Goodbye CPF monies, Hello NEW HOME (What to Do on Key Collection Day)

Yes, so we have finally received our keys to our new home! To be honest, I’m having a whirlwind of mixed emotions right now, not in a bad way though.  I vividly recall when we first applied our house together 3 years back. Our BTO project was estimated to complete 1st Quarter of 2016 but as with most BTO projects, it completed earlier than expected.

So it seems, 3 years have gone past just like that. You only realise and re-realise (again and again!) that time flies when you use an event/memory as a benchmark.

All of a sudden, shit is starting to get real. I am getting married in a few months’ time and it seems like only yesterday that I was fresh out of Uni. LOL!

Anyway, you bet we were as excited and nervous as any other new home owners are. Our HDB appointment was scheduled at an unearthly time 8.10am (we aren’t morning people ya know, major yawn) and HDB Hub is super far from where we reside!


A mandatory selfie as proud new home owners! 😛

For those who have yet to collect their keys, here are some guidelines and timeline of the key collection sequence. If you are early, you may actually settle all the miscellaneous paperwork first before getting your queue number to collect your keys. You will need to note that on the day of key collection, you are required to purchase your fire insurance, open your account with Singapore Power (optional) and pay your conservancy charge.

Here is what you will have to do on the day of key collection :-

1. Head to level 2 of HDB Hub to purchase your fire insurance. You will need to take your queue number and purchase your fire insurance at a counter. The normal insurance plan costs S$5.50 and covers you for 5 years for an insured sum of $69,100 (4-room). Do note that this plan only covers damages to your flat’s internal building structure, fixtures and fittings provided by HDB. It excludes common property vested in or held in trust for HDB and any of the current or previous Lessee’s/Mortgagor’s renovations or improvements to the flat and all household contents. However, should you feel the need to extend the coverage, you may top up for a more expensive plan which costs S$399 (at the point of our key collection, there was an ongoing promotion which costs about S$319 and valid till end of Oct 2015).

2. Proceed to level 8 which you may take the lift at either lobby 1 or 2. You will need to scan the bar code of your appointment letter or your NRIC at the ticketing kiosk, and wait for your queue number to be called.

3. The HDB officer will brief you on the payment details, paperwork and get you to sign them. Also, if you have yet to purchase the miscellaneous stuffs, your HDB officer will brief you all the necessary and get you to settle all of them before coming back to collect the documents and keys. You will also be given a tax invoice to pay conservancy charge of $69.50 (cash or NETS).

4. To make payment for the conservancy charge, proceed to level 3 cashier counter and produce the tax invoice.

5. You may also wish open your new Singapore Power account on level 2. Please note that the electricity and water will be activated immediately. A deposit of $100 will be reflected in your next bill. No further payment required for account opening.

*You will be given 2 copies of all payment receipts. If not, please request from them.

6. If you are paying all the miscellaneous stuffs before key collection, you will be required to produce all the payment receipts to the HDB officer. If you are paying them after your key collection, you will be required to head back to the same HDB officer to submit these payment receipts.

Total time taken : approx 30 to 40 minutes, subject to volume and time of appointment.

Notification of House Defects : We also checked with the HDB officer during our key collection on having to notify the Building Service Centre of any defects you have found within 7 days upon receipt of your keys or before any renovation works. We were told that should we not be able to notify within 7 days, we should contact the Building Service Centre directly and request for an extension.

Renovation works : there is no time limit imposed upon home owners on the renovation. It is not necessary that home owners are required to renovate their new house within 1 year from receipt of keys. However, the whole renovation works need to complete within 4 months from the commencement of renovation works, although I believe a request for extension can be allowed on a case-by-case basis, e.g. your contractor cocked things up.

Submission of Marriage Certificate : Read here for more information. Do note that if you are applying for the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) or the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG), you are required to produce your marriage certificate on or before the date you take possession of the flat.

However, what the HDB website does not advise is that you can actually request to defer this submission requirement. For example, if your BTO project is completing earlier than expected, you should contact your HDB officer and submit documentary proof such as e-filing statement of your ROM, banquet receipt etc to prove that you are taking steps to tie the knot legally. However, if say for example, choy *touch wood* some mishap happened and you are not able to proceed with your wedding as planned and will not be able to submit your marriage certificate on time, you may also drop your HDB officer a note to seek for an extension. They will advise you accordingly.

They are more particular with applicants who applied for the grants because these grants are meant for married couples.

As for us, we have submitted our banquet receipt to seek for approval to collect our keys without submitting our marriage certificate yet and are given a week after our wedding day to do so.

HDB Tenure LoanWe are under the old scheme which allows a tenure loan of maximum 30 years. However, the new scheme has changed this to a maximum of 25 years only. Whatever it is, you should note that once you decide to shorten your tenure, you will not be able to lengthen it again.

I hope this simple guideline is useful 🙂

All the best and congratulations to owning your new home! 🙂


  1. cosy says:

    Hi, understand that there are some.payments that need to be made on the day of keys collection, for e.g. stamp duty. Will it be possible for you to share with me? Thanks.

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi there, I think stamp duty for HDB flats are quite little compared to private houses. There will be several documents to sign and pay. 🙂

  2. ken says:

    Hi jean,

    Thx for the help given in this website! I have 1 question regarding the submission of marriage cert. Do you email them before gg down with regards to deferment of the cert? Or you actually tell them on that same day when you collect your key?

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi Ken, you will need to email to inform them of the deferment. As mentioned, you will not be able to collect your keys on that day if you have not pre-inform them beforehand, if you are required to produce your marriage cert on key collection day itself.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Hannah says:

    Hi Jean,

    Came across your blog and it helps me as I’m awaiting my BTO to be completed. I’ve got a question about the collection of keys. Will HDB withdraw everything from my CPF account when I collect my keys? Thank you!

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi Hannah, thanks for reading my blog. Yes, from what I know, HDB will wipe out all of your CPF ordinary savings account. However, I am not sure if you have a choice of requesting them not to by topping up the remaining balance using cash. You may want to check this with HDB should you be exploring this option 🙂

  4. Apple says:

    Hi Jean,
    Did HDB require a new HLE letter during key collection or disburse the loan based on the old HLE letter dated 3 years back?
    Thank you.

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi, for my case, there was no second reassessment of the HLE. But I believe this differs from case to case 🙂

  5. Kathleen says:

    Hi Jean,

    Understand that you got your keys earlier as compared to the completion date. How many months in advance did you get your key? And how was the progress like when you get your keys? Were there already have plants? Playground etc?

    Thank you.

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi there, our est completion was 1st quarter of 2016 but we received our keys in Oct 2015. Every BTO estate is different as it depends on the speed of the contractors, developers, size of the estate. Ours is a relatively small estate with only 390 units. There were plants and playground yes.

  6. Alex Kong says:

    Hi Jean, thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s awesome and informative for us whose new in applying BTO. Would you be able to advise if you had chosen OCS offered by HDB? Does it recommended or worth taking? We are still cracking our head in this question. Appreciate your valuable advise in this area. Thanks a million!!

    • Jean Gan says:

      Hi there, after moving in for about close to 5 months or so, I do notice that some of the tiles are starting to pop. But not to the extent that it needs to be replaced. I have heard that doing up the flooring by IDs or contractors can be expensive but I have also heard of the flip side of the story – on par with the pricing by HDB. Perhaps a starting point can be to start researching and source for flooring, be it IDs or flooring. Do your homework first thoroughly before deciding, that would be the most prudent thing to do 🙂 other thing is, HDB flooring design is fixed. The same goes for the door. So you should also go view your BTO estate’s designs for flooring and doors because every estate differs. Hope this helps! 🙂

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