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5 Ways to Save on Your Resale Flat Renovation

Tips for the budget conscious.

Buying a resale flat comes with a few pros: You don't need to wait for years on end to collect your keys, and you have the freedom to choose your home's location. Because of this, the resale flat remains as a popular housing choice for many.

Dover Crescent by i Chapter
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However, it doesn't erase the fact that these apartments cost significantly more to renovate compared to a BTO home due to restoration and demolishing works.

But fret not! If you are one of those who have decided to purchase a resale flat, here are some tips on how you can save money on your renovation.

1. Set a budget and stick to it

First, determine your budget and list down all the potential expenses you may incur, plus their estimated cost. Go through it again and see if there are any items you can do without or buy second hand.

Making a list helps you to "visualise" what your biggest expenses are/will be, and rationalise your needs. From there, you can then determine if you can afford a major renovation or make a few light changes to the existing flat.

Clementi Avenue 1 by Juz Interior
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As a rule of thumb, a resale flat will almost always be pricier to renovate, costing anywhere between $50,000 and $90,000 – and that’s excluding appliances and furnishings. Some factors that contribute to the hefty price tag include additional repair/restoration and dismantling/demolishing works.

2. Plan for the long term

If you are not staying in your resale flat permanently, hold off on making drastic changes to the design scheme, like investing in expensive tiles, decking it out with carpentry, or hacking a wall.

Commonwealth Drive by The Local INN.terior 新家室
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Certain design ideas, while trendy for now, may fade and look dated in years to come. You don't want to be stuck with a flat that lacks in broad design appeal when the time comes to lease or sell it. Pick classic, minimalist décor themes that can potentially cater to a wider range of tastes.

3. Be practical and pick your materials carefully

When you move to a new place, you’ll likely ditch the old for the new. However, it is worth your time to search for cost-effective alternatives. For instance, wallpaper can give a the hotel-luxe factor but paint is a cheaper and easier to maintain option. If some of your existing items like sofas, arm chairs and tables are still in good condition, try reupholstering or varnishing them instead of buying a new one.

Kim Tian Road by Versaform
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All these gives you more financial freedom to focus on other areas that you really need to renovate on, such as bedrooms or kitchen. There might also be essential items in dire need of fixing like wiring or air-con pipes.

4. Tap on existing housing grants

The good news is that there are various CPF housing grants available that you can tap on, if you are eligible. For instance, if you are a first-timer applicant, you can apply for the Family Grant, the CPF Housing Grant or the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) assuming you meet the criteria.

Serangoon North Avenue 4 by erstudio
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Explore: How Can the Enhanced Housing Grant Help You Buy an HDB Home?

If you are buying a resale flat to live near or together with your parents, you can look into the Proximity Housing Grant (various conditions apply). There are also other grants in place for first-timer single Singapore Citizens who are 35 years old or above. All these will help you save up to tens of thousands of dollars.

5. Choose your bank loans wisely

When you take a housing loan from HDB, you will enjoy a concessionary interest rate that is pegged at 0.10% above the prevailing CPF Ordinary Account (OA) interest rate, and may be adjusted in January, April, July and October, in line with CPF interest rate revisions. You can make use of their Resale Financial Plan service here.

Jalan Membina by Briey Interior
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Bank loan applicants enjoy financial benefits as current bank loan interest rates are lower than HDB Loan rates. It can amount to several thousand dollars per year. However the rates may change due to market conditions.

If you require a renovation loan, you can do your research on the most competitive rates in the market before applying for one.

Now's a good time as any to get started on your renovation plans!

Many Singapore homeowners have had to put their renovations on hold due to COVID-19, BUT that doesn't mean you can't start planning for yours now.

Ironing out the kinks in your home makeover plan will enable it to proceed smoothly once circumstances improve, so if you’d like some professional help let us know and we'll link you up with local interior firms that offer virtual consultations!

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