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Which HDB flat to buy?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Reader says:

I have read your posts and have been following you for quite some time. 

Have been reading your posts on purchasing properties and following up on the replies. Really interesting :) 

I would like to seek your advice for choosing a HDB flat. Hope you don’t mind helping me out.

I want to buy a flat that is more accessible and convenient, closer to the central region. 

I plan to sell the unit after 5 years of stay when my financial is ready for an upgrade. 

However the flats in the estate I am interested in are older. 

My agent keeps telling me NE region is newer and have more potential.

I really like the 20 year old resale flat which is closer to town but for the same price, I can get a 5 year old flat in NE Singapore.

I feel that the flat in NE is not so convenient even with the LRT lines and bus service there. 

It is still quite a distance away from central area.

For the amount of money I can afford I know I can’t get both new and centralised HDB flat, 鱼和熊掌不可兼得.. Please teach me how to 取舍..

AK says:

If you are buying a home to stay for the rest of your life, an older flat which has more than 70 years left to the lease is OK.

If you are thinking of selling the flat a few years down the road, an older flat could have issues especially now that more people are aware of what a shorter lease means.

You decide. ;)

Related posts:
1. HDB flat is 37 years old...
2. Buying a 99 years LH property?
3. Buy resale flat or new BTO flat?
Which one would AK choose?


Anonymous said...

Kaypoh abit.

I choose the 20 yr old central unit.
1. 20 yrs not too old yet. Given you plan to move
again in 5 (or max 10 years), the next buyer (30+) can
still live in it till 0 value (99 yrs) and should be
able to obtain maximum loan till age 60 (or 65, 67
whatever the maximum age the bank uses).

If this flat is older, say 30... then i say 4get it
unless u like to live in that area.

2. Time. Central, I assume really more convenient.
If u work in downtown, good. If you work in the west
(the 2nd CBD, Sci Park(s), the Biopolis etc, and HSR,
ports... Even ministries/stat boards are found in West..
dont see how the jobs going to end up in the
East (unless airport or IT in Changi).

Unless you work in Creative Cluster and Learning sector,
or aerospace, then NE might be Ok,

Try take leave, Monday.
start super early, reach the NE unit, commute to work.
Evening, the reverse direction and touch the block.
Is it acceptable to you?

Of cos, I value Time more (abit younger than AK),
imagine getting home 15 mins earlier, can read AK blog leh.

Neber mention got kids or not... school should be a
big consideration. Especially pri school if no
affiliation etc.

Why must sell after 5 yrs? ah, financial upgrade...
if u can cover the renov u put into a 20 yr old flat
after 5 yrs, ok. if not, maybe 10 yr? Best, stay
for 10 yrs, invest with the financial upgrade.

I observe people move 15 yrs (give and take ah)
Usually 2x. 3rd is rare, but then again, I havent
have frens in their 60s yet. So mostly friends in
their 1st and 2nd homes, or planning 2nd.

1. 1st home (spouse nia, w/o kids)
2. 2nd home (1 or more teenager, > 1 kids), teenagers need
their own room.
3. 3rd home (downgrade, spouse nia),
if dont downgrade also can but clean until seow.

so likely 352, or 451... 3rm, 5rm then 2rm. or 4rm, 5rm,
then 1 studio. haha...macam soccer formation.

decide what is more impt (e.g.)
a. spouse happy
b. affordability
c. kids' schooling options
d. time to work/school for everybody
e. potential profits! resale value.

then decision is abit bit easier.
your criteria/order is different, of cos.

fc (shorter nick leow)

AK71 said...

Hi fc,

Alamak! Simi save 15 minutes on commute to read my blog is a good reason to buy the 20 year old central flat? Is this called "AK躺着也中枪"? LOL. ;p

Thanks for weighing in on this. I am sure the reader appreciates your comment. :)

AK71 said...

Why we should buy the biggest and most expensive home?

Brina said...

Kaypohing here too. Here's my two cents.

I would choose the 20 year old flat. Assuming reader does not work along the NE line, time saved on commuting for work (and leisure, because NE line is quite bare for leisure outlets as compared to central) would probably boost his wellbeing!

Also, a shorter lease doesn't affect rental prices, so reader can still rent out his apartment at market rates. With a central location, reader can possibly make a good sum out of it!


AK71 said...

Hi Brina,

To be fair, there are many shopping malls on the NEL. I only go as far north as NEX and all the way south to Vivo City. In between, we have City Square Mall, Plaza Singapura and Clarke Quay. I still won't want to stay in Sengkang or Punggol though. ;p

Anonymous said...

wah, 1st time read the expression. I google to confirm.
Rarely use chinese web or navigate web in chinese.

no 打击 (yet) leh... ;)


AK71 said...

Hi fc,

Crossing fingers. ;p

AK71 said...

Simeon Kong says...
Normally Gov will avoid questions what to do when the tenures expired for public housing.....but not in Singapore. My friend’s HDB is now finding it hard to sell even though it has a good location as it is a 45 years old flat.

Anonymous said...

Stay right smacked to the MRT station then. There are so many HDB units (both old and new) that's within walking distance to the MRT station in the West (Buona Vista, Clementi, Chinese Garden, Lakeside, Boon Lay, Pioneer).

I have a friend staying in the Bukit Merah area (but not near MRT). I stay in the deep west but right smacked to the MRT station. If we are meeting in town (Raffles/Orchard), we can leave house and reach at approximately the same time :P

AK71 said...


These days, we have to pray that the MRT does not break down. ;p

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