What’s Next After Getting Your BTO Queue Number?
Whether it’s your first, second or even your third attempt, we all know that applying for a BTO is a truly nerve-racking process. Why wouldn’t it be? After all, the balloting process is almost as tough as winning a TOTO ticket. But you can bet that the wait and the anticipation will be worth it once you are given a queue number. Excited to start looking for home design inspiration? Hold your horses!
We list out the important aspects you need to consider before diving straight into selecting your BTO unit.
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1. Are you ready to commit and wait?
It’s sad but true; many couples have gone down the unfortunate route of having their downpayment forfeited because things didn’t work out between them. It is important that both partners recognise that you are in the relationship for the long run and a BTO application is not to be taken lightly. Appealing or changing the name of your co-application is not an option. If you are unable to commit now, consider resale flats once both of you are ready to settle down.
Upon paying for the downpayment, the average BTO has a waiting period of 3-4 years before the flats are ready for handover.
2. Planning your finances
You and your partner should plan out your finances beforehand. Pool together what you have in your savings and your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) monies. This is what you can use to settle the 10% downpayment of your flat.
For the remaining 90%, you can choose to borrow either from HDB or the bank. Use a HDB loan calculator to get a better understanding on the different interest rates offered and to also help in your decision. If you are going for a HDB loan, apply for an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter to know how much you can loan. The amount will be reassessed nearer to the BTO completion date.
3. Selecting your unit
- Make a trip down to the site
The most practical way to get to know the surroundings of your future unit is to head down to the actual site on a sunny afternoon to study the sun gaze and wind direction.
By doing so, you can get a good estimate on which units receive direct sunlight at different timings of the day. You may also use a Sun Calculator to help you understand if the sun is shining directly into your preferred unit. Most people prefer morning and evening sun, while afternoon sun is often avoided.
When it comes to wind direction, take note that the wind changes during different periods of the year as well. Northeast and Southwest-facing units tend to get more breezes during the monsoon period. To determine the wind direction, pluck a few blades of grass and let it go to determine the wind direction.
Depending on the building’s layout, some rooms or units situated along the corridor may result in curious neighbours peering into your flat. If you are someone who values privacy, go for the corner unit, or you risk exposing your laundry or mess in full glory.
Take note of your block location. For units that are situated near the multi-storey car park, expect to hear occasional screeches from car tyres. If you are staying near major road junctions or expressways, expect sound to travel upwards with higher units receiving the brunt of the noise.
Most people tend to prefer staying on the higher floors, but it is important to balance your expectations with the your queue number. There are more units situated on the lower levels (10 and below), be prepared that units on the higher floors will be snapped up by those with a smaller queue number.
High units give a better view and get more wind, but they are also pricier than units at a lower floor.
4. Future development plans
Remember the columbarium saga in Sengkang? Many residents were caught off guard by the development plan. While homeowners are given sales booklets consisting of upcoming plans of the estates, it is best that you do your own research. A good place to start would be to check URA masterplan for more information on the future developments of your estate.
Like any investment it is important to research the valuation of your district properties. In doing so, it provides you with a better understanding of the investment that you are making. The premium Bidadari flats look set to be another potential investment. Whether the investment of purchasing the flat at such premium price pays off, well, we can only speculate.
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