Buying a HDB or Condominium?

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VJK_SG
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Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by VJK_SG » Thu, 22 Jul 2021 9:29 am

Hello Everyone,

I would like to know your suggestions on buying a HDB flat or a condominium.. which is better?

I don't have any idea about real-estate in Singapore. Please let know if you have better suggestions.

Thanks

Singapore Property Search

 

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:37 am

You’d have to be more specific with your questions. The two are not apples to apples, its impossible to compare. It all depends on what you value, whether thats price or privacy or facilities. If you prefer a more private estate with facilities and amenities, condos are a much better option. Of course, this comes at a price- they are often nearly twice the price of HDBs.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by CoconutTrees » Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:42 am

It really depends what kind of person you are, what you want and the specific HDB or condo you have in mind as there is a lot of variety between them all.

If the price of a condo and the price of an HDB were the same with similar location and access to amenities, I might well be tempted by the Condo, but on balance I suspect I would recommend an HDB.

My immediate thoughts (assuming you are buying to live in it rather than as an investment):
  • Ownership
Remember for an HDB, you are buying the lease, not the property.
For a condo, that might be the case too, but there are a few that are freehold.
  • On-Going Costs
I say this, not as an owner, but as a renter - the impression I get is that Condo's come with on-going libilities in the form of maintanence charges for things that you will not have ultimate control over and might not even require, as well as the burden of one-off charges when the management run low on funds (e.g. repainting, structural repairs etc). This might also depend on the nature of the management committee but from reading the minutes at my place, decisions seem to drag out for a few months - often because they want multiple quotes and requotes (and eventually settle for the lowest quote which gets the poorest quality and a botched job). As decisions get made at the management committee you will be only one voice out of many.

For HDB properties you are at the mercy of the HDB, so you could say you don't have any voice. However, for everyday maintenace you rely on the town council. I do not yet have experience of how easy they are to deal with, but I have reported various issues over the years via the OneService app and things do get rectified - the Town Councils have a budget and reputations to keep, as well as their own contractors, so I think they have less deliberation and more action.
  • Atmosphere
Lifestyle-wise, Condo's can be nicer environments during the off-peak times but I have found that things like Swimming Pools are inundated with screaming children (and sometime adults) in the evening and weekends. Even when there is a separate kids pool the adults still bring their kids to the spa pool to play games...however if you can avail of the facilities during the off-peak hours then it can be a more peaceful environment. That said, if you have your own children, then the closed environment of the condo provides some peaceofmind to let your kids run a muck knowing they won't go too far.

Some HDB estates can been quite reasonable places with their own garden areas, albeit without the tennis courts and swimming pools; yet some estates really need a spruce up...so it's hard to argue on this point without knowing the specifics.
  • Misc.
If you have a car, then Condo's often include a parking space, whereas HDB's you will need to pay for a parking permit.

Living in a condo can bring a lot of paperwork - moving-in/out requires a form to be submitted, deposits paid and timeslots to be granted. Some require this for deliveries of large items too. Use of the lifts and padding fees also add to the hassle.

If you buy an HDB Lease, you are unable to rent it out nor buy a second property (even overseas) for 5-years. HDB's can't be owned by foreigner's either - so if you buy it with a local partner and they pass away you will be forced to sell it.

Not an issue with condos, so at least from the perspective of financial-risk in theory you could rent out your condo if you needed to leave.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by abbby » Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:50 am

If you buy direct from hdb..you may qualify for housing grant, depending on what scheme you qualify for..
HDB prices are more affordable so ppl buy it for affordability and chance of profiting is also good when you meet you MOP (minimum occupation period).
HDBs are in demand if you're in a good location, near sch, amenities.

Condos
You get gated community, better security
Facilities you can enjoy..but you do pay about $300+ /- every month for it
Great if you use facilities, swim, gym, no need club membership
Prices can also go up if you time the market and buy the right project/ may lose money if you buy the wrong one..
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by therat » Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:53 pm

VJK_SG wrote:Hello Everyone,

I would like to know your suggestions on buying a HDB flat or a condominium.. which is better?

I don't have any idea about real-estate in Singapore. Please let know if you have better suggestions.

Thanks
May be you should let us know what is ur residents status now.

2019, you mention your spouse is PR. REP renew 1 yrs
2020, you mention you are in OZ. Come in as EP

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk


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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:54 am

CoconutTrees wrote:
Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:42 am
It really depends what kind of person you are, what you want and the specific HDB or condo you have in mind as there is a lot of variety between them all.

If the price of a condo and the price of an HDB were the same with similar location and access to amenities, I might well be tempted by the Condo, but on balance I suspect I would recommend an HDB.

My immediate thoughts (assuming you are buying to live in it rather than as an investment):
  • Ownership
Remember for an HDB, you are buying the lease, not the property.
For a condo, that might be the case too, but there are a few that are freehold.
  • On-Going Costs
I say this, not as an owner, but as a renter - the impression I get is that Condo's come with on-going libilities in the form of maintanence charges for things that you will not have ultimate control over and might not even require, as well as the burden of one-off charges when the management run low on funds (e.g. repainting, structural repairs etc). This might also depend on the nature of the management committee but from reading the minutes at my place, decisions seem to drag out for a few months - often because they want multiple quotes and requotes (and eventually settle for the lowest quote which gets the poorest quality and a botched job). As decisions get made at the management committee you will be only one voice out of many.

For HDB properties you are at the mercy of the HDB, so you could say you don't have any voice. However, for everyday maintenace you rely on the town council. I do not yet have experience of how easy they are to deal with, but I have reported various issues over the years via the OneService app and things do get rectified - the Town Councils have a budget and reputations to keep, as well as their own contractors, so I think they have less deliberation and more action.
  • Atmosphere
Lifestyle-wise, Condo's can be nicer environments during the off-peak times but I have found that things like Swimming Pools are inundated with screaming children (and sometime adults) in the evening and weekends. Even when there is a separate kids pool the adults still bring their kids to the spa pool to play games...however if you can avail of the facilities during the off-peak hours then it can be a more peaceful environment. That said, if you have your own children, then the closed environment of the condo provides some peaceofmind to let your kids run a muck knowing they won't go too far.

Some HDB estates can been quite reasonable places with their own garden areas, albeit without the tennis courts and swimming pools; yet some estates really need a spruce up...so it's hard to argue on this point without knowing the specifics.
  • Misc.
If you have a car, then Condo's often include a parking space, whereas HDB's you will need to pay for a parking permit.

Living in a condo can bring a lot of paperwork - moving-in/out requires a form to be submitted, deposits paid and timeslots to be granted. Some require this for deliveries of large items too. Use of the lifts and padding fees also add to the hassle.

If you buy an HDB Lease, you are unable to rent it out nor buy a second property (even overseas) for 5-years. HDB's can't be owned by foreigner's either - so if you buy it with a local partner and they pass away you will be forced to sell it.

Not an issue with condos, so at least from the perspective of financial-risk in theory you could rent out your condo if you needed to leave.
WRT the point on parking spaces, I’ve found that the parking experience in most condos can actually be more of a hassle than in HDBs. Although every resident is technically entitled to a space, these spaces are not assigned and oftentimes returning home late at night will mean having to park quite a distance away from your block. These are all small inconveniences, but they can make the living experience fairly unpleasant if you tend to return home late at night.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:55 am

abbby wrote:
Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:50 am
If you buy direct from hdb..you may qualify for housing grant, depending on what scheme you qualify for..
HDB prices are more affordable so ppl buy it for affordability and chance of profiting is also good when you meet you MOP (minimum occupation period).
HDBs are in demand if you're in a good location, near sch, amenities.

Condos
You get gated community, better security
Facilities you can enjoy..but you do pay about $300+ /- every month for it
Great if you use facilities, swim, gym, no need club membership
Prices can also go up if you time the market and buy the right project/ may lose money if you buy the wrong one..
Good point on facilities. The couple hundred a month not only accounts for maintenance of facilities, but also security and maintenance of the general environment. All in all, a very good deal compared to living in a HDB and having to purchase several different gym/club memberships.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by smoulder » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 12:33 pm

There's also the convenience of having your swimming pool /gym right near your doorstep (almost) vs having to travel somewhere else.

To be honest, I end up rarely using the facilities myself, but since we have a recent addition to our family, namely our (now) 17 month old daughter, the convenience of having a pool within the condo cannot be understated. She really enjoys herself, whether it's in the lap pool with floats on or the toddler water play area which is kind of a wading pool.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 2:43 pm

smoulder wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 12:33 pm
There's also the convenience of having your swimming pool /gym right near your doorstep (almost) vs having to travel somewhere else.

To be honest, I end up rarely using the facilities myself, but since we have a recent addition to our family, namely our (now) 17 month old daughter, the convenience of having a pool within the condo cannot be understated. She really enjoys herself, whether it's in the lap pool with floats on or the toddler water play area which is kind of a wading pool.
This was exactly my reason for choosing to settle down in a condo. Our now 17 YEAR old daughter got quite a lot of use out of all the facilities, particularly the pool and playground. She made many friends as well, many of which she’s still in contact with today.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by MOCHS » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 6:17 pm

All HDB estates now have exercise corners every few blocks that have some basic exercise equipment. No gym membership required, everyone is free to use it. Town council maintains it too.

Swimming pool wise, you can deduct the entrance fee from your ActiveSG account but that’s for citizens and maybe PRs. Not all condo pools are built equally. Some are smaller, some bigger. Some have one pool, some have more than one pool.

Some HDB projects at Boon Keng and Punggol Central do require card access at the ground floor if you’re anal about “security”. IMO, condo security ain’t completely watertight either, I’ve been to plenty of condos for my job and no one has ever stopped me and asked for my particulars. A crook ain’t gonna be stopped be a mere unarmed guard or two.

Condos are usually tinier compared to HDBs. If you want a bigger condo space, prepare to shell out a kidney or two. Older condos are bigger though.

My colleague personally prefers the kampung spirit of HDBs compared to condos.

If you can afford it without going into debt by all means get a condo. stackedhomes on Instagram does pretty good analysis for various condo launches as well as HDBs.

As someone who grew up in HDB all my life, HDB is perfectly fine. Dawson and Pinnacle@Duxton are some examples of HDB projects that look like a condo if you want a HDB that “looks nicer”.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by malcontent » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 7:06 pm

There is also leasehold vs freehold.

Depending where you come from, leasehold may be a totally foreign concept to you. For others, you may be shocked to learn that freehold is even a thing.

Freehold means you own it free and clear. Leasehold means you own it until the lease runs out, and then becomes worthless and is returned to the state. Most properties here are leasehold, including HDBs. Most leaseholds start out with 99 years when they are sold new. It is generally not recommended to buy leasehold with less 50 years remaining, after that the depreciation clock starts to tick, and it only gets faster and faster.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by smoulder » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 7:32 pm

MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 6:17 pm
All HDB estates now have exercise corners every few blocks that have some basic exercise equipment. No gym membership required, everyone is free to use it. Town council maintains it too.

Swimming pool wise, you can deduct the entrance fee from your ActiveSG account but that’s for citizens and maybe PRs. Not all condo pools are built equally. Some are smaller, some bigger. Some have one pool, some have more than one pool.

Some HDB projects at Boon Keng and Punggol Central do require card access at the ground floor if you’re anal about “security”. IMO, condo security ain’t completely watertight either, I’ve been to plenty of condos for my job and no one has ever stopped me and asked for my particulars. A crook ain’t gonna be stopped be a mere unarmed guard or two.

Condos are usually tinier compared to HDBs. If you want a bigger condo space, prepare to shell out a kidney or two. Older condos are bigger though.

My colleague personally prefers the kampung spirit of HDBs compared to condos.

If you can afford it without going into debt by all means get a condo. stackedhomes on Instagram does pretty good analysis for various condo launches as well as HDBs.

As someone who grew up in HDB all my life, HDB is perfectly fine. Dawson and Pinnacle@Duxton are some examples of HDB projects that look like a condo if you want a HDB that “looks nicer”.
For sure there's pros and cons for both. I like the extra space that you can get in an hdb and it saves you a great deal of money as well. On the other hand I appreciate the facilities, especially the swimming pools in the condo.

In my opinion, in Singapore, security is not so much about preventing burglaries and such but just to ensure that outsiders are not walking in to use the facilities for free.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by bro75 » Fri, 30 Jul 2021 9:33 am

Normally the choice will be determined by a person's residency and economic profile. Those with lower incomes usually will go for HDBs and those with higher incomes can go for condos.

HDB Cons
For PRs, when buying a HDB, you cannot own private property anywhere and must sell them within 6 months. This rule started in 2010, so owners from before that time are not covered.
HDBs have many rules such as number of occupants, type and amount of pets, and others.
HDBs have a 5 year Minimum Occupation period that you must fulfill before being able to sell them.
If there are any major upgrades that are approved by residents (e.g lift upgrades, expansions), PR owners will pay the full price for them while citizens are subsidized. To ensure that you are not affected, you should buy the newer HDBs where the upgrades are not necessary.
It has the normal problems of leasehold properties such as that the value of the unit will start to decrease after some time.
For violating some rules, HDB authorities can seize your property. They will acquire it for less than its current market value so you will lose out.

HDB Pros
For PRs, owning a HDB is the best residential option if you cannot afford condos. Over time, it is better than renting for most people.
Older HDBs have a lot more space than many condo units of the same type.
If you prefer to engage with the local community and not live in an expat bubble, HDBs are the way to go.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:33 am

MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 6:17 pm
All HDB estates now have exercise corners every few blocks that have some basic exercise equipment. No gym membership required, everyone is free to use it. Town council maintains it too.

Swimming pool wise, you can deduct the entrance fee from your ActiveSG account but that’s for citizens and maybe PRs. Not all condo pools are built equally. Some are smaller, some bigger. Some have one pool, some have more than one pool.

Some HDB projects at Boon Keng and Punggol Central do require card access at the ground floor if you’re anal about “security”. IMO, condo security ain’t completely watertight either, I’ve been to plenty of condos for my job and no one has ever stopped me and asked for my particulars. A crook ain’t gonna be stopped be a mere unarmed guard or two.

Condos are usually tinier compared to HDBs. If you want a bigger condo space, prepare to shell out a kidney or two. Older condos are bigger though.

My colleague personally prefers the kampung spirit of HDBs compared to condos.

If you can afford it without going into debt by all means get a condo. stackedhomes on Instagram does pretty good analysis for various condo launches as well as HDBs.

As someone who grew up in HDB all my life, HDB is perfectly fine. Dawson and Pinnacle@Duxton are some examples of HDB projects that look like a condo if you want a HDB that “looks nicer”.
For serious fitness buffs, the neighborhood equipment may not be enough. The convenience of having a fully equipped gym at your doorstep is unparalleled. You make a good point about pools, I’ve seen some condos with humongous pools of different depths and sizes (including kiddie pools and jacuzzis), and others with only a very small and simple lap pool.

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Re: Buying a HDB or Condominium?

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:34 am

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 7:06 pm
There is also leasehold vs freehold.

Depending where you come from, leasehold may be a totally foreign concept to you. For others, you may be shocked to learn that freehold is even a thing.

Freehold means you own it free and clear. Leasehold means you own it until the lease runs out, and then becomes worthless and is returned to the state. Most properties here are leasehold, including HDBs. Most leaseholds start out with 99 years when they are sold new. It is generally not recommended to buy leasehold with less 50 years remaining, after that the depreciation clock starts to tick, and it only gets faster and faster.
Very good point, we were lucky to be able to get a freehold unit in a nice development some 20 odd years ago, not many have this fortune. Leasehold is not a bad idea for landlords who wish to rent though.

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