Blogging Hiatus – En-bloc Woes

Leicester Road
Leicester Road

Sorry I have not been updating this blog for the past few days – something unusual as I have made it a point to update at least once a day for the past two years.

I have been quite busy at work, having a few upcoming campaigns. However, the main reason is because of  my family’s frantic house-hunting caused by a sudden sale. After three previous failed attempts a few years back, my current residence with my parents have finally undergone a successful collective sale.

This may sound like good news as most people make a tidy profit from their en-bloc sales. It’s quite a nightmare for our household though as we are not speculators with second properties like a few of our neighbours, but owner-occupier.

First, we need to vacate our current residence by December this year. This leaves us barely three months to secure a new place and get all the paperwork done – a near impossible task if we are considering the HDB resale flat option as most sellers also need time to find another place plus HDB takes an estimated three months to get the paperwork done. Time is working against us. With each passing day, the reality of having to live in a rented place  for the time being sinks in harder on us – something which my conservative parents are reluctant to do.

Second, property prices are ridiculously high now despite the recession! Pesky speculators are pricing out true owner-occupiers like my family and we are at the mercy of ruthless market forces as the Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, apparently decided to sit on building more HDB flats to prop up property prices.

“We cannot be building new flats to cater to every last person who wants a new flat…because if you do that, then obviously you are over-building.” Said Mr Mah in a Straits Times article published in July this year.  The solution to this is to… under-build ah?

Third, Rachel and I recently purchased a DBSS unit at Toa Payoh. We made use of the S$10,000 grant for staying near my parent and another S$30,000 grant for first time buyers. When we signed our contract at the HDB office, the officer who handled our transaction told us that if my parents were to move house within the next seven years, we will have to cough out S$40,000 as penalty to HDB. We find it rather odd that when my parents move house, we are even penalised to forfeit the S$30,000 grant for first timer even though WE STILL ARE FIRST TIMER.  Shouldn’t we just be paying back S$10,000? We even double-checked with that particular HDB office who went on to consult her senior, confirming that what she told us was correct. Nonetheless, we signed the contract at that point in time as my parents had no intention of moving and really did not expect a sudden en-bloc sale. We are now thinking of writing to HDB or a MP to appeal on this. Let’s see how things go.

The property agents who handled the sales of the Toa Payoh DBSS project, HSR, informed us that the penalty was just S$10,000 if our parents were to move – this was even confirmed by their tema leader. We were actually very shocked by the difference in information the HDB officer told us just a few days later. When we expressed our sceptism, she promised to email a document on this to me within a week – it has been more than two months now and I have not received anything from her. Despite the undue stress it might have caused us, I hope she is the one who got her facts wrong rather than the HSR agents. We are calling up HDB again to clarify. Wish me luck.

Anyway, because of all the reasons stated above, my family is going through stressful en-bloc woes now. Blogging will have to take a hiatus till my family secure the next roof over our heads.


I will update again when time allows.

25 thoughts on “Blogging Hiatus – En-bloc Woes”

  1. it doesn’t really make sense for them to make you cough up the $30,000 penalty, since that’s a first time owner grant that you would have gotten no matter where you got your flat.

    Must really find out more argue if necessary, especially with the contradicting statements.

    Hope you find a place soon! By the way, what’s the price u paid for the TPY DBSS?

  2. Hi dude, thanks for the encouraging words. We called the HDB officer again today… but she said she needs one week to revert as no such cases has occurred before. However, she is adamant that that we will be penalised with $40,000 and not just S$10,000. Isn’t the first timer grant to help young couples like us? Sigh.

  3. Ya… the penalty sounds a bit odd…

    But u should really look into renting…

    HDB prices are a bit high and the returns from renting versus the drop in prices is a wiser move.

    I am currently renting and it isn’t that bad…Just that people don’t like changes…and once u get used to it…u will enjoy the extra cash later on!

  4. hi, ive been reading your blog daily for the past one year. this is my first comment ever…Hdb rules are getting bad to worse…im self employed and paying tax of nearly 8k a year but i also got probs in getting my housing loan approved…they will not let us off without suking every drop of our blood…hope ur prob get solved soon. God Bless. Good Day.

  5. I am renting a condo in Siglap.

    $1800/mth with no additional charges.

    Quite a bargain, as it priced at HDB rental rates but has condo facilities. Reason being is that the condo is enbloced!

    Just bought a place in Marine Parade 2 months ago, just as prices were picking up!

  6. Hi Ed: Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Glad you found a new place already.

    Jean, magekin, Nesh, Yva: Thank you for the kind words.

    An update – the lady from HDB called us back. A few friends also called me to offer advice after reading this blog post. It seems that when we took the 40k grant, it was a full “package”. Hence if we renegade on one term, we forfeit the entire package… sounds quite unreasonable. Anyway, the lady at HDB said she is helping us to look into the case. Hope something work out.

    Meanwhile, the house hunting continues…

  7. Hey~ How’s things going on? Any luck on progress? Guess you are still all very stressed up with the problems. No matter what, do take good care of your [and your family’s] health first yeah~? Take cares. =]

  8. Nesh, u cheapo freak, if you pay income tax as a self employed businessman of “nearly 8k” as you claim, it means your annual income is at least $120k.

    I know because for an annual income of $120k, income tax is $6k which was what I kissed goodbye to IRAS this year. These annual income figures are figures that people like the blogger will never ever sniff in his life time.

    Instead of complaining SO MUCH you cheapo freako, why don’t you take your business SOMEWHERE ELSE AND GET LOST?! Let’s see if you can earn as much in other countries you ungrateful freak and big time cheapo whining about the income ceiling cap. Public housing loans and grants are capped so that people who earn above a certain league don’t jostle with the low income earners.

    Cheapo Freaks.

  9. Indeed, I am a low wage worker/peasant. 🙂 I never deny that and I have never ever claimed I am well off. Good for you Ms hahaha if you are born rich or married somone rich. Not everyone is so lucky.

  10. Pingback: Merry Christmas

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