Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

November 2012

Easy Guide to Applying for a HDB (BTO) Flat

The modern day couple’s journey to marriage and starting a family is quite different from, perhaps, a decade ago. With housing prices on the rise and new build-to-order (BTO) flats taking approximately three years to complete, many couples are opting to apply for one before they say their “I do’s”.

Before you apply for a BTO flat, you need to familiarise yourself with the many steps and information involved in the application process. But as a bride-to-be planning for her big day at the same time, the wealth of information might prove overwhelming and confusing for you. To save you time and help you better understand the process, SingaporeBrides has compiled every piece of relevant information you should know before you apply for a BTO.

1. Eligibility

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The first thing you need to know about owning your own HDB flat is your options. Both resale and build-to-order (BTO) flats are available for first-time applicants, but most go for BTO flats because it is a more affordable option for modern day couples. However, not all couples are eligible for a BTO flat. They need to fulfill a list of criteria for them to be deemed eligible for application.

  • You have to be a Singaporean citizen or there must be at least one Singaporean citizen in your family nucleus.
  • You have to be at least 21 years and above.
  • You don’t need to be married before you apply for a BTO; you and your partner can apply for one under the “Fiance/Fiancee” Scheme and are then required to submit your solemnisation or marriage certificate to the HDB Sales Office before the collection of keys to your flat.
  • You should have a gross monthly household income of no more than $10,000 for 3-room or bigger flats in mature estates, and no more than $5,000 for 3-room flats in non-mature estates.
  • You must not have owned or sold flats from HDB, DBSS or an executive condominium prior to your application.

2. Application Process

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a. Announcement on upcoming BTO or sale of balance flats launch

An announcement on the selected areas and the number of available units for BTOs or sale of balance flats open for application will be made on the HDB infoWEB and other media sites. Check out the information and decide on the area you wish to apply for. At the same time, you should also examine your financial capability to determine if you are able to support the payment for a flat. You should also acquaint yourself with the various financial schemes available that will help you in this huge financial decision and undertaking. Check out these financial schemes:

b. Application of BTO/Sale of Balance Flat

Once the BTO and sale of balance flats have been launched, you will be given a window period of a week to submit your application. Opt for the hassle-free option by submitting your application online via the HDB infoWEB, or head down to the HDB Hub or any of the HDB branch offices to submit your application. A non-refundable administrative fee of $10 will be collected together with your application.

The flats’ indicative prices and preliminary designs will be made public during this time. Keep yourself informed by reading up on these information to prep yourself for the selection of the flat unit.

c. Balloting of Applications

After the application is closed, HDB will ballot all applications via a computer system. Once the ballot results are out, HDB will inform applicants if they have been successful in their applications or not. Alternatively, you may check the status of your application yourself on the HDB infoWEB.

d. Selecting of Flat

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If you’ve received a queue number, congratulations! You’re one step closer to owning your own home. During the selection of a flat unit, you are required to bring along:

  • You and your partner’s identity cards
  • Income documents for the assessment of your income ceiling to determine if you’re eligible for the purchase of a flat and/or the Additional CPF Housing Grant
  • An option fee of up to $2,000

The option fee will be reimbursed to you in cash if you have enough money in your CPF Ordinary Account to pay for the down payment of the flat during the signing of lease, regardless of whether you have undertaken a HDB loan or not. If you’re taking a bank loan, the option fee will go towards paying the 5% or 10% cash portion of the down payment.

e. Signing the Agreement of Lease

Once you’ve selected a flat unit, you will be asked to sign the Agreement of Lease. For couples who are obtaining an HDB housing loan, you are required to submit a valid HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter. If you are obtaining a housing loan from banks, you will need a Letter of Offer instead. You will also be asked to place a down payment for your unit. Depending on where your housing loan is from, the stipulated down payment is 10-20% of the value of your unit.

f. Collection of House Keys

A BTO flat takes approximately three years before it is ready for collection. But before you head out excitedly to collect your first set of house keys, note that these criteria have been fulfilled:

  • Your solemnisation certificate has been submitted to the HDB Sales Office.
  • If you are applying for the Additional CPF Housing Grant, your marriage certificate must be submitted to HDB on or before the day you take possession of the flat.
  • For those not applying for the additional CPF housing grant, the marriage certificate is to be produced within three months of your possession of the flat.

Upon the collection of your house keys, you will be required to pay up the balance of the purchase price of your flat, either by cash, CPF or a combination of both.

Now that you know what to expect at each step of the application process, apply away! For more information, please visit the HDB infoWEB.

Credits: Feature Image by Immortalising Love With 520 Library.

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