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HDB BTO

Renovations

Lifestyle

Hi, what are some good quality furniture from IKEA that’s worth buying? How do you know what materials are good?
Hey anon! That’s actually a really good question. As much as we do love IKEA, sometimes their products are not as durable as we’d like them to be… So I did a little research and found out a few pretty solid (figuratively and literally) products that have stellar reviews! ! At the end, there are tips on how to spot good quality materials from IKEA. 😉 1. Kallax shelves ($99) ! Source: Ikea Singapore A fan favourite is the Kallax shelf, which is perfect for stacking and organizing, and finding inventive ways to divide a room. You can choose to use them standing up or lying down, against the wall or to divide the room - you can even personalize them with drawers, shelves, boxes and inserts. On top of that they are really quite sturdy! The Kallax shelving units are really popular because of their clean lines and many possibilities. 2. Poäng Armchair ($109) ! Source: Ikea Singapore Did you know that the Poäng has been in production for over 40 years? It is one of the most ubiquitous pieces in IKEA’s history, and has a reputation for adding "effortless style to any room in your home". The Poäng armchair’s frame is made of layer-glued bent oak which provides comfortable resilience and it’s high back gives good support for your neck. 3. Äpplarö Drop-leaf table ($249) ! Source: Ikea Singapore This garden dining table has room for 4, 6 or 8 people simply by folding one or two drop-leaves up or down. This helps you save space when it’s just you and your immediate family, but you can easily accommodate a crowd as well! Most importantly, all pieces in the Äpplarö family are made of solid acacia wood, which is an economical and visually appealing choice for outdoor furniture. If you check out the US website, you’ll see that the Äpplarö series has overall many great reviews. // 🚨So, how do you know what items from IKEA are good quality? The best way to find out is to check the materials it is made out of. A good rule of thumb is to avoid furniture that is made with particleboard . Particleboard is made out of sawdust and wood chips that have been processed down into a piece of wood. But, this wood is not solid and can fall apart over time . Furniture made of solid wood —preferably a hardwood like oak or acacia , but even a softwood like Swedish pine —is always going to be sturdier . In summary, ❎ Particleboard ✅ Solid Wood Hope this helps! Good materials come at a price... But you can also check out these value for money items at IKEA under $10!
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Investments

HDB BTO

Savings

Retirement

Endowment Policies

Bought insurance endowment plan premium $9k/ year paid for 5 years. Should I use it for housing? Any other ways to invest it and grow the funds?
D
Deedee
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 2d ago
Hi Anon, you might want to answer the following questions for the community to provide better suggestions : 1. How long is your premium term? 2. When are you getting your house? 3. Are you surrendering your endowment plan to pay for the house or is it due to mature just before your house is ready? 4. What's your risk appetite for investment? 5. How long is your investment time frame? 6. How much do you know about investment?

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SeedlySOS

Property

Resale HDB

HDB BTO

We are almost both 27yo. We currently have 26k savings, currently working (1 year in), saving 1.5k a month. Already tried balloting 4 times and failing to get a number. When should we go resale?
Joel Koh
Joel Koh, Writer at Seedly
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 4d ago
Hello Anon :) This depends on a whole lot of factors. Congratulations on saving so much and continuing to save 1.5k a month. I am sorry about your situation. It must be frustrating for both of you to keep applying and getting rejected. I am referencing this article written by a colleague. https://blog.seedly.sg/resale-bto-flats-comparison/ BTO flats are usually highly sought after as a first home . They are also generally more affordable in comparison to HDB resale flats. Another factor is that they tend to appreciate in price after they hit the Minimum Occupation Period. However, resale flats are also not the end of the world. Resale flats aren’t ALWAYS more expensive than BTO flats. The government is also providing the CPF Family Grant of $50,000 (if household incomes do not exceed $14,000) to cushion any potential price differences for resale flats. Besides that, buyers of resale flats get to enjoy a further $30,000 under Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) if they live with or near their parents. That is quite a bit of savings! Also, since the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant has been introduced, couples get to enjoy higher housing grants , regardless of estate type (mature or non-mature estate). This makes mature estates – a common estate type for resale flats – more accessible for home buyers. With these grants and also the increase in income ceilings, it is also safe to say that there are steps to ensure that HDB housing is kept affordable and accessible . So I would think that it'll be good for you to sit down and do the math with your partner and have a discussion about what both of you really want and can live with for the next few years. Hope this helps!

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SeedlySOS

HDB BTO

Property

I applied as an Occupier together with my wife (as the Owner) for a BTO previously. Would I be considered a first-timer after fulfilling the 5 years occupancy period and be eligible for grants?
Hi anon, this is what I found from the HDB site: ! (Source: https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/residential/buying-a-flat/new/eligibility/hdb-flat) If you are an essential occupier, I guess you won't be considered a first-timer anymore. You might also want to try this eligibility checker on HDB site: https://services2.hdb.gov.sg/webapp/BP13EligCheck/BP13PEssentialOcc.jsp Hope it helps.
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SeedlySOS

HDB BTO

What happens if I give up my BTO flat after signing the Agreement for Lease but before key collection?
Hi anonymous, At this stage you will lose: - BTO application fee - Option fee - Downpayment (5% of property purchase price) - Buyer's stamp duty - Legal fees - Accrued interest on housing grant You'll also have to wait 1 year from the date of cancellation before you can apply or be included as an essential occupier for a: - New HDB flat - DBSS flat from developers - EC unit from developers - Resale flat with CPF housing grant - Resale flat that's announced for SERS If you're a first-timer family, any additional chances that you may have accumulated from your previous unsuccessful BTO applications will also be reset to 0. Bottom line? Think carefully before you do the "Ai BTO mai" tango! If you'd like to find out more, we've got an article about breaking up after BT !
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SeedlySOS

Loans

HDB BTO

Property

When calculating EHG grant for BTO, does it include 13th month and variable bonuses?
Hey! So the way about this calculation is simple. For various grants, they will always take into account your taxable income. Based on experience, most 13th month and bonus is taken into account as your taxable income, which means that they will be included and taken into consideration when applying for EHG grant. To emphasize on the details of EHG again for the rest reading this question: Who is the EHG for? Couples and families with an average gross monthly household income not exceeding $9,000 . At least one applicant must be working for at least 12 months prior to the flat application. Both HDB BTO and SBF, as well as Resale HDB flats, are eligible. Can check it out here: https://blog.seedly.sg/hdb-cpf-grants-bto-vs-resale-flats#ehg

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HDB BTO

Resale HDB

SeedlySOS

I owned a 3-room HDB flat. Anybody bought two 3-room HDB side by side before and combine into one flat? Is it allowed? If so, how do we go about doing it? Thanks?
Xue Miao
Xue Miao
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated 4d ago
I just did a quick check on the HDB site, and this seems to be under the Conversion Scheme Application Procedure. As quoted from the website, it seems like it'll be best to approach HDB to see whether these two units are eligible to be converted into one. The steps are to: - Download this Enquiry on Combination of Flats under the Conversion Scheme application form - Complete the form and submit it to HDB's Resale Operations Section - HDB will assess the flats and inform you on whether pairing the flats is possible. If so, you can then proceed with the purchase Besides that, do check on what needs to be done in terms of financing!

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SeedlySOS

HDB BTO

Loans

If I have 2 options: 1) buy BTO or 2) buy new launch Condo. Assume I can and will take the max. loan available and have no issues servicing the debt, which will make me the most $ if I sell in 10 yr?
Hi Shaun, Wow. Tough one. Assuming that you can afford either option comfortably AND assuming that both options are within the same estate, same location, same floor, surrounded by the same amenities... yada yada yada, you get the picture. The BIGGEST difference between a BTO (or an HDB flat for the matter) and a condo is what they are, fundamentally. An HDB flat will always be priced as affordable housing for the masses. So while you might see some kind of price appreciation (maybe due to a new mall or a new MRT station that's constructed)... don't expect anything massive. Also, if HDB resale prices look like they're getting out of hand, the government will definitely step in with cooling measures (as they have done so over the years) to manage the prices and keep things affordable. Condos, on the other hand, aren't subjected to that kind of 'regulation'. Since you're talking about a new-launch condo, you might be able to take advantage of a developer's early bird discount (to my knowledge, that can be as high as 10 per cent sometimes) so the overall price appreciation you get to enjoy for a condo will be pretty decent .

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SeedlySOS

HDB BTO

CPF SA

Property

Hi! I bought my BTO flat 3 years ago and have cleared my OA. I do not intend to sell my flat. I'm thinking of my retirement plan now. Shall I top up my SA account as part of my retirement plan?
Xue Miao
Xue Miao
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 4d ago
Hello there! I'm assuming that you're young since you got your BTO flat 3 years ago and cleared OA. (my apologies if I got it wrong!) A lot of us are apprehensive when it comes to topping up our CPF accounts, especially when we're young and it seems like we're locking up our money. I think this depends on your investment appetite, and whether you feel you would get a higher rate of return via other forms of investment. Personally, I think this is a great way to build up your retirement savings. It's not easy to find something as stable and gives such good returns (imo!). Imagine you're 30 and topped up $10,000 in your SA. This will grow into $26,658.36 if compounded at 4%! So with that, I would treat this top-up as the bond component of my retirement portfolio. :)

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SeedlySOS

CPF

Investments

STI ETF

HDB BTO

HDB is going to wipe out most of my OA when I buy BTO. Do you think I should let it wipe out my OA(excluding first 20k) or do you think I should start accumulating STI ETF using money in OA?
Joel Koh
Joel Koh, Writer at Seedly
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated 4d ago
Hello Anon, Yes, I would like to reiterate what Yang Teng has said: "If the period is over 10 or 20 years, likely yes. Solely from just dividend, the yield is around 3-4+% (https://www.dividends.sg/view/es3). However, in the short run, it is likely to stagnate with little significant price movements." But on balance, you will have to know that past performance does not past performance is not an indicator of future outcomes. Dividends are not a sure thing so this is a risk you need to be aware of. For example, you have unforeseen stuff like MAS' scrip dividend policy which is affecting the amount of dividends the big 3 banks are paying out. Also, another thing I would like to point out is that the money taken out from the OA needs to be repaid back with accrued interest of another 2.5% p.a. In future, if you were to sell your flat, you need to put back the full sum you used from CPF + interest. Which means that the 'profit' from the sale of flat will mainly go back to your CPF and trapped there till retirement. This will not be an issue if you are planning to hold the flat until retirement or you plan to buy another house with your OA. As such, by investing with your OA you are 'shielding this amount' which means that you will not need to 'payback' the accrued interest from the CPF OA funds you will be taking out. Another thing I would ask is you have enough cash on hand to pay the instalments for your HDB loan for a few months in the event your income gets affected. You don't want to get stuck in the situation where you are forced to withdraw your investments at a loss because of a sticky financial situation. Also here is a link to the costs of investing your CPF OA: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/Assets/Members/Documents/INV_AnnexD.pdf Hope you'll find this helpful!

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