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Your Ultimate Checklist for choosing an Ideal HDB Flat!

The upcoming Built To Order (BTO) launch by HDB proves to be an exciting one. This is because this sales exercise is as early as next month! For this round an estimated total number of 4160 units will be launched, with over 53% units located in the mature housing estates, Clementi and Tampines.

If you have not prepared for this selection exercise, fret not! Here is a checklist with 10 pointers to guide you in selecting the flat of your dreams.


1. Singapore Master Plan

Image Source: HDB

Image Source: Straits Times

Back in December 2014, the Fernvale Lea’s future residents were shocked to know that a Chinese temple, which would house a Columbarium, would be built next to their soon-to-be-completed HDB blocks. From this incident, you should learn the importance of studying the Master Plan to find out the future development of the surrounding estate before you select your HDB unit.


2. Location and Accessibility

Image Source: Commercial space

Like the cities around the world, the closer to town an apartment is, the more expensive it is. For Singapore, the HDB units which are situated close to the Central Business District (CBD) are very pricey. Well, living in the CBD is well sought after since it is where people mingle and work. Also, it is where exciting places like big shopping malls and F&B establishments are located.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that choosing a HDB unit in the city outskirts is a poor choice. In fact, the Suburbans are catching up! This is because in order to relieve strain on traffic in the city center, creation of partially self-sufficient towns, also known as Regional Centers, have also been established in East, North and the West regions.

A unit nearer to an MRT or bus interchange is more accessible when compared to a unit which is nearer to the city, but inaccessible by public transport. However, if you own a car, a HDB unit which is closer to expressways is more convenient as compared to those which are only accessible via small roads.


3. Mature Estate vs Non-mature Estate

Image Source: Latest project launch

Mature estates have more established facilities and amenities while non-mature estates refer to zones where there are large tracts of land for development. Also as the supply of HDB units is limited, these prices are usually pricier than those in non-mature ones.

Nevertheless, you should still consider getting flats in non-mature estates as they are more budget friendly. Furthermore, your chances of securing a flat is higher too.


4. South-west facing unit

Image Source: Void Decker

We all know that an east-west facing or a top floor HDB unit will be baked under the scorching sun, turning it into a sauna. However, if you love to have your laundry sun-kissed, having a bit of your kitchen yard or balcony soaked up with the morning eastern sun isn’t that bad. Nevertheless, you should make use of the Sun Calculator, that shows how the sun’s movement throughout the year affects any location, during your shortlisting of the HDB units.


 5. Natural light and Ventilation

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An HDB unit which is perceptually shrouded in shadows is gloomy and probably not well ventilated. Hence, you should look out for a unit that is unblocked since it would be bright and airy. The same applies for the corridors; a dark corridor leading to the entrance to your home is probably not very safe and definitely not potted plants friendly. In fact, you should consider visiting the HDB showflats to check out the HDB models. Tip! Use a small torchlight to shine onto the miniature flat models to check out which units are blocked and receive little sunlight.


6. Privacy

Image Source: Simple ikea hack

Choosing a HDB flat with maximum privacy is also important. If the entrance of your unit is such that it is either facing a lift, rubbish chute, staircases or another HDB entrance, the strangers and your neighbors would probably be peeking into your flat every time they walk past. Aside from the entrance, the service yard is sometimes too close to the corridor. Hence, people walking past might be able to get a glimpse of your clothes when they are hung out to dry.

In addition, since the BTO projects are getting more and more dense; the proximity of the units between blocks is getting shorter. So, it is certainly not desirable if you can peek into your neighbour’s living room and vice versa! Furthermore, check if your unit is facing the LRT station or multi-storey car park, having people peeking into your flat while waiting for their ride is certainly a big no no.


7. Layout

Image Source: Bizarre Hdb Floorplans

Steer away from units with odd corners since they might pose problems to you during furniture placement. In addition, if you believe in Fengshui, a general rule of thumb to so avoid layouts with toilets or bomb shelters right in the middle of the room. In the same vein, units with kitchen walls, sharing the same wall as the toilet bowl should also be avoided.


8. Going High or Low

Image Source: Goodmorningyesterday

Opting for a high floor or low floor is usually a matter of personal preference. For starters, the higher units are more expensive, gets more sun, windier and also dustier. What is more, when there is a blackout, you probably have to climb an obscene number of stairs – that is if you stay over 20 stories high! However, if you prefer low units, bear in mind that you probably bear the blunt of the inconsiderate neighbors when they hang wet laundry, and noises too if there are activities such as weddings or funerals.


9. Noise and Pollution

Image Source: Cargocollective

If you are sensitive to noise, an HDB unit located is just above a coffee shop or supermarket might not be suitable for you. This is because, a F&B establishment usually generates a lot of chatter from their patrons. Furthermore, I am sure that you do not want to put up with oily fumes, which makes your laundry smell like expired hawker fare! Similarly, an HDB unit located just next to a children’s playground or school that is teeming with cheerful, boisterous kids will probably be noisy too. Also, HDB blocks next to busy major roads will also be exposed to lots of noise and dust pollution.


10. Affordability

Image Source: Hdb

Last but not least, make sure that the HDB unit which you have chosen is within your means. Remember to check the maximum loan which you are eligible for and the estimated monthly installment of the loan for the repayment period that you intend to apply.

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