Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

You’ve probably stumbled across this article if you’re kiasu like me – you don’t want to buy your dream HDB flat, be it BTO or resale, only to realize that your dream has somehow warped into a chilling nightmare. Sounds like an exaggeration?

For some of you, it may very well not be. To avoid such a situation occurring, we’d like to present to you five weird lifestyle-changing factors that you should look out for before buying a HDB flat.

Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

1. HDB Flat Pets

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is actually extremely strict about the specific types of pets that can be raised in a flat. If you’re planning to get a pet in the future, or you already own one and plan to bring it with you to your new HDB flat, this section is most applicable to you.

Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

HDB Approved Dog Breeds Source: HDB

Let’s talk dogs. HDB allows for 62 breeds of dogs, and the full list can be found here. However, that’s not all, you can only keep one dog in your HDB flat. And if it is a mixed breed, it can only come up to a maximum height of 55cm.

Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

Cast are not allowed in HDB flats Source: HDB

Regarding cats, though, HDB actually implemented a rule whereby cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats. We’ve actually covered all the finer details in our article, where we discuss why this rule was implemented, and other alternatives you can explore if you’re adamant on owning a cat.

Other pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, or fish, are fine though. Though, we should mention that if you’re a fan of exotic pets, you do need to take a look at exactly what can and cannot be kept in HDB flats, which you can find on the HDB website.


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 2. HDB Flat Gentrification

Gentrification is a term that’s been on the rise for a while. In a traditional sense, the word is used to describe how a neighbourhood changes to become one that caters more to wealthier households than before.

Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

Tiong Bahru Bakery Source:Casual Diner

We’ve been seeing something similar in various neighbourhoods, most notably with the example of Tiong Bahru. Tiong Bahru is a neighbourhood in a now-prime region that’s witnessed the emergence of a large number of artisanal cafes. While residents haven’t really been complaining about the changes to the area as they cite Tiong Bahru Market as a highly accessible option for cheap hawker food, this may not be the case for other estates that may undergo gentrification in the near future.

Five weird lifestyle-changing factors for HDB Flat

Tiong Bahru Club Source:SG Magazine

If you’re someone that prefers a wide variety of old school kopi and a delicious hokkien mee full of wok hei flavor over a pleasant cappuccino and a fancy eggs benedict, this may be a factor you want to take into account before you move into your new neighbourhood.

If this seems like a major concern to you, and you’re uncertain as to whether or not a neighbourhood you’re looking to buy a flat in might undergo gentrification, leave your contact details!

Home Quarters would be more than willing to take a look at your options and advise you on how to proceed.


3. HDB Flat with quirky shapes

This section applies more to those buying resale HDB flats; BTO flats today are thankfully shaped in a standardized way. There are some older HDB flats out there who have weirdly shaped floor plans, such as fan-shaped ones, or units that, for some reason, lack corners.

In any case, some of these shapes may not be obvious to you at first glance. This may not always necessarily be a bad thing, though; some owners just take it in stride.

HDB Flat Weird Floorplan

Curve shape corver unit Source:Renovation.sg

However, there are some problems that you may see cropping up. The problem that we personally would take the most seriously is the inability to maximize space. Most flats in Singapore are already not as large as most would like; having a shape that, for example, causes your dining table to be unable to fit into a certain corner, would mean that that table would have to be put somewhere else, that could have been empty.

This may give your house an illusion of being more cramped than it actually is. Well, this problem, like many others, can be easily fixed with money. Having a budget to buy or craft customized furniture that best suits the shape of the house, or to fully renovate the house, could possibly guarantee not only a complete utilization of space, but also capitalize on the special shape of the house.

This could also mean that your house looks especially unique and intriguing to guests. But of course, these benefits come at the expense of an increased cost of acquisition of the flat.


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4. HDB Flat Hidden Fees

While HDB flat owners pay less in maintenance fees (officially called the Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC)) than their condominium-owning counterparts, when you’re looking to buy a resale HDB flat, it would be best to look out for any sort of hidden fees that you might have to pay once you move in.

HDB Flat Hidden Fees

These can come in the form of pest problems (paying for a pest exterminator to come in), faulty water heaters (having to replace them in all the toilets), wiring problems (more applicable to those who aren’t planning on renovating their new home), or having to install your own air-conditioning units.

While these may not seem like they cost a lot, you might find better alternative flats that don’t require such troublesome services, despite being just a tiny bit more expensive.


5. Location of flat within the block

A lot of people talk about the floor level of their units as a key factor they take into consideration. Something else you can take into consideration. However, is where exactly your unit is located on whatever floor.

HDB Flat Corridor Unit

HDB Corridor Unit Source:shaheed salim

Take for example, a comparison between a corridor unit and a corner unit. A corner unit usually provides more privacy due to less foot traffic, and would also prevent people from accidentally destroying your houseplants or kicking your shoes by accident. On the other hand, some actually prefer corridor units as they feel less stuffy, and its orientation allows natural light into their living rooms.

HDB Recess Area Source: Fatema Design Studio

Another interesting tidbit here: you know that little area outside your HDB flat along the corridor? You can actually buy that space and have it renovated to your liking. It comes with quite a few conditions though – check out our article we did covering this topic for the specifics!

If this speaks to you, you might want to consider getting a resale flat that has a recess area available for purchase. Another example would be your unit’s proximity to the nearest garbage chute. If you’re like me, and you absolutely hate any form of creepy-crawlies, we would never get a unit that’s anywhere close to the garbage chute.


Conclusion

The five factors we’ve mentioned above are unlikely to apply to everyone – a lot of these factors depend upon your own personal preferences and where your priorities lie when you’re choosing a flat. However, we sure we all want to have every possible factor taken into consideration before buying a house, arguably one of the most important decisions in our lives.

Here at Home Quarters, we won’t just tell you about numbers and facts, but we’ll also pay extremely close attention to every little single preference that you have, talk to you about any future plans, and take a multitude of factors and opinions into consideration before advising you on buying your dream HDB flat.


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If you have any questions or want to share any opinions with us regarding this article, simply leave your contact details or send us a quick email ! Alternatively, you can contact us via whatsapp message or call KC at +65 8809 2889! Or direct messages on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

At Home Quarters, we’re all about quality, efficiency, and most importantly, taking into account what exactly our client wants. If you want to hear about how we do this, take a look at our series Closing Thoughts, where we sit down with our clients after we’ve successfully sold or bought a property on their behalf! 

That’s all for this article! Stay safe, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!