When buying a property in Singapore, government-built houses tend to be a popular choice amongst many. Two of the main options include Built to Order (BTO) flats and resale flats. It is commonly known that the purchase price of BTOs is approximately 20% cheaper than resale flats in the same district but does this mean that the same can be applied to renovation costs? As a matter of fact, yes! HDB resale renovation costs significantly more than a newly built BTO apartment – sometimes up to 40% more. With resale flats generally racking up more renovation costs, what can you do to make big savings? We cover tips and tricks to save on renovation costs.
Why the High HDB Resale Renovation Costs?
They say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This might not be the case for resale flats, especially when it comes to remodelling the entire home to fit your aesthetics. Other than the fact that the style of the previous owner may be completely different from yours, it is worthy to note that resale flats may not have household shelters. Unlike the newer flats that were built after 1997, older apartments tend to be bigger due to the absence of a household shelter – with bigger space comes larger renovation costs. Beyond the difference in floor plans and space, resale flats also require more work in terms of dismantling, demolishing, repairing, refurbishing, and more.
Resale HDB Renovation Don’ts
1. Don’t forget to assess the scope of renovations before purchase
While house hunting, be sure to look at multiple flats and evaluate the place with a critical eye. It is crucial to assess the scope of renovations that will be required before putting down a deposit. Study the floor plan of the apartment and decide if there are walls you would like to demolish, floors that need to be hacked – remodelling to such extent will cost more. Also, consider the age of the apartment. Older houses will require more repair work and might have long hidden complications.
2. Don’t absorb the cost of repairs
Technically, the previous homeowner has responsibility for all defects in the flat – they will either have to sell the house at a cheaper price so you can cover additional renovation costs or fix the problem themselves before transactions are complete.
3. Don’t DIY
Be it old wiring or the need to maintain historical structures, expertise is needed when remodelling an older flat. Avoid embarking on projects yourself but instead, hire professional help to avoid complications down the road.
Resale HDB Renovation Do’s
1. Settle on a design
There may be lots of interior design trends every season but choosing one that fits your budget is pivotal. Minimalistic interior design is, for sure, one of the best HDB interior design schemes to follow if you are on a budget. Focusing only on the essentials, minimalistic interior design will help cut costs with its practicality, simplicity, and class.
2. Hold off on drastic changes
Unlike new apartments that have a 99-year leasehold, you do not get a leasehold renewal with resale flats. If the lease will expire in a few years, think long term, and reconsider any drastic changes.
3. Make use of housing grants
Whether you are a first-time applicant or second-timer couple applicant, there are several CPF housing grants for resale flats. If you are eligible for other housing subsidies such as the Proximity Housing Grants or Family Grant, be sure to make use of these government reserves to facilitate the purchase of your home in Singapore.
4. Choose your interior design firm wisely
Hire the services of a professional team of designers and contractors with a wealth of experience to back their expertise. Look through their portfolio and seek for information on their HDB resale renovation package.
5. Avoid built-ins
One of the key home renovation tips to save on renovation costs is to avoid built-ins. Built-ins are typically considered as custom carpentry. Very highly detailed, the workmanship and thought process behind it can add up to a hefty bill. Instead, use the money to purchase multi-functional furniture.