This article was originally on GET.com at: Cancelling Your HDB BTO Application - What Are The Consequences?
Our uniquely Singaporean way to make a marriage proposal here is to apply for an HDB flat with our spouse-to-be.
While most Singaporeans have no issues with this method, you should also take a moment to understand what consequences you would face should the relationship sour before collecting the keys to your new flat.
At the moment, the wait for a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat to be ready ranges typically from 2 to 3 years.
Objectively, within this time period many things can change in a relationship, so it'd be wise to consider the consequences should you decide to pull out of your application.
Of course nobody wants a messy break up, but with the stakes getting progressively higher as the application procedure drags on, it is useful to know what a couple is getting themselves into before signing on the dotted line at the HDB hub.
Here are the consequences of cancelling your application and what you stand to lose:
Before Signing The Sales Agreement For Lease
This involves steps from filing a BTO online application to putting down your first deposit.
The initial stage of submitting an online application costs just $10 and you have not been called up by HDB to select a flat yet.
If you decide to pull out at this stage, the degree of financial risk is deemed to be the lowest.
What You Stand To Lose At This Stage:
- The $10 application fee, plus a marked record by HDB as it has considered you to have rejected a chance to select a flat.
- Your first-timer privilege will be revoked for a year if you reject again (you have 2 chances to reject).
- For first-timer married couples (family unit), previous unsuccessful applications that had earned them a higher priority will be reset to zero.
After Booking A Flat (Before Signing The Sales Agreement For Lease)
If you moved on to the next phase, you would have already booked a flat and placed a deposit (option fee) amounting from $250 to $2000, depending on the size of the flat you have chosen. This fee will go to the cash portion of the downpayment you will pay for the flat.
Here's how much you will pay depending on the type of flat:
- Studio apartment: $250
- 2-room flat: $500
- 3-room flat: $1000
- 4/5-room flat and executive flat: $2000
What You Stand To Lose At This Stage:
If you cancel your application at this stage you will lose the option fee and you will be banned from applying for another flat for one year.
After Signing The Sales Agreement For Lease
After signing the Agreement for Lease, applicants are required to pay a downpayment. The amount of the downpayment that you will pay will vary depending on the type of home loan you're taking.
If you're not getting a loan or if you get an HDB loan: the downpayment must be 10 per cent of the purchase price. You can use your CPF OA to pay for the entire downpayment if you have enough savings there. If you don't have enough, then you must pay the remaining amount in cash.
If you're getting a bank loan there are more options:
- You will pay a 20 per cent downpayment (of the purchase price) if you have an 80 per cent loan ceiling. You will need to pay 5 per cent of the downpayment in cash and you can pay the rest of it with the savings in your CPF OA.
- You will need to pay a 40 per cent downpayment of your loan ceiling is 60 per cent of the purchase price. You will need to pay 10 per cent of the downpayment in cash and use your savings in your CPF OA account to pay the rest of the balance.
- If you have a loan ceiling of 50 per cent or less, you will need to pay the remaining percentage of the purchase price as the downpayment. You need to pay 20 per cent in cash, and another 5 per cent in cash upon key collection. The rest of the balance needs to be paid with your CPF OA savings.
There are also other fees involved such as stamp duty and legal fees which range from 1 per cent-3 per cent of the purchase price.
Any cancellations at this stage will result in a forfeit of this money, plus a one-year ban for another BTO application.
Other points to consider at this stage are the procedures involved with repaying the additional grants that were taken up from the government and the penalty fees payable in cases where applicants had taken up a bank home loan.
In the case of Executive Condominiums and DBSS applications, applicants stand to lose up to 25 per cent of the booking fee if they have not yet signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement, and 20 per cent of the purchase price and the stamp and legal fees if they've already signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement but have not yet collected the keys.
So the better plan is probably to spend some time in the relationship and assess if your current partner is really 'The One' before going all out and purchasing a flat together. After all, marriage should be one of the most important decisions of your life.
If you do decide to and purchase a flat, here you can find out what documents you need for your HDB loan application.
Before getting a loan you may also want to check if you're eligible for an HDB grant! Read a simple guide to HDB flat grants here.
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