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Renovating Your 1st Home VS Your 2nd Home: What’s Different?

February 25, 2020
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Repairs and a higher renovation cost are just some of the things you might have to deal with.

So, you have just fulfilled your HDB flat’s 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) and have plans to move elsewhere. Your options are either: a) a resale HDB flat, b) a condominium unit, or c) an HDB flat in a newer estate. But because all of them are looking to be excellent candidates for ‘Home Sweet Home #2’, it can be hard to make a decision on which option to upgrade to.

Pipit Road by Project Guru

Interior Firm: Project Guru

Putting aside home size, location, convenience, and all the other things that make a property attractive, one factor that we recommend taking into consideration is renovation. But why?

It factors into the total cost of your new home, and then some.

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

The biggest argument for why renovation (and other related factors) should play a deciding role in your choice of property is due to how much it adds to the total cost of your new home – the average cost of making over a brand-new 3-room flat in Singapore is approximately $32,000, and this is cause for consideration because that sum could end up being even higher, especially if you’re moving into an older and/or larger home.

Hougang by Fifth Avenue Interior

Interior Firm: Fifth Avenue Interior

Not to mention, depending on the type of property you’re planning to move into, there could be opportunities to make your new home more comfortable and/or relevant to your needs. For instance, did you know that it’s possible to turn a resale flat’s cosy corner into an extra-long storeroom? Or merge two bathrooms into one?

What’s different about renovating a resale flat

If you’re a home hunter with budgetary constraints, an upgrade to a resale flat might be off-limits as you’ll probably have to deal with more than just the usual renovation expenses.

Homes that are older than 10 years tend to come with issues associated with wear and tear, and these can range from the minor (worn-out fixtures that need replacing anyway) to the major (complications such as water seepage or ‘concrete cancer’).

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

Other than fault-fixing, it’s likely that some upgrades to your new-old home are in order as well. Installing additional power sockets, re-wiring cables and modern fittings (e.g. water-saving toilets and energy-efficient lighting) will require you to fork out more on-the-spot, even if these improvements prove to be worth the investment in the long run.

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

That said, if you’re able to bear the cost of fixing and upgrading an older resale flat, chances are, you’ll end up getting a home that’s both larger and more unique (see example 1 and example 2) than the average BTO flat you see today.

What’s different about renovating a condominium apartment

Most people would have the impression that a more expensive home, like a condominium apartment, goes hand-in-hand with a pricier renovation.

But that’s not always necessarily the case as homes in newer condominium developments tend to come outfitted with essential carpentry and fixtures, from kitchen cabinets (which can cost upwards of $100 per foot run in HDB flat renovations or approximately $10,000 in total for the average 4-room flat) to even luxe shower sets.

The Poiz Residences by Versaform

Interior Firm: Versaform

Due to this reason, newer condominiums could be a worthwhile upgrade from your existing HDB flat, not just for their built-ins but also because of the potentially shorter waiting time for your new home to be completed.

Stangee Place by Design by Fifteen Pte Ltd

However, like with older HDB flats, upgrading to a resale condominium unit can be prohibitive for homeowners with limited budgets, especially due to the higher renovation costs (and potential headaches) involved. Moreover, in some cases, there could be sections of a condominium apartment that’ll require special assistance to renovate.

What’s different about renovating an HDB flat in a newer estate

For those planning to move into an HDB flat in a newer estate, what will probably surprise you is the number of floor plan variations for homes of the same size.

Take 2-room HDB flats for example. At the West Terra@Bukit Batok estate, which was just completed in 2018, they look like this:

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

In comparison, here are the floor plans for 2-room units at the recently announced Toa Payoh Ridge and Kim Keat Ripple developments:

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

Layout plan for 2-room flexi unit at Toa Payoh Ridge

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

Layout plan for 2-room flexi unit at Kim Keat Ripples

Due to how the kitchens are positioned in each of these 2-room flats, it’s safe to say that the space-planning for your renovation could go quite differently depending on where you decide to make your new home in sunny Singapore.

Layouts aside, it’s also possible for your HDB flat to come with improved fittings that are different from the ones you’re used to seeing.

differences renovating HDB flat condomnium resale HDB

Last year, HDB announced that it would be including condominium-like finishings at a fraction of the cost for future developments, ranging from scratch-resistant laminate main doors to break-resistant porcelain bathroom/kitchen tiles. Naturally, that’s going to be a good thing as your HDB home will be better equipped to withstand the test of time!

How to ensure your renovation goes right, regardless of property type

Planning ahead, thinking about your budget and sufficiently researching your new-home-to-be are some of the things that you can do for a successful renovation. But don’t forget to get the right help too – and that’s where we come in!

The Regency at Tiong Bahru by Home Philosophy

Interior Firm: Home Philosophy

Aside from giving you the lowdown on Singapore’s renovation scene, one of the things that we also do at Qanvast is help homeowners find the right interior designers based on key factors: your practical requirements, style preferences, and of course, budget.

So, if you’re in need of professional assistance, let us know, and we’ll find you 5 Singapore designers based on your specific needs. Plus, if you engage a recommended designer, you’ll also be eligible for the Qanvast Guarantee, which safeguards up to $50,000 of your renovation deposits!

Meet interior designers. Get quotes. Based on your requirements, we will recommend you up to 5 firms with the Qanvast Guarantee. Get Free Quotes

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