Yet another milestone in life as my partner and I began looking for a place to call our own. I have decided to create a new category to document my journey in getting a HDB flat – it will be a good reference for my future self and I also hope others will benefit from my experience.

After our unsuccessful application for the sale of balance flats last December in Kallang/ Whampoa, our next step is to search for a resale flat. While we troll Property sites like PropertyGuru, and SRX, I also consulted with friends and financial bloggers on what to look out for and I am thankful to them for their inputs and advice.

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Location easy to get to? Nearer to mrt will be more expensive. Have to balance between ease of travel vs cost.

If not going to renovate, can pay a higher price but look for better location since u can’t renovate the location. If going to renovate, then ignore the fixtures.

High floors can be more noisy, but better view. Is the gd view permanent? Will it be blocked by future developments. The good thing about resale is most things will stay as u bought them, since the area is already built up. Check URA master plan.

My personal preference always look for property near mrt (500m) if budget permit. Willl be more ex but worth it. Next time want to sell also can sell high. And easier to sell despite the higher price. If buy because it is cheap (such as not near mrt etc) , next time very hard to get rid of even though it may be cheaper. Buyer will hiam this and that. All about location location and location

For buyer easier to DIY. Paper work lesser

I am biased but I think buying near mrt is not good enough. If possible should be near a mrt that is a interchange like serangoon mrt. Besides that walking to mrt is sheltered all the way. No worry about raining. And got NEX. And during peak hour, always can go inside train cos when train reach serangoon, people come out. And free up the space. If u take a train say at say boon Keng mrt, u cannot go In the train because people are not coming out. And when mrt breakdown, you can always take another line. If NEL is down, take circle line. If circle line is down take NEL. That is why a mrt that is a interchange is good. A lot of people don’t know how good it is until mrt breakdown. When breakdown you have another option of taking another line because it is a interchange. And no problem going into the train because people coming out to connect to another line.

Beyond the tangible aspects of checking out the house, there is also another aspect altogether. In buying the house you will be experiencing a whole range of emotions.

Like investing, how well a grip you get on your emotions will determine how well the entire process turns out. Have fun!

You will feel tired and frustrated after seeing some and not liking any. You will feel elation when u see one u like. U will feel pity when u realise it is not perfect. U will feel apprehension before making the offer. Anger maybe when the owner turns down the offer. And fear when the agent urges you to up your offer, fear of missing out on the deal. U will feel elation when the deal if finally completed.

There will also be many heuristics that will trip you up. Anchoring. Self serving. Confirmation bias. Again, understanding them is key to buying a great unit!”

Try to arrange with the different agents to view different units on the same day.

Buying a flat is probably your biggest commitment. Do not rush into it or let someone rush you into it.

The checklist is still raw and and not exhaustive. I will continue to update and prioritise the items during our “HDB journey”. If you have anything to add or valuable advice, please leave me a comment below.

Armed with all the information and questions, my partner and I went for my first viewing session yesterday. However it turned out to be an anti-climax – it was all over in 15 mins. The unit was rented out and the owner was not there. The agent seem to be in a rush and does not seem very knowledgeable on the unit.

We will continue to look out for a suitable unit and if you happen to know anyone who is looking to sell a 4 room flat within 500 metres away from Farrer Park, Boon Keng, Serangoon, Toa Payoh or Ang Mo Kio MRT. Please drop me a message ya. Thanks!