HDB Downpayments for First Time Owners

Introduction

Are you thinking of buying your own property in Singapore? Worried and confused about the fees and costs involved in this whole process?  Although taking this next big step can be quite intimidating to some, this article will act as a guide for first time home buyers. Buying your very first property such as a house is a part and parcel of growing up after all.

 

What should I be aware of?

While there are plenty of options that Singapore can offer, be sure to weigh off all the options first prior to making a decision. Think of what kind of house you can afford as it will most likely have an imminent impact on your financial savings.

Check the suggestive valuation for the house that you want to buy where you can then get a bank loan for the home you want. You can opt for a public housing loan or HDB bank loan downpayment to put down for your dream condominium, private residential housing or landed property. 

Valuation without delay affects the quantity of loan you could get for the house. Do take into consideration the loan period, month-to-month installment, as well as other housing costs that can burn a hole in your pocket if you do not plan carefully. 

On a side note, it’s vital to suppose a long time period and expect your actions within the future. If you need to buy a house for investment, you might want to consider prime districts like the Central Business District as the safest option. Properties with a view on the East Coast are also remarkable for a resort home.

 

A man thinking

How much should you realistically have before you buy?

Now, after you have weighed off all the pros and cons as well as the probable impact it could have to your savings, don’t forget to thoroughly check your savings!

Bear in mind that the cost of properties differs significantly based on various factors like location, facilities, surrounding amenities (e.g. MRT station), and the unit’s age or condition. As such, the price of a house may vary according to different neighborhoods. So, how much do you need to invest in an HDB flat?

You may think that hundreds of thousands are a huge amount of money to fork out for buying a house. But this is only because you view this amount in a lump sum! The fact is, there are different elements in paying for the unit which are:

  • Downpayment (10%)
  • CPF Housing Grants ( $160k!)
  • Monthly installments (the amount left to be paid for the HDB flat)

Hence, be prepared to have this sum of money when considering to buy an HDB unit. Moreover, you are also expected to pay a sum of money in cash.

  •  Administration Fee
    The allocations that you should be prepared with are $10 administrative fee to be paid by credit card when you buy a flat from HDB.
  • DBSS and EC applications Fee
    If you are applying for DBSS and EC applications, you can inquire about the amount needed to be submitted along with the application from the developers.
  • Option Fee
    Next, you should also have some savings to pay for the option fee which is typically $1,000 for a resale flat, $500 for 2-room flexi flats for BTO, $1,000 for 3-room flats, and around $2,000 for 4 room or larger flats. 

If you are overwhelmed and still confused about how much money you need to have to buy a house, there are also useful tools that can be of great help! HDB offers e-services that can help you to figure out the best financial plan when buying an HDB flat. 

The Enquiry on Loan Estimate e-service will give you an estimation of the loan amount you can get should you take up an HDB loan. With everything at your fingertips, all you have to do is to fill in the details on the site such as monthly salary, employment record, and also existing financial commitments. 

From there, the e-service will provide you with an estimated loan amount, estimated monthly installment based on the current interest rate, and also a 25 years repayment period. Thus, you can work out your financial plans more comprehensively in your pursuit to buy a house. 

 

Calculator and wooden house model

How much HDB downpayment should a first time home buyer pay?

If you are taking an HDB loan, the downpayment would be 10% of the purchase price of the house that you want to purchase. You can pay this using CPF Ordinary Account savings but if you do not have enough balance, you should pay the downpayment in cash. 

You can reserve your retirement money when you need it most: when you’re finally going to hang the towel of your professional life.

If you’ve heard an HDB owner mention that they’ve spent about $S40,000-S$50,000 just right after their downpayment, they’re telling the truth. That price can get higher, especially if you’re gunning for higher-priced HDB flats with multiple rooms and beautiful views.

An HDB flat costs about S$300,000-S$400,000 on average. Premium HDB units can go around S$500,000-S$600,000. Most downpayments require you to provide at least 10% of the entire financing. However, that’s not the only thing you’ll need to accomplish. Here are other expenses that you’ll need to address in the process.

  • Booking Fee: This amount is known as the option fee as well. When you book the flat, you need to pay S$2,000 to reserve the HDB unit away from others looking to buy it. It reimburses and helps complete your downpayment.
  • Application Fee: For representatives to process your HDB downpayment and flat application, you’ll need to pay this compulsory fee.
  • Downpayment: Often 10% of the total property value. If the property is S$300,000 in total, you’ll need to pay S$30,000 as downpayment. This rate might be higher if you’re working with banks instead of HDB’s in-house loan service.
  • Stamp Duty and Legal Fees: If HDB acts on your behalf to process your purchase, you’ll need to pay S$30-S$40. You can calculate the stamp duty for Agreement Lease using the Stamp Duty Calculator provided at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website.Close-up of hands protecting small house model
  • Fire and Disaster Insurance: The local government requires all tenants and property owners to own a fire and disaster insurance policy. A fire insurance is the minimum. The fee would be $4.50 for five years for a 3-room BTO flat.
  • Conveyance and Caveat Registration fees: These are the among legal fees charged by the legal services to process the paperwork for property ownership ranging from S$200-300 and S$60 respectively.

 

Loan Agency

What are the sorts of financing that you can look into to get it?

So now, you might start looking into financing that you can get to aid you in buying an HDB flat. These are the different financings that you can opt for.

HDB Housing Loan from Governments

The government subsidizes HDB flat payments if you qualify for its financial assistance program. You’ll just need to handle a 2.60% interest rate per annum. While banks might offer modest terms, HDB housing loans are less strict. You can use them as long as you can pay the 10% downpayment for the purchase price as soon as possible.

HDB Housing Loan from Banks

Alternatively, you can choose to use banks to finance your HDB flat downpayment and recurring repayments. Banks are a popular alternative, but only if you have excellent credit scores. Most Singaporeans fail to secure their bank financing because of their problematic credit. But if you can fulfill their requirements and have good fiscal standing, they’re a good option to obtain your housing loan.

Alternative Loans: Moneylender HDB Loan

365 Credit provides HDB flat buyers enough to pay for their downpayment. We can also provide  bridging loans if you are in the midst of selling your property and wanted to buy a new property. We address a huge chunk of repayments for your new HDB flat in the process. Furthermore, we do not require credit scores and performance unlike banks. If you want to work with us, you just need the following requirements:

  • Identity card/NRIC
  • Utility bills, letters addressed, credit card statements, anything that proves you live in your address
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of Income
  • SingPass details

Furthermore, Singapore’s Housing Development Board has its in-house financing service you can use to finance your house. However, it has certain (but not stringent) criteria that buyers need to fulfill. In addition, only Singaporeans can use HDB loan services. 

Alternatively, you can use a bank loan for HDB properties in-house. On the other hand, banks and moneylenders offer housing loans. Any homeowner who does not qualify for an in-house loan service can use banks and moneylenders to finance their new home.

 

What other costs are there?

After all these talks revolving downpayment and financings, do note that there other costs needed to purchase a house. 

Legal fees:

The paperwork for property ownership are processed by legal services. As such, they will charge you with legal fees such as the Stamp duty for Agreement for Leas, Conveyancing fees, and Caveat registration fee.

Conveyancing fees for new HDB flats can be calculated as follows:

  • First $30,000 of property value: $0.90 per $1,000
  • Next $30,000 of property value: $0.72 per $1,000
  • Remaining Amount: $0.60 per $1,000

So if a 3-room BTO flat  has a price of $180,000, the conveyancing fee would be $121.

worker with white gloves replacing gray tiles

Maintenance fees:

You will have to pay conservancy charges made by HDB estates which generally range from $20 to $90 per month for Singapore citizens (reduced rates). On the other hand, non-citizens pay a normal rate, which is notably higher than the reduced rates. 

Check out the rates with the town council of your area to be certain of the precise amount.  Hence, a 3-room BTO flat would have conservancy charges of $45 per month.

Property taxes:

Essentially, the Annual Value (AV) of your house would determine the property taxes. AV here is the annual amount that you benefit from renting out your property. You can check with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to find out the amount needed to be paid. 

As such, if a three-room flat has an AV of $14,400, the property tax would be around $512 per annum.

 

Conclusion

If you intend on doing your first big purchase, you need to be sure that you are both mentally and financially prepared. Hence, if you have done adequate research on this subject matter, things will only be smooth sailing from here. 

Research the area where you want to buy a house, the type of house that you want and what fits your budget. Moneylenders such as 365 Credit can provide you with a lot of options when you decide to buy your first HDB property or condominiums and other private Singapore properties. Check out our website to find out more.