Cluster Homes: The Best of Two Worlds
Are you looking to buy an exclusive property for your family, however, you are in a dilemma? Are you longing for the exclusiveness that is associated with landed homes in Singapore but yet wishes for the convenience of recreational facilities at your doorstep? Well, your best solution is Cluster housing or officially known as strata-landed housing.
Cluster housing is an ingenious cross between common landed property and low rise condominiums. Therefore, it carries the status and appeal of landed estates with the convenience and perks of condo living. Residents get to enjoy communal facilities such as security, swimming pool, jacuzzi, gymnasium and playground in most instances and in a larger cluster housing estate.
History of Cluster Housing Singapore
It is first mooted in 1990 in the "Ideas Competition on Housing Forms and Standards" launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the landscape of Singapore's housing in March 1003 introduced Cluster home concept.
Cluster housing developments maybe two or three storeys high and may comprise bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses either singly or in a combination.
It seems like cluster houses are deemed to be similar to townhouses, but the difference lies in their settings and layout. Townhouses are often co-located with high-rise apartments in condominium developments while cluster housing developments comprise solely of landed houses. Besides, townhouses usually are formally laid out in uniform street blocks while cluster houses can be built in nonstandard forms and linked in clusters, allowing different permutations and layouts. Some townhouses available for sale are at Affinity at Serangoon North and another beautiful townhouse from Developer Sales is at Riverfront Residences at Hougang.
Typical Strata Landed Property
Most cluster homes come with attached basement car park, which can accommodate a minimum of 2 cars. Hence, this is a luxury most conventional terrace homes can ill afford as the majority has car parking space for just one vehicle.
The basement car park also takes away the ills of roadside parking often associated with conventional landed home districts. Furthermore, roadside parking not only leads to a narrow drive-through, but they are also unsightly and mar the landscape of the neighbourhood.
Cluster home developments with basement car park have the added advantage of freeing up space on ground level, enabling the incorporation of a vast landscape. Also, this feature is also advantageous to families with young children as there is no vehicular traffic and the children can roam the compound freely. Such luxury would be impossible in a conventional landed set-up.
Marriage Between Landed and Condominium Housing
Cluster housing is like a ‘marriage’ between landed and condominium housing. Like landed houses, all cluster homes have ground contact but with shared facilities similar to those found in condos. It uses the strata title arrangement to define the extent of the private areas and communal areas. The units are linked in clusters and may be arranged in different permutations, thereby giving rise to different layouts. As such, it adds variety to the surrounding residential environment due to the peculiar manner in which the housing units can be arranged.
And as well, cluster housing is a strata-type development with collective ownership by all residents; hence, residents have greater control over incompatible additions & alterations which helps to give rise to greater consistency in the streetscape around it.
Maintenance of Cluster Homes
Unlike landed houses, there is less hassle in taking care of the land and especially in having to deal with defects & repainting of the facade every few years. As a result, a managing agent engages by Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) members will be appointed to provide all such maintenance services and contractors liaisons. Here, the homeowners get to live a ‘carefree’ lifestyle with no worries about the cleanliness outside. Through cost-sharing, maintenance of these facilities become more affordable to the residents who could otherwise be too excessive to most people if each unit were to be provided with its facilities as in the case of traditional bungalows.
Would-be purchasers of cluster homes also need to bear in mind the need to pay monthly maintenance fees for the upkeep of communal facilities. Most noteworthy, this typically ranges from $250 to over $1,000 per month depending on the size of the development as well as the range of facilities available. This requirement to pay maintenance fees is something that conventional landed homeowners can save on but of course, they “would" not have the luxury of recreational facilities at their doorsteps.
Option of Upgraders
Compared to landed property, cluster housing is a real option for property upgraders who want a lifestyle change. Cluster housing units, with its planning control guidelines, use the strata title arrangement to define the extent of private areas, communal facilities and common areas. To detach the private spaces of each unit, trim and low hedges merging with the overall landscape are used. These could be in the form of strata bungalows, strata semi-detached houses and townhouses, linked in clusters.
The Residential Property Act restrict Foreign ownerships as cluster housing developments are not accorded condominium status. Foreigners who wish to buy one will require the prior approval of the land Dealings Unit of the Ministry of Law. This foreign ownership restriction would affect the "saleability" of cluster homes in the resale market.
Contact Us If You Are Keen In Getting A Cluster Home
Now and then, we have some new Cluster Homes for Sale, directly from the developers. These are either newly built or under construction. We may also have some resale cluster homes. Do leave your contact with us and we will be able to partner with you to find you the most appropriate strata landed homes.
We also welcome sellers and let's work together on the sales of your cluster homes.
I look forward to providing a super service to you.