Buying a home can feel like a never-ending and nerve-wracking process. There are so many different factors to consider, from your budget to your location. And then there is the whole issue of the hunt itself. Just when you think you have finally found the perfect property, someone can snap it up from under you.
Right now, property markets around the world have been going through a state of massive inflation. It finally looks like things are starting to go back to something approaching normal in some countries, while others are warning that this state will continue for some to come. That is why it is so important to make sure that you are taking every step possible to ensure that all your bases are covered and that you have given yourself as much information as you possibly can.
If you are moving to Singapore, then finding the perfect home is going to be one of the first things on your to-do list. The good news is that property prices are finally starting to climb a little slower. But there are always some hoops to jump through and some extra steps to take when you are buying a home in another country. Here are the most important things that you need to know if you are buying a home in Singapore.
Can I Buy Property In Singapore As A Foreigner?
The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. However, there are a couple of important things to remember. The definition of a foreigner in Singapore is a little fiddly as it also includes Singapore Permanent Residents. Singapore citizens, associations, limited liability partnerships and companies are fall under the “not foreigners” definition.
If you are not a Singapore Permanent Resident, then you can buy property, but there are some restrictions. For example, you can only buy a condo that is ten years old or older. If you are an SPR, your options are much broader, including private condos and resale HDB flats (provided that you are buying with native Singapore citizens or another SPR).
What Other Restrictions Are There?
If you are buying property on Singapore’s main island, there are several cases where you will need to apply to the Land Dealings Approval Unit. These include buying a semi-detached house, a terrace house, a bungalow or detached house, and vacant residential land among others. Each case is judged individually, but if you can show that you have made contributions to Singapore’s economy, you will stand a better chance of getting approval.
What Additional Costs Do I Need To Know About?
As you might expect, there are additional costs involved when you are buying property as a foreigner in Singapore. The first one that you need to know about is the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). If you are a Singapore Permanent Resident, then you will need to pay 5% ABSD on your first property. If you are a foreigner, then you will need to pay 30%. There will be other legal fees you will need to pay, and don’t forget about administration fees.
Where Can I Learn More About Mortgages In Singapore?
Anyone who has bought property before knows that getting the right mortgage or home loan is one of the most stressful parts of the whole process. It is so important that you find a mortgage that you can afford to keep paying back.
This can be especially difficult when you are buying property in a foreign country that you are moving to, as you will have so many expenses during those first few months as you settle in. If you are looking at buying property in Singapore, you need to find a property site that can break down all the region’s specifics, from the location to an HDB loan calculator. PropertyGuru can help you find the perfect home in Singapore and to manage your finances correctly.
Do I Need To Learn A New Language?
If you look at what languages are spoken in Singapore, you might worry that you are going to have to learn a lot. People in different parts of Singapore speak Mandarin, Tamil, Malay and Hokkien, but everyone will tell you that English is the language of business. People from around the globe come to do business in Singapore, and there are a huge number of ex-pats, so you don’t need to worry about needing to speak another language to close the deal on your new home.
Do I Need A Car?
You are going to have a lot of different expenses to factor in with your new home, but a car does not need to be one of them. Singapore has a fantastic public transport infrastructure, so don’t worry too much if the place that you are looking at does not have a garage or parking spot. You will have no trouble getting around without one.