Weighed your housing options and finally settled down on getting a resale flat? Congratulations! However, not all is done yet and paying for one is not as simple as just getting a home loan from the Housing Development Board (HDB) or your preferred bank. as well as the various costs you'll incur on your journey to finally have a resale flat to call your own.

The first steps to owning a resale flat

To start your resale flat purchase, you must first register your interest in buying a resale flat in the HDB Resale Portal. Only after that will you be granted permission to apply for a housing loan with either HDB or a financial institution.

Depending on whether you qualify for an HDB housing loan or a bank housing loan, the process may differ. Before you can proceed with getting the most important document in the resale flat purchase process - the Option To Purchase (OTP) - you'll need either an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter from HDB or a bank Letter of Offer. This is the first of many required costs in your journey to own a resale flat!

Take note that you can only get hold of these two documents after deciding on the price of your resale flat and have presented it to the loan provider of your choice, whether it be HDB or your preferred bank.

Getting your Option To Purchase (OTP)

In order to get an OTP, you’ll first need to pay for it with an Option Fee. Option Fees, according to Dollars and Sense, can range from 1 to 1000 SGD, but are typically priced at the higher end of the price range so that buyers cannot easily back out of a resale flat purchase. After paying the fee then you’ll receive your OTP – which you’ll have to use in order to reserve the resale flat you want.

Not the End: After using your Option To Purchase (OTP)

Furthermore, did you know that option fee costs may exceed the expected upper limit of 1000 SGD after you start to actually exercise your OTP? This is due to the fact that in order to confirm the reservation of your desired HDB resale unit, you will be required to pay an Option Exercise Fee to process the use of OTP.

Depending on the results of your HDB valuation, HDB notes that the total cost of your Option Fee plus your Option Exercise fee, which is only obtained after you've made the final decision on reserving the resale flat you want, can total up to a maximum of 5000 SGD - and this amount cannot be financed with your housing loan (HDB or otherwise)!

Financing your resale flat: Other costs

Option Fees aren't the only expenses you can't cover with a housing loan. We've created a simple table to guide you through which costs can be payable through whatever channels in the process of getting your resale flat:

Housing Loan



  • Majority cost for the purchase of your resale flat 1

  • Majority cost for the purchase of your resale flat 1

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) 2

  • Conveyancing fee for HDB (up to 1000 SGD) 2

  • Downpayment 2

  • Home Protection Scheme (HPS)

  • Booking fees, option fees, deposit to HDB

  • Conveyancing fee for HDB 2

  • Payment of monthly rates, taxes and other HDB flat charges

  • HDB Fire insurance

  • Agent fee

  • Cash Over Valuation (COV)

  • Downpayment 2

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duties (BSD) 2 and legal fee

Source: MoneySense, CPF board, HDB (1, 2)

1 Includes costs that can be paid with both Housing Loan and CPF

2 Includes costs that can be paid with both CPF and Cash on hand

(Planner Bee has a great article to help you on it if you'd like a more detailed look at the costs involved in buying a resale flat.)

As shown in the table above, there are numerous costs that must be paid in cash. These can add up quickly - especially your COV, which can reach tens of thousands of dollars an HDB evaluation. The burden of COV is also great as you cannot pay the amount with your housing loan, which is only applicable to funding the true cost of your HDB flat.

What now?

You can lessen your burden by taking out a personal loan to help pay for the necessary expenses if you do not have the cash on hand to cover cash-only expenses.

However, obtaining a personal loan can be complicated if you want to do it yourself because there are procedures and paperwork that must be completed to obtain a loan. This is where we can assist you by simplifying the process.

Take the easy way out with Lendela

The main benefit of using Lendela is that we help make the lengthy process of getting a personal loan a thing of the past!

How Lendela makes it easier for you to get a personal loan

  1. There will be no more lengthy application processes to go through every time you apply for a personal loan! You only need one application form on Lendela to get started.

  2. Our platform's single application connects you to multiple financial institutions! Instead of applying to each financial institution individually, use Lendela to skip over their cumbersome individual personal loan application processes.

  3. Instead of chasing personal loan offers, Lendela brings these offers to you. Choose the best one for you and get your money the same day!

Lendela makes paying for cash-only expenses for your HDB Resale flat less difficult by providing an alternative funding source for you to select from when paying for your HDB. Ready to get started, apply here.