Buy Sell Property

Should Your First Home Be HDB BTO

Should The First Home You Are Getting Be HDB BTO Flat

Congratulation, when you start to reach about this post, it tells that, you are about to make one of the bigger ticket investment – Property

Being a first-timer, wanting to own a property. you might have zillion question, such as what should we buy, where should we buy our HDB Flat, how much are we going to pay, how much loan we can take etc.. etc.. etc.. and more

Now, let me share with you, some of the broad options you have before you start to walk the ground.

Buying from HDB directly, the Build To Order (BTO) option

Consideration when getting a BTO Flat

Buying BTO flat direction from HDB, is normally the first consideration for any Singaporeans. This is a sign telling you that, you are finally ready to move into the next stage of life. Building a family.

But, how we kick start and what are the processes involved? Let me share with you, the step-by-step guide, from application to owning the flat.

Checking your Eligibility

For the purchase of BTO directly from HDB, following are the various HDB eligibility schemes available

  • Public
  • Fiancé/Fiancée
  • Orphans
  • Single Singapore Citizen
  • Joint
  • Non-Citizen Spouse

From the list above, most of the applications are in the Fiancé/Fiancée schemes. I will share more of this scheme. Should you require understanding on the rest of schemes, please scroll to the bottom and contact me for detail description

For the purchase under the Fiancé/Fiancée scheme. you are required to form a family nucleus.

Family nucleus can be broadly defined as two persons that are related have the intention to stay in the same household. The relationship is husband and wife.

To support the proof of relationship, the certification of marriage is required to be submitted to HDB. This submission can be done during the key collection appointment.

In the event, the marriage certificate is not obtained on time, it can be submitted within 3 months, from the collection of keys. The submission can be done through HDB branch

Getting of Home Loan Eligibility (HLE)

If you are planning to obtain concessionary loan from HDB, HLE Letter will be required. The HLE will also indicate what is the total loan amount being allocated. These total loan amount entitled allow the applicant to know what is the purchase prices of the flat applicant


As shared earlier, all applications to HDB required to fulfill the eligibility requirement.  Due to the high volume of applications.  Every balloting exercise for BTO flat from HDB is being computerized. 

BTO HDB Resales

The initial process from HDB will mainly be the verification of the applicant.  Verification includes the eligibility of application, any priority schemes and also any information or documentation gaps.

After all necessary verification, the next stage of shortlisting, which will require a wide range of considerations.  These considerations include household status, flat type, any priority schemes.  After all the above consideration, the applicant’s queue position will then determine.

Ballot Matrix

Over the years, there are more and more priority schemes being incorporated.  These priority schemes help to meet the needs of different groups of applicants.

The system was being finetuned progressively to allocate different quotas for different priority schemes.  The process will also take into consideration applicants who fits more than one priority schemes

Audits and Checks

To ensure fairness during the BTO process.  stringent checks are carried out on applicants’ eligibility, computerized process and cross-checking of ballot result before releasing to applicants


After going through the whole process, the applicants will be informed of the final results of the balloting. Informing of this result is through SMS, email or hardcopy letters.

Selecting your flat

The queue number obtained during the application process, determine your priority in choosing your unit.  As a form of contingency, the total queue allocated might potentially exceed the total number of units available for selection.

Buying HDB flat

If your queue number is over the number of allocated units, there are chances that you won’t be able to get any units during this balloting cycles.  You will, therefore, have to ballot again during the next cycle.

After you have selected your unit with HDB, the whole purchase process started by paying an option fee.  The amount of option fee payable depends on the flat you are purchasing.  For 3-room flats, the option fee is $1,000 and the option fee for 4-room flat and above is $2,000.  This option fee will be part of your down payment.

Any entitled CPF housing grants will also be applied during this time.  To ease the application of grant I will recommend you download the grant application forms and bring along during your booking appointment.

Sign the lease agreement and pay the downpayment

All lease agreement has to be signed within four months from the booking of flat.  Please ensure, all your loan application is approved by that time.

On the day of signing the lease agreement.  Additional payment, such as down payment, stamp duties, and legal fees is payable.

Downpayment amount will be 10% of the agreed price of the flat when you are taking HDB loan and this amount can be paid using cash and/or CPF.

Collection of keys

Confirm your appointment date

Once the flat is built and it is ready to stay-in.  HDB will informed you when to collect your key.  To ensure, you can check back on the date.  This information is being updated in the HDB portal.  You can login to HDB Site, navigate through My Flat > Application Status > New Flat > Reg.No.

Applying for fire insurance

All flat owner, taking HDB loan is required to purchase Fire insurance for the flat.  The current appointed insurer for the HDB Fire insurance is FWD Singapore Pte Ltd.  The insurance can be purchase via online

Applying for Utility Account

This application is not critical, but if you are a busy working adult, you might want to do it on the same day. Alternatively, you can also apply online.

As Singapore has open fair competition for utility provider, you can go online to source for the best rate available, that is to your benefit. some of the provider such as:-

  • Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd
  • Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
  • Geneco (by Seraya Energy Pte Ltd)
  • iSwitch Pte Ltd
  • Keppel Electric Pte Ltd
  • Ohm Energy Pte Ltd
  • PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd
  • Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd
  • Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd
  • Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd 
  • Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd
  • Union Power Pte Ltd 

Prove of fire insurance

The certificate of fire insurance will be required. Without that, the collection of key will not be successful. All required document are to be printed. Before your key collection appointment..

After understanding the process of applying for BTO. The next key question will be, “wah.. so much work needs to be done”. Why should I go through those processes?


Although buying of BTO flat is a lengthy process. but they do have benefits in buying BTO Flat.

Some key benefits for you to think through.

  • Newly build flat
  • From HDB, which is the fair market price
  • Lesser worries and time, where sourcing is not from the list of selection provided by HDB
  • Defects Liability Period  (DLP) of 1 year is available

The flip side of buying BTO will be

  • Limited location for BTO (BTO is base on availability, you might not able to have the expected location)
  • CPF Housing grant is made available if you decide to buy a resales HDB flat, that is near your parent
  • You can potentially get a slightly bigger unit if you are buying an older HDB flat
  • Amenities and accessibility are more established.
  • Able to renovate to you own liking

Read the following before you make your decision

Buying from Resale Market

Lewis of Orange Tee and Tie
Ring me at +65 90107188

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has brought along with him a long history of experience in both HDB and Private property.

His personal belief is, to share the truth and facts with everyone. With that, he has good credibility with all his client

Now, let’s ring me at +65 90107188 if you have any queries relating to real estate. I do understand you might be busy. As SMS and/or WhatsApp will be easier and I will respond to you.

Buy Sell rent property

6 Steps in Buying HDB Flat

6 Steps Guide to Buying HDB Property


HDB Resales price
Indicative Price Chat since the year 2000

While you are very keen on getting a property of your own, it is very important for you to know, how much are you willing to pay for your new home. 

This is recommended to be done before sourcing starts. Some of the key payment milestones to consider will be

Deposit to Seller

In purchasing of HDB, some of the payment required during the initial stage will be

Deposit / Option Fee, this normally amounting to not more than SGD 5000.  This amount, paying directly to the owner of the property will be used as part of the sales price.  The amount that will have to be paid in CASH.

Why the deposit/option fee is SGD5,000. Can i pay more or less? The answer to that is,
Nope, you can’t pay more. this is stated in the option document, that the maximum amount for deposit is SGD 5,000. It is also a safeguard, so that, no fake seller trying to run away with large cash amount.
Yes, you can pay lesser, but that is subjected to the agreement of the seller also. Generally, the deposit paid, as it will be part of the purchase price, has no implication to buyer. But, from the seller mindset, it makes a different. The amount seller received, means he / she will stop marketing the flat and waiting for you to exercise the option.

Legal and Stamp Fee

Non sales-related amounts payable consists of stamp duty, legal fees, and other administrative charges. This amount can be paid using your CPF OA account.  Your lawyer or the HDB will assist you in arranging such payment.

Should you required to understand more on the stamp fee. This link to the information will be of great help to you,

Small payment

In addition, there are some payments that is payable, but not directly relating to the agreed price of the purchases.  These are submission fees, valuation fees, etc, which cost less than S$ 1,000 respectively. 

Agent services fee

Lastly, there will be a final payment, after completion of the transaction, is the Agent services fee.  This fee is agreed upon by both parties during the sourcing stage of the property.

This agreed amount does not include the GST element, as GST is a goods and Services Tax that is not received my the salesperson non the agency.

Above are the general guideline and is not limited to only the above items.

What are the housing grants available?

Buying your HDB, what are the grant available

f you are the first-timer applying for HDB Flat, which means, you have never owned an HDB flat ever before, are may be eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG).

Of course, there are requirements to fulfill the grant

Household Income Ceiling The average monthly household income over 12 months must not exceed $9,000 before the application of the flat.
Employment Both you and / or your spouse must be working continuously for 12 months before the application of the flat. Either of you must still be working at the time you submitted the flat application
left over Lease of the Flat The flat you are looking to purchase, must have at least 20 years or more left. The flat must have enough lease to cover the youngest buyer of the application up to the age of 95. Should this is not fulfilled, the EHG will be pro-rated.
Ownership/ Interest in Property              Both the applicant must not be holding/owning any other properties. Properties include both local and oversea or you have not any disposal of any such mentioned properties in the last 30 months before the new flat application. Other properties include privatized HUDC flats and EC, shop houses etc… 
Total Grant AmountThe grant amount can go as high as S$ 80,000 depending on the total household income

Size / Type of Flat

Generally, in the open market, there are the following types of HDB Flat available.  Depending on your needs and wants, consider something that makes your stay comfortable.

3-room flat – more for a compact living space that caters well to living needs.

Flat features

  • About 60 meters square
  • 2 bedrooms, of which 1 with attached bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Living/ dining area
  • Common bathroom
  • Service yard

 4-room flat – is a great place for young couples or young parents. These flats come in a variety of layouts.

Flat features

  • About 90 square meters
  • 3 bedrooms, of which 1 with attached bathroom
  • Living/ dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Common bathroom
  • Service yard
  • Storeroom-cum-apartment shelter

5-room flat – It provided great for larger households of 4 to 5 members, with room enough for extended family.

Flat features

  • About 110 square meters
  • 3 bedrooms, of which 1 with attached bathroom
  • Living/ dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Common bathroom
  • Service yard
  • Storeroom-cum-apartment shelter

Executive flat – good space for families that like to have delegated space. It features an additionals space for a study room that can be easily converted into a cozy living room or TV nook. Some Executive flats also have a balcony space for added alfresco enjoyment.

Flat features

  • About 130 square meters
  • 3 bedrooms available, of which 1 with attached bathroom
  • Living area
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Common bathroom
  • Storeroom-cum-apartment shelter

Not limited to the above, there are also bigger units such as Jumbo flat and smaller units such as 1- and 2-bedroom units. 


Many times, when you wanted a brand new flat, you will turn to HDB for BTO (Build To Order).  But, you realized, BTO is kind of limited in location.  You may not get near your parent, no near MRT (maybe 10 years after you have stayed in, but immediate may not etc…)

Accessibility is key before buying your property

When you start to look at resales, you realized there is plenty of options available.  Those shortfalls in BTO are overcome.

Before you got too happy over the available option you have, bear in mind, there is a price to pay for those “convenience” . For example, while a $500,000 budget would get you a comfortable 4- or 5-room flat in a suburban estate like Woodlands.  You might be paying as high as $900,000 for the same, sometimes smaller unit


Although the delivery services have made us more convenient to live further.  But it will still be nice to have eatery or supermarket and ATM nearby.

Other than the basic amenities, you might also like to have something that closes to your lifestyle such as stadium, swimming pool.  Other than, dragging yourself to the fitness center for a workout.

Other than getting close to what you want, transportation is also another key consideration.  That will be the distance to MRT / Bus Interchanges. 

I have a client, which felt some 20 mins walk to MRT is fine, as it is quieter, and the price is lower.  Never he realized, after 6 months, he felt walking to MRT can be a tiring task and he now and public buses will loop him around before reaching the station.  The situation got worst during raining days

After years of staying and you have upgraded to a private apartment.  You may not want to sell your current HDB, but to put if for rental.  The amenities, such as MRT, schools, hawker centers, supermarkets, shopping mall can be for your target demographic. This means identifying beforehand what the tenants likely wanted.  For example, single expatriates or students will need access to MRT as compare to those with the family that is more likely to drive.  This will work out better for them and increase your rentability.


There will be renovation work required, in many if not most of the buyer, after buying the flat.  The amount of renovation effort depends on the condition of the flat you purchased.

Selling your property with newly renovated seller.

Even so, that you decided to purchase and stay on as it is, do take note, the flat is sold base on caveat emptor.  This means it is the buyer’s responsibility to check and ensure the quality and suitability of the flat.  Any defect after the handover is fully the buyer’s responsibility.  

With the above consideration, the scale of renovation work required will directly impact the investment.  This cost can be from tenths of thousand to over hundred thousand. 

There are loans available for the purpose of renovation, but that repayment is via cash and it should be taken into consideration before committing the purchase.

I had a client, which bought a relatively well done up unit, but they have decided to redo the electrical cabling and water piping work.  Never he realized, the work affecting the wall and more work needs to be done at the end and cost has gone up by an additional 30% from what he has budgeted for.

Lewis of Orange Tee and Tie
Ring me at +65 90107188

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in the real estate since 2005, with him joining, he has brought along with him, was a long history of experience in both HDB and Private property.

His personal belief is, to share the truth and facts with everyone. With that, he has good credibility with all his client

As the world is moving into digital, there are still some “human touch” that must not be missed. Now, let’s ring me at +65 90107188 if you have any queries relating to real estate. I do understand you might be busy. Tap onto the following to WhatsApp me and i will respond to you

Buying Selling Renting HDB

4 Questions To Ask Before Upgrading Your HDB

4 Questions To Ask Before Upgrading Your HDB

You have been staying in your newly HDB for years and it has reached the MOP. Your friend around you will now tell you, sell your current HDB and upgrade to a private condo.

Comment from friends might very much into a direction, private condo, your value better if you want to sell in the future. All facility is just downstairs, you have full ownership and more

After talking to many people around you, all will be giving, somehow kind of similar feedback and you decided to upgrade. Now, what are the magic question you will ask, yourself, or the realtor before you make that moves?


The answer to that is NO if you are a Singapore Citizens. you do not have to sell your current HDB flat before you can buy a condo in Singapore. Although you are given the option to own more than 1 properties, after buying the private condo. there is a financial impact which you will like to consider.

Upgrading Your HDB

To own a second property in Singapore, there is an Additional Buyer Stamps Duty (ABSD) to be payable. Depending on the number of properties the HDB owner owns, the percentage of ABSD varies from 12% to 15% depending on the number of properties the owner owns


Depending on your financial situation and also, your risk appetite, you might consider selling the HDB and upgrade to the private condo.

Once you have made that decision, the computation of HOW MUCH goes into your pocket I make upon selling my HDB, and can I afford to buy private Condo?

Time to Sell your property. Contact me now at +6590107188

You realized, SingPass is very important now. Why, first, you will need to know, how much outstanding loan you have, if you are taking HDB loan. if you are taking a bank loan, you will need to check with the bank providing you the loan.

How do I check my outstanding loan, if I am taking an HDB loan? you will have to log in to the HDB web portal, i.e., After successful login, go to My HDBPage and obtain the outstanding amount indicated.

After knowing how much outstanding, you will now, find out how much you need to return to CPF, which you are using it to service your earlier loan. in the event you are using CASH to services you loan, this will not be required.

To obtain the total CPF amount used, including accrued interest. Log in to the CPF web site using your SingPass. Upon successful login, go to “My Statement”. Select “My Public or Private Housing Withdrawal Details”, which will provide you detail on the amount payable after selling your property

After summing the above 2 figures, you have computed the biggest ticket amount. with that, you can, therefore, make a quick decision, will your HDB, selling at the current market situation . will it be profitable for you. In a simple team, do you get back any money?

What are the taxes payable upon buying

In a purchase of Property, there are various tax payable. Inboard category, there are the following tax payable

Buyer Stamps Duty

Buyer stamp duty is tax duty payable, regardless of the number of the property you have prior to the purchase of the property. This payment is required once you have executed the sales and purchase agreement

If the benefit is stated in the document to be stamped and is a cash discount (i.e. cash, non-post dated cashier’s order or cheque) to be given to the purchaser upon execution of the document (and not later).

Worry about your BSD (Buyer Stamp Duty).  Contact me now at +6590107188
BSD Computation

To know what is the total amount that is a consideration for stamp duty. The total discounted amount may be deducted from the purchase price.  The final agreed price will still reflective of the current value.

If the document to be stamped stated a non-cash benefit to be given (e.g. furniture voucher, rental guarantee, car, or lucky draw), the value of the benefit is not deductible from the purchase price for stamp duty purpose.  

If the cash or non- cash benefit is not stated in the document to be stamped, the value of the benefit is also not deductible from the purchase price for stamp duty purposes.

Additional Buyer Stamp Duty

The ABSD liability will depend on the profile of the buyer as at the date of purchase or acquisition of the residential property:
A.  Is The buyer is an entity or an individual
B.  The Buyer’s residency status
C.  The numbers of residential properties owned by the buyer(s)


An entity means a person who is not an individual. It includes the following:

  • An unincorporated association
  • A trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity
  • A trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity
  • The partners of the partnership whether or not any of them is an individual, where the property conveyed, transferred or assigned is to be held as partnership property

If a property is jointly purchased by buyers of different profiles, the profile with the highest ABSD rate will apply to the entire value purchased.

Thinking of the ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamps Duty) Contact me now at +6590107188


The applicable ABSD rate is based on the nationality of the buyer on the date of purchase. You must have been granted the residency status by the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) as at the date of purchase in order to enjoy lower ABSD liability. The date of the issue reflected in the IC collection slip would be taken as when the residency status was granted.


If a Contract or an Agreement to purchase the property has been signed, that property is to be included in the count of properties owned by a buyer from the date of acceptance of the agreement, even if it has not been legally transferred to him as he already has an equitable interest in the property.

This also includes the purchase of an uncompleted unit from the developer if the Sale & Purchase Agreement has been signed.

Similarly, the property is to be excluded from the count of properties owned by a buyer. If there is already a Contract or an Agreement to sell his property and the new buyer has executed his option to buy the property.

Should I use the same realtor for buying and selling

There is technically no right or wrong answer to use the same realtor in both your buying and selling of properties. In fact, there will be more benefits in using a single agent for both your buying and selling of your property.


The same realtor will be able to coordinate the timing of both buying and selling, that minimize running into the risk of “homeless” or “overpay”. This risk might potentially happen when using 2 realtors.


Other than time-saving, as share earlier. the cost-impact will come in when the handing over of your sales units is earlier than your collection of the property bought.

This potentially leads to, an arrangement of short team stay is required, be-it, hotel stay, short term rental, etc…


Dual representation in the context of real estate is, the same realtor is representing you, and the other customer on the SAME property.

In the case of representing the SAME customer on a different property, it will not be classified as due representation, rather trust in a seamless transaction of both buying and selling.

Is that what I need to know?

Sadly, there are more information and procedure required in both the buying and selling of your flat. By reading will give you many theory concepts, but when it comes to actual execution. There are always surprises that rises

To ensure a smooth and seamless transaction. Most importantly, a stress-free buyer and seller. Let the professional do the job.

Ring ME now @ +65 90107188 to have a sharing session on your expectations.

Alternatively, you can also SMS or WhatsApp me