This is part 5 of our 6 part guide to buying a HDB BTO flat. Part 4 tells you all you need to know key collection. You can find it here.
In Part 5 of this guide, we will be talking about a common Singaporean house opening ritual. and a guide to how to carry out your own HDB BTO defects inspection. Congratulations! you are one step closer to moving into your dream home.
Disclaimer: We do acknowledge that Singapore is a multiracial society and different peoples have their own beliefs and approach to house opening ceremonies. The ceremony mentioned below is just a common ritual that a lot of Singaporeans do before they move. When it is all said and done, just do what you are comfortable and happy with.
Home Opening Ceremony
Up to this point, you’d have probably heard your parents, or new homeowners and other elders talk about the home opening ceremony. Depending on your personal beliefs, you may choose to skip this step. However, it is believed that this ceremony will bring in prosperity, good fortune, and everlasting happiness. if this appeals to you, here’s what you need to do.
According to the experts at Feng Shui Beginner, there are quite a few things to do for this opening ceremony. We have broken it down to 5 easy to follow steps.
- Choose an Auspicious Date
- Get the Necessary Items
- Door Opening Phrases
- The Ceremony
- Leave the House
Choose an Auspicious Date
You can check out which dates are auspicious using this list of auspicious dates for moving house in 2019. You can look through the dates that you are planning to move in, and check to see which day is an auspicious one.
Ensure that there are no zodiac clashes. For example, July 1st is a bad day for those born in the year of the snake, September 3rd is bad for those who are born in the year of the Rooster and so on an so forth.
Please use the dates wisely, and don’t be too superstitious.
Get the Necessary Items
Some families follow a different list of items or rituals but these are the basic things you should include. After gathering these items, mix these up in a bowl.
Door Opening Phrases
On an auspicious day, open your door and say these phrases to usher in good luck, great health, and prosperity.
Best part? You can use these phrases for Chinese New Year as well.
Before taking your first step into the house, grab that pineapple, roll it in like there’s no gutter and shout “HUAT AH!”. After this, sprinkle the mixture into the house while still standing outside. This is to announce the start of the ceremony
Now you can enter the house and continue the ceremony, Enter the house and start your sprinkling the mixture on your ride side. Follow the wall and sprinkle on every corner of the house, and I mean every, single, corner! This is to cover the house to disperse all the negative energy lingering around.
After you have finished sprinkling all the corners, you’ll reach back to the front door again. Once again, take a handful of the mixture and sprinkle it out of the house to mark the end of the ritual. This signifies the release of all negative energy out of the house.
Leave the House
Once you are done with the ceremony, get out of the house and close the door for 2 hours before opening it again. In the meantime, you can go grab a bite or take a stroll at your new neighborhood!
HDB BTO Inspection
During your key collection, you’ll receive a defects checklist that will be you’ll need to submit to the Building Service Centre (BSC) within 7 days of receiving your keys. This Building Service Centre will be set up at all new neighborhoods temporarily. You will be able to find the location of BSC can be found in your Welcome Kit.
If you are submitting to the BSC, you can refer to the given form, where you will be able to list down the areas that need rectification. After submitting the form, HDB will arrange a joint inspection at your new flat to verify the defects and get the relevant contractors to rectify it.
This is how the defect form looks like, you can download it via this link.
BTO Defects Checklist
You will need to check almost every corner of the house, it can be a little overwhelming if you do not have a plan or checklist.
The simple solution is to hire a professional inspector to inspect your house for you. However, it will cost about $400 each time. Another thing to note is that defect rectification does not end with submitting the list to the BSC; you’ll still need to check again after the rectifications. All these costs will add up as you will have to hire the professional multiple times.
Alternatively, you can save the money and carry out the inspection for yourself. Download this checklist from Bride to Mum so you won’t miss anything.
Things You Will Need
Use the stick and tap it on every tile of the house to check and hear if the tiles are hollow, as hollow tiles have a higher tendency to crack. There’s no need to spend money on this as you can probably find sticks lying around. Otherwise, anything that is long and weighty will do the trick.
Markers & Tape
Remember to prepare markers and tape. You can use different colored tape to identify different areas or levels. For example, you can use yellow for minor defects and red for major defects. You can then write on the tape with the markers to remind you of specific defects. Numbering the tape will also save you time when referring back to the defect form!
Portable Stools and Table
Bring them so that you’ll have a small dining spot or a place to rest as your flat may not yet have flooring tiles. If not your butt’s gonna get dirty! If you don’t want to carry too much, a picnic mat will do the job too!
Snacks snacks snacks
Inspecting the entire house can take you hours, especially if you are a perfectionist. This process will be draining and you might get dizzy & exhausted soon enough if you don’t take regular brakes. Get some energy bars and plenty of water to keep yourself fed and hydrated!
Small Pail or Big Bottle
This pail is used to check the bathroom’s flooring to make sure the water flows to the right place. A 1.5l bottle should also do the job.
Wet wipes will be really helpful here as your hands will get dirty during the process and there’s no sink for you to wash your hands. Wet wipes can also be used to clean your face leaving you refreshed.
Do note that HDB will not cover any rectification issues that occur after your own renovation starts. So be sure to start the renovation only when all the defects have been rectified satisfactorily.
These are the few key items we feel should be sufficient for your defects inspection, depending on your preference, you can change it to however suits your needs best! Now you are fully prepared to inspect your house!
After the defects rectification, it’s finally time to do what we’ve all been dreaming of since we were young; to design our house!
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This post is part 5 of The BTO Guide to End All BTO Guides series. You can find the rest of the guide here:
Researching Understanding And Planning Stage:
Key Collection Stage