For most of us, living on a landed property is a distant dream. With housing prices on the rise, chances are you won’t be able to find one within your budget. These are only some of the reasons why over 80% of us Singaporeans live in HDBs. The thing is, living in a high-rise HDB doesn’t have to mean forgoing the landed life. Enter Executive Maisonettes.
What are executive maisonettes?
Introduced in 1984, Executive Maisonettes, or EMs, were proposed as a spacious alternative to single-floor HDB units. Known for spanning 2 floors, they tend to be anywhere from 1,475sqft to 2,616sqft in size, making them 1.5 to 2 times bigger than the average HDB flat.
The floorplan of a typical Executive Maisonette.
Image credit: twinklecloud
As the layout spans 2 floors, the first floor typically houses common areas such as the living room, guest bathroom, dining room, and kitchen; while the bedrooms and up to 2 additional bathrooms are on the second floor.
Image credit: @maisonette.atlas
There are 3 types of HDB maisonettes that exist: penthouse maisonettes, 5-room maisonettes, and executive maisonettes. As for how they differ? Penthouse maisonettes are built on the top floor of HDB blocks, with an open terrace design, offering a panoramic, birds-eye view of the surroundings. Executive maisonettes have balconies, while 5-room maisonettes, have well, 5-rooms.
Pros and cons of executive maisonettes
Unlike resale flats which can still be bought relatively new, EMs were phased out in the early 2000s, with the last batch being built in 1995, in order to make room for the Executive Condominium (EC) scheme.
Image credit: @littlehouseofpi
This means that the EMs you’ll find today are just about 30 years old. Considering the HDB lease period of 99 years, you’ll be left with around 60 years, give or take. When you move in, chances are you’ll need to conduct renovations and make some repairs – these costs, in addition to the limited tenure, are turn-offs for some.
The curved stairwell is a unique feature of certain EMs – this one in particular is located in Hougang.
Image adapted from: @maisonette.atlas, @maisonette.atlas
Still, for their rarity, spacious floor area and affordability, they remain highly sought after among those looking to get a taste of landed living at a fraction of the cost.
The square footage is one of the main reasons why EMs are so coveted – the large floor area not only opens up the home, creating a more spacious feel, the 2-storey layout also allows for increased privacy between the living areas and sleeping quarters. The service yard can easily be used as a laundry room, spare room or balcony. And since the space is mostly drenched with light, it makes for a great outdoor garden space.
Where to find Executive Maisonettes in Singapore?
Bishan and Jurong estates.
Image adapted from: @leafing_it_up, @ronald_27_fwan
Today, EMs can be found in both mature and non-mature estates, the former referring to estates over 20 years old, which consequently have more comprehensive amenities and a more developed public transport infrastructure. Units in mature estates like Bishan will cost anywhere from $990,000 to $1.5M while those in non-mature estates, like Jurong West, can even go for as low as $600,000.
At present, there are over 300 units listed for sale, ranging from $538,000-$1,500,000. The full list of neighbourhoods in which they can be found are:
- Ang Mo Kio
- Bukit Panjang
- Choa Chu Kang
- Jurong (East and West)
- Pasir Ris
- Toa Payoh
HDB executive maisonettes in Singapore
You may have lived your whole life believing you could never afford stairs in the home – until now, that is. For those of us who want to experience landed living, without paying the added premium, executive maisonettes are the best option. I mean, how else can we live the bougie landed life on a budget?
For more articles on Singapore homes, check out:
- The average cost of renovation in Singapore in 2022
- HDB vs condo: how to choose if you’re in the sandwich class
- Cheapest resale HDB flats under $350K
- Why getting an executive condo is the best of both worlds
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