Without the right guidance, buying a house in Singapore can be an expensive and extremely daunting process. Before even starting your journey to look for a suitable flat, you need to have a good understanding of housing regulations as well as the types and location of the home and other factors that will determine your budget and eligibility for the house. The good news is that with the help of a good real estate agent, you will be well equipped to become a homeowner in Singapore.
There are actually several ways to purchase a home in Singapore, with the most popular options being buying a Build-to-Order or BTO HDB flat and purchasing a resale home. Other options include buying an Executive Condominium or EC, which is basically a hybrid of private and public units popularly preferred by middle-income people in Singapore who cannot qualify for an HDB flat.
Of course, there is also the option of buying private residential properties if you prefer a more lavish lifestyle or would like to live in a quieter and private area.
Buying a BTO Flat
What exactly are BTO flats?
BTO flats are basically brand new HDB flats that come with a 99-year lease. These flats are usually launched to the market before they are built, and interested buyers will have to submit an application and meet eligibility criteria before being able to purchase one.
Eligible buyers include a nucleus family, single or joint single people aged 35 and above, an engaged couple, or orphaned siblings. Single and joint single buyers should not only be over 35, but they should also have an average gross income of less than $7,000 for a 2-bed Flexi flat, $7,000 to $14,000 for a 3-room flat, $14,000 for a bigger 4-room flat, and $21,000 for a 4-room or larger flat that can be used with your extended or multigenerational family.
If you are an eligible buyer, you will need to commit to the purchase of the flat then wait for around 4 to 6 years for the property to be completed before you are handed the keys to your flat.
A recent news article reported unprecedented application rates as Singapore home buyers rushed to buy 4-room BTO flats in Telok Blangah, with about 28 first-time applicants vying over a single unit.
The strong demand for BTO flats in Singapore is due to it being one of the most affordable ways to own a property in a country, thanks to the government’s extensive grants and subsidies. Furthermore, these grants are not applicable to individuals who choose to purchase private residential properties.
Buying a Resale HDB Flat
A resale flat is an HDB flat that is currently owned or occupied by another person. The current owners of the flat would have already lived in the house for at least five years, which is the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). You can actually start living in a resale flat immediately after you complete the transaction without having to wait for years as you would do with BTO flats.
Remember that resale flats also do not have a fresh 99-year lease, so the older the flat you buy, the fewer years you will have left on the lease. So be sure to take note of the number of years still remaining on the lease before you purchase a resale flat.
There are many reasons why people prefer to buy resale flats rather than BTO flats. For example, resale flats do not have an income ceiling, are currently subsidised with more grants than a BTO flat, do not require balloting, have more locations that you can choose from, and more importantly, do not come with a long waiting period, as with BTO flats.
Let Home Property Agent Help You with Your House Hunting Journey Today
Buying a home in Singapore can be a complicated and stressful process but not when you enlist the help of a professional like Home Property Agent. We have, over the years, helped homebuyers in Singapore find the right type of property, whether BTO or resale flats.
Leave your house hunting journey in the capable hands of an experienced, reliable, efficient, and results-driven property agent. Contact us today for a free non-obligatory consultation!