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Buying Your HDB Flat: Tips and Things to Remember

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Real Estate Radar, Resources, Variety

Moving into your own home can be one of the best things in life. Start living on your own. Gain independence. Are you ready? Here are some handy things to remember when you start looking around for your very own housing development board unit:

  1. You need to be 35

If you’re a Singapore citizen, you’re 35 years old and single, then you’re now eligible to buy a Housing Development Board flat, says Estates Trends. For widowed or orphaned buyers, though, the eligibility age is set at 21 years old. Just keep in mind though that if you’re an orphan, then you need to meet certain requirements before you qualify. For one, you are only eligible to buy a housing flat if one of your deceased parents was a Singapore citizen. Another condition is that you can only apply if you haven’t got any older siblings who are also trying their hand at buying one. If you meet those qualifications, then you can start shopping around for a housing flat.


  1. Your income needs to be less than $5,000 a month

If your monthly earnings go beyond that, though, then you don’t qualify. However, don’t lose hope. You could always look for resale flats. Use listing sites to help you search for housing options that matches what you want: a good location, the right size and well within the spending budget you set for a home. Search for HDB units with PropertyGuru Singapore and you’ll generate a list of prospective homes soon enough.

  1. You can’t own any other property

If you’ve already got a private property in your name, then forget about submitting an application to buy a housing development board flat. And that rule applies whether the flat in question is BTO or on resale. However, if you’re set on owning that flat then you can go ahead and make your move. But this comes with the expectation that you’ll be de-acquisitioning any previous property you have. Yahoo Finance says you have 30 months from the date of your application for BTO units to get this done. For resale units, the time frame is shorter, at only 6 months. The reason? If you own a housing development board flat, then the government expects to use that as your primary residence, regardless of how many other homes you can afford.

  1. You could consider grants and loans

Married couples often pool their incomes together to come up with enough funds to buy their own housing unit. However, if you’re single, coming up with that budget can prove challenging. Still, you could explore other financing options available to you. Check out loans as well as grants specifically designed for singles. These financial products could help you come up with the financing you need to complete your home buying budget. Some of the types of financing you could consider include: CPF housing grant and additional housing grant. When it comes to loans, review the requirements for HDB loans, bank home loans and even renovation loans to see if you qualify for any of them.

Other Tips

Here are other tips to help you out:

  1. You don’t need an agent

That is, the HDB doesn’t require you to get a property agent. However, a lot of first time home buyers aren’t really familiar with the new regulations. That’s something your agent could help you with, along with a myriad of other tasks and things. While it’s not a requirement, having the ready support and assistance of a property agent can make this home buying experience a lot more pleasant for you.

  1. It’s a buyer’s market

With a lot of property sellers who might be looking to gain back a measure of their profits, you could see a lot of property prices drop. Watch out for units in prime properties. The sellers might eventually sell the units at a loss so keep an eye out for these. The Independent says it’s the perfect time for you to start hunting for property.

  1. Choices in HDB market abound

November of last year, the Housing Development Board was able to launch about 12,000 flats. Those units, coupled with those on resale, provide buyers with a ton of choices in the HDB market. This ensures you’ll find the property you want, so long as you’re eligible for it.

  1. More realistic prices 

While the public housing market recorded a jump of 0.1 percent from the third quarter in the resale price index or RPI of last year, the RPI saw a drop of about 0.3 percent from the previous quarter. That means, as sellers outnumber buyers, buyers are in great position to wait and see until property owners have lowered asking prices. With a drop in property prices imminent, you only need to bide your time until the home unit you want could fall neatly into your hands.

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