Unless you’re living it up in a mega-mansion, homes in Singapore are hardly ever considered sprawling. Both economical and spacious, jumbo HDB flats could be the answer to your space woes.
Let’s face it, spaciousness is not a term you would commonly use to describe HDB flats.
Nowadays, we’d be lucky if our five-room BTO flat crossed the 110 square-metre threshold. With space in such short supply, our homes might start feeling too cramped for comfort, especially when the family starts to grow.
Plus, once we’ve reached a certain age, sharing our bedrooms and that one communal bathroom just doesn’t quite cut it anymore. If you’re on the lookout for HDB flats that come with more than three bedrooms and two bathrooms, look no further than jumbo flats, particularly if you have a multi-generational family moving in.
What is a jumbo flat?
It is essentially a supersized version of your typical HDB flat. Think of it as two three-room or even four-room HDB flats combined to create a single unit.
Once a common option in a bygone era where there used to be an oversupply of HDB flats in the 1990s (imagine that), jumbo flats now only exist in the resale market for those who crave an abundance of space. According to Property Guru, they range from 1,442 square feet to 1,830 square feet and boast up to seven bedrooms.
In comparison, four-room and five-room resale flats are around 90 square metres (968 square feet) and 110 square metres (1,184 square feet) respectively.
The sheer size of jumbo flats means that you, your parents, three siblings and grandparents can all stay comfortably under one roof — and have a wide berth around each other to boot. However, existing units are mostly found in just three neighbourhoods: Woodlands, Yishun and Jurong East. The good news is that if you can’t seem to find the right jumbo flat in the resale market, you can always buy two 3-room flats (or smaller) and merge them.
Wait, I can buy two units and create my own jumbo flat?
It’s possible under the HDB Conversion Scheme, which allows you to take up just one housing loan when buying two HDB flats.
This way, you’re able to merge two adjoining units together to convert them into your own jumbo flat. But before you go ahead and make an offer on the home next door, you’ll need to do the following:
- Contact HDB to do an assessment to ensure that combining two units is possible
- Finalise the purchase for the two HDB flats
- Complete the conversion into a single (jumbo) unit through renovation
Are jumbo flats worth the price?
A quick scroll through any listing site makes it clear that jumbo flats don’t exactly come cheap. Just last year, a sprawling jumbo flat in Ang Mo Kio made headlines when it was sold for $1.03 million.
Depending on where the flat is located, jumbo flats can range anywhere from $740,000 to more than a million. While this is pricey for a HDB flat, it gives you more bang for your buck considering the value you get per square foot.
Let’s compare between a jumbo flat and a similar sized condo to see whether the former is worth its price tag. Today, a $900,000 Woodlands jumbo flat with a floor size of 2,067 square foot is currently on the market at approximately $435 per square feet.
Meanwhile, a four-bedroom condo with the exact same floor size can set you back $1,780 per square feet, easily four times that of the Woodlands jumbo flat.
However, despite how cost-effective they are, it’s also important to consider how old the jumbo unit is.
Why does the age of a unit matter?
When you’re dealing with a jumbo flat, chances are they have matured considerably. The record-breaking Ang Mo Kio jumbo flat was 40 years old at the time it was sold, with almost half of its 99-year lease shaved off. This could potentially impact its value should you decide to sell if off again due to a little thing called lease decay.
When it comes to jumbo flats, bigger is not only better — it’s also more value for money. Considering how a 5-room Alkaff Breeze BTO can set you back $728,000 for a modestly sized 113 square metre unit (that’s about 1,216 square feet), jumbo flats are way more reasonable in comparison. So you might want to consider this unique housing type if you’re looking for a comfortable stronghold for your multi-generational brood.
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