What do you need to consider when buying a HDB BTO

Everyone dreams to purchase their own property in the future instead of renting. Buying a BTO flat is by no means an easy task. First, you need to think about financing it. At today’s challenging economy, financing a property does not seems as easy compared to 5 to 10 years ago. Even if you sorted out about the financing, all the procedures on how to apply for the BTO flat would come into play. After the long painstaking wait, you should get your queue number – and it’s time to choose your unit! There are more than few factors to be considered when purchasing a HDB BTO as highlighted below.

1.  Which floor should you stay on? 
When comes to choosing floor to stay in new BTO could be one of the important factors to be considered. If you choose a low floor, you would have to deal with the daily nuisance of household pests such as cockroaches, beetles, ants and mosquitoes. This is especially true if your unit is near to the rubbish chute. It also means that you’ll be more exposed to noise from functions being held at your void deck – as well as from any playgrounds or sports courts that are nearby. This is not an option for those who enjoys their privacy and tranquility after a long day at work.

However, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed with peace and quiet if you choose a higher floor. Although you get less ‘immediate’ noise generated from the void deck area, you might be privy to quite a bit of noise from traffic, especially if you’re facing the main road or expressway. It could be annoying especially for those who are sensitive to such noises. HDB that is facing the main road or expressway would expose yourself to noise pollution early in the morning and late at night when motor vehicles passes by. Some might argue that simple measures such as noisy reducing windows and others could be used to offset the noise but not every buyer are willing to shell out extra money on top of the existing amount to purchase the property to reduce the noise generated by the surroundings.

Higher floors would also mean your unit may accumulate dust faster compared to the units in the lower floors. And of course, what puts many people off is the premium price that’s attached to units on higher floors – you can expect an approximate 0.5 percent increase in unit price per additional floor, which adds up to be quite a bit.

If you have the budget for it, staying in the highest floor of the property comes with some sweet advantages. For starters, you have no neighbors above you, so you won’t have to deal with slamming doors, furniture being moved around, or the bane of every HDB owner – someone else’s wet clothes dripping on your laundry. You should be able to get proper rest instead of having to tolerate the noise from the unit above.

Staying on the highest floor also means that in the case of ceiling leakages, it’s a clear-cut situation wherein HDB will step in and bear the costs of repair. If you’re sandwiched in the middle, however, it’s much more of a hassle trying to sort out if the damage is due to either party’s negligence, and whether your neighbor is willing to bear part of the repair costs as well. Lastly, whilst some potential flat owners are concerned about units on the top floor getting more exposure to the heat, HDB flats are now built with additional levels above the top floors with access corridors to water tanks . This helps in the reduction of heat and rain water exposure of the unit. 

2. Orientation to the sun 

As a general rule of thumb, avoid any flats that face the west – these are usually hit the worst by the midday sun, and temperatures can get pretty unbearable. Ideally speaking, you should choose the HDB flat that is facing north-south, so that you can get the best breeze. If you are not a morning person, you should consider picking a unit that is not facing towards the east. This could be rather subjective as different buyer may have different requirements for the property. Choose the orientation that is most suitable for you to prevent future disappointment in your acquisitions of the property.

3.  Future developments

You might be looking at a unit that looks like your ideal home now – but it’s always good to have a heads up about the government’s plans for the surrounding land in the next 10 to 15 years. For example, your unit may have an unblocked view for now but if there are plans to develop more projects in the near future that might affect your view, you might want to reconsider your acquisition of the property if you are considering it for an investment in the near future.

4. Privacy from neighbors

It’s no secret that BTO flats these days are smaller – and it’s not just the units that are shrinking, but the corridor space as well. Make sure you check out your floor plan to see what the arrangement of the different units are like, and whether it’s possible for your neighbors to look into your apartment or your utility yard when they’re walking past!

Choosing a HDB flat is exciting business, but make sure you spend enough time doing your research and covering all your bases, so that you can get the best unit for your needs.


  1. Thanks for the Info..!!memang nak survay ni...

  2. Thanks for the Info..!!memang nak survay ni...

  3. Thanks for the Info..!!memang nak survay ni...

  4. Thank God, Abe Kie lives in a small town so there is no need to be a condo or sort. But I wish to buy one for investment..

  5. Nice post. Very informative. Although I'm from a different country, I've realized that the major considerations we have in buying a condo unit are the same. Upper floors are surely better!

  6. Valuable info and good tips. Thanks.