How to Budget for Your First Home in Singapore

Singapore has a strong reputation for being one of the best places to do business around the world. It’s an increasingly popular choice with ex-pats who are looking to start a new life by relocating from overseas, with a hot, tropical climate, excellent food, a reliable and affordable public transport system, and lots of things to do.

Many people from around the world are considering moving to Singapore as a safe and effective place to invest their money in business or property. Over the last decade, the property market in Singapore has grown a lot, so if you are looking to purchase your first property here, then it’s important to understand what you will need to budget for.

Purchasing Property in Singapore as a Foreigner

People coming from overseas are generally welcome to purchase property in Singapore. However, there are some restrictions and regulations that you should be aware of before you start the process. A foreigner is any person or entity that is not a citizen of Singapore, or a society, company, or limited liability partnership registered in the country.

There are different types of properties available to purchase in Singapore. These are:

Landed Properties

If you are coming to Singapore from overseas, then you will need to get pre-approval from the government before you buy a land property such as a semi-detached or terraced house. To do this, you’ll first need to apply on the Singapore Land Authority website. To get approval, you will need to prove that you have been a permanent resident in Singapore for five years or more and have made significant contributions to the economy based on your taxed income.

Condos

If you are in the process of moving to Singapore or have been living in the country for a short period of time, then buying a condo might be a better option. This is definitely the easiest option for foreigners, as there is no minimum ownership quota required. However, the price of buying a condo is much higher compared to neighboring countries, so it’s important to financially prepare for this investment.

If you’re a first-time applicant, it may be worth learning more about the HBD loan and HBD loan interest rates at PropertyGuru. PropertyGuru is the top site for finding properties to buy in Singapore and has a lot of useful information for buyers. However, there are certain criteria that must be met to be able to get an HBD loan including at least one buyer being a citizen of Singapore.

Other Things to Budget For

Along with the cost of putting a down payment on the property and buying the house, condo or flat itself, there are several other things that you will need to budget for if you are looking to purchase property in Singapore. These include:

Estate Agent

A local estate agency is usually the best way to find the ideal property for you in Singapore. Check the Council for Estate Agents website where you will be able to find reliable, experienced, and trustworthy estate agents who can help you throughout the process of finding and buying the right home for you.

Property Lawyer

Depending on the type of property that you are hoping to buy in Singapore, you may also need to hire a property lawyer. This is often a good choice for foreigners who are looking to purchase a property in Singapore, since there are various rules and regulations that apply to you. It is almost certainly a good idea to hire a property lawyer if you have been living in Singapore for some time and are eligible to purchase a landed property.

Deposit

You will need to pay a deposit known as an Option to Purchase on the property that you wish to buy. This will usually cost around one percent of the property value. However, this is not the same as the down payment, so you will need to budget extra for it. The purpose of the Option to Purchase deposit is to prevent anybody else from making an offer on the property for around one to three weeks so that you have time to complete the sale and make sure that everything you need is in place.

Mortgage Broker

You may also want to budget for hiring the services of a mortgage broker who can help you find the best home loan for your needs in Singapore. A mortgage broker can look at your financial situation to help you get an Approval in Principle as early as possible during the process. They can put in all the hard work of contacting several banks and lenders on your behalf to find out more about what is available and may be able to access mortgage deals that you would not be able to find on your own.

Buying a property in Singapore is possible for foreigners, with some restrictions on the type of property and home loan you can get. If you’re thinking of purchasing property in this country, then it’s good to know what to budget for.

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