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How to Buy a Property in Singapore

Inspiration through information to be able to buy yourself a property in Singapore.
How to Buy a Property in Singapore Many ex-pats are attracted to Southeast Asia, especially Singapore. It is a vibrant country and a different culture from what you might be used to in the USA or Europe. It can be an exciting move and if you have the right skills, it can be easy to find work. Foreign residents can buy property in Singapore if they follow the correct guidelines. Here is a guide on how to buy a property in Singapore.

Type of Property

There are three main types of property for sale in Singapore and your resident status will determine what type of home you can buy.

Landed property is a property that comes with a plot of land such as a house or a bungalow. You have to apply to the government to buy this type of property and they assess each application on an individual basis. The main criteria are that you have been a permanent resident in the country for at least five years and that you make a significant contribution to Singapore tax.

If you don’t meet their stipulations, you could opt to buy a condo instead. A condo can be a fantastic purchase for a foreign national as they don’t have any eligibility criteria. Property prices are rising fast in this part of Asia though, so it is best to get in quickly. HDB apartments can represent better value for money as they are subsidized by the government. However, you would need to be a citizen or permanent resident to be eligible to purchase one.

Deciding Your Budget

Wherever you buy a property you will have to determine your budget before you can start shopping. When considering your budget, you will also need to factor in taxation costs in the country such as Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Annual Property tax.

Hiring the Experts

There are plenty of agents to choose from in Singapore, but you should do your research before deciding which one to use.

A property lawyer isn’t always necessary depending on what type of property you are buying but it can be good to have one check over your paperwork to make sure that there is nothing unexpected in the contract and that your paperwork is correct.

If you are a foreign national, then hiring a lawyer and a translator is a good idea. That way you will be kept up to speed with your purchase and there won’t be any nasty surprises if you didn’t understand the procedure or terms correctly.

Getting a Mortgage

How to Buy a Property in Singapore If you are unable to buy your property for cash, then you are going to need a mortgage. PropertyGuru is the leading website for property and mortgages in Singapore. They compare the mortgage market daily and whether you need an hdb loan, or finance for a condo or landed property, they will be able to tell you where the best deals are.

It is important that you get an agreement in principle at your earliest opportunity. This is an agreement from a bank to lend you the money to buy your property. It checks your salary, credit history, and finances to make sure they are happy with the risk they are taking to loan you money. You can show this to your seller and real estate agent to prove that you can proceed with your purchase.

Option to Purchase

Once you have found the property you want to buy you can submit an ‘option to purchase’. This means that nobody else can put in another offer for the next 1-3 weeks. This gives you time to start the legal paperwork. You will need to put down 1% of your purchase price at this point. You will also need to pay other parts of your deposit as the paperwork gets completed.

Submit Your Final Offer

Once you have completed all the necessary paperwork and your sellers are happy with this then you are ready to submit your final offer. You should review this with your solicitor and translator if you need one to make sure that everything is accurate. Your offer should be put forward in writing and once the seller accepts your bid the property title can be transferred to you from your seller. Your lawyer can help you to finalize the documents in your name and you are finally ready to move in.
Some aspects of the property purchase procedure such as getting a mortgage agreed upon and completing paperwork, or at least instructing a lawyer to do this, may be familiar to you. However, the type of property you can buy is more restrictive than in the USA as you are an ex-patriot. Make sure you do your research before agreeing to buy a property and that you understand the terms and conditions and that everything should run smoothly. You can then become a homeowner in Singapore.

Image Credits:

Image 1: Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Image 2: Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 18th June 2022.

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