Upgrading from a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat to a condominium is typical practice among first-time home buyers. Although condominiums are pricier than BTOs, they are arguably seen as symbols of status. Additionally, some condominiums, especially those of a freehold nature, are not beholden to the 99-year leasehold rule and can therefore, unlike BTOs, be passed down to the next generation or be part of an en bloc sale.
But if you are thinking of selling your private property to move into a BTO instead, there are a couple of key things to take note of.
The most critical rule is if the flat you intend to buy is new, that is, directly from HDB, then you will need to wait 30 months before you can apply for it. This extends to both BTOs and ECs (executive condominiums).
This may prove a daunting regulation to manoeuvre around as 30 months is basically two and a half years. In that time, you may have to resort to renting which is a bleeding of your finances. The rule however comes in handy when you need to sell because you’re leaving Singapore, even temporarily, for a few years.
In which case, if your intent is to purchase a resale property, then the above rule does not apply. You may continue with the sale as per normal and move in at the date agreed between you and the seller. However, you will need to sell your private property within six months of getting the HDB flat.