The World Doesn't End If You Can't Get a BTO Flat

by Amanda Chiu

Yes, BTOs are affordable, new and everyone’s clamouring for it.
However, you don’t have to bawl just because you’ve been those unlucky few who’ve tried 10 times and couldn’t get one. With a BTO, you face stiff competition, and have to adhere to a multitude of requirements such as the ethnic quota. Imagine feeling like a million bucks when you finally get a queue number but reality slaps you instead when you’re told the maximum quota’s been met. In this article, we’re here to remind you that all’s not lost: there are other pretty good options you can explore!

Sales of Balance Flats (SBF)

You’ll see this option whenever a new balloting exercise is launched. SBF flats are simply flats leftover from previous launches. This could be from excess flats leftover, or because the couple who purchased it fell out permanently (no, we’re not kidding). Whatever it is, SBF flats are a good alternative you can consider. That’s because they’re available in many different islandwide locations, and are usually in the construction process. That means you have more choices and won’t have to wait till the cows come home to get your keys. Probably, the setback of this is that more often than not, the available flats only make up a handful. We advise that you get flats from low demand, non-mature estates to increase your chances of success. You can’t just count on lady luck to get your home ASAP – your choices should be practical too.

Resale Flats

So when both the BTO and SBF options fail you, what do you do? Look at the resale market, of course – that’s one place where you definitely won’t face competition as harsh. It doesn’t matter which estate you want to stay in, because no matter where it is, there’ll almost always be willing sellers. You don’t have to wait either, and some flats even come with a decent interior. That means you can save money by not getting that $4,000 aircon system installed, or that entire $8,000 kitchen from IKEA. However, you do have to be prepared to pay more, especially for mature estates with more keen buyers. Demand and supply logic. It’s still an attractive option, especially if you’re looking to start a family soon, or if you need a home immediately!

Executive Condominiums (EC)

An EC is not to be confused with regular condominiums, because they’re a hybrid of public and private housing. Buyers of ECs enjoy distinct privileges – they’re cheaper than typical condominiums, equipped with the same awesome facilities and design, and eligible for housing grants. Some of them also come with shorter completion times. After 10 years, the HDB-owned EC automatically becomes private property, therefore opening it up to the juicy private property market. That means better investment prospects without any selling restrictions. You can sell to foreigners and PRs, and with the direction Singapore’s headed, we think that the number of foreigners looking to buy will only increase over the years. However, your combined household income has to be above $12,000 and within $14,000, and you’ll only be able to apply for a bank loan. However, with all the perks, it still makes a pretty sweet option.

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