askST: Resale or BTO flat for divorcee with kids?

Reader Jacqueline Goh wrote in to askST: "I am a divorcee and a housewife with two children aged 17 and 20. I have never owned an HDB home before, and the matrimonial home - a condominium unit - will be sold soon. For someone like me, who has no income, what options do I have? Should I get a Build-To-Order or resale flat?"

Housing and political reporter Rachel Au-Yong finds out.

The quickest way to get a new home is to turn to the resale market.

There is a wide range of resale flats in the open market, which are ready for immediate occupation.

But Madam Goh must sell her private property within six months of buying the resale flat.

The resale market is the quickest way to get a new home, but your private property must be sold within six months of buying the resale flat. ST FILE PHOTO

Alternatively, she may want to purchase a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat. However, she would have to wait 30 months from the sale of the private property before she can apply for one. "Including the time needed for the construction of the BTO flats, she would need to wait several years before the flat is ready for occupation," said the HDB.

For other eligible divorcees, HDB helps them own a home again with the Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers. Under this scheme, some two-room flexi and three-room flats in non-mature estates are set aside for divorced or widowed parents with children under 16.

For more advice on their housing options, readers may contact the HDB on 1800-8663-066.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline 'Resale or BTO flat for divorcee with kids?'. Print Edition | Subscribe