Friday, February 13, 2015


Friday the 13th is rumored to be rife with bad luck so everyone watch out k'
I've never noticed it to be, so am not bothered by the number of Friday 13ths there are this year. 

My parents filled the home with CNY snacks already. These are all flavored coz we really don't care for natural tasting stuff.

My friends have been looking at HDBs BTO (built to own) flats the last couple of years as it takes that long to get the keys to one of these. If you want something immediate you can look at leftovers that HDB sometimes bundle for collective sale. Am totally looking forward to the next one.

To qualify for BTO is of course you need to live in it after buying and you also need to be a Singaporean or PR (check HDB website for details). My real concern is of course the occupancy tenure. Nowadays, all HDB are tenured at 99 years leasehold, except for studios that have a 30 year leasehold. The attraction for everyone is really the prices that got me bamboozled as well.

A studio apartment can be had for less than $100K. No optional add-on costs (read upgrades) and the apartments & building are setup to be elder friendly & wheelchair accessible. Because, that is who its intended for.

Everyone will be looking at 2 room, 3 room, 4 room and 5 room flats. Ranging from 36sqm to 113sqm, prices from $130K to $350K. The largest flat you can get is an executive flat for around $390K @ 130sqm. Don't fret as there are housing grants for BTO flats that can go up to $60K. 

If I were to buy a new home and maximize my benefits, I will get a 2 room flat as there is a special subsidy to upgrade 2 room flat owners into 3 room flats in the same development. So a 2 room flat in a good location and nice building with facilities would cost $160K, minus max grants of $60K + upgrade = $100K for 3 room flat. I can pay that off with my CPF in full immediately, walking away a proud homeowner.

I love the idea don't you? Realistically, I will still need to pay for renovation (knock down walls), furniture, appliances as well as utilities and taxes. Oh, and to qualify for grants you have to be gainfully employed for at least a year prior, first timers get more money. 

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