The cost of living in Singapore can be quite expensive, that’s why homes that are provided by the HDB are all the rage right now. HDB homes are government made houses or flats that are sold to people that want to have a permanent place to stay in the areas where HDB homes are located in, are called estates. The estates are differentiated into two types: mature and non-mature. In Singapore, you can find 23 towns and 3 estates that’s spread out in each cardinal direction; i.e north, south, east, and west.
Now, HDB homes are quite pricey for the middle-class person, and thinking of ideas to spend less money on HDB homes can be quite a hassle. So, here’s something to help you with you hunt to find the perfect HDB home for you!
- Plan Ahead and Apply For BTO (build-to-order) Flat
Of course, if you’re going to buy a house to stay in, you’ll want the kind where you can immediately occupy it without having to wait for any delays. But, because these kinds of houses offer the convenience of immediate occupation, their prices also grow more expensive when compared to BTO flats.
During the 2016 launch of BTO flats, a four room BTO flat is priced around 260,000 U.S dollars while the resale value of a pre-made flat is around 369,000 U.S dollars. While in other areas, a 4 room BTO flat is priced around 435,000 U.S dollars while similar flats but are resale in essence, are priced around 630,000 U.S dollars. According to estimates, the rate of cash you can save when choosing a BTO flat over a resale flat is about 25%! If you think about it, you’ll be having the same house, both made by HDB, but you can get one for a cheaper price. But, the final decision will always be up to you, just know what you need and the amount you’re willing to spend.
- Choose The Right Estate
As stated above, there are two types of estates, mature and non-mature. The location of the HDB home affects its price by a large amount. If it’s located in a mature estate, it’ll be considerably priced higher, meanwhile HDB home in non-mature estates are priced lower. If you’re lucky, you can get an HDB home in a non-mature estate that’ll save you about 40% as compared to buying a home that’s located in a mature estate. There are still cons when buying a house in a non-mature estate, the main con is most non-mature estates are located in less urban areas. But, if you think about it, with Singapore’s highly advanced transportation systems, you can practically get anywhere by just knowing what the right rides are.
Also, if you’re planning to buy a 4-room or lower house in a non-mature estate, and your monthly salary is less than $8,500, you can apply for the SHG (Special CPF Housing Grant)!
- If Possible, Avoid Renovations
House renovations are, essentially, non-refundable. That’s why when you’re searching for an HDB home, it’s good to check if you’re satisfied with the home’s overall design. Because if you’re not, then you’ll have to invest in re-designing your newly-bought home. Also, when you put your renovated house for sale, if the buyers don’t like how you designed the house, you’ll be receiving offers that are either just equal to your asking price – or even lower.
One tip you should learn when you really want to renovate your house is to avoid built-in furniture and focus on the ones that can be easily moved. If you do this, you’ll be able to bring the furniture you brought to your next home. This will surely save you a lot of money.
Looking for an HDB home is not hard, its abundance will always make it marketable. But, if your standards are too high in picking a house, then you’ll definitely have a hard time. Just keep in mind that when looking for prospective houses, you should focus on what you really need, not on what you desperately want.
About the author:
Jeric is a freelance writer that features food, lifestyle, travel, DIY subjects, and nature. He is an adventurer, taking on the world and everything it has to offer, may it be the good and the bad. He also has a weird love for reggae and sharks. See: Reggae Shark