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Ultimate Guide to Upgrade from HDB Flat to Condo: Top Tips on Moving Up the Property Ladder

cherylchiew
Ultimate Guide to Upgrade from HDB Flat to Condo: Top Tips on Moving Up the Property Ladder
Upgrading from an HDB flat to a condo remains one of the main aspirations of young Singaporeans today. According to the TODAY Youth Survey 2023, being a private homeowner remains a life goal for local youths aged 18 to 35, with 78% of those polled agreeing with this statement.
While achieving the five Cs – cash, car, credit card, condominium, and country club – has become more challenging as private property prices continue to climb, this hasn’t deterred young homeowners from achieving property progression.
In this article, we’ll dive into how you can move up the property ladder and what you need to know as a potential HDB upgrader.

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What HDB Upgraders Need to Know Before Buying a Condo

Before you sell your HDB flat, you must have fulfilled your Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). Check out our guide on HDB MOP rules to find commonly asked questions by HDB upgraders. You’ll also need to pay off any outstanding home loans before selling your home and return any CPF funds used with accrued interest, which will affect your sales proceeds.
Before buying a condo, you also want to speak to a mortgage expert. Knowing how to finance your condo purchase and secure your desired mortgage package is crucial. Not sure where to start? Learn how to budget by reading our guide on upgrading your property from an HDB flat to a condo, EC, or landed property.
Another thing you need to know is that costs add up quickly. For example, legal fees can be between $2,500 and $4,500, and your valuation report to secure your bank loan costs about $350 to $500. Additionally, if you engage a property agent to sell your HDB flat, you’ll need to pay a commission. So, ensure you’ve set aside some budget for that.
To guide you along, we’ve put together a timeline of what selling your HDB flat and buying your new launch condo can look like

Timeline of Selling HDB Flat and Buying New Launch Condo in Singapore

List the property for sale on property listing portals like PropertyGuru and conduct viewings.1 week to a few months, depending on buyers’ response
Go through offers and negotiate deals; you can have a property agent help you.1 day to a few weeks, depending on buyers’ response
Register Your Intent to Sell. At this point, check the EIP and Singapore PR quota if applicable.1 week
Grant the Option to Purchase (OTP); option fees are paid at this step. Then, the buyer exercises the OTP1 day to 2 weeks
Submit the resale applications online (both parties to do so). After, endorse the resale documents, pay resale fees and approve the resale documents 1 day to 1 week
Inspection by HDB to ensure there are no unauthorised renovations and the flat is in order1 week to 1 month
Attend the HDB resale completion appointment to sign documents and complete the saleUsually occurs 6 to 8 weeks from HDB inspecting your house
Receive sales proceeds on the day of sale completion. Pay off any outstanding home loans and CPF refunds.CPF refunds take about 2 to 3 weeks to process
View new launch condo showflats1 week to 4 weeks, depending on whether you can find a property you like
Pay the booking fee for your chosen unit; usually, this is 5% cash. Sign the OTP.
Once you receive a copy of your OTP, you can finalise your bank loan for your condo. At this stage, you should get a Letter of Offer or have secured an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from your bank.
Appoint a solicitor for conveyancing matters. Receive the Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) from the developer within 2 weeks of receiving the OTP
Once you’ve received the S&P, sign it and exercise the OTP within 3 weeks
Pay Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), if applicableWithin 2 weeks of signing the S&P
Pay the rest of the downpayment in cash or via CPFWithin 8 weeks of signing the OTP
Pay 10% of the property price for the foundation work of the development6 to 9 months from launch
Pay 10% for the reinforced concrete framework 6 to 9 months after the last payment
Pay 5% for brick wall building costs (5%)3 to 6 months after the last payment
Pay 5% for ceiling building costs (5%)3 to 6 months after the last payment
Pay 5% for wiring, plastering, plumbing, and installation of door and window frame positioning 3 to 6 months after the last payment
Pay 5% for the roads, drains, and car park of the property3 to 6 months after the last payment
Pay 25% when you receive the notice of vacant possession. When your condo receives its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP)
Pay the remaining 15% on the legal completion dateWhen your condo receives the Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC); this is the legal completion date
The above timeline and costs serve as a guideline only. Do note there may be some overlap between selling your home and buying a new launch condo; timelines may vary based on each individual’s circumstances. Additionally, it is assumed that the buyers have a Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit of 75% and are taking their first bank loan.
Now that you have all the relevant information, there’s one last question: Which condo should you buy? If you’re raring to move in, you can look at a newly TOP-ed condo. Or you can consider affordable new launches like The Arden.

The Arden: Most Affordable New Launch Condo of 2023

The Arden is a 99-year leasehold condominium located in District 23. With only 105 units spread across three five-storey blocks, The Arden can be considered a small boutique launch. As a low-density development shielded by natural greenery, residents who value privacy will appreciate the tranquil environment.
Launched in August 2023, The Arden sold 26% of its units over its launch weekend at an average selling price of $1,750 PSF. The lowest PSF pricing sold was $1,599 PSF, and the lowest quantum pricing for a unit was $1.25 million. The project developed by Qingjian Realty provides great value for HDB upgraders and younger buyers looking to purchase an entry-level condo.
Here is an in-depth look into why The Arden could be a good fit for those looking to move up the property ladder.

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Most Affordable Price Point for OCR Condos

At its price point, The Arden is the most affordable new launch condo of 2023. The project’s prices prove to be a head-turner in a market where new Outside Central Region (OCR) launches are priced well above $2,000 PSF in 2024.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Real Estate Intelligence, Data and Software Solutions, PropertyGuru Group, points out that the median unit price for new launches in 2023 was about $2,486 PSF and about $2,272 PSF in 2024 (year to date; June 2024). Meanwhile, the median unit price for The Arden is about $1,787 PSF in 2023 and $1,837 PSF in 2024 (year to date; June 2024).
“Amidst the current Government Land Sales (GLS) sites and launches, there is a highly limited supply of new developments with entry-level price points. With its premium provision and finishes, The Arden is a wallet-friendly option that does not compromise quality and luxury.”
The prestige of condo living and the accompanying lifestyle make The Arden a serious contender, even for those who may be considering an Executive Condominium (EC).

High Ceilings, Flexible Unit Configurations

One draw of The Arden is its higher-than-average ceilings. Typical condos have 2.8m ceilings. All of The Arden’s units are 3.2m in ceiling height, and its penthouse units are 4.6m high from floor to ceiling. Aside from letting abundant natural light fill the space, residents can also maximise their views of the surrounding green neighbourhood. A tall ceiling also allows ample storage space and larger in-built wardrobes.
The larger homes in The Arden, namely the 3- and 4-bedroom types, have a CoSpace concept. These units have flexible configurations to allow homeowners to customise their living spaces. Dining cabinets for dry kitchens, display shelving, and kitchen-island counters for select apartments add to a comfortable living space.
In the spirit of luxury living, all units have also been fitted with premium brands such as Bosch, Smeg, Hansgrohe, and Roca. It’s no wonder that the Arden was ‘Highly Commended’ under the Best Boutique Condo Development (Singapore) category in 2021 and the Best Private Condo Interior Design in 2021 at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore).

Close to Everyday Conveniences, Schools, and Public Transport

Everyday conveniences are a mere six-minute walk away, with Junction 10, Hillion Mall, and Bukit Panjang Plaza offering a wide selection of retail options, eateries, supermarkets, enrichment centres, and gyms.
Phoenix LRT station, which is a three-minute walk away, connects residents to the North-South Line via Choa Chu Kang MRT station. Meanwhile, Bukit Panjang MRT station is a 10-minute walk from the property and gives residents access to the Downtown Line. From Bukit Panjang MRT station, you will have a straight link to the Botanic Gardens, Bayfront, and beyond. Should you opt to drive, the Kranji Expressway and Bukit Timah Expressway will take you across the island in no time.
Enrolling your child in a nearby primary school cuts down on the time spent travelling to and fro school. Teck Whye Primary School, West View Primary School, Beacon Primary School, Bukit Panjang Primary School, and St. Anthony’s Primary School are options for young school-going children.

​​Green Views and Greener Capital Appreciation

The Arden sits nestled in a very green but well-connected neighbourhood. For those who like to hike, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Gombak Hill, and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are easily accessible from the property.
The new Tengah neighbourhood is also a short 10-minute drive away. Another upcoming development is the Jurong Lake District, touted to become the second CBD in Singapore. Being close to growing commercial, retail, industrial, and office hubs also creates more employment opportunities and lifestyle amenities. Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru, believes this could allow The Arden to attain capital appreciation in time.
“The Arden is strategically positioned to enjoy the benefits of being close to the upcoming Jurong Lake District. Of the 16,000 unsold private homes available islandwide, only 2,000 are in the OCR. Of these, 464 are in District 23, where The Arden is located. The limited supply of unsold homes could further push up demand and prices.”
Dr Lee adds, “Residents will benefit from the capital appreciation and can use this as a springboard to move up the housing ladder.”

Buying The Arden Condo in Singapore

Arden’s status as the cheapest entry point for private housing in 2023 is undoubtedly a huge draw for potential HDB upgraders. However, private homeowners who want to right-size to a smaller unit in a quieter neighbourhood can also consider The Arden. Aside from having a more easily manageable space, downsizing can also free up cash and create a financial cushion for retirement.

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Ready to submit an enquiry about The Arden?

If you’ve set your mind on the Arden, the next step is budgeting and securing a home loan. You want to ensure you can comfortably afford your new home and pick a mortgage suited to your financial needs and goals.
Not sure where to start? Let PropertyGuru Finance’s Mortgage Experts help you. Our friendly experts can take you through the entire home loan process, offer tailored financing advice, and help you land your desired mortgage package. Best of all, it’s at no cost!
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Need help to finance your latest property purchase? Let the mortgage experts at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.
Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru Pte Ltd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More FAQs About The Arden

At its affordable entry point, The Arden can prove to be a great deal.

The Arden has 105 units.

Qingjian Realty.