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Friday, December 12, 2014

5 Things To Know When Buying Your First HDB BTO

Alright, i'm guessing that if you are reading this article, that you have decided to settle down and buy a BTO HDB flat with your other half!.


Your First BTO
Your First Flat
Please read on for the 5 important things to know before you 

1) Eligibility (Check it here!)


It is important to ensure that you qualify to buy a BTO from HDB to avoid rejections in your application.

Some eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Age (35 Years For Singles)
  • Family Nucleus 
  • Income Ceiling (10,000$ Combined Income)
  • Ownership of other properties
HDB website has a questionnaire that you can use to quickly determine your eligibility.


2) Grants


Grants are offered to help the low-mid income households. Check the table below to see if you qualify for it!.

AHG – Additional Housing Grant. Grants to help Singaporeans buy their first flat. The AHG ranges from $5,000 to $40,000, depending on the total combined* income.

SHG - Special CPF Housing Grant. A housing subsidy which is designed to help middle income families. The amount of the grant ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the total combined* income. (Applicable only to 2,3,4 Room in non-matured estates.

* Yes, the total for both spouses


Special And Additional Housing Grant
SHG & AHG


3) Application & Balloting (Success Rates)




No one knows how the HDB computerised balloting for the Queue Number works.

However, we know that being near your family and being married the chance of getting a "good" number.

In general the chances are as follows:

Applicant Type 1st Time Applicant 2nd Time Applicant
Normal Applicant 2 Chances 1 Chance
Married Child Priority Scheme
(2KM / Near parents)
4 Chances 2 Chances


Distribution Criteria
Distribution Criteria
* First timers will have a +1 chances for each unsuccessful attempt.

(First-timer applicants who reject 2 chances to select a flat will have their First-timer priorities removed for a 1-year period in HDB's sales exercises)


4) Deposit And Fees



OTP - Option to Purchase. Basically means an agreement to purchase the flat.

4- Room Flat & Above  – $2,000
3- Room Flat              – $1,000
2- Room Flat              – $500
Studio Apartment        – $250

Note that, the option fee is non-refundable (Payment ONLY by NETS or Cash). But i am sure that HDB will look into your request should there be a legitimate reason to back out on buying the flat.

Stamp Duties - Just some misc. tax payment to the govt.  :))

First $180,000 – 1%
Next $180,000 – 2%

$181,000 and above – 3%

Downpayment - The cash component of the flat. (Also see Pt5: Loan


5) Loan



AIP - Approval in Principle is an agreement with a bank. Depending on your financial health, the bank will decide whether to approve your home loan. *This is just an approval process. No loans are granted at this stage. The HDB equivalent is called the HLE - Housing Loan Eligibility.

There is basically 2 options here. HDB or Bank Loans.

The main big differences are the down-payment amounts and the interest rates.

The 20% down-payments of Bank Loans must be fulfilled in cash (5%) and CPF (15%). 

Whereas, the 10% downpayment for HDB loans can fully be fulfilled using CPF.


Loan Comparison
Bank Vs HDB
On collection of keys, do note that ALL* of your CPF - OA (and your spouse's CPF) will be used to offset the cost for the flat.  :((

*Unless you move them to the SRS Account, but there is another story for another time.

Now that you are well informed about buying your BTO. 

I wish you all the best in the selection of your BTO!

Image Credits: HDB Website