Sunday, March 2, 2014

What if the HDB flat comes too early?

In late 2012, I was successful in balloting for a BTO in McNair Road. Although this was a 90+3 square metre unit, me and my girlfriend would incur a liability of half a million dollars once we receive the flat's keys. According to the documents, the legal date of possession is the fourth quarter of 2017 (!) but usually tenants will take possession about one year in advance.

I was looking through the facebook group for this HDB group and one of the photos showed that a sign at the construction site indicating the first quarter of 2016 as the expected completion date.

At this point in time, while I am delighted that the project is moving ahead, I am also taken aback because i have yet made any marriage proposal! Rest assured that this is in the planning stages but what if come first quarter 2016, I receive a letter from HDB to inform me to collect keys, when I haven't receive an affirmative to my proposal? It is a requirement that both owners be married to each other upon receipt of flat.

This is a very real issue because when the keys come, HDB will clear also any balance in your CPF to reduce the mortgage principal. Moreover, it also means that renovation works will be in order.

According to "seniors", it is possible to appeal for an extension of three months to. HDB just requires an ROM certificate to legally indicate our married status, so they do not need to be at your wedding dinner.

But the big worry is that what if we cannot really agree that marriage is the right thing for the two of us. Personally, I have told my girlfriend that while we have put a 5% deposit down and paid stamp duty (total amount of about 40 k!), it should not be the reason that we are sticking to each other even if things are showing otherwise. My own advice to other couples who apply-first-marry-later is that you have to agree on this point. That is the only way that you prevent an escalation of commitment that is doomed from the on set. An expensive wedding dinner, ring, renovation works, only for things to be split and even burnt (wedding photos). Hopefully it won't happen to me!

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