The country of Singapore has become one that is synonymous with wealth and high quality of life over the past few decades. There are countless reasons that foreigners choose to live in Singapore, from the amazing economic opportunities and the great living standards to the cultural diversity and the strong education system. These things are perfect for young families and professional individuals alike. Buying a house in Singapore as a foreigner is possible, too, and there are plenty of options for residences. However, there are certain things to consider as a foreigner before buying a house there. We’ve listed some frequently asked questions to provide you with the guidance you need before you take the plunge into the Singaporean housing market.
Which Properties Are Off-Limits?
The limitations you’ll face as a foreigner aren’t something that will ruin your plans to buy property in Singapore. However, it’s important to know what is off-limits to you so that you can better prepare for your property search. Foreigners can buy public and private housing, but there are certain restrictions on the types they can buy. If you’re not a Singapore permanent resident buying alone, you are limited to only buying executive condos over a decade old. However, if you become a Singapore permanent resident or SPR and buy as a couple, you have a few more options. You can buy an HDB or Housing and Development Board flat after you’ve been an SPR for three years, and you can also buy resale executive condominiums that are more than five years old.
What Constitutes A Foreigner?
As with any country, you’ll be considered a foreigner if you don’t qualify as a citizen here. In Singapore, there are certain restrictions that are put on foreigners when it comes to buying certain properties, but most of these restrictions are in place to allow natives the chance to buy and own their own homes first. This is understandable, and it’s worth remembering that the limitations that foreigners face are not so much of a roadblock as they are an acceptable and small hurdle. It’s worth remembering that permanent residents of Singapore are also considered foreigners, so even if you attain residency, you will still face those same limitations.
How To Get A Mortgage In Singapore?
Firstly, we want to clarify that, while there are limitations, foreigners can acquire a mortgage for a property in Singapore. There are many different options that you’ll find when searching for the best home loan in Singapore, so it’s important to do some in-depth research into what is available to ensure you get the best deal possible. Whichever lender you choose will spend time verifying your eligibility to buy certain properties in Singapore and verifying your proof of income and your net worth. You’ll need to provide them with proof of income from the past three months and a copy of your passport and your National Registration Identity Card.
What Is The Process For Buying Property?
Acquiring a mortgage is just one step of the lengthy property-buying process. You’ll initially receive an In-Principle Approval from a bank or other mortgage lender, which is just an agreement that you will be provided with a home loan of a particular value when you choose to buy a property. Next, it’s time to find a property you like and that you’re eligible to buy. Check the property’s indicated value, which can be done by paying a fee for valuation services. Once you and the seller agree on a price, you can receive an OTP or Option to Purchase. This is where the seller will commit to selling to you for a specific period so that you can coordinate the buying process without fearing that the property will go to some other buyer. You then return to your bank or lender to indicate your intentions to buy the property using their proposed In-Principal Approval from earlier. Don’t forget that there are a few others you might need to consider when buying a property such as stamp duty costs and the 15% down payment you’ll need to pay on a private resale property.
What Are The Best Places To Live In Singapore?
Singapore itself is simply a wonderful country to live in. However, a number of areas are seen as the best of the best when it comes to quality of life, opportunities, and the general atmosphere of the place. Tiong Bahru, for example, is one of the older areas in the country which has a unique architectural style. There are a variety of different properties to purchase, from flats in the many tower blocks, as well as condos and private properties. If you want to live somewhere outside of the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you might want to consider living somewhere like East Coast or Woodlands. Both of these areas are popular amongst foreigners who are looking to raise a family away from the busyness of the city while also having access to some great amenities and schools.