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 Tee
Realtor Professional

Lewis started his career in the real estate since 2005. over the years, he has equipped himself with 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.

Lewis Tee

Real estate profession, specialised in buying, selling and renting of private / resident property. I have over 10 years experience in the real estate field.

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2 Responses

  1. Willie says:

    Good background. Looking forward to your next sharing on resales Need to quickly compare both as I waiting for balloting outcome.

  1. 24/03/2020

    […] 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 […]