The BTO Or Resale Dilemma

· Buying A Property

BTO or Resale

Which To Go For?

If you’ve just gotten engaged or married, the next step will be to think about your future home. While there are countless home types to choose from, Singaporeans tend to go for HDB flats – at least for their first home.

When thinking about this, the big question that comes to mind is “Do I go for a BTO or Resale flat?” Fret not if you’re struggling with this question as there are many others like you out there and we’re here to help by listing out the four key factors for you to consider, and hopefully, you can make a more informed decision thereafter!


You’ll never be able to run away from this – but the price is possibly the biggest factor when it comes to deciding between the two options. With BTOs being heavily subsidized, it’s the obvious option for the majority to turn to. Looking at the recent September 2019 BTO sales launch in Tampines, the 4-room units were priced between $312k to $380k compared to resale units in the vicinity then went for $400k to $465k – highlighting the significant price differences between the two housing options.

However, if you’re considering a resale unit, you’ll be glad to know that as a first-time home buyer, there are several grants in place that can help you alleviate the higher costs. As for grants for resale flats, you can look at the Additional CPF Housing Grant, the Proximity Housing Grant and the Family Grant – where you can enjoy up to $120k off the price of your unit, depending on your household income and size of your chosen flat.

Waiting Time

If you’re hoping to move into your future home right away, you can most definitely strike off BTO as an option – seeing as there’s an approximate waiting time of 3 to 4 years. Of course, this is if you didn’t propose to your other half with ‘BTO Ai Mai’. Don’t even get me started on how long the bidding process takes, especially if Lady Luck is not on your side.

With a resale unit, you can purchase a unit right away and move in within months depending on how much renovation work you choose to put in place. So, if you’re in a rush to settle down or to start a family, you might want to consider a resale unit considering the drastic waiting time between the two options.


Personally, this is probably one of the key reasons I’d go for a resale over a BTO unit. With a resale unit, your future is in your hands – where you have multiple flats in various estates to choose from rather than to be limited to a select pool of flats in a dedicated area as listed in the BTO sales launches.

If the price isn’t an issue, you can choose to be in your choice estate close to public transport hubs or better yet, close to your parents, rather than to be caught at different ends of Singapore from them. Imagine the perks of being 10 minutes away from your parents’ place to enjoy your mum’s home cooked food or being able to drop the kids off should there be a sudden work situation for both you and your partner.

With all that’s said, the choice is entirely up to you.


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