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Condo Buying Guide

What you need to know about buying a Condominium:

Buying a condo in Singapore may seem a nice idea, what with all the amenities and a pretty place to live; however, there is a hefty price to pay, and you must keep in this mind before venturing out to buy one. Condos can be expensive, no doubt, but they offer value for money and a clean and healthy living.

If you’re looking to buy a condo in Singapore, this buying guide will help you make this process easier.

Eligibility Requirements

The first hurdle when buying a condo in Singapore is the rather stringent eligibility requirements. Here are some of the key requirements that you must keep in mind as we shed light on some of these later:

  • Your age must be 21 or above
  • 5 Year MOP (HDB or EC) is fulfilled
  • 5% cash upon booking
  • 20% cash (CPF-OA) within 8 weeks of booking
  • 75 % Bank loan ( For First-time Buyers)
  • Buyer Stamp Duty is 3% ( For Properties Worth $1M and below)
  • Legal fee – around $2500 to $2800

Downpayment

Once you have fulfilled the first requirement of being over the age of eligibility, the next important thing is the cash supplies you have. The down payment to buying a condo in Singapore is 25% which may seem excessive but don’t just lose hope.

This 25% can be broken down into 20% payable through your CPF savings account, and only 5% is required in cash. This gives hope to first-timers looking to buy condos, as the 25% figure can be a bit daunting. If you have cash on hand, you can pay more than the minimum limit of 5%.

Financing and Hiring a Solicitor

The next step is to fulfill the rest of the finances to make that condo yours. You can get loans from a bank, and if you’re not sure the extent of the loans you can get, consider getting an Approval-in-principle. This is basically a pre-estimate of how much loan the bank can offer.

Hiring a solicitor can help you a great deal and be the purchasing agent once you go through with the purchase. You can try different banks as each bank offers varying rates. Make sure you are comfortable with the monthly payments of the loan.

Freehold or a Leasehold

Another thing to look for when buying a condo is whether the property a leasehold or freehold. A leasehold is a common term as most people are familiar with 99-year leases or even 999-year ones. On the other hand, freehold is practically a lease for life.

Before thinking that freehold is the way to go by, make sure you know the pros and cons of both. Freehold properties tend to be marginally more expensive as well as being away from the city Centre. Leaseholds are less expensive, although their values diminish over time, thus not suitable for long-term investments.

Taxes, Legal Fee and Duties

Another important consideration while crunching the numbers is the stamp duties and the legal fee involved with a condo purchase. The estimated legal fee can be anywhere between $2500 and $2800. Although you can get better deals but beware of novices representing you, it will only make the process more time-consuming.

Stamp duty is levied in brackets of 180 thousand dollars. It means you get taxed 1% on the first 180,000, 2% on the next 180,000, and 3% on the amount above this. There’s also an additional amount known as additional stamp duty, which varies according to your residency status. The ADSB can be as high as 20%, making it a hefty amount to ignore when planning to buy a condo.

Buyer Stamp Duty

First $180,000 Tax 1%

Next $180,000 Tax 2%

Remaining Amount $180,000 Tax 3%

Additional Buyer Stamp Duty

Buyer1st Residential

Property

2nd Residential

Property

3rd & Subsequent

Residential Property

SC0%12%15%
SPR5%15%15%
Foreigner15%20%20%

Foreigners under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Foreigners of certain nationalities* who fall within the scope of the respective FTAs will be accorded with the same treatment as SCs. Such buyers are required to submit an application for remission so as to enjoy the same treatment as SC. While ABSD payment can be withheld pending approval of remission, BSD cannot be withheld.

* Nationals and Permanent Residents of Switzerland (瑞士), Liechtenstein (列支敦士登), Norway (挪威), Iceland (冰岛) and Nationals of United States of America (美国).

 

New Launch Condos

New launch condos can be a real money-saving exercise, but it’s an investment for the future. You can purchase condos under development in the same manner by securing finances, paying down payments, and monthly installments as used condos.

Sales and Purchase Agreement

Two weeks into the developer offering you the option of purchase, you will be handed a purchase agreement to sign within 3 weeks of getting the agreement. On signing, you shall have to pay the rest of the upfront fee (15%). You will also pay the BSD and ABSD within two weeks of signing the purchase agreement.

Periodic Payments

After signing the purchase agreement, you will be asked to pay periodic payments. In six months, you’ll have to pay the first installment. These periodic installments are around 5-10% of the purchase price and will continue until the issued temporary occupation permit. After this, you shall pay the remaining amount due at the time to get possession of your condo.

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