Buying Selling Property Property

What can you do, when your HDB reached 5…

What Are The Available Options When Your HDB Reached MOP?

(Agent) Lewis: Mr. and Mrs. Soh, Thank you for your time. I understood, your current flat has reached the HDB MOP period. Any plan you have in mind?
(Owner) Mr. Soh : No Plan.. Why I need to plan? can’t i continue staying?
(Agent) Lewis : Oh, of cos you can continue to stay, until your flat reach 99 years of age.
(Owner) Mr. Soh : Den, why I need to plan? i just continue to stay lor!
(Agent) Lewis : Mr. Soh, yes, you can. But, do you know, what will the value of your HDB flat be if you stay till you retired?
(Owner) Mr. Soh: Though it will surely go up?
(Agent) Lewis : May or may no!
(Owner) Mr. Soh : you sure?
(Agent) Lewis : Yes. Why not let me share with you, what are your option available. After that, you decided what you want to do? Maybe you can retired earlier. I said, MAYBE
(Owner) Mr. Soh: Ok.

HDB reached 5 Years MOP

3 Common options available for owner

Option 1 – Continue to stay in current HDB Flat

To save all effort of selling, buying, renovating and moving. you can continue to stay in your current flat.

Before you make that decision, some of the key pointer for your consideration

Understand your current value of your flat?

In many of the HDB Flat, the price is at peak within the first five years, after MOP, forming a bell curve format. Reason being, the flat is still new, renovation is still in good condition where buyer don’t have to do much.

With that, some buyer don’t mind paying a bit more, for the condition and renovation. They can capitalised the use of their CPF to service the loan and not cash for renovation.

Although the age and renovation has impact to the value of the flat. These are not the only factor, there are other factor to be considered as every single unit of flat is unique. Not all flat will be within that category. Which can profit upon selling.

Option 2 – Buying a private property and consider renting the current HDB flat

This option is to buy a second property. Use property to generate income through rental. The rental collected can be used to service the loan of the property

The consideration for this option is. As it is a second property, you will be required to pay for ABSD (Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty) during the purchase.

As you are still have a loan running for your HDB flat, the loan for your private property will be cap at 45% LTV (loan-to-value).

In many circumstances, this is the drawback for this option unless you are financially sound to pay those

Option 3 – Upgrade from the current property

In this option, you can further consider one for the four sub-option.

Buy First Sell later

Although you are buying the property first and sell it late, you will still need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) to IRAS during the purchase and seek remission of the amount after selling your HDB flat.

The timeframe for that to happen is six months. Which means, the HDB flat need to be sold within six months from

– The date of purchased on the second property for completed property
– The date of issuing of the TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) or CSC (Certificate of Statutory Completion), whichever is earlier for new / uncompleted property
to enjoy this remission.

Some other requirement will be, the couple will need to have at lease one Singapore Citizen in the purchase and the newly purchase unit has to be on both name of the couple only.

Lastly, at the time of selling the current flat, the couple must be remains married and there is no changes to the ownership of the second residential property.

Sell Now and Buy later

This is one of the most neat option. Reason, you do not need to rush to do any of the transaction be if buying or selling. You can have time to buy the unit you wanted to, be it new or resales.

The catch for this is, you will sell your current unit openly in the market. After which, rent a unit as temporary accommodation (be it 1 or 2 years lease depending on your buying)

During the staying in the rented flat, you will wait for the handing over of key for your purchase unit, do any renovation required and move in on the selected date.


Question you might ask will be, why should I be paying rental during this period?

Agreed, but the rented pay as compared to your ABSD. The different is very clear. Example, the ABSD for 2 million dollars property S$ 364,600. the rental for any units over 24 months, you can put aside $72,000 and you will still have a saving of close to S$ 300,000.

Buying and Selling concurrently

This option, you can bypass the above payment of ABSD totally. Yes, you can. But… But.. But..

The key factor to made this a success is, timeline need to be well plan and managed for both buying and selling of both the properties. You are also, need to take into consideration that you do not have time for renovation.

For this option, I will strongly suggest you to engage an experience and professional real estate relator to assist you. He / She must be able to put on table, a timeline plan on how you can go about doing the upgrade. This is to reduce any foreseeable hiccup

If you felt that, you are not confident in the realtor engaged. You can consider us, as you have 3 professional realtor at the same commission paid.

Selling your current and buying two properties, one to stay and one for investment

If financially permit. You can consider using both your cash from sales proceed and CPF Fund of the sold HDB flat to purchase 2 private properties.

one of the private property for your own staying and the other put in market for rental. The rental collected can be used to support the loan of one of the property with some surplus.

To reduce any possible stress from you, being the buyer of both properties. We can arrange to have both the properties purchased at different timing. This is not necessary to happen at the same time.


With the above options shared. it might sound too heavy for you. All option are workable, but it depends on the financial and risk appetite. I am most happen to assist to walk you through, at your available time slot, to see which option fit you best.

Case Study 1

Let me share with you, what I have done for one of my client, Mr and Mrs. Liew

Mr and Mrs. Liew purchased their HDB 4 room flat in Serangoon. A resales HDB flat. They have, during the purchase enjoyed the CPF Housing grant. They are not willing to move out of Serangoon area as their parent are staying in Serangoon also.

I was being contacted shortly after their MOP reached. Sharing with me, they have plan to upgrade. After understanding their financial and risk appetite and their interest in buying one private property and second for investment.

I have recommended them to sell their HDB flat and purchase a 3 bedroom in Forest Woods Condo. During the time, after selling the HDB flat, before obtaining the key for new condo (which is soon). They have the benefit of staying with their parent over the past 4 months.

Now, they are just happily staying with no worries, waiting for the taking over of their private condo. After which, they will be looking into investing a 2 bedroom units for rental.

Buy Sell Renting of your property

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

Lewis+65 9010 7188Buy Sell Rent.  Connect to me NOW
Market Outlook Financial

Market Outlook – Q2 2020

We have passed the mid-year of 2020. Within the first 6 months, there has been a few key economical situations, which have directly and/or indirectly impacted the property market.

Some key situations are
1. Coronavirus Pandemic Since Jan 2020
2. Singapore Declared Technical Recession on 14th July 2020
3. The unemployment rate increased to 2.9% in June 2020

The above 3 situations have placed many Singaporean in a very uncertain economical situation, especially so those in the workforce, where job security is his/her major concern.

Market outlook

HDB – Resales

Looking back – Q1 2020

Since Q2 of 2019, the number of HDB transactions, regardless of flat type, has been fluctuating in the range of 6,000. This has been going on till Q4 of 2019.

Historically, the transaction did dip when it came to the beginning of the calendar year, which was sometime in January and February. Therefore, the moving down of the transaction in Q1 of 2020 is somehow expected.

The drop is the transaction for Q1 2020, from the statistic representation, is much healthier than Q1 2019, which hit a low of 4,500

Data Source :

Looking from the price point perspective, all flat types are going very much constant, except for multi-generation. I will not take this flat type into consideration, as the requirement for this flat type is unique to a particular group of the buyers. This is also not to be used for benchmarking as the supply is limited to some of the HDB towns

Looking into – Q2 2020

From the transaction perspective, there has been a sharp drop in numbers from the earlier quarter of 5,500 units to Q2 of 3238 units. There are various factors leading to this dip.

The key factor was due to the enforcement of the Circuit Breaker in Singapore. The prelude of the Circuit Breaker started on 27th March 2020 where some of the entertainment venues were to close.

It further tightened on 7th April 2020, where non-essential services were not allowed. Real estate activity was, back then, classified as a non-essential service, and all viewing of the property was not possible.

Data Source :

There was not much of an impact on the pricing of the HDB flat, during the Circuit Breaker period. Looking from the chart, except for the bigger unit, which is the Executive flat type (ie, Executive Apartment and Executive Maisonette) that has dipped by 2.9%. the rest of the flat types are still going very much stable.

Data Source :

Future Sharing

With the relaxing of the Circuit Breaker on 2nd May 2020, real estate activities have recovered. The seller begins to allow the potential buyer to view their property and the buyers have started to source for their expected units.

HDB, being the public housing for all Singaporean, is always the first choice for those that are getting married. I foresee that the transaction will recover sooner than expected and it should be reaching the stable trend.

Private Property – Resales

Looking back – Q1 2020

Transaction for resale private property has come down since Q2 of 2018. The drop between Q2 and Q3 has come to almost 50% drop. In numbers, it drops from 3,975 to 2,172 transactions within that quarter.

After the drop, the number of transactions have been moving between the range of 1,600 to below 2,000. These numbers have been constant for the past 7 quarters.

Data Source : URA website

Although the number of the transactions have come down in Q2 2018 and remaining constant with a difference of 500 units between a quarter to quarter. The price of the transaction has been on an up.

During the initial drop from Q2 to Q3 2018, the price has come up from Q2 average per square feet of $1,357 to Q3 average per square feet of $ 1,375. The prices have been moving up since Q3 to the last quarter of 2019. Closing the year with $1,421 per square feet.

For Q1 of 2020, mainly due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, although not widely spread, has made many buyers aware, resulting them in holding back in offering any shortlisted property.

Data Source : URA website

Looking into – Q2 2020

With the implementation of the Circuit Breaker in Singapore which started in April 2020, which is the beginning of Q2. The number of the transactions have dropped from 3,773 in Q1 to 2,398 in Q2. A total drop of 1,375 units. Leading to, in percentage, 36.5%.

Data Source : URA website

The circuit breaker has created a very unique pricing situation for resale private property. The price during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period has come up. from $1,375 per square feet to $1,394 per square feet. An increase of 1.5%.

Data Source : URA website

Future Sharing

As we are aware, Covid-19 is not going to end anytime soon. Many agents have capitalized on the use of technology to conduct showing of resales to the potential buyer. This approach has given more opportunities for the buyer to feel comfortable and safer when they wanted to view the unit.

I will think that this is going to be the next wave of trend in the property shortlisting process. It also saves the time and effort of the potential buyer. With this convenience, I foresee property transactions will be back on track soon, living together with Covid-19.

Private Property – New Launch

Looking Back – Q1 2020

Transaction on new launches has been like a roller coaster since Jan 2018. It went up for 2 quarters, after which it came down, maintaining below 2,000 units transacted for another 2 quarters.

It swings up at a peak of over 3,000 during Q3 of 2019. The drop begins after Q3 and it went continuously down for 2 quarters, which the downtrend of Q1 of 2020 potentially caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus, leading to some uncertainty.

Prices for new launches do not get closely align with the number of transactions. Looking at Q3 of 2018, the number of transactions is on the up but prices have come down.

This trend goes the same for Q3 of 2019. Prices tapped down, although the number of units sold went up.

What has drawn my attention was the Q1 of 2020. With the outbreak of Coronavirus, the number of units sold came down, but the price per square feet went up, hitting past the average of $1,850 per square feet.

Looking into – Q2 2020

The numbers of units sold start to decrease since Q3 of 2019. This downward trend got worsen in Q2 of 2020 when Singapore went into the Circuit Breaker stage. Non-essential services were not made available leading to viewing at those new launched show flats not happening.

Unlike the resale private property, new launches prices have come down in Q2 2020. This largely was caused by the circuit breaker. The other possible reason is, the developer is reviewing their pricing to encourage the buyer to commit to those units that they are interested in.

Future Sharing

We have started to accept the fact that, Covid-19 is not going to be gone anytime soon. Therefore, property buyers and investors are now positioning themselves, to purchase the right units when the price and opportunity are right.

Also, developers and agents are now capitalized on the use of technology, such as video calls to meet with potential buyers, creating virtual show-flat for the potential buyers to view the units.

The developer has also invested in technology, to create a virtual show-flat tour for potential buyers. Accepting more electronic funds for payment of option and exercise fees and more…


Looking at the transaction numbers, the pricing of the properties in various segments of Singapore, athough the economic situation is not that positive, the real estate is still moving and transacting in a very healthy way

With the support of the chart and historical data, to date, the Covid-19 did not crash the real estate market. With the adjustment of the bank interest rate, there is more benefit to capitalize on these benefits and invest in the market for now.

I will not be able to speculate what is going to happen in Q3, and Q4 of 2020, but I am positive that it is moving in a healthy direction. Currently, while I am touching onto the market. New launches that are still coming on, and it is transacting well. Some good potential project has sold over 95% of their units and there are more, that has sold over 75%.

HDB owners are also taking this opportunity to upgrade. Be it to new launches or from the resales market. The demand for private property will still be stable.

Lewis Tee

“I am sharing these, based on my past experiences earned while participating in the market also, the data collected over the years. Hope this is of help to you, in deciding what you plan in the property market.”

If my sharing is helpful to you, and you will like to have a more in-depth discussion, I am most happy to have a session with you, at your best convenient time. Do drop me a WhatsApp to kick-start a discussion. Don’t wait till everyone has dived into the market, as it might be too late.

Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident Property

Must My Spouse A Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent…

With many companies undergoing globalization, many Singapore citizens are traveling out of Singapore. Likewise, many foreign talents have also traveled into Singapore to work due to the skill set requirements.

With the movement of people between countries along with the improvement of technology, communication is no longer limited to IDD calls and emails. We now have better tools such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, LINE, and more, hence bringing people from different parts of the world together, and potentially becoming a couple.

As a couple going into the next stage of life, they would have to settle down in one of the 2 countries. Should they decide to settle down in Singapore, several options that they would have to consider in terms of housing would be; to rent a flat, buy a HDB flat, or buy a private property.

What options are present to the couple


Renting an apartment is the fastest option. They just have to find a place that is suitable, spell out their requirements to the landlord and they are able to move in and stay for the next 2 years. Approaching the end of a 2-year lease, they can decide to continue staying by negotiating with the landlord on the terms or move to another rented unit and continue for another 2 years.

The risk for the above is that should the landlord decide to sell the flat, a relationship with the new landlord needs to be re-established, and should they private property that they have rented, undergone an Enbloc process, they would be forced to move out. There is too much uncertainty.

Most importantly, the couple is helping to service the mortgage of the landlord property, which they are entitled to purchase a HDB flat.

Buying from HDB Resales Market

Since your spouse is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident, you are entitled to purchase a HDB flat from the open market as you have never taken any grant or purchased a BTO flat from HDB. You may exercise your citizen entitlement, to obtain a grant from CPF.

Buying Private Condominium

You will be entitled to purchase from both the open market or the new launch of a private condominium. With this, there is no grant from CPF and/or HDB although you are a Singapore Citizen. You will be purchasing the market price on those units sold.

Buying Landed Property

You will be entitled to purchase landed property in Singapore. As the landed property is classified as private property, there isn’t any grant made available for the purchase.

What Options the Couple DOES NOT HAVE

Buying BTO

As the HDB Flat is purchase under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme, this scheme does not allow the non-citizen to purchase a BTO flat directly from HDB.

Buying Brand New Executive Condominium

The couple is not entitled to purchase a brand new Executive Condominium. However, they are allowed to purchase from the open market, an existing Executive Condominium that is over 10 years of age. The Executive Condominium, at this age, will be treated as private property.

What Benefits Do I get

For the purchase of HDB from the resales market, you will be entitled to the grant for the purchase. The following are the type of grants made available to the non-citizen spouse scheme:

Enhance Housing Grant

Depending on your monthly household income. The Enhance Housing Grant (EHG) is between $2,500 to $40,000. This amount was determined through an average of the past 12 months period.

Enhance Housing Grant

First Timer Grant

Being a first-timer buying a HDB flat, you are entitled to have your first-timer grant amounting to S$ 25,000 if you are purchasing a 2 to 4 room HDB Flat. However, in the event that you purchase a HDB flat from the open market that is 5-room and above, your total first timer grant is only $20,000.

Buying Selling HDB Flat

Proximity Grant

Should you decide to stay near your parents, there will be an additional proximity housing grant awarded to you. As your spouse is yet to be a Singapore Citizen, your entitlement will amount up to $10,000. But should you decide to stay with your parent, there will be an additional $5,000, leading the total grant amount to be $15,000

In addition, the distance between the flat you are buying and your parent flat has increased from earlier 2KM to 4KM. This gives you a wider range when it comes to selection in buying resales HDB Flat.

Another key requirement to obtain the grant is that the remaining lease of the purchased flat has to be 20 years or more.

What happens if my spouse is not Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

Items to be Cautious

Payment of Resales Levy

All Singapore Citizen are entitled to 2 subsidized flats. In the event that you exercise your right to purchase the second subsidized flat, you will have to pay a resales levy for the earlier flat upon selling.

The positive side of this is that since you are getting only half the grant as a single Singapore Citizen marrying a non-citizen spouse, your resales levy will be half of the total levy.

Offset of down payment

Although you are entitled to the grant, the grant amount cannot be used to offset the down payment for the purchase of a flat. Should you require to have a down payment of 25%, this amount will still need to be paid, through CPF OA account or CASH.

Case Study

Recently, I assisted a newly wed couple in purchasing a resales HDB flat. Mr. Wong, which is the husband has married Ms. Zhang, a Chinese nationality early this year. They have been viewing many units of flat but was not able to commit on any due to their budget constraint.

Mr. and Mrs. Wong, age 30 and 32 respectively with a combined household income of $1,750 per month, was unable to purchase anything that is bigger than 3 room flat. Understanding his constraint, I worked with a banker, to ensure he got his loan approved.

At the same time, I suggested for them to purchase a 3S flat near his parent house. The purchase price of the unit was not higher than $250,000. This has given them limited options to select from, but it is not impossible. Through weeks of sourcing, they have managed to shortlist a unit near their parent in Circuit Road at a price of $250,000.

With the purchase price of $ 250,000 and his monthly income of $1,750 per month. He has obtained the grant with the following:-
First Timer Grant : $ 25,000
Enhance Housing Grant: $30,000
Proximity Grant : $10,000
The total grant obtained after the purchase was: $65,000. With his OA amount of $35,000 and cash $ 20,000
His total loan required will be $ 130,000 over 30 years of the repayment term. A monthly repayment amount that is affordable.


Although the marriage between yourself and the non-citizen spouse does form a family nucleus due to the fact that the spouse is yet to be a Singapore Citizen, the grant entitled amount will be at half the actual. Nonetheless, the spouse can request to top up when their Singapore citizenship is obtained. This will allow the top-up of the grant. The reverse is true, when it comes to payment of resales levy, the full amount will be payable in this case.

I will suggest that since you have obtained the half single grant and if it is financially affordable, to do an upgrade to private after the MOP period. This allows you to have more choices when deciding what to do after the upgrade.

If you are unclear. Do contact me at +65 90107188 or via WhatsApp here. I am most honored to share with you any concern you have and how can you move forward with a lower impact on the accrued interest.

Buy Sell Renting of your property

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in real estate since 2005. Together with him, he brought along 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 his client. His strong belief in a partnership and not the client made him successful in this career also.

Should you have any queries, relating to HDB. Be it Buying, Selling or consider to rent your HDB after staying for over 5 years. , or other properties that are of your interest to upgrade or invest. Drop me a WhatsApp HERE. I will respond to you soonest possible.

Buying Selling Renting HDB Property

Should You Buy HDB That Is Over 40 Years…

Since 1960, HDB was formed to provide public housing. Over the years, it has played a huge part in providing majority of the Singapore citizens with a roof over their heads.

Buying Selling HDB Property

To date, there are about 70,000 HDB flats that have passed the mid-age of the property. These households will be facing the expiry of the lease in about 50 years’ time. Once these properties have reached 99 years of lease, it will be returned to HDB. This has yet to happen, and many would say that 50 years is still a long way to go.

However, given that the current flat that they are living in has already passed 40 years, 50 years is not too far from today.

Should I be buying these HDB Flats?

In many situations, there is no fixed and hard rules to that. There are always 2 side of coin and let’s discuss it.

Is the older HDB flat cheaper?

Buying Selling HDB Property
Source Data : HDB Website

Generally, the older flat, especially those that are over 40 years of age are worth lesser. This is because the amount of “effective age” of the property is lesser.

Taking a 4 Room flat in Bukit Merah for example. In June 2019, the flat with a remaining of 58 years (Lease commence in 1978) was sold at $451,000. During the same time, the flat with a remaining of 85 years (lease commence in 2005) was sold at $750,000.

Although the value of older HDB flat is lower, this also makes the older flat more affordable. This would allow buyers with a limitation in budget to more easily own a flat.

Loan Availability

CPF has revised the ruling in May 2019, with the revision being, as long as the remaining lease of the flat is able to cover the youngest buyer up to the age of 95, they would be eligible to obtain a loan from HDB, capping at 90% of the Loan-To-Value(LTV). This has overwritten the flat of fewer than 60 years of lease left.

The retirement age of Singapore citizens is 65 now, there is a gap of 30 years to the loan duration. The ability to service the loan past 65 years of age, can be challenging for some.

Although the age for retirement is stated at 65, there are organisations who would not renew employment of staff once they have passed 62 years of age. This extends the 30 years by 10%, making it 33 years.

Is Older HDB Flat Bigger?

The HDB Flat that was built in the 90s were of 100 to 110 sq meters in size, compared to the newly built BTO flats today that ranges between 90 sq meters to 100 sq meters in size.

Unless you are comparing flats that were built in the 70s or 80s, if not, the size of the flat is comparable in the past 20 years. 4 Room flats, for example, ranging around 100 sq meters with 10% torrent.

Buying Selling Renting your property


As the name mentions, it is over 40 years of age. The design of the HDB flat would be old. However, in the aspect of design, there are two different perspectives that we can view it from; Internal and external.

Internal refers to as the design within the flat. The old look may not apply too much here, as the design inside the flat can be determined by you and it can be done up during a renovation process.

As for external, I do agree that the design for older HDB flat is the best during the time of built. Now, looking back, the design is not as modern as it is.

Buying Selling HDB Property

Higher Maintenance Overhead

Anything that has aged, it will require a have a higher maintenance overhead. Regardless of whether it is property, cars or machinery, etc…

Yes, the old property does require more maintenance efforts, and in many cases, the cost of maintenance is high.

For external maintenance issues. it would be resolved by the Town Council and the cost is from the Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC). This amount is paid monthly by the HDB owner.

Internal maintenance would usually be fully covered by the owner. However, there are exceptions where I have personally encountered when my client seek my advice.

Case Study

My client has shifted into the purchase property 2 years ago. the age of the flat has past 34 years old. For those flat, that was built during the 80s. The rubbish chute is still accessible from inside the flat.

during the regular washing of the chute, which is done by the town council. Water starts to seep into the flat. I have assisted them to report the case to Town Council and they responded quickly with some professional.

Within a week, the vendor awarded by Town Council came by the flat and got it repaired. It was a massive work, whereby they will drill holes on the wall and insert some chemical into the wall to fill the gap.

The repair cost was pick-up by Town Council, the reason being that. The chute is common property and it is part of the S&CC cost.

SERS program

Buying Selling Renting your property

Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme(SERS) is an Enbloc program for HDB flats.

When blocks of HDBs reach a certain age, the government will selectively repurchase these flats from the current flat owners. The owners will, therefore, be given an opportunity to select and shift to a new HDB flat with a fresh 99 years lease.

As shared, the block that is undergoing the SERS program is selective. NOT all HDB flats that have reached a certain age will automatically be entitled to the Enbloc.

Better Amenities

Being an old flat means the estate is more established and amenities are more convenient with better accessibility.

There are established MRT and Bus networks, with malls built nearby that are normally quite vibrant, with schools nearby.

Sometimes, if those above do not happen. Gentrification will be done in these estates to replace older amenities with a more modern style. In most of the older estates, the covered walkways are built to be more handicapped friendly as older estates tend to have a higher aged population and this ensures that their daily lifestyles are being well taken care of.

Buying Selling Renting your property

Alternative Plan Required

Should you decide to stay for long in the flat that past 40 years of age. You might need to have plan B. Reason being that the 99 years of the lease may not last you till the end.

Assuming you bought the 42-year-old HDB flat, leaving behind 58 years of stay technically to reach the end of the lease of 99 years. But, the preparation of the end of the lease for the land will happen at maybe 5 to 10 years before the 99 years.

This leaves you with only 50 years to stay in that flat. If you bought the flat when you are 28 and at the age of 78. You would be stressing over having a roof over your head.

Should the situation worsen, you would be at the age of retirement, where you could potentially have insufficient funds to purchase a new HDB flat.

As I have shared earlier, the price of the old HDB flats reduces as time goes by. Selling your old HDB flat, which is already 90 years of age, is not going to happen. I don’t think anyone will be keen on buying a flat that left with only 10 years of the lease, if not shorter.

Assuming you are lucky to have sold the unit, the amount of money returning back to CPF would not be able to cover the withdrawal amount, including the accrued interest.

Should you buy a flat that past 40 years of age

They are a list of pros in getting an old HDB flat. Such as the size of flat, amenities, lower price, near to parent, and more. But in the long run, the value of the flat is not on the upswing and it might pose as a bigger challenge should you decide to upgrade.

The list of cons is equally long. Some of the cons include the resales value of the flat, the affordability when it comes to upgrading, old age shifting of flat.

In the end, it goes down to the affordability. If you are a first-time buyer and financially sound, do consider purchasing a newer HDB flat. Those that are of 15 years and lesser, and potentially upgrading to private property after fulfilling the MOP of the property, this being that the property is of some value after your MOP and that path supports your upgrade. A CPF housing grant is also made available for you should you be a first-time buyer of an HDB.

If you still concern about the purchase of older HDB flat or any other queries you might have in relation to an HDB flat,
Do contact me at +65 90107188 or via WhatsApp here. I am most honored to share with you any concerns you might have and how you could move forward with a lower impact on the accrued interest.

Buy, Sell and rent. Property wealth planning

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in real estate since 2005. Together with him, he brought along 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 his client. His strong belief in a partnership and not the client made him successful in this career.

Buying Selling Property Financial

What Have CPF Accrued Interest Affected You Sales Proceed

Mr and Mrs. Tom is happily browsing the Internet, flipping on newspaper classified section, surfing on HDB website looking for the date of BTO, sourcing for new launch condo, etc.. … …

Having to stay in your current property for 10 years. The family has decided to sell the current property and upgrade to a bigger and better location. They did a quick calculation, basing on the buying price and the current average market value. They have made 100,000.

I was contacted by Mr. Tom since he bought his current property through me. He shared with me, his intention is to upgrade from the current HDB in Sengkang to a private condominium in Serangoon.

The very next evening, I met up with both Mr. and Mrs, Tom. We sit and discuss in more detail the intension and how they can move ahead seamlessly.

After the financial calculation with them. They did not make the expected $100,000 after selling. This came in shocking and the question is WHY?

In all mortgage loan repayment using Central Provident Fund (CPF). There are 2 interest that you paid. One is the interest for the mortgage, which reference SIBOR rate. Another part is the interest from the Central Provident Fund for using your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) to repay. when returning your fund to CPF. This amount can be obtained after you logon to the CPF website, under the accrued interest.

What is CPF

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a comprehensive social security system that enables working Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to set aside funds for retirement. It also addresses healthcare, homeownership, family protection, and asset enhancement.

Before your retirement, CPF has allocated 3 buckets of account. Mainly the Ordinary Account ( OA ), Special Account (SA) and, MediSave Account(MA)

Source: CPF Web Site

What Benefit did I get from CPF?

Additional Wages

Unknowingly, you are having an additional income every month. The amount comes to 17% of your monthly salary. This is from the employer’s CPF contribution to you during your employment status.

For example, your monthly wages are $5,000. You are supposed to contribute CPF, which is 20% of your monthly wages. Your take-home pay will end up being $4,000.

Going into your CPF is you $1,000 from your wages and employer will have to pay $850 into your CPF. That makes your total contribution to you CPF is $ 1,850

The amount of $1,850 contribution to your CPF. This amount will be distributed into 3 accounts. The OA, SA, and MA. Depending on the age, the able below share with you the distribution on the 37%

Age during employmentOrdinary AccountSpecial AccountMediSave Account
Between 36 to 4521%7%9%
Between 46 to 5019%8%10%
Between 51 to 5515%11.5%10.5%
Source from : Website AreYouReady by CPF

Higher Interest Rate

Buying Selling your property.  CPF calculation

Banks are offering an interest rate of not more than 1.5% for a Fix Deposit account. As for CPF, your interest rate earn is 2.5% for the Ordinary Account (OA) and 4% for Special and MediSave Account (SMA).

Using it as a source for investment

CPF fund can be used to do investment. This investment include the buying of property. But, for whatever amount that was withdrawal from CPF. There is an interest payable upon returning it back to CPF. Assuming you took $100,000 to do you property loan repayment. The return amount as shown on the following tables, including the interest incurred.

CPF buying selling property

What is the disadvantages of using CPF

Interest Payable

If you are using CPF to service your mortgage loan. There will be interest incurred when you sell your property.. This accrued interest can impact the sales proceed.

Interest buying selling property

Should I continue to use CPF to pay for my mortgage?

This depends strongly on your trade and your financial status. If you are a trade like me, a real estate professional, financial advisor, owning your own business. Cash repayment will be a good option to consider. As long as you are being employed. Your fixed salary received every month, with CPF contribution to your CPF OA account. It is worth considering using CPF to repay.

Interest buying selling property

CPF Accrued Interest

Although there is an accrued interest upon you selling your property. The amount will still return to your CPF OA account and the amount is not “missing”. At the age of 55. This amount will be part of the amount, transferring to your RA account.

You will feel the impact if you required this amount to purchase the next property. If you are facing the situation. Do share this with the real estate profession. They might be able to advise you on how it can be done. Everyone required a roof over your head at the end of the day.

Fund Management

Assuming you are in the workforce, where you have to continue CPF contribution. This amount into your CPF can only be yours after you age 55 (as of the year 2020).

Your monthly salary credited into your bank account, which is totally in your control. You will manage and use it for your daily expenses. If the mortgage loan repayment is going to be from the same pool of funds. It might add an additional burden in managing your cash on hand.

Without having to repay from cash. You can have peace of mind in the mortgage loan repayment.

Since the amount in CPF OA account is unable to use it for your daily spending, even, if you are jobless. Let’s use CPF OA to service the mortgage. In the event, your income was affected. The remaining amount in CPF OA is still able to support the mortgage.

CPF buying selling property

Buying a Home for Life without affecting the Retirement Adequacy

There is an update to the rules on both the use of CPF and HDB housing loans. The update provides more flexibility in buying a home for Singapore citizens at the same time, safeguard retirement adequacy.

The main focus of the new rules focuses on the remaining lease of the property. As long the remaining lease of the property can cover the youngest purchaser until at lease of age 95.

This rules has already taken effect as you read on this article.

In more detail sharing the new rules. As long as the remaining lease of the property is over 20 years. Also, it can cover the youngest buyer until at least 95 years of age. The repayment of the property can be through the use of CPF up to the valuation limit.

Should there be a more detailed understanding required, you can visit the site which gives you a more detailed explanation.

Will I be Debt Free after 30 years

Many homeowners I have spoken to. Their mindset is, I will buy the current property. Finished servicing the loan within the 30 years and I am debt-free.

This is correct in relation to the mortgage loan. What will happen to the value of the property? For HDB, the lease decay will have a direct impact on your property.

There is a very high chance the value of your HDB property will drop after it passed 35 years of age. The returns value of the HDB will not able to fetch as attractive price as current. This will lead to a lesser profit.

One of the recommendations, to safeguard the CPF, is to upgrade from your HDB to private. The upgrading is very much dependent on your financial capability.


We must give the credit to the CPF system. Without having to have that, many Singapore citizens may not able to afford a roof over their heads.

The consideration is, being a buyer, how can we fully utilized the system to achieve a positive return. It should not impact the retirement fund and at the same time for a better life living.

Singapore having a limited land size. The prices of Singapore property is very likely to be on the up as times goes by. We look at most of the countries. The property price is always on the uptrend as long as there is no financial crisis, be it within the country, the region, or across the world.

Therefore, even with the accrued interest compounded. You might not be losing any of your profits. Having said that, timing is the key to making the decision of selling or buying.

Lastly, with the financial and political stability of Singapore. Fund in CPF and the value of the property will be safe. Investors are also keen to bring their funds into Singapore to invest in property.

If you are unclear. Especially when it comes to, how the interest affects you and your CPF. How can you maximize the return so as to have more funds during retirement?
Do contact me at +65 90107188 or via WhatsApp here. I am most honored to share with you any concern you have and how can you move forward with a lower impact on the accrued interest.

Lewis Tee

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in real estate since 2005. Together with him, he brought along 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 his client. His strong belief in a partnership and not the client made him successful in this career also.

Buying Selling Property Financial

Who Should Do Mortgage Refinancing?

Who Should Do Mortgage Refinancing?

For many Singaporeans, the flat we purchase usually does not belong to us for several years, the reason behind that being that we put our purchased flat on a mortgage, where we then do our monthly repayment to the mortgage.

The situation worsens if you are repaying through your Central Provident Fund(CPF), which many of us are doing. Why is it worst off? Without realizing, you are paying double the interest rate, as one interest goes to the mortgagee, and at the same time, you are also paying interest to CPF for withdrawal amount. If you check on your CPF account, you would realize after years of repayment that you will have an “accrued interest”.

Should I refinance My Mortgage?

For the refinancing to happen, your mortgage loan has to be from banks. Any loan from HDB does not entitle you to any refinancing. As long as you have fulfilled the criteria above, the answer to the refinancing is YES.

Refinancing With Lower Interest Rate

As the loan interest rate for Singapore property mortgage in packed onto the SIBOR rate, it is a good opportunity to look at the rate and decide when to do your refinancing of a mortgage.

Mortgage Refinancing?
Data Source from :

Historically, the rate is on the downtrend, which means that with the same loan amount, you are paying lower interest.

Lower Repayment Amount

There are a few factors that would have a direct impact on the monthly repayment amount of your loan.

Firstly, the interest rate. Since the SIBOR rate has decreased based on the chart above, the computation of your loan repayment amount will be based on the revised rate. The total payable amount will be lower than earlier over the same repayment duration.

Secondly, your loan principal has also decreased the past few years as you have started repaying your loan. With that lower principal loan amount, the computation to the repayment would also be lower.

Shorten Total Repayment Term

Normally, when we first start any mortgage loan, we would look for the longest repayment term possible. This ensures that we are paying within our comfortable ability.

Never have we realized that these “slow and steady” repayments lead to a higher interest rate paid. With the refinancing of your outstanding loan and a lower loan amount and interest rate, we can consider repaying with the same repayment amount in a shorter duration.

Unlock Equity Financing

Equity financing, is a way where you used your property as a form of collateral for a sum of cash. The cash amount is relative to the value of the property

For equity financing to happen, all financial institutions need to ensure the following criterias are met.


For equity financing to happen, the LTV for the homeowners must be kept at 75% of the property value. This includes the outstanding loan secure on the same private residential property

Tenure Capping on Loan

For the equity withdrawal, your tenure is limited to a maximum of 35 years

Total Debt Servicing Ratio(TSDR)

Total Debt Servicing Ratio(TSDR), is a framework from the Monetary Authority of Singapore(MAS). It serves to safeguard the borrower from being over-borrowing which may lead to repayment difficulty.

TDSR is calculated using the formula : (Borrower’s monthly debt obligations / Borrower’s monthly gross income) x 100%. This drives to a percentage of his entitlement to TDSR.

In this formula, there is an element, which is the monthly debts obligations. This includes all debt obligation such as the following, but not limited to:

  • Property-related loans, including the current loan being applied for.
  • Car loans.
  • Student loans.
  • Renovation loans.
  • Credit card loans.
  • Any other secured or unsecured loans, including revolving loans.

Consolidation of Debt

Other than the mortgage loan, many of the homeowners do have other repayments every month. In some cases, there are a handful of homeowners who are having high-interest rate debts, such as credit cards (In many cases, is at 24%) or other debts.

Consolidation of debt, in this case, enables these homeowners to use the refinancing opportunity. Using the home as collateral to cash out funds in repayment to those credit card debts. The rate through the use of equity financing is of a lower rate as compared to some of those other debts the owner may have.

If the purpose of refinancing is to do consolidation of debts. There may not be any savings, should you look at total debts in totality. The consolidation of debts is to help them to overcome the struggling monthly repayment.

In addition, the consolidation of debts can also allow them to better manage the process of repayment of their monthly bills. Without the consolidation, these homeowners may be very much overwhelmed by their numbers of bills to be managed. The amount to be paid every month.

Even if the number of outstanding bills are not worrying, it takes time and effort to do the payment for all bills. With that, some homeowners might want to take the simpler way of doing the repayment.

Refinancing gives me all the benefit?

However, as in all situations, there is a flip side. Although there are the above benefits, there are also cons in doing refinancing of your property.

Property being collateral

Being a homeowner, when you put your property on collateral during the refinancing. If you, being the mortgagor, are unable, or refuse to repay the monthly loan, the mortgagee, in this case, the financial institution, essentially owns the mortgagor’s property

Therefore, if equity financing is your consideration, I will strongly suggest you work on the affordability. The comfortable level of repayment duration and amount before execution. Should you have any unclear concerns, do consult a professional.


When you do equity financing to your property, you are like striking a 4D at that point in time. The main difference is, striking 4D does not require you to repay back but the refinancing requires you to do so.

Therefore, the mortgagee must be very sure of his/her purpose and intent of doing the equity refinancing. Some questions that may be asked are; What is the right amount you require? What is the repayment schedule and amount? Where is your source of funds to do the repayment?

Additional fee

The refinancing process is not just moving of blocks, and there will be parties involved in getting that done. To do so, there will be some fee payable.

Some of the required fees include legal fees. On average, it would cost around $3,000 just to complete the refinancing process. What you are paying is not limited to only the legal fees, and there are other fees payable by you such as property valuation fees, where a valuer is required to assess the value of your property to ensure that the worth of your property is of market value.

Although the interest rate is lower, there is a monthly saving, but do take note that there is a one-off payment required. These are some fees payable that you should take into consideration.

Before any decision, please speak to a mortgage broker. This would allow you to have a more detailed understanding, and would also give you a good understanding of how to crunch out all figures for you. If you are speaking to the financial institution broker, they can also help you with all the necessary paperwork if you are doing the refinancing through their financial institution.


Refinancing your mortgage required you to do some research beforehand. If you are not looking into doing equity financing during the refinancing of your mortgage, it will be very direct. As long the interest rate is low and the difference is able to recover your legal fee, it should be fine.

Should you want to do equity refinancing, there is more consideration on the Cons of the process. However, you may overcome these risks as the main risk to refinancing is the human factor. As long as you have the right aim and are well aware of the repayment amount and schedule, the risks are low and manageable.

There are many refinancing of mortgage available. Before talking to the mortgage broker, you may contact me for a discussion. I am neutral in the financing of your property. I am able to share with you an honest opinion.

At no obligations, I can be contacted at +65 90107188 or via WhatsApp here

Buying Selling Property Property

Should I Sell My HDB After Upgrading To Condo?

Should I Sell My HDB While I Am Upgrade To Condo?

As time moves on, you have built your financials to be able to upgrade from your existing HDB. There are some questions that you would be asking yourself, such as; Should I upgrade? What should I upgrade to? Where would be a good location?

These questions can be answered easily as it is very much how you feel. You would be able to address those queries, as long as you are comfortable both with financially and with the location. However, the question that sits between the current and future financial is, should I sell my HDB after upgrading?

There are few things that you should take into consideration, before making that decision that I will be sharing with you.

How Much Interest Would I be Paying

As this is your first HDB Flat, you would have taken up a HDB loan. You will also have received a grant from CPF Housing grant. You are using your CPF to repay your loan.

Buying Selling upgrading from HDB to private condo.

Assuming that you bought a 4 Room HDB flat in Bukit Merah in 2010 at $500,000. You would have taken a loan of $350,000. As of today, you have serviced your $350,000 loan for 10 years. The interest rate you paid is at 2.6%. How much of your accrued interest has been paid?

Buying Selling upgrading from HDB to private condo.
Data obtain from

From the chart above, you have paid a Cumulative accrued interest of $82,363.75. If your flat is sold now at the current market value (Q1 2020) of $652,000, $432,363.75 would be credited back to your CPF, and your potential cash proceed would be $219,636.25.

Should you decide to hold your property. Your total accused interest paid would be $183,429.95 upon completion of the 35 year loan. In addition to your principle of $350,000. The total amount returning to CPF at the end of 35 years will be $533,429.95. About $100,000 more than what it is today.

To achieve the $219,636.25 of cash proceeds. Your flat needs to be sold at $753,000 25 years later at $753,000. However, this figure may not be possible at that time due to the following reasons stated below.

Tax Payable When Buying Your Condominium

As you have decided to rent your HDB instead of selling it. You would be required to pay Additional Buyer Stamps Duty (ABSD) on the condominium that you have purchased, and should you be a Singapore Citizen, you would be required to pay 12% of your Condominium purchase price.

Looking at a property that is a unit with 3 bedrooms at Queens Peak, which is going at $1,800,000, the ABSD of 12% would be a cash payout of $216,000. This amount would almost be equivalent to the cash proceeds from previously selling your 4 room flat.

Total Loan Amount

To be entitled to a loan for your newly purchased Condo, you would have to

Buying Selling upgrading from HDB to private condo.

Total Debt Service Ratio(TDSR)

The Total Debt Service Ratio is a framework by the Monetary Authority of Singapore(MAS), which aims to safeguard the borrower, whom in this case is the property owner, from over-borrowing.

This is computed based on the percentage of the monthly gross income of the purchaser, to ensure the ability of repayment

Loan To Value(LTV)

If your current HDB has a loan that is still running, you would be limited by the Loan To Value(LTV), hence, your total loan amount would be 45% of the total property value. In addition, you will be required to have cash on hand for 25% of the property value as down payment.

Should you decide to buy-up your current HDB Loan, it will be your second property, and hence your LTV would be capped at 75% of the property value, and the cash on hand required for down payment would be 5% of the property value.

Putting Your HDB For Rental

You would want to put your HDB flat to good use after having to hold back the selling of your flat. Majority of the people would put the unit out for rental, as with that, you would become a property investor, collecting rental as a form of passive income.

Sound good? Yes. But, have you missed out anything?

Answer is : YES!

Before you collect the key to your new condominium, you will be required to pay the ABSD in CASH within 14 Days after the agreement of the purchase has been signed.

Upon receiving the keys to your new Condominium. Before you are able to rent out your flat. You would have to refurnish the flat, ensuring that all necessities are in a working and presentable condition. Along with fulfilling the requests of the tenant for necessities such as beds, a television, and a washing machine, just to name a few. Depending on the condition of your flat. The amount required for refurnishing might cost you up to a few thousand dollars, even before the flat has been rented out.

Upon successful rental of your flat, the amount of rental collected would be taxable at the end of the year. This amount would be on top of your regular taxable income. In addition to the tax payable, you would be required to pay a property tax, which is 10% of the Annual value of your flat.

Should the flat be rented out at a rental value of $2500 with a lease of 2 years, the total rental collected would be $60,000. With your loan repayment for your HDB flat that is estimated at $15,000 per year, in addition to the tax payable and repair works required, your profit per lease term of 24 months, potentially comes to $25,000.

Pricing Of The Older HDB Flat

The value of property depreciates with time. A HDB flat with a value of $652,000 now, would not remain the same in 10 years.

With reference to a point above, you would be fetching a potential cash proceed of $219,636.25 should you decide to sell your property now. With reference to the supporting chart shown below, the average transaction price of a 4 room HDB flat in Bukit Merah is $687,000, with the price increasing from 2007 to 2013, before stagnating after Q2 of 2013. This is due to the age of the flat.

Buying Selling upgrading from HDB to private condo.
Data Obtained from

Therefore, wanting to make $219,636.25 after having fully paid your loan 25 years later could pose as a challenge, as the price that you would have to sell your flat at would be $753,066.20

Expected Cash proceed : 219,636.25,
Principle Load amount : 350,000
CPF accrued Interest : 183,429.95

Buying Selling upgrading from HDB to private condo.

The rental amount of $312,500 collected over 25 years, with the assumption that the rental fee remains at $2500 per month, was not taken into consideration, as it has been used to offset the amount paid for ABSD

Below Is A Case Study For Your Reference:

Mr and Mrs Lim contacted me sometime back. They had some thought of upgrading from the existing HDB to a Condominium near Sengkang.

From the meeting with them, Mr. Lim gave me the understanding that they were staying in a 5 room flat in Sengkang. The flat has passed the MOP and they are planning to upgrade to a Condominium.

Without drilling into much detail, my initial recommendation to them was, not to hold the HDB flat. The purchase of second property will require them to pay for ABSD. The ABSD amount is going to be of an impact to them. Mr. and Mrs. Lim have also shared, that was the concern they had and wanted a second opinion from a professional realtor.

Moving on, I have also shared with them, the accrued interest from the CPF, which they were not aware of. I have therefore, done the computation as followed for them.

Purchase Price of Flat : 488,888
Loan Amount : 380,000
Outstanding Loan: 336,000
CPF Accrued Interest : 56,000

Expected Selling Price : 540,000
Potential Cash proceed : 100,000

I have also shared that should they want to keep the HDB, the ABSD for the new property priced at $1,500,000, would be $180,000. The potential cash proceed would not be able to cover that should they not sell the HDB flat

With that, Mr and Mrs Lim has taken my recommendation. They have put the HDB on market for sales, at the same time looking for the new condo. I have also shared on the timeline required for both buying and selling. So that they are able to move into the new place and same time, without incurring additional costs


Having shared the various figured on the holding on to a HDB flat and buying a Condominium. My recommendation would be, for them to sell their current HDB flat once it has reached the MOP or when you decide to upgrade. Holding a second property with the first being a HDB comes with a higher additional payable tax. Furthermore, there is no capital gain tax upon selling your HDB.

However, with that said, there are still options available should you want to become a property investor. You can still invested in two properties, without incurring high payable tax can be overcome. This can be done, as long as the properties you owned do not involve a HDB.

Buy Sell Renting of your property

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in the real estate since 2005. Together with him, he brought along 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

Lewis+65 9010 7188Buy Sell Rent. Connect to me NOW

Buying Selling HDB Property

Why You Should Buy A HDB Resales As Your…

Why You Should Buy A HDB Resales As Your First Property?

Getting married is one of the major milestones in life. During that process, you have thousand and zillion things to worry and get ready about. Such as

  • Preparation of wedding lunch / dinner
  • Going for photo shoot
  • List of guest to be invited
  • Discussion with both parents on wedding detail
  • Where to go for honeymoon
  • Budget for all expenses
  • and more.. and more… and more…
Buying selling of HDB property

By the way, have you missed out on the most important thing? Where are you going to stay? What option you have? You have either HDB or EC to choose from.

Being a Singapore Citizen, be it both of you or either one. I will strongly recommend you to purchase an HDB flat for the start.

As we are all aware, HDB flats are public housing for all Singapore Citizens. These flats are generally more affordable. In addition, there are CPF housing grants made available for first-time purchasers, in turn making it more attractive.

What are the choices you have under the HDB flat of selection

  • Buying directly from HDB, a BTO (Build To Order) flat. which is NEW
  • Buying from the resales market which age of flat is minimum 5 years

Let’s compare between BTO and Resale

Age of flat

A BTO flat as it is new, the age of flat is very much an infant, whereby we have a long runway of the lease.

As for resale, you potentially be getting a flat that is older than 5 years old.


BTO, normally are in the newer estate. In those estates, the amenities and accessibility are not that well established. Not that they don’t have it, just is yet to be completed

I recalled my uncle moved into Tampines when it was newly developed, it has the bare minimum amenities, but look at what it is today!

As for resale, you can pick anywhere within Singapore. In fact, you decide where you want your flat to be. You can prioritize base on the following:-

  • Amenities
  • MRT
  • Mall
  • School
  • etc…

Investment to the property

For BTO flat, you are potentially looking at a lower gross purchase price as compare to resales.

One of the key reason is, HDB do take into account the different location and attributes when setting the selling price of the new flat.

As for resales, seller’s call for the price they want. But that does not mean, they will get it. The flat will still be going at the fair market value, as there is a valuation process involved during the whole purchase process.

Buy Sell your HDB

CPF Housing Grants

Since the above topic is about the gross price of both BTO and resales flat. Let share with you, what are the grant available with both the option.

To ensure affordability, CPF has come out with various grant for both the BTO and resale market

For BTO, you can apply for Enhanced Housing Grant, which amount to a maximum of S$ 80,000 depending on your household income

As for resale, in addition to the Enhanced Housing Grant, you will be eligible for Family Grant, Proximity Housing Grant. All amounting to a maximum of S$ 160,000 depending on your household income


For BTO, the location is kind of limited. It is mainly located in new estates. The new estate is normally not very well developed and accessibility is yet to be as convenient. These will be matured over time

From time to time, HDB does offer blocks of flat in a mature estate. To be able to get it through balloting, it is really like striking TOTO. As they are normally oversubscribed

As for resale flat, you can potentially get a unit in the location you wanted. There is a very high possibility that there will be someone selling their flat in almost all estates.

The choice location gives you the flexibility to stay near your parents. You will able to “tag” onto the convenience. For example, your newborn child can be well taken care of by your parents as grandparents are usually most happy to do so.

Timeline Required

Buying a BTO flat. The procedure is, wait for the release of news from HDB, go for balloting (which is many times. This is an iteration process, not knowing when you will get it). After which, pay and wait.

By the time you see your block of flat above ground, it is easily 2 to 3 years later. When you get the key to you flat. It is potentially 5 years if not longer from the day you have successfully ballot your unit.

As for the purchase of resale flat, even if you are very fussy over the flat that you wanted. I am quite sure you will be able to find something within a year. This made the plan must more predictable.


For BTO flats, it comes bear which you will need to put in air con, kitchen cabinet, wardrobe to make it a home.

As for resale, chances are quiet high that you can find something that require minimum renovation.

Therefore, the investment to the renovation for BTO potentially higher as the unit comes bear as compared to resale.

Size of flat

In many situations, the size of flat was being overlooked. This flat size may not be critical during the initial stay, but will turn out to be a limitation over time.

Flats in the resales market tends to be bigger than BTO flats. The difference in sizes of the same model of flat depends on the age of the flat. Example of 4 Room flat have the following sizes

Type of FlatSize of FlatLease Commencement
4A in Tampines107 sq meter1995
4A in Sengkang96 sq meter2010
4A in Sengkang92 sq meter 2015

Future market value

As I shared earlier, BTO are normally in the newer estate and to have an estate totally established over 5 years. This is impossible.

Once you flat reached 5 years, which is the MOP duration. You might be considering selling and upgrading. Your flat can be fetching a higher price than when you buy as the flat is relatively new. This is truth is you are comparing both flats within the same estate. Example, your flat is in Sengkang and you are comparing again those earlier flat in the same estate.

But, if you are buying from the resales market in the mature estate. the numbers can be very different. You might also be fetching a price higher than what you have purchased. In additional, those CPF grants that you have benefited.

More importantly, the interested buyer can be more. The same as, when you first started sourcing for your first flat. This give you a upper hand in selling your property in shorter time.

As in all marketing, any product that is over exposed in the market will directly / indirectly impact the value.

That means, the selling process can be much easier and you are able to have your flat upgraded and better control of your cash flow.


With the above sharing. you will understand, both BTO and resale have their respective Pros and Cons.

To show a simpler breakdown, the benefit of BTO will be

  • Age of Flat – Brand new
  • Lower investment of Property

As for resale flat, the number of benefits, be it tangible or intangible is much higher than what BTO is providing. Some of the key benefits are

  • Amenities
  • Location
  • Timeline
  • Size of flat
  • Future market value

In real estate, we have this saying, which is,

You can do what you want within the flat you own, but you can’t move the MRT to your doorstep. Neither you can move your flat to be on the side of a mall.

For many newly wed couple like yourself, the current HDB flat you are buying, may be temporary . In long run, you might be considering upgrading after staying for 5 years. What is your value of your HDB comes post MOP? What option I have after my MOP? How can I move forward after MOP?

Lewis Tee

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

Lewis+65 9010 7188Buy and sell property. call us now
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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 Property

4 Questions To Ask Before Upgrading Your HDB

4 Questions To Ask Before Upgrading Your HDB

You have been staying in your newly BTO HDB Flat for almost five years.  Your neighbor has been talking about upgrading to a bigger flat, upgrading to a private Condo, profiting from the sales, cashing during the coming up-trend of the market, etc.

On many occasions, your discussion with your friends or relatives will be very much in the direction of upgrading to the private condo, your value better if you want to sell in the future. The best is to get a freehold condo. You have the facilities you need downstairs. You have full ownership and more

After talking to many people around you, all will be giving similar feedback, and you decided to upgrade. What is the magic question you will ask yourself or the realtor before you make those 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% after 6th July 2018, 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

Lewis Tee

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