5 tips to buying your first resale HDB home nobody told you about

The Straits Times

You’ve probably looked into this by now if you’re in the market for a resale HDB home: the budget; the loan; the size of flat; the neighbourhood; renovations costs.

But before you get into a tizzy trying to find that perfect pad, here are some things most people probably don’t openly talk about which you should also consider.

After all, you’re going to have a 5-year Minimum Occupation Period, so make sure you’re truly happy with the place.

You’re most welcome.

1. Walk the ground

The Straits Times

Don’t just look base your decision to buy a new place based on the interior of your potential home.

Check out how your neighbours live. Are they noisy? Do they clutter the common areas?

That’s not all. Take a walk up and down one level to see how your direct neighbours below and above are like.

Do look out for any sign of loan shark harassment too. Leave the block itself and take a walk around the neighbourhood to get a sense of what the vibe is like.

2. Bargain for units on levels 4, 13, 14, and 24.

The Straits Times

Units on levels 4, 14, 24 tend to be less popular than those on other floors because the number four in Mandarin is “Si” which translates to “death”.

So let one man’s superstition be your gain. Work that auntie charm and bargain like you just don’t care for units on these floors.

Units on level 13, are usually less preferred because of the supposed bad luck often associated with the number 13.

3. Look at the ceilings and walls

The Straits Times

You shouldn’t just keep your eyes peeled for what’s in front of you when you enter a home.

Look at the walls and ceilings (especially in the bathrooms) for major cracks or leaks. Feel the walls too for any strange heat.

The last thing you want is to fork out a pretty penny for structural damage or leaks.

4. Ask about the flat’s history

Lianhe Wanbao

If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

So go ahead and ask the current owners or their property agent about the flat’s history.

Some questions you should casually slip in: How many owners did the house have? Any loan shark trouble? Anything bad (like death) happen in the flat?

The answers you get could just be that dealbreaker.

5. Visit the unit at different days and times

The Straits Times

Don’t just show up for a viewing once and decide to buy a flat.

Come back again at a different time – generally check out the area during the day and night and on different days too.

This is a necessary inconvenience if you’re serious about laying down a deposit, do it because your neighbours might behave differently at different times.