Tips for Purchasing a Home to meet Your Needs

By : Mak Mei See
15 February 2020

Buying a home involves many considerations. To help you on your #HDBeSavvy flat-buying journey, we have listed some of the things you might want to think about, when looking for your new home.

Short-Term Considerations

If you are in a hurry to move into a home of your own, you might want to consider a resale flat from the open market or buy a flat from HDB through open booking, as the time to get your keys is much shorter than that of a Built-To-Order (BTO) flat.

As BTO sales launches are held quarterly, you might have to wait for HDB to release a project in your preferred area. In comparison, there are likely more options readily available to you in the open market, or through open booking.

 There are also different types of grants that are available to buyers who meet the eligibility conditions. A typical Singaporean family could qualify for:

 

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

First-timer families with a monthly household income not exceeding $9,000

Family Grant

First-timer families with a monthly household income not exceeding  $14,000

Proximity Housing Grant

All families regardless of monthly household income

Total Grant Amount

Resale flats

 

Up to $80,000

 

Up to $50,000 (4-room and smaller flats)

 

Up to $40,000 (5-room and bigger flats)

 

$30,000 (living with parents/child)

 

$20,000 (living near parents/child within 4km)

 

Up to $160,000

 

BTO flats

Up to $80,000

NA

NA

Up to $80,000

 

Flats sold by HDB are subsidised and thus often cheaper than those from the resale market. In planning your housing budget, consider your savings, and amount of grant and housing loan that you can receive. If you are thinking of applying for a housing loan from HDB, do note that you will need a valid Housing Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter when booking your flat.

Mid-Term Considerations

If expanding the family is part of your plans, you might want to look for a bigger flat that can accommodate your growing brood, if your finances allow for it. You might need to consider some trade-offs—a location slightly further away from the MRT perhaps, or a home on a lower floor.

You might also want to live near your extended family for mutual care and support. This will make it easier to drop by for a visit or meals, and your parents or in-laws will be happy to have you and your children close by too.

Long-Term Considerations

It is never too early to think about retirement! If you have a spare room in your flat, you can consider renting it out for some rental income. You can also sell part of your flat’s lease to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), while continuing to live in the flat. If you are living in a larger flat, you can right-size by selling your existing flat and buying a smaller one either from the resale market or from HDB.

To sum up, here’s a quick recap of the questions to think about, before you dive headlong into your new flat purchase:

Short-term Considerations

  • How soon do I need a home of my own, and where should it be?
  • What is my budget, and how will I service my housing loan?

Mid-term

Considerations

  • Any potential changes in family nucleus?
  • Do I need to live near my family for better support?

Long-term

Considerations

  • How can I supplement my retirement income?

Found this article useful? Let us know what other home-buying tips you'd like to know in the comments below!


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