If you are looking to take your first step onto the property ladder, an HDB resale flat may the best option for you. There are several benefits associated with purchasing a resale flat as opposed to a built to order, or BTO, flat. Continue reading to find out what they are, and how they could streamline the buying process for you as a first-time buyer. 

A wide range of HDB schemes

There are a number of schemes available to help first-time buyers purchase their own HDB resale flat. Before you proceed, you must find out which you are eligible for. For example, a Public Scheme is available for property seekers looking to purchase an HDB resale flat with a family member such as a partner or child. A fiancé/fiancée scheme is designed for those looking to buy a flat with their soon to be husband or wife. A Single Singapore Citizen Scheme is for Singaporeans over the age of 35 looking for a space to call their own. This scheme can also be subcategorised into a Joint Singles Scheme for single dwellers looking to move in with a friend and a Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme for Singaporean citizens with a partner that does not qualify as a Singapore citizen or permanent resident in the country. 

Can be purchased with a housing loan

Singaporean citizens may be able to purchase an HDB resale flat with a housing loan. They can be lent directly from the Housing Development Board or from a Singapore-based bank subject to a credit assessment. Whilst navigating an HDB resale flat, you should be informed of the process of applying for an HDB housing loan through a HDB Loan Eligibility Letter, or HLE, letter. This doesn’t necessarily bind you to an HDB loan but is one of the first steps required and should be obtained before signing up for the Option to Purchase. You must first find out whether or not you are eligible before submitting your application. You may also be able to obtain a bank loan. In order to do so, you must complete an Approval in Principle, or AIP, before you prepare your down payment. 

They are relatively cheap to maintain

By purchasing an HDB resale as opposed to a BTO flat, you are less likely to shell out for repairs or maintenance down the line. With HDB resales typically the more expensive option of the two, this can cut costs where it really matters. BTO flats are usually furnished minimally and neutrally. As a result, most homeowners spend a considerable amount of time and money refurbishing and decorating. Resale HDB flats can be a great way to save on expensive interior design costs and can also be viewed ahead of time to ensure you are happy with the design choices of the previous owner. As a whole, resale units tend to be the most popular option and offer more bang for your buck. 

They benefit from grants

If you are a first-time family applying for an HDB resale flat, you may be eligible for a CPF housing grant bonus of $50,000. If you choose to stay within 4km of your parents, you will also be rewarded an additional $20,000 under the Proximity Housing Grant. For illustrative purposes, an engaged couple wishes to purchase a four-bedroom property within walking distance of one set of parents. The cheapest BTO flat currently stands at $300,000. If both homeowners earn a total of $10,000, they are ineligible for any housing grants and are still required to pay the total asking price of $300,000. If they are interested in a resale property worth $350,000, they will qualify for the $50,000 first-time payment as well as an additional $20,000. This lowers the total asking price down to $280,000 which is significantly less than the BTO option. 

Greater square footage

On a whole, HDB resale flats tend to be older. As a result, they usually benefit from greater square footage when compared to BTO flats. Newer builds have been built to accommodate a growing population with an emphasis on more flats as opposed to larger flats. By comparing the price per square feet, you can find out whether or not you are actually getting a good deal and make an informed decision. 

HDB flats are experiencing a surge in popularity. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide. When it comes to first-time buyers trying to take their first step onto the property ladder, HDB resale flats tend to be the most popular option when compared to BTO flats. With a wide range of HDB schemes available, the option to apply for a housing loan, being relatively cheap to maintain, benefitting from a series of grants, and offering greater square footage, there is no question that resale flats offer more bang for your buck.