Buying a BTO process explained

August 01, 2017

Buying a BTO process explained | Purchasing your first ever BTO is a significant milestone especially for young Singaporean adults. Planning to buy a BTO and step into another milestone in life? But often think to yourself “how and where do I get started?”. You often hear about people complaining about the tedious work and process they go through to get a BTO flat. Fret not, keep on reading to find out how you can apply for a BTO smoothly with lesser tedious work by reading this step by step process guideline.  

There are 4 crucial steps that you will need to go through to apply for a BTO flat. First of all, BTO announcements on their upcoming flat launches are made every 3 months. After the announcement, you can start browsing their selection and pick the flat that you desire. Be sure to subscribe to HDB emails or SMS alerts to make sure you see new announcement the moment it happens. From the HDB’s website, you will be able to see that the launches are categorized in terms of area, whether they are built in mature or non-mature areas.

Before you start on applying for a BTO unit, you need to go through all HDB loops and meet the eligibility. This step might be one of the more tedious processes throughout the steps by it will be worth it in the end. First of all, one of the applicants must be a Singaporean citizen and the other one has to be either a Singaporean citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore. Secondly, one of the applicants must be at least 21 years old and above. Thirdly, the combined income should not go beyond $12,000. Next, the applicants must not own any other properties be it locally or overseas, and have not discarded of any properties within the previous 30 months. Applicants also should not have purchased more than a new HDB or Design, Built, Sell Scheme flat (DBSS) or Executive Condominium (EC) before applying for a BTO flat. Moreover, applicants have not been presented with one or more CPF Housing Grant prior to applying for a BTO. Lastly, you should meet at least one of the following criteria: your children and spouse are applying along with you, your parents are applying along with you, your children are applying along with you, your fiance or fiancee is applying with you, or you are an orphan and are wishing to apply with a sibling.  

Next, the application period. There is a one week application period whenever the BTO is launched. The indicative prices and preliminary designs will be made available to the public during the beginning of the week. After viewing the designs and prices, you can start apply within the week itself via online, HDB Hub or any HDB branches. A $10 non refundable administration fee will be charged at this stage as well.  

After meeting the eligibility, you can now move on to applying a HDB home loan. In order to be eligible for securing a HDB home loan, these are the few criteria you need to meet. First of all, you are planning to apply for a HDB flat. Secondly, you are a citizen of Singapore and aged 21 years and above. Your total monthly income is lesser than $12,000 or $18,000 if your applying for a HDB flat for extended families. In addition, you must not own or previously owned any properties that are private in the past 30 months prior to the application of HDB loan. You must not have more than a hawker or market stall or an industrial property or commercial property, unless you are working in the market or hawker stall yourself.  

Move on the the selection process. Do bear in mind that if you are aiming at the units at the prime or matured real estate area, you will be facing steep competition. At this stage, all applications are sent to a computer system at the HDB office and the ballot progress starts. The balloting process and applicants will be randomly chosen. The status of your application on whether it is successful or failed will only be out after approximately 6 weeks after you have submitted the application.  

After securing for a loan, you are officially one step closer to having your own BTO unit. You will then be asked for a meeting to make a booking of your desired flat in approximately 1 or 2 weeks after getting the notification of your success application. Be prepared with mny forms and make sure to bring necessary documents with you, such as,  
a. if you are working under Singapore Armed Forces/Civil Defence?Police Force, do provide a certified copy of your pink/blue identity card from the Personnel Department, 
b. passport, for applicants who are not citizens of Singapore 
c. children’s birth certificate, if you are applying with children 
d. your birth certificate and parent’s marriage certificate if you are planning to buy a BTO flat under the Multi Generation Priority Scheme, or the Married Child Priority Scheme 
e. marriage certificate if you are married 
f. divorce certificate if you are already divorced 
g. death certificate if your spouse is no longer living 
h. income documents 
i. HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE) that is valid if you choose to take an HDB loan 

Do remember to bring along your NETS card as well. An option fee of $1,000 for a flat with 3 bedrooms and $2,000 for a flat with 4 bedrooms or bigger is due at this stage. In the event where the amount that you have in your current CPF Ordinary account goes beyond the needed down payment, the extra fee will then be reimbursed back to you in terms of cash. However, if you opt for bank loan, the option fee will then be used to pay part of the down payment for you BTO flat via cash payment.
Lastly, the agreement of lease. Finally, after approximately 4 months, HDB will then request you to sign the agreement of lease. Again, you are required to bring the following documents: 

a. Applicant's identity cards
b. HDB Loan Eligibility letter if you are planning to take an HDB loan 
c. Letter of Offer from bank if you are opting for bank loan 
d. CPF statement(s) if you are currently a CPF Board employee 
e. Receipt of option fee 
f. Bank passbook and a page of bank passbook that is photocopied with your name and bank account number. 

After the validation of the above documents and signing of the agreement of lease, HDB will inform you on the date of the completion of your BTO flats.  

Congratulations, you are now one step of fulfilling your dream and milestone. Afterall, it is worth the wait, paperwork and documents. So, good luck.  If you are still unsure of the process of buying a BTO, you can read some articles such as step by step guide to buying your first BTO flat and guide to buying a new HDB flat to further understand on the process. 

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