Your Ultimate HDB BTO Buying Guide

All You Need To Know To Get A New HDB BTO (Built-To-Order) Flat
Published by admin on 16 Aug 2021 Last Updated on 23 May 2022
  • Built-To-Order Flats are new built 99-year leasehold HDB flats.
  • Flat types offered are typically 2-room Flexi, 3-, 4-, 5-room flats, and 3Gen flats.
  • BTOs are typically what newly wed Singaporeans ballot and buy for.
  • Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) are BTO flats in central locations which are priced higher and not available to Singles. Buyers are also entitled to more subsidies (but more clawback) than an ordinary BTO.

  • Qualify for one of the following HDB Eligibility Schemes: Public Scheme, Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, or Orphans Scheme (Vast majority of Applicants are on the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme).
  • Check which CPF Grant(s) & HDB Payment Schemes you are eligible for. Couples in their 20s and applying for a BTO for the first time can apply for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, which allows them to split the downpayment into 2 tranches.
  • At least 21 years old (or 35 for Single Applicant only in Non-Mature Estates).
  • At least one Singapore Citizen, and at least one other Singapore Citizen or PR (or a Singapore Citizen with a non-citizen spouse on a visit pass or work pass).
  • Combined monthly income of not more than $7,000 for 2- or 3-room ($14,000 for short lease flats or special projects).
  • Combined monthly income of not more than $14,000 for 4-room and bigger ($21,000 for extended or multi-gen family).
  • No Applicants own any properties (Any properties must be sold at least 30 months before BTO application)
  • If you are urgent for a HDB flat or want to try for a better location, you can opt for a Sale-of-Balance Flat (SBF).

  • Check with and choose either HDB or a bank for the mortgage loan amount and payment terms (See: Mortgage & Financing Guide). Do note that HDB has no lock-in period, so you can switch to a bank loan or pay up your HDB loan any time you want.
  • Check with and choose either HDB or a bank for the mortgage loan amount and payment terms (See: Mortgage & Financing Guide). Do note that HDB has no lock-in period, so you can switch to a bank loan or pay up your HDB loan any time you want.
  • For HDB Loan: Get your HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE). Approval takes about 2 weeks so apply ASAP. Use the HDB Budget Calculator to check your maximum budget and the HDB Payment Calculator to work out a payment plan.
  • For Bank Loan: Get your Approval-In-Principle (AIP) from your chosen bank. Approval takes about a week (you can also get an estimate using the DBS Mortgage Calculator).
  • For Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) Flats: You are entitled to more subsidies than an ordinary BTO, however, the government will clawback a higher amount of these subsidies when you sell the flat.

  • HDB announces upcoming BTO projects 6 months prior to launch, which gives you ample time to plan for the location you want.
  • Check the HDB Portal regularly for available BTOs to ballot for.
  • Select a flat with an agreeable building method:
  • Ballot for your chosen BTO online ($10 application fee, payable by Credit Card). Application opening window is about 2 weeks.
  • Wait at least 3 weeks for the balloting results' queue number. See more details here.
  • Your queue number will determine your priority in choosing a unit. The number of people allotted queue numbers will exceed the number of units, so if your queue number is way out there, chances are you won’t be able to get your hands on a unit and will have to ballot again.
  • The chances of a successful ballot are successively doubled for 1st time applicants, married couples, and applying to stay with parents.

  • If your ballot was successful, you will be requested to make an appointment to go to HDB Hub to book and pay for your BTO unit.
  • You must now apply for any eligible CPF grants.
  • If your flat is under the OCS, choose a plan which suits your needs.
  • On Appointment Day, bring your Identity Card, Income Documents, HLE or AIP, and any grant application forms to HDB Hub.
  • Pay the Option Fee ($500 for 2-room, $1,000 for 3-room, $2,000 for 4-room and bigger, payable by NETS) to HDB who will grant you an Option to Purchase (OTP).

  • Secure your HDB Loan (or Bank Loan, Conveyancing Lawyer, and Letter of Offer (LO)). 
  • If using CPF to pay for your house, fill up and send the CPF Withdrawal Form to CPF.
  • Within 4 months, HDB will request you to go to HDB Hub to "exercise" your OTP and sign the Lease Agreement and pay the downpayment, stamp duties, and legal fees (can use CPF and grants within certain limits, remaining portion payable by Cashier's Order).
  • Downpayment for HDB Loans: 10% of the purchase price using cash and/or CPF.
  • Downpayment for Bank Loans: 25% of the purchase price, of which at least 5% must be in cash and the rest can be paid using CPF (within certain limits).

  • After 3-4 years, your BTO is complete and you will be requested to go to HDB Hub to make the final payment and collect your keys.
  • If you want to go straight to see the house upon receiving the keys, schedule your HDB appointment in the morning or early afternoon (See below for a list of items to bring: House Inspection). Once it gets dark you can't see anything in your new home as there are no lights installed.
  • Setup your Utilities.
  • Bring your Identity Card, marriage certificate (for flats under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme), GIRO form (if paying monthly loan instalments partially or fully by cash) and Cashier's Order to HDB Hub.
  • Pay the remaining balance, stamp duty, legal fees, Home Protection Scheme, Fire Insurance to HDB Hub (payable via Cashier's Order).

  • Once you have your keys, go to your new home to check for defects (such as wiring, plumbing, leakages, uneven flooring, defective power points, hollow/cracked tiles, scratches, chips).
  • Bring masking tape, pens/markers, measuring tape for taking measurements. Bring brooms, dustpans and rags to clean your house. Bring portable chairs, toilet paper, towels, handphone chargers, portable fans, flashlights, and dustbins or plastic bags as you might be there for a while.
  • Report any defects to HDB (either online or at the nearby Building Service Centre (BSC)) within 7 days to avoid disputes.

  • You cannot rent out/sub-lease out any part of the house before the Minimum-Occupancy-Period (MOP). The MOP varies as follows:
    • Standard BTO Flats: 5 years from collecting the keys 
    • PLH Flats: 10 years from collecting the keys 
    • SERS Flats: 5 years from unit selection
  • You cannot sell the house (except back to HDB) before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
  • You cannot buy another house before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
  • You can only keep 1 dog from the list of approved breeds in your flat. Cats are not allowed in flats.



Leave a Comment