The Seedly HDB Resale Guide: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to HDB Resale Application
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The Seedly HDB Resale Guide: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to HDB Resale Application

Kenneth Fong
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So…

You want to find out more about the HDB Resale flat buying process.

And how to buy your very own flat.

SpongeBob Puts On Glasses and Gets Serious
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

Welcome to adulthood, my friend.

And as scary as buying such a big-ticket item might sound…

It won’t be, as long as you know how it all goes down.

When it comes to property, I gotchu bruv.


Your Personal Guide to Purchasing an HDB Resale Flat

HDB Resale Button

Cost of HDB Resale Flat Button

Things to Consider Before Applying HDB Resale Button

How to Buy HDB Resale Flat Button

HDB Resale Grants Button

Bank or HDB Loan Button

Need more help or have a specific property-related question?

You can always ask the friendly SeedlyCommunity for advice!

Paiseh or shy?

You can even ask anonymously too… #justsaying


HDB Resale vs HDB BTO: Which Should You Choose?

Since you’re reading this, I’m gonna assume that you’re not considering a BTO flat anymore.

Plus, with an HDB Resale Flat, you get to choose the location of your flat since you’re not limited by wherever the next BTO project is being launched.

(read: hard to find a BTO in say… a mature estate, especially if you wanna live near your parents or just love the area you’re living in right now)

And might even be able to get it faster than your friends who BTO-ed.

FYI: a BTO typically takes about 3 to 5 years (even longer now since it’s COVID-19 season) before you get the keys

So… What is an HDB Resale flat and is there a huge diff as compared to a BTO?

An HDB Resale Flat is an HDB flat that is currently owned by someone else — that’s why it’s available almost immediately.

In order to buy it from them, the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of the flat has to be met before the current owner can sell it to you.

The MOP is typically at least 5 years.

Unlike an HDB BTO which is a brand new HDB flat that comes with a 99-year lease, the lease on an HDB Resale Flat will depend on how old it is.

The older an HDB flat, the fewer years will be left on the lease.

This is important to take note of because it affects the value of the property.

The amount of HDB grants or loans you can get might also be pro-rated as well.

How Much Does an HDB Resale Flat Cost?

Well… that depends on a variety of factors.

Is it in a non-mature or mature estate? Units in mature estates usually cost more.

What direction does the unit face? Because some people don’t want the sun in their eyes when they step out the door, feng shui and etc.

Which level is the unit on? Units on higher floors usually cost more.

What kind of amenities are nearby?

For example, is the HDB Resale Flat you’re looking at within 1km of a popular primary school?

Seedly How Much Does It Cost To Live Within 1km of Popular Primary School

Yep.

Some parents or parents-to-be will want to live near a popular primary school to make sure that their kids have a higher chance of getting into the school of their choice.

And many are willing to pay a premium for that kind of accessibility.

The same applies to whether the flat is near an MRT station or near major shopping malls and facilities like nursing homes and hospitals.

Oh, you also have to think about the extent of the renovations which your Resale Flat will need.

An older flat will probably need more work so you’ll need to factor that into your renovation costs before moving in.

Things To Consider Before Beginning Your HDB Resale Flat Purchase

Before you even think about whether you would like to live in a mature or non-mature estate.

Or how high you would like your flat to be.

You’ll first want to check your eligibility to buy an HDB Resale Flat by registering your Intent to Buy through the HDB Resale Portal.

FYI: there is no fee for registering, and you’ll get an instant assessment on your eligibility to buy a flat, the grants you can get, as well as whether you qualify for an HDB housing loan

Eligibility Criteria for HDB Resale Flat

To be eligible for an HDB Resale flat:

  • At least 1 Singapore Citizen or 2 Singapore Permanent Residents must be listed in the flat application
  • The Resale Flat applied must be within the Ethnic Integration Policy and Singapore Permanent Resident quota
  • Not own any residential properties or any houses/buildings/land whether locally or overseas, or have disposed of them in 6 months before the Resale Flat application

Your age will also determine what type of HDB flat you can buy.

If you’re buying with an approved family nucleus, you’ll have to be at least 21 years and above.

Buying a flat as a single?

You’ll have to be at least 35 years and above.

35 and Single What Type of HDB Flats Can I Buy

On top of all of these considerations, you’ll have to buy a Resale Flat under a specific HDB scheme.

Eligibility Criteria for HDB Resale Schemes

The following eligibility criteria apply to all schemes:

  • Income ceiling: there are NO income ceilings but this will matter when it comes to CPF Housing Grants and HDB housing loans
  • Ownership of other properties (HDB or Private, Local or Overseas): if you or anyone else in your resale flat application owns any kind of property (whether HDB or private, local or overseas), you will need to dispose of it before or within 6 months of your resale flat purchase

Here’s a look at the various schemes you can apply under as well as the types of CPF Housing Grant which you might be able to qualify for:

HDB Resale Flat Eligibility Schemes

If You're...CPF Housing Grants You Might Be Eligible For
Fiancé/Fiancée SchemeBuying an HDB Resale flat with your fiancé or fiancéeEnhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

Family Grant (FG)

Half-Housing Grant

Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)
Public SchemeBuying an HDB Resale flat with your family for eg. with wife and children, parents and siblings, or childrenEnhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

EHG (Singles)

Family Grant (FG)

Half-Housing Grant

Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)

Singles Grant
Conversion SchemeBuying adjoining flats that are 3-room or smaller and convert them into 1 unit
Single Singapore Citizen SchemeBuying an HDB Resale flat as a single; at least 35 years if unmarried or divorced, or 21 years if widowed or orphanedEHG (Singles)

Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)

Singles Grant

Top-Up Grant
(at later stage)
Non-Citizen Spouse SchemeBuying an HDB Resale flat with a spouse who is not an SC or SPR
Non-Citizen Family SchemeA single Singapore Citizen and your family members (eg parents( are not SCs or SPRs
Joint Singles Scheme2 to 4 singles jointly buying an HDB Resale FlatEnhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)

Singles Grant
Orphans SchemeBuying an HDB Resale flat with siblings who are orphans and single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed)Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

Singles Grant

What Type of HDB Flat Can I REALLY Afford?

Next, you’ll also need to consider your finances and figure out what type of HDB flat can you afford?

Seedly What Type Of HDB Flat Can I Afford?

I mean, you wouldn’t want to overstretch yourself and have problems servicing the mortgage when you can’t even put food on the table, right?

How To Choose The Perfect HDB Resale Flat to Buy?

Once you have all of the above sorted, here comes the fun (or tiring, for some) part.

Figuring out how to choose the perfect HDB Resale flat!

Seedly How to Choose HDB Resale Flat

FYI: I’ve included a checklist to follow as well as a list of things (and people) that you should bring along during property viewing in the article

How To Buy An HDB Resale Flat

The entire process is really straightforward and can all be done via the HDB Resale Portal.

Yep, you don’t even need to involve a property agent in the process if you don’t want to.

Just follow this step-by-step guide to find out how you can handle the deal yourself!

Seedly Buy Resale Flat Without Agent

It’ll take a bit more work (and time) but you can save quite a bit on commission fees if you cut out the middleman!

Mr Krabs I Like Money
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

That’s more money for reno or furniture!

What Is the Maximum HDB Grant That I Can Get?

There’s a myth amongst first-time property buyers that an HDB Resale flat is usually more expensive than an HDB BTO flat.

270720 HDB Resale vs BTO flat

Well… it might not always be true…

That’s because there are various HDB housing grants like the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) that are meant to help keep HDB Resale flats affordable.

Seedly HDB Housing Grant Guide

FYI: if you’re a first-timer applying for an HDB Resale flat you can get up to $160,000 in HDB grants (depending on your eligibility).

That’s way more than what a first-timer would get when buying an HDB BTO flat.

How Do I Pay For My HDB Resale Flat?

Found an HDB Resale flat that you really like and are ready to commit?

Bank Loan Vs HDB Loan: Which Is Better?

Besides the interest rates, there are plenty of other things to consider when deciding whether you want to finance your HDB flat with a bank loan or an HDB loan.

HDB loan vs Bank loan - Which is better?

If you’re going with an HDB loan, you’ll need to get an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter as well.

Seedly HDB Loan Eligibility HLE Letter

And if you decide to go with a bank loan, then this compilation of housing and mortgage loans (fixed and floating) should come in handy.

Seedly Housing Mortgage Loan Floating and Fixed RatesNow that you understand the entire process and know what to look out for.

Good luck with your house-hunting!

Spongebob Thumbs Up
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

About Kenneth Fong
Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Fong here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

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