In land-scarce Singapore, living in a bigger home embodies living the Singaporean dream. Having more space in a home is a premium that elevates your status when you invite visitors to your home. The large floor to ceiling windows, the expansive living room, and the massive master bedroom represent a form of luxury that make your friends and neighbors green with envy whenever you throw a house party.
In today’s real estate market, buyers are constantly lamenting about the dwindling “square footage” of newly built homes. Due to space constraints, newer residential development are getting denser with more units with compact layouts. One has just to compare with developments built 15 to 20 years ago to see the stark difference.
A three-bedroom at 21 years old Simsville is about 1,240 square feet. A brand new 3-bedder at Sims Urban Oasis that has obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit averages at 900 square feet! Where did the 300 square feet go?
Hence buyers have a choice. If they prefer to have more space, they can opt for bigger and spacious apartments in older developments. But before committing, it is better to weigh in the pros and cons of bigger apartments.
A bigger home in square footage essentially means a higher price quantum. Buying at a higher price usually requires the buyer to take up a higher mortgage with the bank. With TDSR calculations in, you need a bigger paycheck to sustain the mortgage repayments of the bigger home. Hence rushing headlong to for the bigger home that costs a little more can make the difference in happier or skimpier retirement life.
You may have to sacrifice on a good location in order to get the bigger home of your dreams. In Singapore, the further away from the core, the lower the property prices. In a similar vein, properties further away from MRT stations are more affordable.
Buyers who love to have more space may consider living in a bigger home that is located far away from the core, away from the MRT station and away from amenities and conveniences. But the hassle of the daily commute may take a toll in the hot Singapore weather.
Time and Effort vs Having A Lifestyle
Living in a bigger home inevitability means having a bigger responsibility in the upkeep of your home. A landed home with a big lawn and a pool requires a lot of time and money to keep them in a pristine condition. For a bigger high rise condominium, the bigger balcony and more windows require more scrubbing. The extra toilet and yard will not clean itself automatically.
Although your initial idea of living in a bigger home is to have more space for your personal enjoyment, the time and effort required to clean and maintain the extra space negate the enjoyment. In hardworking Singapore where its a norm for both spouses to work long hours in their day job, spending hard-earned weekends scrubbing the house down does not seem to be a fun idea. Simply put, there is no time to enjoy the extra space.
Homeowners can easily turn to a simple solution – outsourced help, to assist in the upkeep of the house. Getting a live-in maid could solve most of the problems associated with housekeeping. However, getting domestic help also has many related issues. A live-in maid may need to be trained and supervised constantly which requires some time and effort as well.
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A Bigger Home Is Not Necessary A Better Investment.
In dynamic Singapore, lifestyle preferences are ever-changing. In those days of your parents and their parents, it was customary for several generations to stay under a single roof. That may be the reason to give rise to the traditional notion that many buyers are espousing, big is always better.
In the good old days where transportation is less efficient and community is less complex, there are obvious beneficial reasons for a multigenerational family to stay together.
According to purchaser history research of recent years, the trend is showing that smaller homes are getting increasingly popular. As society is changing, there is an increasing trend of singlehood who prefers smaller apartments. With more Singaporeans remaining single, either by choice or involuntary, there is a tendency for them to purchase small apartments for their own use.
Due to Singapore’s ability to attract foreign talent, we have a sizeable pool of foreign professionals underemployment in Singapore. Increasingly, the foreigners are predominantly singles or couples whereas several years we saw more expatriate families. These transient foreign employees also constitute a big demand for smaller and compact apartments and thereby driving up the yield of such properties.
More Space Doesn’t Mean More Useful Space
Do you really need a big balcony when a smaller one suffices? Do you need one more bedroom just to have it sit empty unless your friends turn up occasionally to play mahjong? Is the layout of the floor plan has room for improvement? It’s not good to spend money on a bigger home only to have the extra space wasted. Functionality, not square footage, is important in getting the most use out of your home.
Some developers are emphasizing this in their projects. An example of a Florence Residences floor plan of a three-bedroom layout, the design is structured towards optimal functionality within a limited space rather than wasting more space on unnecessary features. Walkway corridors are minimized to provide some privacy of the bedroom but not too long to waste space.
Although living in small space, the ability to decorate and personalize a space according to your personality and invite your friends and family over for a meal is a privilege that can be tremendously rewarding for one’s psyche.
Hence, residing in a smaller apartment doesn’t have to make you feel constrained. With the right tips, personal creativity and using good functional design features can help to visually expand a smaller space than it really is.
Feeling of Disconnectedness
Many home buyers like to bring out the fact that newer condominiums have tiny bedrooms. They lament that it is only big enough for a bed and wardrobe and less very little space for anything else.
Well, that is true. If you make a comparison with condos of the past that are 10 years or older, the older condos have much bigger bedrooms. You can put in a bed, a wardrobe, a study table and still leave room for many more. Bigger condos are usually kids centric.
It’s a slice of personal heaven where your children can play Dead Or Alive 6 or DOTA until their heart’s content. The mess created is left unattended but woe befalls you if you step into the room. You have no idea what your children are watching on Youtube or search on Google. It’s nice to be able to have a place that affords your children their privacy but consider this: if each family member has his or her private space, the opportunities for the family to interact is lower.