Multi-Family house: architecture, inspiration & pictures

In big cities like Singapore, multifamily houses are the most preferred type of residential dwelling. The cost effective nature and easy availability of multi family homes are prime reasons behind their attraction. The city is replete with highrises doubling up as apartment buildings. They provide most basic to luxury accommodation to the residents.

What are the different types of multifamily houses in Singapore?

Multifamily dwellings come in a range of styles. Some of these include,

Duplex apartments – Duplex apartments provide better comfort and privacy to their owners. You will feel less constrained by the lack of space. This type of multifamily dwellings is priced higher than normal apartments.

Triplex – Triplex combines three self-contained residences. They are even more luxurious than duplex apartments. Besides, they help accommodate bigger families under one roof.

Penthouses – Penthouses have become very fashionable of late. Their location affords the owners a great view of the city and the bay area. Luxury penthouses cost higher than the flats on the lower floors.

Mixed use building – This type of buildings house both commercial premises and residential premises. The lower floors are often dedicated to the shopping centres, administrative offices and showrooms. The upper floors are reserved for the private ownership.

Condo – Condos or condominiums have proliferated a great deal in the past few decades. They are built on a massive plot of land, are built with multiple independent apartment dwellings, cottages and centres of trade and commerce. They have the capability of providing housing solution to a large number of families.  

Are multifamily homes common in Singapore?

Of all residential house types, Singapore has the greatest concentration of multifamily houses. Some of the most prominent condos and other types of apartment buildings can be seen in or near Marina Bay, Flora Road, Grange Road and Park Road.

What type of multifamily houses are more prevalent and where?

Multifamily apartment dwellings are common across the city. In Singapore, 4 out of 5 people live in HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats. Unlike other types of detached and semi-detached residential structures, these are leasehold properties. These flats are built as a part of a satellite township. The oldest of these structures can be seen in the city centre, Marine Parade and Bukit Timah. Luxury condos are seen by Meyer Road, Southern Avenue and Grange Road and also in Marina Bay area. 

Different materials and colours of multifamily buildings

Multifamily structures are almost exclusively built with brick and cement. Glass façades are singularly popularly in those structures built in the last 5 years or so. Designed by talented architects of the city and beyond, they often showcase cutting edge design. While the colour of the outer structure is dependent on the original design, the colour of the interiors remains to be decided by you and your family.  

Legal issues that may arise when building a multifamily house

Public houses or HDBs are allocated against a pre-defined quota. To be eligible for an HDB flat, you need to apply beforehand. These flats are allocated on a 99 year lease. Since 2001, “Build to Order” HDB flats are also available for distribution. But this process is extremely slow and you may need to wait years to actually enter into your own HDB flat.

Ownership of apartments in a private residential housing is not so difficult to gain. The formalities include signing a buyer’s agreement and paying the initial deposit till the apartment is ready for possession. Be prepared to spend at least five years in your new home, if you are about to own an apartment in an executive condominium. Only then you get the right to sell off the property in the open market. This clause is not applicable to the local residents though.  

Pros & cons of multifamily housing

In places like Singapore, where land prices are exorbitant and owning a detached family home is beyond the reach of many, multifamily structures provide the most suitable housing solution. They are cheaper than most other types of residential buildings. You can stay very close to the city’s heart and enjoy proximity to the major facilities on offer.

On the other hand, space is often not adequate in this type of homes. Pollution and noise can be an ongoing problem if you live close to the heart of the city. Sometimes these flats lack in privacy. Like single family houses, they cannot be customised to one’s tastes or requirements. 

Maintenance & costs

The cost of maintenance cost is directly proportional to the size of your apartment. So if you own a duplex or triplex apartment, expect to shell out SGD 3000 or more in service charges, paying utility bills, security fees, parking etc. The smaller apartments can be managed within SGD 1000. 

Which professionals are able to help you & where to find inspiration to build one or decorate a multifamily house?

Planning to build a multifamily house or buying an apartment? Then you will need skilled assistance for your project.

To build a multi-family home

Seek help of an architect to design your house. Choose home builders who can inject life into the design. 

To refurbish an apartment

Since the work will be almost exclusively limited to the interiors, be prepared to contact an experienced interior stylist. Let the expert plan the decor of your newly acquired dwelling. The experience will come in handy to make the best use of the available space. You will also find a wealth of interior decor ideas right here on homify.

To change the layout of an apartment

Discuss your needs with an interior architect, if you need to make significant changes in the layout of the apartment. For specific areas like kitchen or bathroom, speak with a kitchen or bathroom planner respectively.