99.co’s guides: Things you need to consider when selecting a BTO unit

4 min read
Which level should you live in your BTO flat?
Which level should you live in your BTO flat?

Buying a BTO flat is by no means an easy task. First, you need to think about financing it. Then comes reading up on all the procedures on how to apply for it. Then you get your queue number – and it’s time to choose your unit! Check out our guide on factors to consider when choosing your HDB flat unit, as well as how to decide which level you want to stay on.

Which floor should you stay on?

Staying on a low floor means that you’ll have to deal with more pests such as cockroaches, beetles, ants and mosquitoes. This is especially true if your unit is near to the rubbish chute. It also means that you’ll be more exposed to noise from functions being held at your void deck – as well as from any playgrounds or sports courts that are nearby.  

That doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed with peace and quiet if you choose a higher floor, though. Whilst you get less ‘immediate’ noise generated from the void deck area, you might be privy to quite a bit of noise from traffic, especially if you’re facing the main road or expressway.

With it being windier the higher up you live,, your place may get dusty faster. And of course, what puts many people off is the premium price that’s attached to units on higher floors – you can expect an approximate 0.5 percent increase in unit price per additional floor, which adds up to be quite a bit.

As for staying on the highest floor? If you don’t mind forking out the added cost for it, you’re in for some pretty sweet advantages. For one, you have no neighbours above you, so you won’t have to deal with slamming doors, furniture being moved around, or the bane of every HDB owner – someone else’s wet clothes dripping on your laundry.

Staying on the highest floor also means that in the case of ceiling leakages, it’s a clear-cut situation wherein HDB will step in and bear the costs of repair. If you’re sandwiched in the middle, however, it’s much more of a hassle trying to sort out if the damage is due to either party’s negligence, and whether your neighbour is willing to bear part of the repair costs as well.

Lastly, whilst some potential flat owners are concerned about units on the top floor getting more exposure to the heat, HDB flats are now built with additional levels above the top floors with access corridors to water tanks. These additional floors act as a sunscreen of sorts, meaning that you won’t have direct sunlight (or rainwater) coming down on your unit on the top level.

Orientation to the sun

As a general rule of thumb, avoid any flats that face the west – these are usually hit the worst by the midday sun, and temperatures can get pretty unbearable. Ideally speaking, you should choose a flat that is facing north-south, so that you can get the best breeze.

Want to get more in-depth about this? Pin your potential flat’s location on this Sun Calculator, and it will show you how the sun’s movement and phases affects this particular location.

Future developments

You might be looking at a unit that looks like your ideal home now – but it’s always good to have a heads up about the government’s plans for the surrounding land in the next 10 to 15 years. Find out via the URA masterplan!

Privacy from neighbours

It’s no secret that BTO flats these days are smaller – and it’s not just the units that are shrinking, but the corridor space as well. Make sure you check out your floor plan to see what the arrangement of the different units are like, and whether it’s possible for your neighbours to look into your apartment or your utility yard when they’re walking past!

Choosing a HDB flat is exciting business, but make sure you spend enough time doing your research and covering all your bases, so that you can get the best unit for your needs.

Happy house hunting!

Looking to sell your property?

Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.

One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can jump onto 99.co’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.

If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co.

Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

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