After Giving Up His BTO Flat, Ria 897 DJ Danial Shahrin Rushed To Buy This $530K 5-Room Pasir Ris Unit So He Wouldn’t Forfeit His Downpayment
Though Ria 897 DJ Danial Shahrin, 28, and his teacher wife Athifah, 31, managed to secure their dream home, a five-room BTO flat in Tampines, in 2018, they decided to give it up in late 2020 when they found out they were expecting their son, Adam.
Their flat, which was initially supposed to be ready in the first quarter of 2022, had been delayed three times, and the couple, who were then living with Athifah’s parents in their four-room flat, really needed their own space. But their appeals to cancel their flat were rejected.
“HDB asked for proof that my wife was pregnant or for my son’s birth certificate. It was only after we submitted all the documents on our third try that they approved it,” Danial tells 8days.sg, adding that the entire process took around four months.
However, to get back their 15 percent BTO downpayment — around $26,000 — they had to buy a resale flat within six months. “I rarely read through my personal emails, and by the time I realised the appeal had been approved, it was one month in! HDB takes around three months to process a purchase, so that meant that we only had two months to find a house. We were in a very dire situation,” he says.
Hence the frantic search for a flat. It didn’t help that Athifah had just given birth and was still in her confinement period and their home options were limited by the ethnic quota.
“Pasir Ris and Tampines are popular with Malays. There were a few units we were interested in, but we weren’t eligible ‘cos of the ethnic quota. It was very stressful. I was like, ‘Are we ever going to find a unit?’ I really wanted to get my downpayment back,” says Danial.
After viewing around 10 units, they finally bought their five-room Pasir Ris flat which was approved just two weeks before the deadline. Phew.
Just a five-minute walk away from Athifah’s parents’ home, the 1,324 sq ft mid-floor flat ticked all the right boxes. It is bright, spacious, and a corner unit. There was also no cash over valuation.
Though resale prices then were starting to hike, they managed to bargain the price down from $580,000 to $530,000, which was the market price for the area at the time. “The previous owner had already found another place, so he was in a hurry to sell this flat. He also wanted a three-month extension, so I told him to give me a better price,” shares Danial.
“The flat wasn’t cheap but it’s a stark difference compared to the prices now. A third-floor unit just sold for around $630,000.”
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