There is really nothing like having your own place, and getting keys to your new home is a momentous milestone. Once the keys are in your hands, there is almost an endless list of tasks to complete before you can finally move in.

With so much to juggle, it is easy to gloss over the tiny yet vital things on your moving-in checklist. Here are some tips you should know before moving into your BTO flat.

Buy a Fire Insurance Plan

It is compulsory to buy a basic fire insurance plan if you are taking up an HDB loan. The plan should cover the internal building structures, fixtures, and fittings provided by HDB and its approved developer. For protection of other household items, you can buy a separate insurance policy from an insurer of your choice. A list of general insurers can be found on the General Insurance Association of Singapore.

Apply for utilities

Activate your Singapore Power (SP) services account, which will take between 1 and 3 days. Setting up the account is easy as you will only need to pay a security deposit to use water and electricity in your new home. Depending on your flat type and whether you are a GIRO user, the deposit ranges from $60 to $150. Once this is done, all you need to do is to choose your preferred electricity retailer or stay on with SP. Charges for SP is based on a regulated tariff that changes every quarter.

If you prefer other electricity retailers, there are 2 distinct types of plans that are typically offered:

Fixed Price Plan

Pay a fixed rate throughout the contract regardless of the tariff. The final cost is only affected by how much electricity your household consumes.

Discount Off Tariff (DoT) plan

The price plans will still be pegged to the regulated tariffs that SP Group charges, but always at a discount.

Cheaper may not always be better, so do consider other factors such as your term of commitment, perks offered by the electricity retailer and termination penalties before signing up for the package. For more information, read about the electricity purchase options from the Energy Market Authority.

Besides water and electricity, you also need to call City Gas to turn on the gas supply after you receive the email confirmation on your SP account opening.

Sign up for internet and TV services

In this day and age, internet services are a necessity. You should sign up for a broadband plan ahead of time so that you can connect to Wi Fi once you move in. The local telcos offer broadband and TV bundles that you can compare to find the most suitable one.

Report flat defects

BTO flats come with a 1-year warranty period which is effective from the date of key collection. Do check if rectification works are required, and submit a rectification request within 7 days of receiving your keys or before you commence renovation works. You may also submit your request at the temporary Building Service Centre (BSC) which is within walking distance from your new home.

Following your report, the BSC will arrange for a joint inspection to go through the items and assign a contractor to commence the rectification works. A closing inspection will also be scheduled upon the completion of the works.

Report and rectify any defects before you commence renovation works, to avoid disagreements on whether the defects came about due to your home renovations.

Season parking on a first-come first serve basis

For those with cars, apply for season parking early via the New Season Parking e-Service or Mobile@HDB. Booking opens on the first day of each month and lots are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Packing for the move

When your renovations are done, get organised and start packing. The first rule of moving is to go through your belongings and declutter.

Be sure to book the movers early so that you can compare prices and move on your preferred date. Once you confirm a moving company, they will deliver the boxes ahead of your moving date. Start filling the boxes, and label the boxes so that you can speed up the unpacking process in your new home.

Since it will get messy on the moving day, and chances are, you will be too tired to unpack everything, a pro-tip is to set aside an ‘essentials bag’! It should contain a fresh set of clothes and toiletries so that you don’t have to rummage through all the boxes for bare necessities during your first night. Important items such as passports and jewellery should be carried personally.

Moving to your new home is manageable with thoughtful preparation. Have other tips to share before shifting into your new home? Drop us a note at and tell us via our MyNiceHome Facebook page.

  • Britina Tan

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