Excited to move into your new HDB flat? We don’t blame you! But before you do, make sure you buy these six essential items first so you can enjoy your new home worry-free.
Congratulations, you’ve done it. You’re now the proud owner of a new HDB flat. You did everything right – you saved up wisely, you chose the right loan type. And now, keys in hand, all you need to do is to move in and enjoy the feeling of comfort and security that can only come with being an owner instead of a renter.
Not so fast. While you’ve done all the major steps right, it’s crucial you also ensure the more ‘minor’ steps are properly taken care of. Small things can make a big difference.
The problem is, there are simply too many little things to worry about, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve created this handy checklist of essentials for you. Just go through this list, tick them off, and you can enjoy your new HDB flat to the fullest.
#1 Home insurance
After being so diligent with your finances, the absolute last thing you want to see is your new home go up in a puff of smoke. The good news is that your HDB flat will already be covered by the mandatory HDB Fire Insurance Scheme.
The bad news is that the fire insurance scheme only covers, well, fire. Further, that coverage is limited to the cost of reinstating damaged internal structures and fixtures. Your furniture, personal belongings, and all that expensive renovation you did? That’s all on you too, as is the costs of the alternative accommodation for when your home is being repaired.
That’s why the basic HDB fire insurance is not enough. You need home insurance as well. The right home insurance plan will cover your furniture, personal belongings, alternative accommodation, and more. But there are a variety of plans and it all depends on your individual needs. Click here to find out how to choose the best plan for you.
#2 Utilities account
Our modern world is powered by electricity, and so is your HDB. Don’t accidentally leave you (and your family) in the dark by forgetting to apply for a utilities account.
Fortunately, the process is very simple. Simply go to the Singapore Power website (this link skips a few steps for you) and follow the instructions. Do note you’ll have to upload documents like property tax and proof of ownership, so be sure to have those on standby before you apply. There is also a number on the page to call to get your gas turned on.
Also, remember that you don’t have to stick with Singapore Power after opening your account. Singapore has an open electricity market, and you have about 12 options available. You can read more about your electricity purchase options here.
Speaking of utilities…
#3 Internet and TV services
Internet and TV services might have been classified as luxuries at one point, but those days are long gone. Today, they are absolute necessities and it’s almost impossible to partake in modern society without them.
But with six broadband providers in Singapore to choose from, which one should you pick? Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you. Simply go to this page for a handy yet detailed comparison of all your broadband options.
#4 Furniture and furnishings
Wouldn’t you like to come home to kick back on a lounger for a Netflix session, or a plush, cloud-like bedding to grab some quality shuteye? Even if you are not an interior design snob, investing in comfortable, well-crafted pieces of furniture is the basic building block of setting up your own personal haven.
Two more things to note: one, seeing that WFH is a trending acronym that’ll be featuring heavily in our careers for the foreseeable future, you may want to pay more attention to your workstation set-up. Two, furniture is just one part of the equation; don’t let it distract you from the smaller furnishings such as the window blinds or living room rugs.
#5 Housing appliances
You know the staples: washing machine, fridge, air-conditioning, Google Home. Or perhaps a trusty coffee maker. While you can go a few days without the first two, the third is practically a necessity, what with the famously hot and tropical Singaporean weather and all.
Smart homes are also all the rage these days; we wouldn’t be surprised that voice controlled gadgets are now part of the essentials list to kit out a new home, if anything but to make you feel like you’ve got your own butler. Almost.
#6 Season parking
Can’t do without an automobile in your life? Season parking allows you to park in any HDB car park group at any time – displaying parking coupons not required. But when it comes to HDB season parking, the name of the game is first come, first served. So, don’t hesitate.
You can apply for your season parking through HDB’s e-Service portal. Another option is by downloading the Mobile@HDB app, available on both iOS and Google Play. Payments for both options can be done via credit cards or direct debit. If you have a new HDB, a car, and don’t have your season parking yet, pause reading this article and go apply for it now.
Other essential stuff
The above six categories are the essential items you should purchase before you move into your HDB flat. But there is other stuff too that you need to do that don’t qualify as purchases.
The most important is to check if any rectification work is necessary. All newly completed HDB flats have a one-year defect liability period, within which HDB will bear the costs. If you find a defect, submit an official Rectification Request here. And if you are moving into a resale flat, read this article to get a checklist of common defects to look out for.
That’s it – have fun and enjoy your new home!
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By Ian Lee
Ian is a former investment banker turned freelance financial and investment writer. He specialises in creating versatile finance content for the attention economy on topics ranging from personal finance and investing to fintech and cryptocurrencies.