Housing Options for Newlyweds who are Waiting for Their BTO
Just married and waiting for your home to be ready? Here are some housing options you can consider
Not ideal, but affordable. For younger couples, this is definitely the way to go. Sure, living in your spouse’s old bedroom might not be the most comfortable of situations, but it gives you the opportunity to save money for renovation, travel more and who knows, maybe even buy a car.
Studio-Style Suite DIYed by Newlywed Groom for Bride
Frankly, there’s an abundance of apartments for rent in Singapore. Prices are considerably lower at the moment! It might not be a bad idea to start your marital life in a little apartment by yourselves. But for newlyweds starting on their careers too, this might be a struggle, so perhaps another option could be renting a master bedroom. Most are available for under $900 and the use of your own private bathroom really makes a difference from renting a common room.
Where to go:
Property Guru, 99.co and Rent In Singapore are just some of the websites you can go to have a look-see at the many apartments available for rent in Singapore.
Rental rates for a 3-room HDB flat start at around $1,700 depending on the town you look at. You can check the average rental rates of the market here and for a number based on specific HDB blocks, you can check out rates here.
Find a design and renovation professional for your first home
Surprise! It’s actually a viable option. Sure, Airbnb is marketed as a short-term vacation rental site, but you’ll find a number of places offering their homes at monthly rates. These are usually in areas like town or the East Coast, and are private apartments going at a much more affordable rate as compared to those on PropertyGuru and more. Also, the amount you’d be renting for includes utilities and furnishing.
Less red tape
Another great thing about this option would be how easy it is to rent, with little red tape. You’ll be bypassing the agent and going straight to the homeowner. But that, of course, also comes with its pitfalls. Should you come across any trouble with the owner of the home, you can only turn to Airbnb, an unknown face behind a computer.
To help couples waiting for their BTO, the government launched the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS). Despite its name, the scheme is geared towards young married couples. To be eligible, all you need is to have a BTO in the midst of construction and your marriage certificate on hand.
- The flats range from studio apartments to larger 5 room flats and are extremely affordable; rates beginning at just $800 and with a cap of $1,800 a month.
- Each home comes equipped with sinks, stoves and other necessary fixtures, all you need to do is purchase your own furniture.
- There’s even a scheme that allows you to rent bigger home appliances for the period you live there.
- You can even co-rent the apartment to save on more cash. This new ruling was introduced in 2014; with it, you can find a married couple in a similar situation and share the apartment, or sign up with HDB to find a compatible couple to share the flat with.
- You never know which weirdo you’d end up with if you rent with another couple ‘given’ by HDB.
- The biggest catch: there are very few flats available. The current batch of flats are located in just three residences: Queenstown, Jurong, and Bukit Merah – not the most convenient of districts, but who’s to complain if you’re desperate, right? Each area has under 20 flats available, so competition is pretty stiff.
You can do that?! Yes, yes you can. It is an unconventional option and you’re restricted to only HDB flats (because you can’t own a BTO flat and private property at the same time). But it’s an option that is available to a select group of people.
Modern Updates With a Dash of Retro Make This Resale Flat Shine
- After you’ve signed the dotted line, speak to your HDB officer about the option of transitional housing or interim housing - they’ll talk to you about PPHS (mentioned above).
- Pointedly tell them that you’ve heard that you can purchase a resale flat and keep it till your BTO is ready. They will, eventually, direct you to the right person to start the application. It took me three tries and a long phone call with HDB to get to this stage. As mentioned, it is a very uncommon procedure.
- Based on the predicted date of your BTO’s completion, they will let you know if you’re eligible for this.
Newlywed Designers Turn Old 3-Room Flat Into Home
- The Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of your resale has to fit into your waiting period for your BTO. This scheme reduces the MOP for first-time applicants for any resale flat to two years, which means if your home is ready in one year, you can’t apply for this. But if your home is ready in three (or four to be safe) years or more, you qualify.
- Like any purchase of a resale flat, your CPF accounts will be “zerolised” and all the money rolled into the new flat. The remainder will be split into a 25 year loan. Consider if you can afford the loan for the first few years.
- Once your BTO flat is ready, you have just 6 months to get rid of your resale flat. That might seem like a reasonable amount of time, but in the current housing market, could prove to be quite a challenge.
- With just a two year MOP, your home might be sold for less than what you bought it for. Two cons: little chance of profit and little chance of even making back what you spent. Also, whatever money you do make from it has to go into the mortgage of your BTO flat.
- Finally, as a newlywed couple, you might not be cash-rich. This means the home you’ll be able to afford might not even be worth much on the market, nor will you be able to renovate it to “flip” the house – cutting your chances of selling it off for a good price in the years to come.
This First Home is Fearless and Patterned