Have BTOs Killed The Marriage Proposal?

By EdgeProp Singapore
/ EdgeProp |
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It may seem thoroughly unromantic, but everybody knows that Singapore’s version of “Will you marry me?” is, “Want to apply for BTO together?”
It goes without saying that the growing appetite for housing has prompted many Singaporeans to propose this way. Further, with an average waiting time of three to four years for the completion of a BTO or Build-To-Order flat, balloting for one prior to an actual marriage proposal has long been the norm for couples here.
However, the rollout of new initiatives, which include shorter waiting times for certain BTO flats to more booking options for Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) may have changed the way some Singaporeans approach marriage proposals in recent times.
Based on our recent poll survey on Facebook, about 67% of our respondents said that couples should apply for a BTO flat only after a proposal, perhaps providing some indication that romance is still the main consideration for couples when contemplating marriage these days.

67% said a marriage proposal should come before a BTO

A screenshot of the poll survey at facebook.com/edgepropsg
That said, while a romantic marriage proposal might be what every girl (including myself) wants, marriage is a lifelong commitment and getting a home together remains an important milestone for many couples, which makes early and strategic planning imperative.
If you’re planning to purchase a home with your partner, here are some important considerations:

1) BTO or resale flats

Buying a resale home is an attractive proposition for many since they are now able to pick a location they like and are no longer subject to waiting time or a time constraint. For instance, resale flats located near MRT stations tend to be highly favoured amongst buyers, as many Singaporeans do not drive.
However, one of the best things about buying a BTO is the possibility of getting HDB grants that can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Grant amounts do vary depending on your eligibility, so do review the list of available grants carefully to maximise your goodies.

2) Location – mature vs non-mature towns

Properties located in the central or are in mature estates tend to be more popular as they often boast greater connectivity and a wider array of amenities like schools and shopping malls.
Kallang Breeze, a new BTO project offered in the February exercise. (Image source: HDB)
For instance, under the latest BTO exercise for February 2019, flats in Kallang/Whampoa are expected to be highly oversubscribed as they are well-located in the city fringe and are near MRT stations.
The last BTO exercise at Kallang Residences in November 2016 was 12.1 times oversubscribed for the four-room HDB flats, and 3.3 times oversubscribed for the three-room flats.
On the other hand, projects located in non-mature estates are usually more affordable (more on this below). The trade-off is that they’ll likely be less accessible and you’ll have to fork out slightly more on cab fares if you don’t drive.

3) Pricing

As with most things in life, pricing is usually the most critical aspect in any decision-making process and buying a home is no exception.
Clearly, homes located in mature estates tend to be more expensive than their non-mature counterparts. For example, if you look at the prices of flats offered in February’s BTO exercise, you will find that the starting price of a 3-room flat in Kallang/Whampoa costs more than double of what a similar-sized flat costs in Jurong West.
Source: HDB
The important question to ask here then, is whether convenience is worth dropping that extra $50,000 or $100,000 for.
In any case, buying a home is a huge step in life, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting out in this new phase of life. So don’t forget to take a step back, and carefully consider your wants and your needs before making a decision that is best for you!

For couples out there, did the guy propose first or did you apply for a BTO first? Let us know in the comments' section below!

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