Buying a resale flat allows you to participate in the Government's $30,000 grant (or $40,000 if you live within 2km of your parents). However, there are restrictions to this incentive. First of all, in future you will not be eligible to purchase a HDB flat or an executive condominium, or you will have to pay a large levy. Secondly, you will have to wait for a period of five years before you can sell your resale flat.
If you have a large family, or you're simply looking for a home with lots of space, then resale flats should be your pick. They are larger than new flats. Take a 5-room resale flat as an example. It is 100 square feet larger than a new 5-room flat. It's interesting to note that flats in older HDB estates are more spacious, due to the lack of multi-storey carparks.
Location, location, location
Homeowners are very particular about where they stay. Their home must be close to amenities such as shopping centres, MRT stations, bus interchanges, schools and places of work. With resale flats, they have a wider choice of where to live because resale flats can be found all across Singapore.
The HDB tends to be a stickler for rules. If a flat is priced at a certain amount, there is no way that you can haggle for a cheaper price. On the other hand, you can negotiate with the resale flat's owner on the price. Many of them are open to this as they are keen to sell their place as soon as possible.
Take note that if and when you decide to sell your resale flat, you will face fewer selling restrictions. If you decide not to take a HDB grant, you can sell a resale flat after 5 years with the new ruling from HDB.
Moving into a resale flat is much less stressful. You can move in almost immediately. This is true for new flats that come under the walk-in selection scheme. However, if it's a built-to-order flat that you're looking for, then you will have to wait about three years to move into one.
Throwing out the trash
Dumping the trash is something we take for granted. In a resale flat, you can dump your rubbish immediately. In new flats, you must store your rubbish in your flat until you are ready to go outside and dump it. This is because trash chutes in new estates are located near the lifts on each floor.
Resale flats are located in older estates, and this means that hawker centres, shops, wet markets and public transportation systems are in place to serve you and make your life more convenient. In many new estates, these amenities may not be up and running and can lead to lots of inconveniences.
Getting a good deal
Wonder how much your resale flat is worth on the market? You will have a good idea of how much it is worth because of the selling price for similar flats which have been sold recently. For new flats, it is difficult to gauge if you are getting a good deal or over-paying. The reason for this is because market prices for new flats will not be established until sales are permitted, after five years.