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27 Mar 2020

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As a potential first-time home owner, finding out which of the many HDB Grants you qualify for can be really confusing. We explain the different HDB grants available with this simple article. By answering five simple questions, you’ll also know which grants you qualify for as well as how much.

 

Confused about what kind of grants you can get for your HDB flat? So was I. As a 26-year old Singaporean about to get married and planning to buy a BTO unit in a non-mature estate, I had to first find out the different types of HDB grants there were. After which, I was “guided” to individual pages to find out more about each HDB grant, i.e. what it entails and how to qualify for it. 

 

After realising how difficult it was to navigate through the HDB website, I wondered why can’t everything just be on a single page? This will make it much simpler for anyone who is about to apply for an HDB. Thus, I decided to write this guide for the benefit of other first-time homeowners like myself.

 

The purpose of this article is to help Singaporeans like you (and me) maximise the grants you can receive from HDB without having to read through pages and pages of policy names and terms and conditions.

 

5 Questions That Determine How Many (and How Much) HDB Grants You Qualify For

 

To simplify how HDB grants work, all you need to do is to focus on five questions. Assuming you’re Singaporean or Permanent Resident and either engaged or married, by simply answering these five questions, you can determine how much HDB grants you qualify for. Here are the five questions you need to answer:

  1. What’s your average monthly household income over the past 12 months?
  2. What’s the size of your flat (eg 4-room, 5-room)?
  3. Are you planning to buy a BTO or resale flat? BTOs are cheaper but you have to ballot and wait for it to be built, while resale flats are more expensive but available immediately. If it’s a resale flat, does the lease cover till the youngest co-owner is 95 years old?
  4. Is it an HDB or EC? 
  5. Do you stay within a 4km radius of your parents?

Translating Your Answers To The Five Questions Into HDB Grants

Here’s how your answer to these five questions translate into the relevant grants for you. (Note: I have included a table at the end of this article with multiple personas of couples that will make it easier for you.)

1. Enhanced Housing Grant

 

Qualifying Criteria: Average monthly household income for the last 12 months
Potential grant amount: $5,000 to $80,000

 

In the past, the estate that you choose also mattered. Grants like the Special Housing Grant are only available to you if you are applying for a flat in a non-mature estate that is 4-room or smaller. With the latest change in the HDB grants, all you need to consider is your average monthly household income for the last 12 months. This will determine how much grant you can receive from the Enhanced Housing Grant (see below).


2. Family Grant

 

Qualifying Criterion: Size and type of HDB flat (BTO/ Resale)
Potential grant amount: $40,000 or $50,000

 

Over the years, the price of resale flats has been rising, especially in mature estates where amenities are aplenty. To help Singaporeans who are considering resale flats, the Family Grant was introduced recently. You can receive either $40,000 (5-room or bigger) or $50,000 (4-room or smaller) from the Family Grant depending on the size of your flat. 

The only caveat is that you need to ensure that the remaining lease on the resale flat covers the youngest co-owner till he/she is aged 95.


3. Proximity Housing Grant

 

Qualifying Criterion: Distance from parents’ home/Planning to live with parents
Potential grant amount: $20,000 or $30,000

 

Living close to your parents can be a blessing. Not only can you spend more time with them, you can also engage their help when you have your firstborn. If you live within a 4km radius of your parents’ place, that’s another $20,000 grant coming from the Proximity Housing Grant. If you choose to live with your parents, that’s an additional $10,000 in Proximity Housing Grant (i.e. $30,000).


Summary Of HDB Grants For Four Singapore Couples

 
Couple A: $6,000 household income, eyeing 4-room resale flat near parents

 

Benjamin and Emma, married and in their late 20s, have been trying for their BTO since they graduated from university. Unfortunately, Lady Luck hasn’t been with them. They have now shifted their attention to the resale market for a unit near their parents. Luckily for them, they are entitled to $105,000 worth of grants to help them buy their resale flat.

Couple B: $8,000 household income, eyeing 5-room resale flat near parents

 

Kevin and Eileen are married, in their mid-30s and earn a combined monthly income of $8,000. They are first-time owners, looking for a five-room HDB resale flat that will allow them to live with their parents. Thanks to the latest changes in HDB grants, Kevin and Eileen can expect $85,000 in grants to help them defray the high cost of a resale flat.

Couple C: $4,000 household income, eyeing 3-room resale flat away from parents

 

John and Mary are engaged, in their mid-20s and have a baby on the way. They have a combined household income of $4,000. They are first-time owners looking to start a family in a small and cosy HDB. Unfortunately, there aren’t any suitable 3-room resale flat near their parents for them to qualify for the PHG. But even without the PHG, John and Mary can look forward to $100,000 worth of grants.

​Couple D: $5,000 household income, eyeing 4-room BTO flat away from parents​

 

James and Jean are fresh graduates that have just entered the workforce, newly engaged and earning a combined income of $5,000.  They are willing to wait for 3-4 years for a new HDB flat and have applied for a BTO flat in the upcoming BTO release. Given they are applying for a BTO and will not be staying near their parents, the only grant available to them is the EHG.


This article was first published on SingSaver.