For me, I'm eligible for the Esparina. In fact, it's right behind my parents' HDB. So I probably know that area very very well.
While I blogged a little bit about the Esparina before, I decide not to go with it in the end. The reasons:
1) Price. A 5-rm HDB costing $326k at Fernvale is much cheaper. Not only is it cheaper, it is also bigger. The price per square foot is lower.
2) Location. The Fernvale HDB I paid an option fee for is also walking distance to the Jalan Kayu eating belt. It is also near a 24 hrs NTUC supermarket and Koufu eating place. While it is not near any MRT, it is just beside Fernvale LRT, which connects to SengKang MRT. A bus stop distance away is the Greenwich mall that is being built currently. For drivers, the place is just beside TPE, very near to CTE and SLE.
3) HDB restrictions. Buying an EC entails the usual HDB restrictions. All restrictions are gone only after 10 years. With this consideration, I would think a HDB is more worth it.
4) Facilities. Anchorvale swimming pool and gym are just beside this HDB. A new and big shopping mall is in the planning documents just 5 mins walk away, although I don't think it will be built anytime soon.
5) Potential Rental. Greenwich is being touted as a good investment by the property agents because it is near the upcoming Seletar air base, and hence will be easily rented out in the future. Well, this HDB is 2 bus stops nearer. While it might not be as luxurious as the Greenwich Condominiums, all it means is that if ever I were to rent it out (3 yrs to build + 5 years Minimum Occupation Period = total 8 years later), it would be cheaper.
Also, I went with this Fernvale HDB over the Punggol WaterFront because
1) I don't believe in the waterfront. To me, it's just a marketing gimmick, and it might not even succeed. If the river isn't done up properly, mosquitoes and probably a stench will linger around that area.
2) Punggol is nearer to the sea. With the upcoming seletar air base, if any planes were to fly over, it would fly over Punggol, or so I thought.
3) While it is very near Punggol MRT, it is still on the far end of Singapore. Not like Fernvale is any better though, but Fernvale is still very near to 3 major expressways.
The above are my little considerations
The above are my small thoughts and considerations in choosing Fernvale HDB over any executive condominimum. On top of that, I would probably need the extra money (savings) to fund some of my ideas, be it successful a not.