What is the difference between a BTO flat and a Resale flat?
This may be an obvious question to some, but there is still quite a list of pros and cons in deciding to get one, especially if there is a list to compare when you are deciding for a renovation, be it a major or partial renovation.
Basically we start off by looking at their floor plans to get an overview of its visual difference in layout.
As you can see, BTO flats usually have the household shelter (a requirement by the SCDF) located right next to the main door or sometimes just beside the kitchen/dining area. Whereas you don’t see any household shelter for resale flats especially the older ones that are built before 1998, what the resale flats have is a “storeroom”, mostly to store.
There is also the A/C (aircon) ledges placed opposite of kitchen window, that double as second support for drying on bamboo poles for resale flats. While BTO flats normally have the A/C ledges align outside the external walls of the master/common toilet and it is not meant for drying clothes or hang the bamboo poles except in the service yard that comes with a dedicated retractable clothes drying rack.
Generally, there is no service yard for most resale flats to do the hanging of laundry except the bamboo poles holder right outside the parapet of the kitchen window and probably bamboo pole rack mounted underneath the kitchen ceiling.
One main difference which you may have noticed or seen in both BTO and resale flats is the electrical and lighting trunking. In all BTO flats, the electrical and lighting points and wirings are fully concealed with trunking or conduit inside the wall and ceiling whereas the resale flats have them mounted outside the wall/ceiling, normally known as “exposed trunking”.
BTO flats are designed in a way that it emphasize more of privacy, and exclusiveness for families and couples as you do not find any windows built on the walls on any common walkway hence there isn’t any “someone just walked pass by room and i can see his/her shadow” like what we would normally face in our older flats (resale). But there’s always a way to counter this issue by installing roller blinds and thick curtains, that can either block out the glaring sunlight and adding that extra privacy for your home.
Example of a BTO flat with the retractable laundry rack (pulley system)
Example of a resale flat with the retractable laundry rack (pulley system)
Example of a resale flat with fixed laundry rack which uses metal or bamboo poles to hang the clothes.
The centralised rubbish chute (CRC) for BTO flats are located at the central area of each floor while resale flats have it inside their homes located in the kitchen area, which you can usually find them below the kitchen sink area or next to it. Many resale homeowners opt to box it up as it is quite unsightly, so there are several ways which you can sort of “conceal” it by installing kitchen cabinets over it, or just a small and thin enclosure to hide it away while some homeowners just simply replace the entire existing rubbish chute with stainless steel ones.
Another major difference in BTO and resale flat is the routing and the gas, water and sanitary/drainage pipings. Normally there isn’t much piping running across the BTO flat, except in the kitchen area where it is nicely routed from the water cum gas services riser located outside the house next to the main door (usually). As for resale flats, you do see the water pipings and gas piping that is mounted on the high ceiling or walls from the living room into the kitchen especially for the toilet in resale flats, as there will be quite a fair bit of exposed water pipings that cannot be hidden.
For each BTO toilet, there is a boxed up area that hide away the drainage piping, and water piping that penetrate through the internal walls to the exterior AC ledge area.
Example of a BTO toilet with the boxed up done by HDB, hiding away the drainage piping and a pre-installed hot and cold water outlet piping joints for storage heater installation.
Example of a resale toilet with exposed piping running across and fully exposed.
- Newer layouts smaller kitchens, living rooms & bedrooms
- Brand new & empty
- Waiting time: About 3 years
- Average size: 90sqm (4 room)
- Full renovation works can be considered
- Bigger kitchens, living rooms & bedrooms
- Existing flat condition is subjective
- Waiting time: About 3 months
- Average size: 104sqm (4 room)
- May not require a full renovation.
For more information about BTO and Resale flat applications, requirements and submission, please visit HDB official site.
Here are some Pros and Cons comparison between the BTO and Resale flats in a nutshell:
|Brand new as first occupants||Need to wait 3 to 4 years before moving in|
|Able to opt-in for sanitary fittings and HDB provision of tiles and doors||Need to stay the MOP (Minimum occupancy) for 5 years|
|High floor to choose from (for certain BTO projects)||Layout quite fixed|
|Flexibility to choose full or major renovation works||Some built-ins are old and damaged over the years (need to replace or remove)|
|Quite a few types of layout to choose from||Floor area tends to be bigger|
|More design options available||May need to spend more for major overhaul and renovation works|
|Can come with some existing furnishing||Limited appreciation potential (limited life)|
|Get to choose your locations||Limited subsidies available|
|Can move in immediately after purchase||Potential re-design needed (e.g hacking, ID)|
|Location: your preference||Lease period less than 99 years|
Check out these completed BTO and Resale projects and tell us what you think!
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