Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain

Singapore HDB BTO Key Collection Process (Before and During)

YAYS! We finally got our SMS for our BTO key collection. Gone are the days when HDB mail you the appointment letter. Do download a copy of that letter after you logged into hdb.gov.sg/myhdbpage (be sure to scroll down the page after you clicked on your registration number). You will need to read through and sign the declaration form at the end to pass to the HDB officer (leave the date blank).

Before Appointment Date

1) Buy your fire insurance online with ETIQA

It’s a must to get the fire insurance with ETIQA if you are getting a HDB loan. The premium is S$5.50 for 5 years. This insures the structure of your house and not its contents. Hence ETIQA will give you an option to enhance your coverage with a home contents insurance.

Currently, you only pay 4 years annual premium for a 5-year plan. That’s 20% off. Look out for other promotions. When I bought my plan in March 2017, there’s an additional 10% discount every Friday with the coupon code “MARTEIF”. The premiums you see below are before the additional 10% off.

If you don’t want to buy online, you can get it on the day of your key collection. Go to the far end of TPY HDB Hub at Level 1 (if coming from MRT) and take a queue number.

2) “Activate” your water and electricity supply online

You can activate your supply or register your SP account in different ways. The easiest is to apply online via SP Group’s website. You will then select an appointment time for the SP technician to turn on the water and electricity supply.

According to SP Group, certain BTO units have their electric and water supply pre-turned on. That is, electricity and water is readily available. However, you have to register a SP account within 3 days, otherwise they will cut off your supply. And on the day of key collection, open your letter box before you head to your unit. You’ll find a “key” to turn on the water tap outside your unit. 

Regardless whether your unit is pre-turned on or not, SP technician will still need to check the box inside the unit to ensure there’s no loose wiring or defect. Hence, someone has to be there to open the door on the appointment date and time.

No upfront payment is required upon activation or opening of account. However in addition to your utilities usage bill, a security deposit will be charged in your first month’s bill. For HDB 3 to 5 rooms, the security deposit is S$70 (GIRO), or S$100 (non-Giro)Print the GIRO form or find out other ways to pay.

If you don’t want to activate online, you can do so on the day of your key collection. Head to level 2 of TPY HDB Hub and take a queue number. Otherwise you can also activate via phone (1800 2222 333), mail or other branches at Woodlands Civic Centre or TripleOne Somerset.

Interior designer: Studio JP

3) Find out more about Home Protection Scheme (HPS)

You have to be insured under HPS if you are using CPF for monthly housing installments. If you’re using cash, then you have the choice whether to opt in. Find out more with CPF Board at 1800 227 1188 or at CPF website.

4) Decide on your finances

It’s best to discuss with your spouse or the other buyer on finance matters before making your way down. Decide how you are going to pay the monthly installment — fully in cash, fully with CPF or partial in cash? Then determine how much of the monthly installments should be deducted from the respective CPF accounts (50% each?), etc.

Then if you want to reduce your principal loan amount and pay a certain sum upfront, be sure to increase your daily withdrawal limit for nets (you can’t use credit card or cheque to pay). However, note that there’s a withdrawal limit of S$9,000 for POSB/DBS card and certain nets terminal has its own limit too.

Thus, you might need a cashier’s order to make your payment. If you are unsure of the amount to put for the cashier’s order and want to wait until the HDB officer advice you, you can still get the cashier’s order from the POSB branch at HDB Hub.

On Key Collection Date

  • Step 0: Fire Insurance and SP Services. If you haven’t buy fire insurance and activate your SP services, do so at level 1 and 2.
  • Step 1: Sign the legal documents and buy HPS. Head to the reception counter at Level 1 or queue ticketing kiosk to get a queue number. During the key collection, the HDB officer will tell you the HPS premium that will be deducted from your CPF.
  • Step 2: Pay Conservancy Charges (and principal reduction amount, if any) at Level 3.
  • Step 3: Collect your keys back at the counter.

That’s all folks! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below. 🙂