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[Part 4/4] Buying Guide on BTO Vs Resale Flat: How to apply?


In part 1 of this BTO Vs Resale Flat series, we looked at the affordability and eligibility series. In part 2, we compared waiting time and holding period and in part 3, we explored size, location and lease.


In the final part of this series, we will look at the process of applying for both BTOs and resale flats.


How to apply BTO?


If you are a first-time buyer, it makes a lot of sense to apply for a BTO.


It is less expensive and you get everything brand new with a fresh 99-year lease.


However, there are several things you need to take note of.


Firstly check your eligibility at the HDB portal.


Here, you can also check the flat type you can apply according to your current household income. This is particularly useful to prevent overstretching your finances.


After you have confirmed your eligibility and financial commitment, check out the upcoming BTO sales launch.


You should study the upcoming projects carefully to see which is the best option for your current situation.


Things to look out for would be location, size of the unit, nearby amenities and of course the price of the flat.


Submit application


After you have decided on which upcoming project you want to live in, submit an online application during the one week application period.



There is a $10 non-refundable admin fee to be paid, which you can do so via credit card or any of the supporting mobile payment applications such as paylah, NETSpay etc.


After the application period, HDB will ballot all applications for a queue number.


Your chances of a successful ballot will depend on the subscription rate of the project.


HDB will then inform all applicants of the outcome of the application via SMS or email. You can also check online on the status of your application when the result is announced.


Bear in mind that there is no payment required at this stage.


First appointment: Flat selection


If you are successful in your application, you will be invited to book a flat, according to your queue number. This is usually referred to as the first appointment.



One important point to note here is that the queue numbers for successful applicants exceed the number of flats available. This is to cater for any dropouts along the way.


Therefore if your queue number is within the number of flats, you are guaranteed a unit.


But if your queue number exceeds the number of flats, you may have to depend on buyers dropping out or submitting another application during the next sales launch.


During the selection period, you are required to pay the option fee by NETS. The amount paid is based on the type of flat that you’ve booked.


During this appointment, you will also have to decide if you want to take an HDB housing loan or from a bank. If you are eligible, you'll also apply for your CPF Housing Grants.


Second appointment: Agreement for Lease



The second appointment will be the signing of the Agreement for Lease.


You are required to bring along the following documents:

  • Identity cards

  • Housing Loan Eligibility letter (if you’re applying for an HDB housing loan) or

  • Letter of Offer (if you’re taking a loan from the bank)

  • Latest CPF statement

  • Receipt of your option fee

Payments required at this stage would be the downpayment, legal fees and stamp fees, either by CPF or cash.

The downpayment amount is 10% if you are taking an HDB housing loan and 20% if you are taking a bank loan.

When the BTO is ready (the estimated waiting time is about 4 years), HDB will notify you to collect the keys to your new home.


How to buy a Resale flat?


If you have not been successful in applying for a BTO and cannot wait any longer, you have the option of buying a resale flat.



Applying to buy a resale flat is a much simpler exercise compared to BTO.


Using the HDB resale portal, you can register your Intent to Buy and receive an instant assessment on your eligibility to buy a resale flat.


If you are eligible, check and calculate your finances, taking into consideration the price of the resale unit and the cost of renovation.


Once you have decided on a budget, go to Mogul.sg to view the latest available units according to your budget, preferred location and flat type.



Mogul’s smart search technology will narrow down potential listings according to your budget and keyword selections.


After viewing and selecting your dream home, you can obtain an option to purchase (OTP) from the seller via the HDB resale portal.


After exercising the OTP, you and the seller must submit the respective portions to HDB via the resale portal.


HDB will then verify that both parties meet the eligibility conditions and resale requirements, before approving the sale.



On average, the approving process will take about 8 weeks and you become the new owner of the unit.


Have a question? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook post.



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