What To Look For When Picking Your BTO Flat
Get acquainted with the noise pollution, orientation, and view options before you zero in
Sound travels upwards. If you happen to pick a unit that sits alongside an expressway, you might be in for the sound of traffic at bedtime – no matter how high up you are. Unless you are lulled to sleep by the sound of cars rushing by, we suggest picking units that face inwards and away from main roads.
The only two directions you should consider as a homeowner are North-South or South-East. This will decide the type of window coverings you’ll need, where you place your furnishings (if you want to prevent sun damage of course!), and how hot your home will get throughout the day.
North-South facing homes never receive direct sunlight in the home, which is very important for equatorial countries like Singapore. Too hot or too bright and you and your furnishings might be a little worse for wear. South-East facing homes receive some morning sun, but are decidedly cooler in the morning.
13 Tips to Stay Sun Smart With Soft Furnishings
Determine the view from your potential unit by studying the buildings around your BTO’s plot. In areas like Punggol, or Sengkang, you’re almost guaranteed a view of your neighbour’s flat unless you are located along the edge of the town. In Tampines, because most of the newer BTO flats are built around parks, you might be blessed with a stretch of greenery rather than the house plants on your neighbour’s balcony.
To determine your surroundings, look at an existing map and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s Master Plan. It will show you what the surrounding developments are in the next five years.
There are various pros and cons to living on a high or low floor. Some enjoy facing the trees on the fifth floor or lower, others enjoy the breeze from higher floors. While we can’t help you determine which to choose, we can highlight some different characteristics of each option.
- Unblocked views
- Much warmer than the other units below you (nothing a cool breeze or a fan can’t fix)
- No chance of neighbours’ water leakage affecting your ceiling
- You also won’t be affected by noisy neighbours above you
- No unsightly pipes running through your bathroom
- Quieter as sound is blocked by the trees
- High chance of wildlife and insects coming into your home, also because of the trees
- Cheaper than high floors
- Faster escape route in case of emergency
Finally, the most important question to ask yourself is this: does it meet your long-term goals? For example, if your BTO unit is a place you’re looking to just live in for five years before upgrading, you should pick a unit with the intention to sell. That means picking the unit that has the best value. You’ll have to figure out what matters most to a potential buyer. Can you remove certain walls, or is it better to leave them as-is? If it is a place you’re looking to live in for a long time, you’re afforded more flexibility in the type of home to pick. You can literally pick whatever you fancy and opt to even do away with all optional components in favour of adding yours.
Are you in the process of purchasing your first BTO? What are the challenges and fixes you’ve discovered? Share in the Comments.
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