There is a growing number of people in Singapore who are faced with just this dilemma. Those that fall between the gap by earning too much money to enable them to buy a BTO, but purchasing an apartment in a private condo is just too much of a stretch for them to be 100% comfortable with. In the middle of this of course is the option of buying a resale HDB. Many of those, rightly or wrongly, see a private condo as the best option, but it is just a case of whether or not the sacrifices, and the tightening of other budgets is worth it.
Generally speaking it boils down to three main issues:
It isn’t just about cold hard cash, but it certainly has a major influence, and it is why we are here talking about it in the first place. There is no getting away from the fact that the cheapest condo is going to be more expensive than the best resale HDB. The skill is finding a condo without falling into two traps. The first of these is that in order to being able to afford a private condo, are you having to choose one that is in a location that is not ideal, or is old, with tired facilities? HDB’s will almost always be in a more convenient location in terms of nearby amenities, and proximity to the MRT and bus stops. If you are having to compromise too much in order to get something in your budget, it is maybe time to take a step back and evaluate.
Secondly, you do want to have a life outside of your home and your mortgage. If you are having to pump all your funds into simply having a roof over your head, you won’t be able to enjoy the life you have become accustomed to, and your hard work deserves. Work out before hand, what if any lifestyle sacrifices you will need to make in order to upgrade to a condo.
There are two sides to this as well. First of all, condos tend to come with more facilities than you get at HDB’s. The gap is closing, but you still will be getting more, and in all likelihood higher quality facilities at a private condo. If you are going to use them, and even better, they mean that, for example, you can give up your gym membership, then that is something that needs to be taken into account. If on the other hand, they are simply things that look great on the brochure, but in reality you will never use – are you genuinely going to spend every weekend on a climbing wall? – then they are not adding any value to your life.
Secondly, though it is not always the case, it is fairly safe to assume that the value of your condo (especially when you purchase it during the new launch preview) will increase at a higher rate than that of your resale HDB. If you are going to be selling it in a few years’ time, this should be taken into account.
Finally, like with almost all property decisions, it comes down to location. If the only way you are able to afford a condo that has the facilities you want, is to move out into an area some distance from an MRT and other amenities, is it really worth all the sacrifices you are making?
All of these questions and points will be different for each and every person, and should be taken on board and evaluated. There is no right or wrong answer, only the one that is correct for you.
Below are some of the latest new launch condo / apartment that are released for sale in the real estate market.