These are the steps you need to take BEFORE buying a property in Singapore
There’s a saying that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. This means that when it comes to buying a good property, there are no lucky buyers; only prepared buyers. If you have been toying with the idea of one day buying a property in Singapore of your own, here are some steps that you can take to better prepare yourself for that day.
Consider what type of housing to get and its location
As with all things, we need to begin with an end in mind. The first step is to envision the type of home you would be getting. Consider your current situation and balance your needs with your wants. Do you need a condominium as a first property? This is usually because your options are limited due to your citizenship or your income exceeding the stipulated income ceiling. If not, first-time Singaporean homebuyers should always consider getting a subsidised HDB flat over other types. The ability to purchase a subsidised HDB flat is an advantage that is given exclusively to Singaporeans in terms of home ownership. You should also research on the location of your desired property, which will eventually affect the price of your house.
Plan your budget wisely
Next, you will need to work out your budget. The simplest way to do this would be to take your total household income and subtract your total household expenses to get your total combined monthly savings. From this amount, figure out how much you are willing to spend on property-related expenses like mortgage repayments, conservancy charges or condo maintenance fees, renovation fees and so on. Of course, this is a very rough estimate that does not factor in CPF contributions, so feel free to contact us if you need help in this regard.
Preparing a good credit score
Subsequently, one of the trickiest parts of buying a house is the financing part. To prepare for this, you need a good credit score to get favourable loan terms. You can check your current credit score from Credit Bureau of Singapore, and take active steps to improve your credit score in preparation of your home purchase.
Have cash ready and calculate maximum loan available
You should also start saving as much cash as you can because you will need to pay a portion of your home purchase in cash due to current regulations. Current regulations aim to ensure that homeowners do not overcommit on their loan obligations. This means that you will also need to check your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and your Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) to see how much of a loan you can actually take up.
Good luck, and be prepared!
At the end of the day, these suggested steps are just to help you to better prepare yourself as a potential home buyer. When the right opportunity comes, you will then be well-equipped to take advantage of it. Good luck in getting your dream home, and more importantly, make sure you are well prepared for it! That’s it for today, this is Isaac, keeping property real for you.
Buying a second property and may incur Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty? Check out our article on how you can avoid paying ABSD (legally!).