HDB Resale Checklist 2021: 7 things to take note of when house viewing

Woman taking down notes and compiling a checklist before viewing a HDB resale flat in Singapore

HDB Resale Checklist 2021: 7 things to take note of when house viewing

Is this your first time getting a resale HDB property? Not sure what to expect? 

HDB house viewings are a crucial part of buying a resale flat. These sessions are generally short,  and homeowners would undoubtedly want to ensure that their home is in pristine condition. After all, no one wants to buy a home that’s in complete disarray, right?

So how should you discern whether one resale unit is better than another? What are some things you should look out for? Here, we’ll give you a rundown of the HDB resale checklist and the essential aspects to keep in mind when you’re house-viewing a resale HDB flat!

Read: 10-step guide to purchasing an HDB resale flat

HDB resale checklist: What to take note of before viewing an HDB resale flat

1. How long have the homeowners been staying there?

This might seem irrelevant to the condition of the home. However, it’s important to check with the owner how long they’ve been living there. Their length of stay can give you a few hints about whether this unit is worth buying. 

Based on the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), homeowners can only rent or sell their property after staying for 5 years. Properties that are fresh off in the MOP market are usually still in pristine condition, as fixtures and floorings are considered rather new. The home’s interior design will also be more modern and will require less upgrades compared to an older resale HDB flat.

On the other hand, older resale HDB flats with homeowners staying for more than 20 years may be more prone to wear and tear. You’ll most likely need to do maintenance and upgrade works before settling in. .

Purchasing a second property in Singapore? Find out how you can avoid ABSD legally here.

2. How long has the property been up for sale?

It’s uncommon for a unit to be unsold for months and months. Properties are usually sold within 2-3 months in the Singapore property market.

However, if a property is taking longer than usual to be sold off, it could mean that the price is too high compared to similar units in the area. 

You can ask around and check the selling prices of other nearby units to get a good gauge.

Additionally, if a unit has been listed and unsold for a long time, it might hint at some inherent flaws that previous home viewers spotted. 

Be cautious when you’re checking out the property and paying attention to some key areas we’ll be discussing below!

Read: Guide to HDB valuation: How much is the HDB flat worth?

HDB resale checklist: Key areas to keep a lookout for when viewing an HDB resale property

1. Keep a look out for the pipes

Properties with faulty pipes can be a big headache. Pipes that aren’t fixed will cause mould, leakage, and wear down ceilings and tiles. 

When you’re house viewing, don’t be shy to look under the sink and be as thorough as possible. 

Besides looking at the pipes, you should also inspect the ceiling and see whether there’s any discolouration or a line of fresh paint. 

This could be a sign of a potential leak, and you’ll want to keep that in mind.

2. Where are the windows facing?

If it’s your first time getting a resale HDB home, you might have heard from your parents or family countless times to get a unit that faces the East and never get one that faces the West. 

You might be wondering, “what’s the big deal? Does it make that much of a difference?”

It does.

West-facing windows tend to heat up the room more quickly than East-facing windows as more heat is being trapped inside. 

The scorching heat from the sun can very well turn your home into a warm sauna and wear down your furniture much quicker. 

Image of a landed property in Singapore with new furnishings such as floorings and built-in cabinet.

3. Check the floorings

When it comes to renovations, floorings are the most expensive. 

That’s why it’s so important to get a home with well-maintained floors and tiles before you commit and move in. 

Unevenness, chipped tiles, and missing tiles are tell-tale signs of a poorly maintained home. 

To ensure that your move into your new home is as smooth as possible, keep a lookout on the condition of the floor when you’re going for your house-viewing.

4. Built-in appliances and carpentry

Built-in features in resale flats can’t be removed easily, so you’ll need to have a keen eye and ensure that they’re in good condition. 

Built-in ovens, in particular, are costly to fix. If you happen to move into a home with a faulty built-in oven, you’ll need to fork up a sum to get it up and running. 

Other features you should keep an eye out for include cabinets, counters and sinks. 

The great thing about getting a resale home is that these features are already in place — so it’s wise to take the extra step and ensure they’re in working order when you’re house viewing!

Woman at a local cafe near her resale HDB flat in Singapore

5. What are the nearby amenities?

Are there schools nearby? How about eateries, hawkers and shopping malls? 

These are some crucial aspects to consider when getting a resale HDB flat. Flats accessible to the MRT are also a huge plus, especially if you’re living with family members who don’t drive — like your elderly parents or children.

That being said, an area surrounded by a wide range of amenities could also indicate congestion and high traffic levels. Depending on your preferences, you’ll want to keep that in mind. 

Most homeowners prefer to strike a balance and get a house with some nearby eateries, schools, and perhaps located at the fringes of the town hub.

Location, surroundings, and how well the home is being maintained — these may seem like obvious points to consider when you’re getting a resale flat. 

However, when you’re house-viewing, it’s easy to get distracted and forget about the important points we’ve raised. 

Before you go for your house viewing, ensure that you note down everything you want to keep an eye on and refer to your list from time to time. That’ll ensure that you won’t miss out on anything important and get a home that best suits you and your family!

Property Market: Over 20,000+ flats MOP in 2021; how will this affect the resale market?

Are you a soon-to-be HDB homeowner? Find out about the Home Protection Scheme here.

Read more about property tax in Singapore in our ultimate explainer guide here.

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