There’s a wide variety of condominiums to choose today all over Singapore; from the exquisite and beautiful penthouse to a lovely and comfy studio apartment.
One of the integral factors to consider before settling on the perfect home is your budget or financial strength. However, that isn’t the only thing to be mindful of – it’s also important that you select a home which manages to meet all your needs.
As such, most would usually do extensive research on a particular condo before making their final decision. Or better yet, visit the showflat for a clear picture of their future home. If you’re planning to go with the latter – you need to consider a couple of things beforehand first. Keep reading on to understand what they are.
Know your CPF
Although not a must, those who are tighter financially and are looking for a house straight away can consider using their Central Provident Fund (CPF) for their purchase.
If it’s your first time purchasing a property – you are allowed to use the entire Ordinary Account (OA) funds. You can check through the official website online to find out exactly how much you can use to purchase the property. Getting the sum months before the announcement of the showflat will help you plan out your budget and prepare it.
However, those who are buying their second property will need to have a minimum of $77,500 (as of 1st July 2014) in the combined OA and Special Account (SA). If you have a sum of $100,000, you will only be able to use $22,500 from your CPF.
Get a bank loan
After checking out your CPF – it is now time to check if you qualify for a loan. However, if you’re planning to buy an Executive Condominium (EC) – it can be harder to get loan approvals due to the imposition of Trademark Status Document Retrieval (TSDR) and Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR).
At this point, what you can do to prepare for a loan is to apply for an Approval In Principle (AIP). Through it, you will be fully aware of the exact sum the bank is willing to lend you for your home purchase.
It’s completely free for you to apply for the loan, only takes estimated three working days, and can be easily done with the assistance of a mortgage broker or banker. Once you’ve applied for the bank loan, put aside some time to do your research on the ideal condo you want. For example, the Starlight Suites in Singapore is a condo you can consider if you don’t have any options yet. The building is filled with all kinds of luxurious facilities a resident can exclusively enjoy – from the yoga corner, jacuzzi, swimming pool, children’s playground to a gymnasium.
Understand what is your ABSD bracket
In full, it’s known as the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty Bracket; which is important in today’s market.
Normally, your first property is exempted from ABSD as a Singaporean. Nonetheless, you will need to pay for the subsequent properties from the second to the third going forward. The second will be 7% while the third 10%.
On the other hand, permanent residents will have to be a tax of 5% on the buying price for their first purchase. The subsequent purchases will be taxed 10%. Meanwhile, Foreigners and Entities are required to pay a tax amount of 15% of the property purchase price.
Learn of the normal progressive payment scheme
Typically, most if not all of the new launch condominiums in Singapore use this mode. It is, therefore, imperative to learn and understand how it works so that you can plan your cash flow earlier.
Miscalculating may result in insufficient funds and cause you to lose your ownership of securing a condo unit. To ensure such an incident does not happen – you will first need to pay 5% in cash to the developer’s project account in exchange for the Option To Purchase (OTP).
Afterwards, within a fortnight – have your appointed lawyers or yourself receive the Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) from the developer. Then, you will have around three weeks to exercise the option. From the date you exercise your option, you will need to pay the stamp duty and ABSD within fourteen days. The remnant 15% deposit is payable around eight weeks from the initial issue date of the OTP.
Understand the balloting process and how it works
Before the official launch date, some developers would prefer to have a pre-launch period of a fortnight.
Buyers here get the opportunity to preview the showflat. When the launch day finally arrives – buyers who registered initially will be granted the opportunity to participate in the balloting process. In this process, buyers select their preferred units before the public is able to make their selection.
For you to be eligible for the balloting, you will need the following:
- A cheque to the developer’s address.
- A copy of your passport or NRIC.
- A signed copy of the expression of interest paperwork.
Last but not least – it’s time to find a suitable condominium flat to live in. Look through various options and narrow them down to a list of your preferred choices. If you don’t have a specific place in mind yet, you could consider taking a look at the freehold condo in River Valley. Surrounded by a myriad of wondrous amenities – from exciting attractions, distinguished shopping malls to tasty eateries – the condo is an excellent pick for a fulfilling lifestyle.