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  • Writer's pictureAaron Lin

The BIGGEST Mistake in HDB House Hunting!

I’ve had buyers who ask me about listings in completely different areas of Singapore year on year. First will be Sengkang, next will be Bedok, and so on. Are they buying or shopping?!


Many, when looking for HDBs, can’t find what they want due to a lack of understanding. They don’t know what they really want. Here is where the importance of your agent comes in. If you get an inexperienced one, and you ask for Bedok or Tampines, sure they will just bring you to any of these flats in the areas. But an experienced agent will be able to tell you that the flats you’re looking at are two completely different things!


The importance of ESTATE


Every estate has different features. For example, Bedok’s housing estates are a little older. There are new batches of houses but the price difference could easily be $100-$200 thousand. Sengkang, then, has a smaller difference in pricing because the age difference between the flats there is not as large as Bedok. You have to be focussed in what area you want – each area can have as many as 30 or 40 choices.


You need some basic understanding of the real estate market. Even more examples:


- Bedok is 4NG, mostly 90 square meter door-to-door units. Do they have 4S? I don’t know.


- Serangoon has 4S. 82 square meters corridor units.


- Serangoon even has 4NG or 4A units that are 100 square meters.


- Sengkang had 90 square meter corridor units. The only corner units there are the old DBSS, not the ones at Fernvale. Only these 2 clusters are corner-unit.


- Buangkok’s 4 room flats are $500k, but Sengkang’s are $350-380k. In Sengkang, you could even find a 5-room, 110 square meter flat at $380k.


The difference between estates is significant. You have to understand the different characteristics of the 4 or 5-room flat you’re looking at, and then confirm which estate you want and just search there. Going around the different estates… is just going to make things more difficult and complicated for you.


A good agent will share with you the different characteristics of the houses in that particular estate. Even if he is not familiar, he will look into the listings and should be able to advise you from there.


A common Misconception!


NG, A, S, I are not similar. I in Bedok and I in Bukit Batok can be very different. S in Serangoon and S in Hougang can also be very different. For example, some master bedrooms have en suite toilet, some don’t have. Agents can also make mistakes about this.


Priorities


Things like renovation are not so important. Don’t forget that the person who stayed there stayed there for five years and used all the furniture. While the outside looks nice, the inside surely has some wear and tear already. Save money on a non-furnished listing and use that money to have your own new renovations.


In Short


Do your own research! Make sure you understand what estate you want and balance the age of the unit and the price. Focus on the estate, the model, the price, mid or high floor, and so on.


Low: 2nd, 3rd

Mid: 4th to 10th

High floors: 10th and above




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