Everything First-Timers Must Know About Buying Condos in Singapore

Everything First-Timers Must Know About Buying Condos in Singapore

To buy a condo, you need to know about the types of properties, consider your finances, choose a preferred location, and look at the amenities.

If you want to buy a condo, Singapore could be a fantastic choice. Whether you are a foreigner or someone who resides in Singapore, there are many opportunities available for everyone. However, before you buy a condo in Singapore, you need to consider a few things.

You must follow some procedures so that you do not face any issues in the future. But before we dive into the details, let us first look at what type of property is available for you to buy in Singapore.

Properties Available In Singapore

Properties available in Singapore can be categorized into three categories. They are-

1. Public Houses

They are houses built by the housing development board (HBD) of Singapore. You need to be at least 21 years old if you want to buy a public house, but the criterion is you need to be married or orphaned. If you are single and want to buy a public house, you need to be 35-years-old.

2. Hybrid Public Housing

Executive condominiums fall into this category. The criterion for buying an executive condominium is the same as buying a public house.

3. Private Property

Everything apart from these two categories falls into private property. This includes private condominiums, apartments, and more. You can buy private property if you are 21-years-old. There are no other criteria for that.

In this article, we will specifically look into the tips for buying such private condominiums.

Why Should You Buy A Condo In Singapore?

Singapore is a beautiful country that offers plenty of benefits and options when it comes to home loans in Singapore. Let us look at the benefits if you buy a condo in Singapore and start living there.

1. Low Transportation Cost

The transportation cost in Singapore is fairly low. Unlike other countries, the cost of transport is not based on fuel cost but depends on the distance traveled. So you will be paying for the distance you travel, not for the fuel the transport used.

2. Excellent Internet Service

Singapore has one of the best internet services all around the world. The speed of the internet is higher than in almost all other countries. Not only the speed but the cost of these broadband internet services is low as well.

3. Stable Climate

Since Singapore is near to the equator, the climate here is a bit warm. But the good thing is the climate does not fluctuate that much. The temperature stays relatively warm throughout the year. The winters are not freezing as well. If you like to travel and enjoy the bright days, you will absolutely love Singapore.

4. World-Class Medical Facilities

You will often hear that people travel to Singapore to get medical treatment. That is because the medical services in Singapore are exceptional. Singapore is popular for organ transplants, and the medical practices in Singapore are no less than anywhere else.

5. Good Employment Opportunities

The employment opportunities in Singapore are plenty. If you came to Singapore from a foreign country, then it means you have left your previous job.

However, you do not need to worry about staying without a job for too long. Almost all jobs in Singapore have a 2-year career contract where you will be able to work for at least two years to develop your skills.

Let’s discuss the tips you need to follow for choosing the best property that matches your requirements.

Tips To Follow When Buying A Condo In Singapore

1. The Down Payment

Before buying a house, you need to be sure that you can pay the down payment for it. In Singapore, the down payment for your condo is about 25%. This means if the house costs 100 Singapore dollars, then the down payment would be 25 Singapore dollars.

But if you have a Central Provident Fund or CPF account, then you can save up to 20%, paying only the remaining 5% as a down payment. The CPF was made to help people buy property for their retirement. So having a CPF ordinary account will benefit you as you can save a substantial amount of money.

But the downside is that CPF ordinary accounts are only allowed to Singaporeans. If you are a foreigner, then you first must acquire citizenship in Singapore before you can get a CPF ordinary account.

After you pay the remaining 5% as a down payment, you can focus on buying the house with your cash or with a loan from a bank.

2. How To Get A Bank Loan

You need to do your own research here. You need to check which bank gives you the best interest rate and additional benefits. Talk to various banks in Singapore and compare them to one another.

Some renowned banks in Singapore include Citibank, Maybank, DBS, HSBC, and so on. Consider talking with the bank managers to see the minimum amount you can loan, the time you need to repay the loan, and so on.

Then finally, when you decide on the amount of money you require, you can select the bank that best compliments your requirements.

3. Is The Condo A Leasehold Or A Freehold?

There is a significant difference between leasehold and freehold. Freehold means that a person, a company, or the state owns both the property and the land on which the property is built on. On the other hand, leasehold means that a person owns a property temporarily but not the land on which the property is built upon.

During this lease, the property owner needs to pay rent to the landowner. After the lease expires, the property then reverts to the original owner.

In Singapore, the usual lease time for a property ranges from 99 to 999 years. But freeholds properties are owned by you forever. Although it seems feasible to buy a freehold property, you should know that both of these property types have their own pros and cons. While freeholds are forever yours, they are more expensive and located in remote areas.

Leaseholds, on the other hand, are cheaper, but you need to pay rent for them, so whichever you choose depends on your affordability.

4. The Transport Services

You should also consider transport services near your condo. Having a good mass transportation system or MRT is always a good thing, and you should definitely focus on buying a condo that is near an efficient transportation service. Accessing malls, hospitals, schools, and workplaces will be much easier if you live in a place with good transportation service.

However, there is another hidden reason why you should buy a condo near a good transportation service; the price of a condo near a good transportation service will gradually increase over time.

So in the future, if you ever feel the need to sell your condo, you can sell your condo at a much higher price than you paid for it.

5. Your Budget

Obviously, your budget should play a big role in what type of condo you will be buying. Since Singapore is situated on an island, it depends on other countries for a lot of its resources.

Thus, the living cost here is a bit high, and so is the price of the condos. You need to have a hefty amount of money in your pocket if you wish to buy a condo in Singapore. This is why it is ideal to get a loan since the upfront cost is too high. Even average condos and real estate investments can cost about S$700,000, and expensive ones can go as high as S$2,000,000.

If your budget allows you to, definitely go for the ones with a higher upfront cost as they provide better services. There is always an option to get a loan if your budget is not that high.

6. Additional Amenities

If you want to buy a luxurious condo, you will want to buy one that has a swimming pool, a small bar, a tennis court, etc.

Now, think, will you really be using these amenities, or do you want them just for show? If you are really going to use them,  pay a higher price and buy the condo which contains these amenities.

But if they are just for show, there is actually no point in getting a condo that has these amenities. They cost a lot, and if you will not use them, it’s better to save a fair amount of money by buying a condo that does not have them.

Final Thoughts

Singapore is a wonderful country with a lot of beautiful places. Living in one such place will surely make your life better. And what would be a better way to enjoy life than to live in a wonderful condo? If you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you will be able to buy yourself a magnificent condo that meets all your needs.