellent idea and very convenient.

    I mentioned that condos are generally quite large. Allow me to elaborate… Our block houses 170 units and there are 6 blocks in our condo making up for a whopping 642 units. This is quite high density and needless to say a lot of people live in this quite small area. (There are however also very small condos, with as few as 10 units only. What they still have in common are the shared facilities. I have yet to see a condo that doesn’t have a swimming pool.)

    So what is so good about it then? First of all, you don’t really notice how many people live there, because it’s quite cleverly designed. Every block has 3 elevators, so you don’t have to wait for long to go up or down. The entrance to our carpark is 2 lanes and the carpark itself is 6 storeys underground, so there is plenty of space for cars. This is needed, since most families have 1-3 cars. Yes, you do need a car here in KL, since the public transport really sucks, but you can read more about that in my other posts.

    Condos also have  a balcony in most cases as opposed to normal apartments, although there are exceptions in both cases. To summarize, condos are a more relaxed, comfortable and nicer way of living in comparison to apartments. For foreign workers from the west you get extremely good value for money compared to living costs in their home country. At first it feels a bit strange to have all these facilities around you that are considered luxury where I come from, but after a while it starts to feel natural. For me who is a person too lazy to maintain a landed property and more of a city person, this  is my absolute preferred way of living. Try it… you might like it.

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