As houses become smaller but more expensive, Singaporeans are finding it increasingly difficult to afford bigger homes, especially for those living with their families or have large families. Realising the importance of this issue, The Housing Development Board (HDB) has taken steps to cater to this demand for larger, yet more affordable homes. One of these steps is the introduction of a new flat type known as the 3Gen flat.
What is a 3Gen flat?
Three-Generation (3Gen) flats are a relatively new type of HDB housing. The main distinguishing feature of 3Gen flats is the larger space (about 115 sqm or 1,237 sq ft). The larger space allows for multi-generational families to live together under the same roof. Since their launch in 2013, this public housing scheme has become extremely popular among larger families.
Apart from the size, 3Gen flats also have the following features:
- Four bedrooms, two of which have attached bathrooms
- Living/ dining area
- Common bathroom
- Service yard
- Storage-cum-apartment shelter
Let’s take a look at the differences between the bigger flat types that HDB offers: the 5-Room, 3Gen and Executive flat.
5-Room vs. 3Gen vs. Executive HDB Flat
|HDB Flat Type||Description|
|5-Room||110 sqm, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms|
|3Gen||115 sqm, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms|
|Executive||130 sqm, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms|
Interestingly, the 3Gen flat is not the biggest HDB flat type. The HDB Executive flat has a larger floor area, but is still one bedroom and one bathroom short compared to the 3Gen flat. This is good for those who require these extra facilities to cater to the members of the household.
3Gen vs. Dual-Key Condo
It is important to note that the 3Gen flat is not a dual-key unit. Meaning to say, the extra bedroom and bathroom are a part of the house.
This is different from a dual-key condo unit, where the living spaces are separated into a main unit and sub-unit. These units are assessed from separate main doors with different sets of keys, hence its name ‘dual-key’.
Learn more about them here: Dual-Key Condos in Singapore: What Are They And Should You Consider Them?
What Are the Benefits of a 3Gen Flat?
As mentioned above, part of the appeal of a 3Gen flat lies in what they offer homeowners and their families. They are usually larger than regular HDB BTO units in Singapore, and on average, about 54 sq ft larger.
As smaller HDB flats are becoming the norm, the larger space area of 3Gen flats is a breath of fresh air. With four bedrooms, each couple (you and your spouse, as well as your parents) have their own space. There are also two more bedrooms for your children as well.
Ideal for looking after each other
In case if it’s not clear, 3Gen flats are ideal for couples who have elderly parents.
Living together with your parents means you save money on hiring a caregiver. Not only that, but you also don’t have to travel back and forth from your home to theirs. More importantly, it’s easier for you to care for their wellbeing. You spend more time with your parents and can help prevent them from feeling isolated and lonely. In case of an emergency, you’re also well aware of it and can attend to the matter.
In addition, parents of working couples with young children can also help to look after the children at home.
What is the Eligibility Criteria for a 3Gen flat?
Applicants must form a multi-generational family nucleus
If you are interested to apply for a 3Gen flat, you can only apply it via the Public Scheme or Fiance/Fiancee Scheme and should check if your family nucleus fulfils the eligibility conditions. At least one of your parents must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident. In addition, your multi-generation family must comprise one of the following family nuclei:
- Married couple and parent(s)
- Courting couple (fiancé and fiancée) and parent(s)
- Widow/widower with child and parent(s)
- A divorcee with child and parent(s)
Registered occupiers cannot have any properties to their name
Since the purpose of a 3Gen flat is for you to live with your parents, they must be registered occupiers of the flat.
This means that your parents can’t have property registered to their names. This includes any local or overseas property. It also goes without saying that you also shouldn’t have any property under your name.
Are 3Gen Flat Buyers Eligible for Grants?
Read more about the grants here: HDB Grants for BTO, Resale Flat and EC Buyers: How Much Can You Get?
What you should know before considering to buy a 3Gen flat
1. Limited resale potential
Once you’ve met the Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) of 5 years, you’re allowed to sell your 3Gen flat. But do note that you can only sell it to multi-generational families.
Multi-generational families, according to HDB, must comprise of at least a married couple with the parents of either spouse.
The purpose of 3Gen flats is to encourage multi-generational families to live with each other, therefore, you cannot sell it to other young couples if they don’t plan to live with their parents. This makes the pool of available buyers extremely small. But then again, these flats are not really for investment.
It’s also important to note that you cannot rent the spare rooms out to someone else, even after the MOP.
2. Parents’ incomes are included as part of the monthly household income
If your parents are still working, their average monthly salaries will be included in the monthly household income since they are a part of the family nucleus. This makes it more likely for you to exceed the income ceiling and thus, not be eligible for certain housing grants.
To mitigate this, HDB has increased the income ceiling specifically for multi-generational families from what was $12,000 and $18,000 before, to $21,000.
3. Your parents must be registered as occupiers
That’s right, your parents must be registered as occupiers of the flat. Under HDB ruling, occupiers cannot own another property both locally or abroad.
Want to buy a 3Gen flat?
If you plan to live with your parents and children, but don’t want to wait for the next HDB BTO launch, find 3Gen flats for sale on PropertyGuru here.
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