Seniors buying Flexi flats can choose fittings too

'Move-in condition' units with shorter leases, for those aged 55 and above, will cost extra

Seniors buying homes under the Housing Board's new Two-Room Flexi scheme will not only get to choose their lease lengths but also the fittings in their flats.

The units with shorter leases, which are available only to those aged 55 and above, can come in "move-in condition", at an extra cost. This means they will have features such as lights, window grilles, built-in kitchen cabinets, gas hobs and water heaters.

Applicants - including non-seniors who can apply only for 99-year leases - can also opt for their homes to come with flooring and sanitary fittings, which include a wash basin and shower set.

The HDB said the costs of these options, which come under its Optional Component scheme, will be made known at each flat launch.

At May's Build-To-Order flat launch, flooring options for two- room flats cost about $2,000, while sanitary fittings cost about $300.

Flats with shorter leases will also come with elderly-friendly features such as grab bars. The cost of these will be factored into the flat price.

The Two-Room Flexi scheme merges and replaces the existing studio and two-room flat schemes.

Applicants aged 55 and above can choose shorter leases ranging from 15 years to 45 years, in five-year intervals but they must choose a lease that will last them and their spouses until they are at least 95.

Second-timers aged 55 and above who sold their first subsidised flat before March 3, 2006 will also get more help when they buy a new two-room or three-room flat. Instead of paying the percentage resale levy with interest, the interest will be waived.

Sports trainer Paul Raguan, 57, and his 62-year-old wife plan to apply for a Two-Room Flexi flat with a shorter lease of about 40 years. "It's cheaper and we will have more savings for our retirement," he said.

Mr Raguan said the scheme's 40 per cent flat quota for elderly applicants will boost their chances. "We've balloted for a flat twice before but were rejected. Hopefully, our third time's the charm."

• For more information, call the HDB sales and resale customer service line on 1800-866-3066.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline Seniors buying Flexi flats can choose fittings too. Subscribe