Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Wednesday July 25th 2018

New BTO owner needs to bring along $80,000 cash prior to collection of keys

Hi Gilbert

I want to share about my new BTO’s flat ordeal though it happens almost four years ago.

I received  call from HDB stating that I need to bring along a sum of money prior to the collection of my new flat’s keys.

I ask her how much do I need to bring during the collection and she says she will update me again. She returned my call and that’s when my nightmare begins – she said I have to bring along $80 000! I was stunt into silence and then I ask her to repeat again. She said, “You have to pay another $80 000 prior to the collection of keys,” in a tone as if I am to bring $80 only.

She explained that my house minus off both our CPF and HLE, there is still a balance of $80 000.

What I was so upset about is why only now she mentions about this huge lump sum when during our HLE being approved and grants not approved, why didn’t she mention that I have to pay this lump sum in cash? Just 3 days to the collection of keys then i get to know?!

Through out the whole process, I came down to sign some forms but I  wasn’t highlighted about this huge amount! Who in the right mind would have accept if a first-time owner have to fork out this huge amount before they can get access to the house keys?

If in the beginning we were notified about this huge shortfall, we would have cancel the application, we would not have prepared and buy our things for our new house and I would not have transferred my kid to a school nearer to the new place!

I wasn’t aware of the procedure as I was a first timer! I decided to seek help from my MP to appeal for my first-time grants – SHG (Special CPF Housing Grant) and AHG (Family Grant or Additional CPF Housing Grant). If both are approved, it would cover $60 000 at least.

A few weeks later, I got a call from my officer-in-charge saying that my HDB loan has been increased $14000 more and that my AHG is approved. But my SHG is not approved because we applied in MAY 2014 and the SHG is being launched in JUL 2014. Just a 2-month gap and they won’t be able to approve it…

The calculation after minusing off the HDB loan, CPF and grant, I still have a balance of $26 000. There is no way for me fork out that amount as it is still a huge sum of money.

Again, we went to the MP and appeal for help. He decided to help us appeal for a higher HDB loan and an instalment of the balance cash to be paid every month like a mortgage loan. He said he would do his best to get us our keys. We are currently crossing our fingers hoping a miracle could happen.

Now, 3 months after, I am really, really hopeful that HDB would give me my keys. Its been a tremendous strenuous time for me and I suffered great emotional depression because we really put high hope that we will get our house, not expecting things like this is going to happen.

I was going for an operation on 29th DEC for ligation and the school starts on the 2nd of JAN…my kid will be in the morning session. And I couldn’t imagine having to drag my kid and my baby along to travel early morning with stitches still on my tummy.

I am supposed to have 8 weeks of strict rest from doctor’s advice – if only I can  get my keys as my son’s school is just next block of our new house.

I’m sorry for the long story but I just need to get this problem off my chest. I just want my keys, that’s all I wish for.


Editor’s note: Unfortunately, the family is unable to have the new BTO house keys despite the MP’s assistance and they are currently living in a rental flat. The couple has subsequently divorced due to the incident. 

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8 Responses to “New BTO owner needs to bring along $80,000 cash prior to collection of keys”

  1. Ken says:

    Hope u didn’t vote for the pee n pee, else obi good.

  2. Smint says:

    Sorry to hear of your incident.

    This comes into question of how much wad your HLE granted? How much of Cpf you have? And whats was your total household income like ? During the point of application in 2014.

    Hope this will serve as a advice to fellow S’poreans.
    While applyung for BTO, pls consider this few points…
    1. How much HLE is approved.
    2. How much CPF you are have in OA.
    3. How much cash you will be abke to set aside for housing repayment.

    Apply for a flat thats within your budgeting.
    Also will have to consider that in future your household earning may drop due to one partner not able to work for some reason. Eg retrenchment, take care children…

  3. Jake says:

    Similar thing happened to me, though on a much smaller scale compared to Siti. They recently released a new policy which allowed undergrads to apply for housing grants. At that point I just applied for BTO with my fiance less than 2 weeks after t policy release. Contacted HDB but they refused to allow us to apply for the grant.. Not exactly sure what HDB is trying to promote.

  4. Jay says:

    Don’t take it for granted that hen owe u a living. U are buying a house at their terms. If u can afford it , but a smaller flat or rent,,,,,

  5. Jay says:

    Oh and what is th pointe refor saying that you divorced because of this issue? There are many more who got married earlier because of bto flats. Don’t blame people for ur poor planning. If ur husband leave u bcos of this petty issue , u might as well live without this sort of person

  6. xyz says:

    This is an example of “You Die Your Biz” in action.

    Pretty sure in the past 53 years there must have been over 100,000 similar stories, where blind govt policies just ass-farked ordinary sinkies.

    OK, clearly they had trouble servicing the BTO — what HDB & the MP should have done is to downsize the original BTO application e.g. to 2-rm flat. And waive the legal & admin fees, coz HDB should have strongly highlighted the large cash requirement in the beginning, or even asked to see their bank accounts before proceeding.

    Rather than mucking around with increased loans, additional loans, grants (which are not really “free” — they have consequences for your CPF). Becoz I feel that with so many loans etc they will also face long & hard road to pay off the mortgage, and basically they will be unable to save for retirement & have to work until die.

    The problem with PAPies is that they like to use private / commercial sector practices into public sector. This shouldn’t be the case.

    E.g. If a buyer miscalculated in purchasing a condo, and last minute he found out cannot afford or come up with the sufficient down payment, then too bad. The buyer will lose his option money, and any legal & admin fees paid so far. He will even be liable to pay the commission fees to any agents, even if the purchase failed — becoz it was his fault to miscalculate or never properly confirm. This is private sector practice.

    Unfortunately PAPies are following such practices in many areas of public service, not just HDB.

  7. Regina says:

    My mom was asked to pay upfront $135k before collecting the keys! Best part, the officer told us only when we were seated in front of her waiting to get our hands on the keys! How ridiculous, a senior citizen has so much cash on hand to pay for a new BTO flat meh??!!

  8. J Y says:

    HDB was very rigid in their housing policies. I was invited to select a BTO flat in Feb 2018 on my 5th attempt as a first timer in a non-mature estate. It was only during the meeting with the officer that I knew my grant application was not approved since I was not employed for 1 year prior to my flat application.

    Even if I had worked for a few years previously, they wouldn’t take that into consideration. They only looked at the 1 year monthly CPF contribution prior to the flat application and not the other years before that 1 year. They are not flexible in taking the previous years of CPF into consideration. Thus, I was told then to fork out a lump sum of cash before the collection of keys.

    In Mar Budget 2018, HDB announced that some people can apply for deferment of grant till they found a job. I asked HDB about that and was told that it would apply only from the sales launch of May 2018 onwards. Since I had already selected a flat before May 2018, I couldn’t apply for deferment of grant.

    They are very rigid in their policies and I have to fork out the full sum without any grant. I have some health problems and was unable to work as well as when I was younger.

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