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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Math Quiz: 176 Apartment Units served by 2 Elevators Only

Disclaimer: I have no ill feelings towards the developer, sellers, buyers, investors or anyone directly or indirectly involved in this property. I'm only voicing my opinion from what I observed.

Last sunday we were out running errands and bumped into a property sales booth in the middle of the shopping mall and decided to check it out just for fun. With property prices soaring year after year, I did get a little tempted to buy one for investment. But THIS property in Bandar Perda is definitely OUT of the question.

Location wise, there is a prospect of development especially with the government buildings within the vicinity. Currently there are many vacant land near this property site, but according to the sales person who showed me a map with future planned developments which includes a bus station. The BM City which is under construction at the moment would be a mixed development property. The first 6 floors would consist of businesses (2 floors) and car parks (4 floors). The 7th floor would be a recreational floor for the apartment dwellers only and the remaining 14 floors is residential.
BM City Podium Floor Plan
{Image Source BM City Realty & Construction}

Personally I find the 7th floor quite captivating as it's management maintained. According to the sales person, membership is compulsory for all apartment owners (I forgot to ask about tenants membership for those individuals who rent). While maintenance fees is twelve cents per square feet (I think). Not all the apartment units are sized the same with the smallest at 619 square feet and the largest 1441 square feet. The price range per square feet also varies depending on which floor you are looking at; MYR300 - MYR350 per square feet.

So why did I say earlier that THIS property is not part of my investment idea? Well, the main reason is down to the Ringgit and not-so-common sense. When I asked the sales girl for the cheapest unit available, she pointed out to me the smallest sized unit way up near the top floor which price was a whopping MYR227,000. She this was the cheapest available. Even if I were to get a loan, it would force me to pay some MYR1,200 per month in bank installments alone!

BM City Apartment Floor Plan
{Image Source: BM City Realty & Construction}
The common sense part is circled in red in the picture above. Each tower is served by only 2 elevators and according to the sales girl, the elevator fits 13 people at each moment. Now, math quiz: Imagine every room in every apartment unit has one occupant. So if that apartment have 4 rooms, there would be 4 people, 3 rooms 3 people and 2 room 2 people. That would roughly be 102 people in each floor. Now multiply that by 11 floors (I excluded the 3 floors of designer suites which would obviously hold lesser occupants). That would make some 1,122 occupants in a single building block serviced by only 2 elevators which can only old 13 people at any one moment.

Now, question: How long would it take to evacuate so many residents in the event of emergency? And in the event of a disaster, wouldn't this flaw be a death trap? There is only two stair columns drawn in the floor plan. But imagine climbing up/down 20 floors of stairs in the event one of the two elevators is down for maintenance! Worse when both are not functioning. Can the management guarantee that it will NEVER breakdown?

Perhaps if you scrutinize their official website you'll noticed that the floor plan drawings are exceptionally small while the other images are exceptionally large. Trying to "hide" their flaw perhaps?

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