Asked by Anonymous

As a new or young couple, should we get a 4-room or 5-room?

We don’t know when and how many children we will have in future and definitely not living under one roof with in-laws, so is 5-room HDB too much or stick with 4-room first and upgrade later? We are regular white-collars out there, meaning most of the time spent in our house will be during after/before work and weekends. Renting to strangers won’t be considered at all and we don’t want to end up underutilize other rooms as well. Anyone can advice?

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    • HC Tang
      HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
      374 Answers, 896 Upvotes
      Updated 12h ago

      Congratulations for getting new house😃

      Some opinions and suggestions below :

      4 rooms HDB as the size different lies within the bigger living room space. So whether you have 2 kids or 4 kids, makes no different since the number of bedroom remains at 3 (be it 4 or 5 room HDB) ( where parents take 1 and kids takes the other 1 or 2 room alone or share). Unless older 5 room HDB, then it might possible to have 4 bedrooms.

      On the other hand, other factors to consider too:

      (A) Cost

      Not only price of 5 cost more than 4, any extra ongoing monthly maintanance cost and annual property tax is also higher for 5 than 4. Over long terms it also adds to quite a sum.

      The annual incentives such as those packages announce with Budget such as GST voucher, S&CC rebate is more for 4 than 5 rooms HDB. Thus quite a substantial savings on going to keep cost low monthly.

      (B) Cleaning

      Though only smaller living room space, the extra maintenance is also an effort monthly for as long as you own them.

      (C) Selling demands

      In the future, if you're thinking of selling to upgrade , 4 rooms demand is always more than 5 rooms due to smaller family nucleus and lower cost.

      Finally , if you're looking at BTO over resell , the space BTO 4 vs 5 could make a big difference. As much as possible , find out the total size and go to a similar flat layout of your friends to take a look and get a feel of the size to choose the most comfortable size.


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    • Yong Kah Hwee
      Yong Kah Hwee

      Top Contributor (Feb)

      526 Answers, 707 Upvotes
      Answered 4w ago

      I would say stick to what you can afford, without compromising on your quality of life. If getting a 5-room flat means having to forgo a certain level of comfortability in your life, you might want to reconsider it :) Also, if i'm not wrong, you'll get more CPF grants if you get a 4-room flat and below!

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    Hariz Arthur Maloy
    Hariz Arthur Maloy, Independent Financial Advisor at Promiseland Independent

    Top Contributor (Feb)

    355 Answers, 600 Upvotes
    19 Feb 2019

    You should look at affordability first. Rule of thumb is to not have your home price be more than 7 X your combined annual income.

    If together you two make 100k a year, your house shouldn't cost more than 700k.

    Now that you have a budget, you may still be able to find a 5 room flat within that budget, then it becomes a preference.

    Plus, MOP is only 5 years anyway, you can always get a smaller house first, hve better cashflow, grow your wealth and then consider having more than 1 or 2 kids.

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