askST: Focus on needs when buying first HDB home

During our AskST series with the National Library, we learn about how to purchase a HDB Flat.
Housing correspondent Rachel Au-Yong at yesterday's askST@NLB talk on buying one's first HDB home. She went through the different steps of buying a flat and touched on factors to consider, such as location, surrounding amenities and tenure of the uni
Housing correspondent Rachel Au-Yong at yesterday's askST@NLB talk on buying one's first HDB home. She went through the different steps of buying a flat and touched on factors to consider, such as location, surrounding amenities and tenure of the unit.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

ST housing correspondent tells 300 people at askST@NLB session that affordability is also key

Before Ms Rachel Au-Yong bought her first home, she and her husband viewed 43 Housing Board (HDB) flats.

After much consideration, they settled on a four-room unit in a mature estate, which they moved into in August.

"Go in with your eyes open so you don't end up spending money buying a flat you do not like," said Ms Au-Yong, a housing correspondent with The Straits Times (ST).

"Do your homework and be upfront about the amount of money you have, so you can buy what you can afford, " said the 28-year-old.

Ms Au-Yong was speaking to about 300 people yesterday on what to look out for when buying their first HDB home.

The talk at the Central Public Library, part of the askST@NLB sessions, was organised by ST and the National Library Board.

MORE OPTIONS

We were looking mainly at BTOs, but now that we know more about buying a resale flat, it has opened up options for us.

MISS ANGELA TAN, a 24-year-old financial consultant. She said the talk shed light on the option of buying a resale flat, something she and her boyfriend, landscaper Joe Ng, 25, had not considered previously.

During the 90-minute session, Ms Au-Yong took the audience through the different steps of buying a flat, whether it is a Build-to-Order (BTO) or a resale unit.

She also touched on factors to consider, such as location, surrounding amenities and tenure of the unit.

She said she would not recommendthat people buy flats with the assumption that the units might undergo redevelopment programmes.

"It's an expensive gamble for something that we do not know for sure will happen," she added.

Financial consultant Angela Tan was one of those who found the talk useful. She said it shed light on the option of purchasing a resale flat which she and her boyfriend, landscaper Joe Ng, 25, had not considered previously.

"We were looking mainly at BTOs, but now that we know more about buying a resale flat, it has opened up options for us," said Miss Tan, 24.

Ms Au-Yong also highlighted the different financing options, such as using money from the Central Provident Fund Ordinary Account, HDB grants, as well as HDB or bank loans.

Healthcare administrator Karthigesan V, who is planning to buy a flat with his girlfriend, said the financing options were well explained.

The 27-year-old said: "Now we are more confident of choosing a way to purchase our flat."

The talk also covered planning of renovation and furnishing costs.

 

Ms Au-Yong said the priority should be what home buyers "absolutely need" and additional appliances and furniture can be bought slowly after moving in.

She ended the talk with one piece of advice.

She said: "Don't get locked into the idea that your first home must be your forever home.

"Focus on what you need in the horizon of five years."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2018, with the headline 'Focus on needs when buying first HDB home'. Print Edition | Subscribe