HDB Downpayments for First Time Owners


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, HDB loan eligibility 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. 

When you are currently into retirement planning Singapore, 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 best licensed money lender 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.


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. Licensed money lender such as 365 Credit Solutions 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.

Your Guide to Renovation Loan Singapore

Home is where the heart is”. Surely, coming home to a place where you can rest with an ambience unlike no other is a given. No matter where you go, your home will ultimately be the place you want to be at because of the warmth, comfort, and safety of the walls that surround you. For that reason, it goes without saying that making sure your house is clean, organized, and well-kept is a top priority.

Home refinancing is part and parcel of owning a home. You might want to decorate your home according to your style to make it well, you! There are also times that you need to replace and repair the old essentials in your house like the flooring, or perhaps, buying a new necessity like a refrigerator. Unfortunately, it goes without saying that these changes are not necessarily cheap. If you want to take it up a notch and renovate your dream home, applying for a renovation loan might be the best option for you!

Money – Of course, you will need a sum of money to finance your way to your dream house. However, if you are short on budget, you can get a renovation loan to cover the expenses. Prior to taking out an urgent loan Singapore, do take note about its pros and cons so that you won’t struggle with its repayments.

A lady put curtain to her room

So, what is in house renovation loan?

Renovation loans are a type of personal loan that are meant to help financing home renovations. As this type of loan is specifically meant to renovate houses, do expect a lower interest rate compared to the usual personal loans. You need to at least own a house or, an asset, for you to apply for this type of loan.

Hence, there are restrictions that come with a lower interest rate. For instance, you can’t use this loan to pay for expenses used for any other purpose other than renovation. There are also restrictions on the kind of enhancements for your house that you can use it for.

What can you use it for?

  • Roof replacement or repair
  • Flooring and tiling
  • Electrical and wiring installations
  • Replace damaged doors or windows
  • Install fiberglass insulation
  • Fine carpentry
  • Interior walls painting and wallpaper hanging

house renovation loan

How can you apply for an in house renovation loan?

If you are a Singaporean or a permanent resident of Singapore, here’s how you can apply for this loan.

Make sure you are eligible for all the essential requirement to apply for a loan such as:

    • 18 years and above a minimum of age

Prepare the essential documents needed for a renovation loan such as:

    • Identity card / NRIC
    • Income statement
    • Employment letter
    • Proof of residence bill (E.g. recent bill)
    • Proof of homeownership

You might wonder how you can fully utilize the loan you applied for to get your ideal house, hence; here’s a list of what you can do to help you check ‘dream house’ off your checklist!

Top 3 In House Renovation Tips

  1. Have a realistic budget

    Have a realistic budget

    It’s easy to get carried away when you are designing your dream house, but always be sure to not go over your budget. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! You might be tempted to buy what your heart desires while you’re at it, but all these desires might come with a great cost.

    What you can do is by deciding the total expenditure beforehand. Have a guideline to not go over the limit. It is imperative to keep in mind that it’s best to have lower expectations of your budget rather than overestimating your budget. This can help to keep your cost at a minimum later on.

  2. Keep built-in furniture to a minimum

    Keep built-in furniture to a minimum

    It may be tempting to buy elegant built-in furniture that is aligned with the notion that they can maximize storage space in your house. While it may help to minimize the gap between your house wall and your furniture, this pro also comes with its cons.

    It will be more difficult and expensive for you to get rid of or replace these built-in furniture once they are broken or become badly damaged because of its old age. Not only are they more expensive, these built-in furniture also usually requires a greater need to be taken care of.

    Hence, it’s best to purchase standalone furniture as it will be easier for you to replace them as you like, with a much lower cost.

  3. Do a research on who you are hiring

    Do a research on who you are hiring

    When you are doing home renovations, it is of paramount importance for you to find the perfect team to do the job. You definitely don’t want just anyone to fix your humble abode – a home which you will stay at for a long time, it’s best to hire a professional!

    Do a full-blown background check on your contractor by going through their credentials. Look into if they have a license or a certificate of insurance from insurance company in Singapore that qualifies them to do the job. By doing so, you can be rest assured that they know what they are doing and would be responsible should any complications arise.

reliable money lender


With all this in mind, there are things that you need to consider prior to getting an in house renovation loan. While it may be tempting to dive into your desires, you should be sure to be prepared if you are planning to opt for an in house renovation loan. To avoid paying a large amount of interest rate, make sure you allocate a sum of money every month for repayment.

Remember, you are responsible for your choices. Renovation loans can be of great help. But whatever it is, the most important thing is to always be prepared and manage your finances wisely.

If you’re looking for a way to finance your home renovations, you can go to 365 Credit Solutions licensed money lender for more information on the loans you want to apply for.