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The Home Game Transcript

Chris This is Home on the Dot. I’m Chris McMorran. As a professor at the National University of Singapore, I created this podcast to better understand what home means to my students. So my student producers and I have shared stories about objects and spaces associated with home, like paper houses, void decks, and haunted homes. But we haven’t talked about actually buying a home.

I mean, in Season 1, we did an episode on the modern, convenient, tidy apartments in tall concrete housing blocks where around 80% of the population lives. But we didn’t explain how to purchase these apartments, which are colloquially known as HDB flats. That’s a shame, because it’s a fascinating process. Maybe I’ve been avoiding the topic because it’s so complicated. Or maybe it’s because I thought the process was not relevant to my students. Or maybe it’s because of my own lack of experience.

I have a confession. I’m 48 years old, and I’ve never owned a home. Between college, my first job in Japan, graduate school back in the U.S., and my first academic job in Singapore, I’ve moved a lot, but I’ve always rented. The other day I mentioned this to my physiotherapist Ben, and he paused mid-treatment, confused. “So you only have a house in Japan? Or is it in the U.S.” he asked. “No,” I explained. “I don’t own a home anywhere.” The confused look in his eye seemed to shift to pity. And the next ten minutes revolved around me answering the central question of, “Why? Why don’t you own a home?”

Have I made a huge financial mistake? Is it too late for me? Will any bank give me a loan at this point, with less than 20 years left until retirement? Or should I resist the social pressure to conform?

Before making this episode of Home on the Dot, I thought my students were free from such home-buying stress. Our producers Wei Yun and Sam have shown me how wrong I was. In fact, the same pressures I feel – that time is running out, that I need to buy a home to be considered “normal”, that I need a property to secure my financial future – all these concerns also hang over my students.

Starting the process of homeownership early — even during University — is seen as a sign of good planning, maturity, and future financial and social stability. In fact, as Wei Yun explains, if you don’t at least find a partner in University you are already considered behind schedule. With the housing market so expensive, and most young people never renting but instead living with their parents right up to the moment of marriage and moving into their first home, students know that any delay in this process means further delay in becoming a full-fledged adult.

In this episode of Home on the Dot, our producers Wei Yun and Samantha talk to two couples about the complicated process of buying their first home. They share their careful planning, their negotiations and compromises over location and floor level, and the stresses the process can place on some couples. How do Singapore’s young people clear each stage of the housing game as they aim for the keys to their first home? Stay tuned.

Wei Yun Most young people hope to one day have a place of their own. But becoming a homeowner for the first time can be intimidating. Mortgages, renovations, and living independently are challenges that both thrill and terrify me. I’m 25 and I recently started my first full-time job. Landing a job after graduating into a pandemic was a big milestone for me. As I settle into my new work routine, I’m starting to feel left behind. My friends and co-workers are also in their mid-twenties, but they are already discussing wedding shoots and sharing ideas on home renovation. I feel like I’m procrastinating on important life goals. I know that life isn’t a competition but I can’t help feeling as if I’m missing out on experiences that are central to adulthood. It takes years for couples to get their HDB flats, and I know I need to be in a committed relationship just to apply for one. My co-producer Sam may be in a long-distance relationship, but that makes her at least one step ahead of me. Last year, Sam and I talked to young couples at different stages of the process of buying their first home. From the bureaucratic barriers of applying to the bliss of obtaining their keys, we share the ups-and-downs of young Singaporeans creating their first homes.

Like many other societies, buying a home in Singapore is widely seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. Unlike many societies, buying one’s first home here means buying a public housing flat. Plus, unlike elsewhere, homeownership in Singapore is closely tied to marriage. The Singapore government believes that strong nuclear families are vital to a stable society, and it uses public housing to encourage family formation. Married couples are given priority in the allocation of public housing, the only housing most young Singaporeans can afford. In fact, married couples and families with children are more likely to secure a bigger flat than unwed applicants. They also receive more grants and can choose from a greater variety of housing types. The most common form of HDB flat for a young couple is a “Build-To-Order” flat, or BTO.

BTO flats are allocated through a nationwide ballot and construction begins only if there is sufficient interest to purchase at least 70% of the units. The eligibility restrictions on marital status, age and income can also make the BTO application process a difficult one. BTO applicants have to be at least 21 years old and cannot earn more than $14,000 per month as a couple. Despite these drawbacks, BTO flats remain a popular choice among many prospective homeowners.

BTO flats are the most affordable option. Plus, they are brand new and come with basic furnishings like kitchen sinks, shower fixtures, and finished floors. They are also located in rapidly developing residential estates, surrounded by amenities like shopping centers, parks, movie theaters, and food centers, so they promise a comfortable life and are a safe long-term investment.

Among NUS students who are dating, even mentioning the topic of BTO can be seen as a risky substitute for dropping down on one knee. The first couple we spoke to was Vanessa and Thomas. They have been dating for three years now. They shared their thoughts with us about BTO as a significant milestone in a couple’s relationship.

Vanessa BTO is a sign like “Oh, this is going to be for real”.

Sam So some people would equate it to even, almost, like a proposal?

Thomas Ya, we do joke about it in the local context. Like “Since we already BTO-ed, there’s no need for a proposal. But actually, not to downplay the proposal, or the significance of a proposal. But the BTO is a de facto proposal.

Weiyun Because of the long wait – 3-4 years from application to receiving keys – couples need to plan ahead. Our interviewees spoke of a timeline for marriage, buying a home and having children. Thomas calls it the 5-Year plan.

Sam So for you – it sounds to me you all have an idea of by when you all want to get married.

Thomas Actually I had this 5 Year Plan. BTO at 24, propose at 27…

Vanessa Ok wait, I don’t know any of these plans. I need to like… [Laughter]

Sam Is it okay if you tell it to us like this [laughs]

Thomas [Laughs] Well yeah, and then the house should be ready by 28, 29. Wedding at around then, and then we move in (the new BTO flat). Because of the BTO system, there’s this need to really plan ahead.

Wei Yun We also spoke to Kevin and Chi Ling, two NUS students in their third year of undergraduate studies. Both of them are in their early twenties and they have been dating since their polytechnic days, when they were 17 or 18 years old. They have charted out a timeline which includes having children before they turn 30. This meant purchasing their BTO early so that their home would be ready when they started a family.

Chi Ling I just always wanted to have kids young… I don’t want to be middle-age and still be running around with kids. Both of us always had the common consensus that we are going to have kids early. It’s just a matter of how early. Before I’m 30 we should have kids, so we want two years of alone time, so we should get married during that time. This is now four years before that time we’d decided (planned) to have a house.

Wei Yun Stage 1: Looking out for BTO releases 

Anyone who wants to buy a BTO flat has to keep a lookout for the start of the BTO sales exercise, which takes place twice a year, 6 months before any project begins construction. On their official website and their social media pages, HDB will announce how many BTO flats would be sold in selected estates. For a fee of $10, applicants ballot for a queue number in their preferred estate. But which neighborhood to choose from?

While Singapore may be small, each neighbourhood in this little red dot is unique, and many people form strong attachments to the localities they grew up in. Since couples often grow up in different neighborhoods, their first challenge in the application process is agreeing on where to live. Some couples prefer to move near one set of parents. This can make it easier to maintain strong family ties, like gathering for regular meals. And it can make caregiving easier, whether that means free childcare from doting grandparents or the couple caring for their aging parents. Couples may also decide a neighbourhood based on the quality and proximity of schools.

Kevin and Chi Ling eventually decided on Punggol.

Chi Ling This was a very long debate, because he stays in Ang Mo Kio and I stay in Punggol. Definitely, both of us we want somewhere near our original house, you know. I think he caved because Punggol is cheaper. We got this BTO because it’s very near my parents’ house and that’s why we got the BTO in the first place. So I guess Punggol was quite a natural decision.

Kevin For you. (laughs) For me it’s more of the infrastructure – there’s a lot of playgrounds, kindergartens, childcare around. Compared to me, Ang Mo Kio is a mature estate. It’s mainly old(er) people. You can see even the community centres, their activities is more like Line Dancing, that kind of stuff. When I go over to her house, I can see the posters around, more activities for children, for young families. When I go over to her place, or when we are going home from somewhere else – then I’ll say “Oh my god, Punggol is so far!” That’s what our kids are going to have to go through. Are you sure that’s what you want? That kind of thing.

Thomas I have certain ideal locations but at the end of the day, those are ideals. Actually quite a while back ago, I was against Tampines, which was where Vanessa stay.

Vanessa Ya, I don’t understand. Tampines has everything – the airport is in your backyard.

Thomas Okay, you must understand that I stay at Potong Pasir. Which is sort of… central? So I have easy access to town. Somewhere in the middle to both ends, you see. So my max (maximum) travelling distance is 1 hour, 1.5 hours?

Vanessa Spoiled (whisper).

Thomas So from that perspective – if I were to stay at Tampines – and coming to NUS will take me, what, 2 hours?

Vanessa No, it’s not that bad. It’s 1.5 hours.

Thomas It’s around 2 hours.

Vanessa Sure.

Thomas Ya. So travelling distance is a factor of consideration. Not to mention, primary schools also. This is something we haven’t really talked about. I think it’s a very Singaporean thing to think about primary schools in particular and also what, childcare?

Vanessa My ideal location is still Tampines. I think it’s affected by this sense of familiarity. I mean Tampines is where I have been all my life so….

Thomas ahem Potong Pasir.

Vanessa So we have differing views. But I think we also can’t think of anywhere else to stay besides these two areas.

Thomas Recently I have been more open to the idea of staying at Tampines because there’s actually a lot of food options there. So actually that’s also another consideration – where the food is.

Sam Quite important.

Wei Yun Clearly there’s a lot to think about, and a lot to compromise over, when it comes to just applying for this first home.

Stage 2 is Getting in the queue.

After a couple applies, they receive a queue number. This determines the likelihood of securing their desired unit. For instance, let’s say a couple applies for a 4-room flat in Punggol. Within a week or two they receive a letter from HDB with a queue number. At that point, they know their chances of getting in the development and even the flat of their choice.

All projects are oversubscribed, and couples who receive queue numbers that far exceed the designated sales quota are out of luck. For example, if you receive queue number 600 for an estate with 500 units, you will only have a chance to pick a unit if enough applicants ahead of you in the queue forfeit their spot.

The random nature of balloting ensures some fairness in the allocation of public housing. However, the balloting process does not depend on pure luck. There are priority schemes for different groups, which places them higher in the queue. In particular, a significant portion of new BTO flats are reserved for families and already-married couples. But that would mean living with one set of parents as a married couple for months or years before moving into your first home. This is not ideal for many young people. And this is why most young couples instead apply for BTO before marriage and even before proposing.

Wei Yun Stage 3 is choosing a unit. Once the couple gets a number within the quota, they can begin selecting their unit. You may think that the major hurdles are over at this point. But selecting one unit out of many blocks in a new estate can be stressful.

This choice is especially important because many couples perceive their BTO flats as permanent homes. Since Singapore is so small, most people don’t relocate around the country for new jobs, like in some nations. Therefore, your first HDB flat will likely be your last.

Chris I should point out here that no public housing flat is really permanent. Owners purchase their flats from the government with a 99-year lease, at which stage the government retains ownership. In reality, as a nation Singapore is so young and the housing stock so new that no flat has ever stood for 99 years. Even today, the state is tearing down HDB units that are only 60 years old. In the state’s constant effort to maintain and update the quality of its housing stock, aging projects are demolished and replaced with new towers nearby, with most residents being relocated to these new units. This process, call en bloc, is the subject of another upcoming episode.

Wei Yun Couples often follow a set of criteria to help them select a BTO unit. These considerations may differ from person to person, but they generally include: wind and sun direction, floor level, unit layout and proximity to neighbourhood amenities. For those who intend to sell their flats later, or to rent out their unit, a desirable unit can fetch better prices in the future. Some people also pay attention to auspicious elements, hiring Fengshui gurus to assess whether a particular unit is favourable.

Kevin and Chi Ling did extensive research when deciding on their unit while working out disagreements on the floor level.

Chi Ling The number one thing that everybody keep telling us is that we need to look at the direction of the sun and the direction of the wind. For the level (of the unit), we had sort of an agreement that we don’t want (it to be positioned) too low or too high.

Kevin And then also mainly it’s price. Usually, those (units) that are higher is more expensive and lower ones are cheaper. I used to stay in the 24th floor and then now I’m staying on the 10th floor. But then for her, she’s staying on the fifth floor now. So she prefers the lower floors and I prefer the higher floor. So this is an area we discussed about and come to a compromise.

Wei Yun So what is the floor now?

Chi Ling Ninth.

Wei Yun Oh that’s a nice compromise.

Chi Ling Right in the middle (laughs)

Chi Ling People are very impressed by how much we have researched. He even created Photoshop documents with where is the window – cause different floors have different window lengths – he will put down which floor has which window lengths and everything is in there. He even created an Excel sheet of which level is which price. We can click on one button and filter out our maximum budget price. Other couples are like “Huh?! We didn’t even know that different levels have different windows.” And he (Kevin) was just “How can you not know?”

Wei Yun Next comes the money: To confirm their purchase of the selected unit, applicants pay a reservation fee. Depending on the size of the flat, it can cost between $500 to $2000. It is often at this point that the BTO process feels more consequential.

For Chi Ling and Kevin, the whole process of purchasing a BTO flat was both sobering and affirming.

Chi Ling To me, having a home is a solid foundation for our future. In the past, we have always talked about (our) future, what we want here and there. It feels very much like a dream. But actually applying and actually getting our house felt like – “oh this is a solid thing, this is actually happening, we are actually taking one step into the future”. It felt like an anchor, like we’re settling down already. It’s not just dreams, it’s not just talk.

Kevin I feel it’s very different to have your own place – a place you can call your own. Because I am born in Hong Kong, the housing (there) is very different. A lot of people cannot get their housing and because of that they have a lot of different issues. It’s a mix of surreal and grateful feelings that I am able to BTO.

Wei Yun Then we come to Stage 4 – Lease Signing

Within four months of selecting their BTO units, couples seal their decision by signing a lease. They then submit a flurry of documents which help authorities calculate their future monthly payments. While this finality can provide timely relief from the stress of waiting, the heavy realities of mortgage payments also begin to sink in.

Home ownership is relatively affordable for most Singaporeans, since the state actively regulates prices of HDB flats and provides generous subsidies for applicants. For instance, couples earning less than $9000 a month may receive up to $80,000 in housing grants. And couples willing to live within 2 km of their parents are eligible for an additional $20,000 of subsidies. However, housing loans are still long-term financial burdens, locking people into monthly payments for decades.

The timing of their BTO application can affect how well couples cope with the pressure of housing loans.

Kevin and Chi Ling signed their lease while in university. On top of attending lectures and completing assignments, they joined talks organised by HDB, browsed through interior design websites, and pored over floor plans. Now, they must begin to plan for their mortgage payments. Kevin and Chi Ling remain optimistic.

Kevin We don’t have any scholarships so there’s no guarantee that we have a job after this. Within two years of our graduation, we’ll collect our keys already. So before that, we need to get a job, we need to save up, things like that. So that’s the issue. Hopefully, it will be okay.

Chi Ling We always knew that even if we get a job, we also need to save the majority of what we are earning for our wedding, and our house and our renovations and everything. Actually, we don’t have a lot of worries because it still feels quite far into the future. My parents keep telling me: things will work out, you’re going to get a job and everybody gets their house in Singapore. So if everyone can have a job and pay, you can also have a job and pay your house.

Wei Yun Since they’re still waiting for their BTO flat to be built, they have some time to save up. In fact, this five-year wait makes their impending homeownership feel surreal. Chi Ling’s parents trust that the well-trodden path for most young Singaporeans after graduation will remain safe.

Wei Yun Stories of couples breaking up after registering for a flat are not uncommon. But there are heavy penalties for those who withdraw their BTO applications. These include losing their down payments and assorted fees, which could amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, applicants who forfeit their BTO units are barred from the BTO process for a year. The high stakes involved in applying for a BTO flat require couples to be fully committed to their relationship when they decide to purchase a home.

The lack of flexibility can be scary for couples who hope to take their relationship to the next step. Thomas and Vanessa shared stories of untimely heartbreaks.

Vanessa I have friends of friends, some of them – or rather I would say most of them – they actually BTO-ed but they called it off after like one year.

Sam Oh, why?

Vanessa Mmm….

Thomas Ya, there’s that concern. I think because BTO (has) that planning aspect but some things cannot be planned for. Like your relationships, finances. (There could be) a wide variety of reasons.

Vanessa Yeah, I think three of them, it’s because they broke up with their boyfriends or their boyfriends broke up with them. So I think BTO puts this pressure on you to like plan ahead right, and then you yourself get pressured. And then you’ll be like “Oh ya ya ya, I think to start and like think about getting married.” But actually you might not be ready. Your relationship might not be ready. And then like you actually paid the down-payment already, that’s about like $20,000, $25,000? I feel that you lose everything (the deposit).

Wei Yun While couples would like to have more time to deepen their bond before applying for a BTO flat, they are also aware that delays will postpone the day they can finally have their own home. Singapore’s public housing system has sheltered many families but it has also created many difficult choices that young couples today must navigate with care.

Wei Yun Reaching step 5 is exciting.

Most couples rejoice when it is time to collect their new set of keys. They have survived the wait. Many celebrate this milestone on social media as they post pictures of themselves entering their new homes for the first time.

After all their pragmatic planning and successful navigation of the bureaucracy, these young homeowners might seem like rational, type-A personalities. In fact, many new homeowners follow a variety of customs when they enter their flats for the first time. For example, Chinese Singaporeans often roll a pineapple through the front door while saying auspicious phrases like “HUAT AH!” which they believe will help them be prosperous. “HUAT AH!” They also boil water and turn on the water taps and gas stove to activate the flow of ‘positive energy’ through the flat. Some Hindu homeowners have even rented cows from local farms for their housewarming ceremonies, hoping that these sacred animals will bless their new dwellings.

The collection of their new keys may signal the end of the BTO process but the journey of sharing their lives together has only started for these couples. Their new homes will be where they learn to live and grow with each other over the years.

Chris I’m so impressed by the level of planning and patience these couples have. They map out five year plans based on housing, future childcare concerns, primary schools, and even community activities. They also spend years living apart, letting a bureaucratic timeline dictate when they will finally marry and live together as a couple for the first time. But listening to their stories also makes me feel overwhelmed and left behind.

Sadly, Wei Yun feels the same way. The entire BTO process is so long and so loaded with meaning, that she cannot help but feel pressure to conform. As we were putting the finishing touches on this episode we met for a chat. From the moment she had proposed this episode more than a year before, I had wondered why she felt so drawn to the topic. It turns out it’s highly personal for her.

Chris 25 is a really important year?

Wei Yun It’s not a… It’s not conventionally a milestone year for many people but as a female, you are very aware that there’s a ticking biological clock, right? And although I’m not sure if I want to start a family yet, if I do, maybe 25 years old is the time to start proactively searching?

Chris So soon! So early, but proactively searching?

Wei Yun Yeah, proactively searching because if you’re not even searching then… Then when do you begin right?

Chris Right.

Wei Yun Yeah, and BTOs take like, I don’t know, five to six years now with Covid.

Chris Wow. So… So you’re talking about like if you start actively searching for a partner now, let’s say it takes one or two years of just being a couple.

Wei Yun Mmhmm.

Chris And then you apply for BTO. And then it’s four or five or six years before you actually get the house and when does the marriage happen?

Wei Yun The ceremony should ideally happen months before you get the flat.

Chris Just months before?

Wei Yun Yeah…

Chris You should time it so it’s just a few months before?

Wei Yun Yes.

Chris Why?

Wei Yun Because if you do get married too soon, before your flat is ready…

Chris Yeah…

Wei Yun Where would you stay? After you get married, you can stay at your in-laws which is okay for some but it’s not ideal for some of us as well.

Chris Yeah.

Wei Yun Yeah, but okay so the point is not – why is it that 25 feels like a very anxious age to start finding – is that you need to factor in buffer time just in case the person that you think you’re going to settle down with is not the right one.

Chris Right and then you need to start a relationship with someone else.

Chris And all of that pushes back the start time of getting a house, getting married and starting a family.

Wei Yun Yeah. So, the thing is it’s all very personal right, all of this – when should I settle down, when should I have kids – it’s very personal but the truth is that you live in a society that has bureaucratic processes and whether you like it or not, your… Your life will be governed by or will be influenced by how you decide and will also be determined by these bureaucratic processes. So you can’t escape it.

Chris Yeah. You’re working with people who now have homes, they are married.

Wei Yun They have children.

Chris They have children and they’re also in their twenties and you’re just surrounded by these people that make you feel like – oh I’m on a different timeline.

Wei Yun Yes, so it becomes the subconscious comparisons you make to other people’s lives. Yeah, it creates a kind of self-imposed stress, because it’s not even like you’re so envious right, of being a mom or like, oh she’s a mom. It’s just that you think about maybe should I be trying to aim for that? I mean, what it does fundamentally to me is to make me realize that I have no clarity of where I’m going.

Chris [Laughs] Oh…

Wei Yun I’m just copying what other people are doing and wanting to conform, right? Because conformity feels comfortable, you don’t have to explain yourself too much, why are you not attached?

Chris Oh, right.

Wei Yun Why are you not finding?

Chris Right and people won’t ask you the question of “when are you getting married” or “when are you finding someone”.

Wei Yun Yes.

Chris They won’t ask the question if you have already fulfilled society’s idea of what you should have at this stage.

Wei Yun Yes.

Chris Oh my gosh, so much pressure.

Wei Yun So much pressure to be a person. Especially maybe it’s because I’m a woman, right? It’s just as if like for males right, you can be a bachelor and be considered successful but for a female it always feels like even if you’re really, career-wise you’re very successful, it’s not enough.

Chris Seems like…

Wei Yun It’s never enough, yeah.

Chris So, are you feeling that? Do you feel that stress just in general because of society or are there particular individuals in your life, you don’t have to name names but particular individuals — family or neighbors — who kind of dig at you with the constant question.

Wei Yun Not yet because I just graduated, but I can anticipate that it will come soon. Because 25 is like mid-20, you’re just nice right, so past this 25-year-old mark, I think it’s likely that people will start asking more questions, or prompting you subtly. I mean, friends have already been trying to matchmake me.

Chris Really?

Wei Yun Yeah, with their single male friends and I’ve been… I’ve met some of their friends.

Chris So you went… You went on these dates?

Wei Yun Yes I did! Oh my god. [laughter] I did, okay it’s not, it’s not wrong to go on dates right?

Chris Yeah, sure.

Wei Yun I mean, I’ve been thinking about… Should I download Tinder or CMB? Yeah. I mean a lot of my friends and colleagues have met their husbands on these dating apps.

Chris Really?

Wei Yun Which I’m like so inspired by…

Chris Really?

Wei Yun Yeah. But I need to ask myself what are my intentions? Am I even ready or do I just want to tell people I have a boyfriend now? New milestone unlocked.

Chris You want to lie?

Wei Yun No no no.

Chris Oh, you mean that’s why you want to have a boyfriend, is so that you can tell people “I have a boyfriend”.

Wei Yun Yes, and then you can feel like… It’s the way you tell people “I have a job now”, right? Then you feel like, wah heng ah I have a job now.

Chris Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. It’s in some ways, it’s funny because the way you just describe it makes it sound like a game, it’s like you’ve unlocked the next level.

Wei Yun Yes.

Chris So what’s the end level? What’s the ideal for you?

Wei Yun What’s the ideal for me?

Chris When do you win the game?

Wei Yun When I have fulfilling companionship. Yeah, so watching people, it’s not just about being able to… be answerable to your parents or to society but also like watching the people get married around me, having kids, setting down is… It feels like your life is in a way lacking that kind of companionship, the steady companionship you want.

Yeah, and I’m lonely. Oh, no I’ll admit it I’m lonely. I’m lonely for love!

Chris In most societies, a home is the most valuable asset most people will ever own. Getting started on a housing ladder early in life can be key to financial security, and making that final mortgage payment is often cause for celebration. In space-limited Singapore, where the private housing market is beyond the financial means of most residents, especially young people, the government has stepped in to make the purchase of public housing flats accessible even to fresh university graduates. But the long process from application to unlocking the door comes with its drawbacks, including heightening the pressure to conform to heteronormative values: to find a partner of the opposite sex and to settle down and start a family as quickly as possible. For those on a different timeline or with different lifestyles, the BTO process — and homeownership in general — can be either out of reach or a distant dream.

This episode was produced by Wei Yun, Samantha, and me, with sound engineering by David Chew. Special thanks to all couples for sharing their BTO journeys. Some updates: Thomas and Vanessa already tried to BTO twice, but both times their numbers were too far back. When their turn came the remaining units weren’t very good (only 2nd or 3rd floor units), so they decided to pass it up. They are now looking at Sale of Balance and resale flats and probably won’t try for BTO anymore. That leaves only one BTO success story: Chi Ling and Kevin graduated from NUS in December 2020, found full-time jobs, and secured their flat. It’s still being constructed, so they are living apart, waiting for their wedding day, and waiting for their keys.

In other news, Wei Yun, Sam, and David have all graduated from NUS and found jobs. I’m so grateful for all their hard work at Home on the Dot over the past few years. I couldn’t have done it without them.

This week’s shout out to faithful listeners goes to Poonam and Naomi. If you want to learn more about BTO and housing in Singapore, check out the links on our homepage:

And as always, thanks for listening.

Published in Transcripts S3


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