OK – using the word “investing” might not be the most appropriate.

With each successive BTO, the papers would go on and on about how certain popular estates are heavily over-subscribed. Heh.

Ever wondered what kind of homework did those couples do before deciding on that $250K (or $500K) HDB apartment? I know of some who don’t even bother to physically check out the neighbourhood.

I live in Punggol, which is why I’m particularly interested in what’s in store for my neighbourhood and how it would potentially affect the resale prices of HDB apartments in my area.

So, how do I make sure that I know more that my average neighbour? Or an existing resident of the area I’m planning to move into?

Let me share one neat trick that could be very, very useful. Especially for newer estates.

Urban. Redevelopment. Authority.

Let’s use an example to illustrate how the URA website can be used to do some research at home.

Remember Oasia Terraces that’s coming up next year a stone’s throw away from my place?

Let’s go to the URA website here. Got it? Great.

Now, on the left sidebar, let’s click on Land Use Plans > Master Plans and navigate over to the Punggol area. You can type ‘OASIS LRT STATION’ in the search box.

You see the marker on the screenshot I took above with the plot of land coloured in blue. Yup, it corresponds to Oasia Terraces.

Check out the legend and we get a confirmation – commercial property.

Look over a bit to the left side and we see a light blue patch at Punggol MRT station. Indeed, that’s the Waterway Point shopping mall and the condo on top of it – commercial and residential.

I was rather curious about a plot of land (left bottom of Oasia Terraces), marked ‘E’ for educational institute, that has been vacant for the longest time. Recently, construction began on top of it.

Want more details? Go to Property Use And Approval > Planning Decisions and navigate over to the Punggol area again.

Now, I can click on the empty plot of land and see if anything comes up.

Oh. Interesting. Decision date was 4th May 2017 – pretty recent. Let’s click on the Request for Decision Notice link.

Woot. It’s one of the two mega childcare centres to be built in Punggol that will take in 1,000 kids each. And now, I know something else the papers didn’t mention – that it would be 3-storey in height. And all I know is that it wouldn’t hurt to have a mega childcare centre near my place 🙂

Starting to see how the URA tool could be really helpful? Go ahead and play around with it.

When I moved into my new place 6 years ago, it was pretty much surrounded by barren land. But with the URA master plan, at least I wasn’t flying (totally) blind and had some sort of idea what to expect.

Hope this is helpful to you 😉