Ever wondered what it is like to live near the void deck? Let us share with you five things about living near this magic place:
#1 You have the most convenient location in the block
Physical disability poses as a problem for homeowners with elderly parents or grandparents. This might be something you factored into your decision-making before purchasing a home on the ground floor near the void deck.
Also, you know the lift breakdowns that afflict flats all the time? It’s no problem on the first four floors; you still have the option of using the stairs to quickly get to ground level.
And it takes minutes – mere minutes – to run out and collect whatever you bought on Carousell, or get to your Grab driver. You won’t end up waiting for the lift, and getting pissed as it stops at every floor on the way down.
#2 If the kampung spirit still lives, it’s at the lower levels
Ever heard of Kampung Spirit? Kampung spirit is a colloquial term that refers to a community coming together to do things in unison.
The HDB void deck is a place designed for community use, where residents can interact with one another. This is a potential spot for the kampung spirit to come alive through sweet fellowship; people hang around and play their guitars at void decks, play chess, or shoot the breeze. In older developments, larger spaces at void decks were provided for community-bonding activities and serving the social needs of residents (they’ve shrunk a bit over the years).
In areas like Clementi West, you are able to find void decks filled with neighbourliness; like residents caring for each other’s needs by leaving food for those needier than themselves. And if you live on the ground floor, you can leave the door open and chat with neighbours as they walk past.
#3 There are bugs everywhere
One reason for these little creatures making their appearance and popping up on your sidewalks, HDB lifts and even your homes, is due to the very existence of the garbage disposal centre. This major food source which is often located nearby on the ground floor, is a home to many unwanted little scavengers such as cockroaches and rats.
It’s the absolute worst around December, when the wet seasons seems to send twice the number of insects – including winged ants – straight into your kitchen.
Be prepared to face a nasty situation when the pest control officer starts fumigating the HDB rubbish vents at your HDB block. Even when readily armed with a trusty can of pesticide, it might not suffice. The biggest issue these days is Dengue clusters – mosquitoes breed everywhere, but you need to be especially careful on the ground floor; there’s more likely to be mozzies around your area than on, say, the 30th storey.
Just imagine coming home to floors covered with dead cockroach bodies, with some still alive…
#4 Your privacy can’t be taken for granted
You’ll quickly learn the flip side of the kampung spirit; which is people coming by when you don’t want them to.
Trying to enjoy a quiet Netflix binge session? Not anymore, Mrs. Tan is here to give you a pot of curry, and launch a two hour tirade about how her son doesn’t care about school. Exhausted after work and just got through your door? Mr. Faizal sees you going in, and starts a 40-minute conversation about how the local Mee Rebus stall holder has lost its standard.
Your flat can feel like the centre of a never ending community conference. And the lack of privacy might get to you at some point or another with strangers peeking in through your windows or glass doors.
#5 It gets noisy, which you’d better be the sort to enjoy
With HDB void decks presenting itself as a temporary venue for community events, weddings, funerals, along with social and community facilities such as childcare centres, elderly daycare centres and kidney dialysis centres. Some of these facilities are commonly found in void decks where there is good access, visibility and connection to other facilities.
The noise that accompanies the groups of people walking past the barbecue pit or playground area might even travel all the way into your personal living space. Coming home after a long day at work hoping for some peace and quiet might not be a realistic expectation. Instead, expect the sound of kids laughing and shouting from the childcare centres or groups of people.
If you are someone who loves your peace and quiet, you will learn that living near the void deck might not be the best for you. On the other hand, if you can’t stand the stony silence of the upper floors, this may be what you need.
What else do you learn living near the void deck in your own HDB neighbourhood? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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