An Expat’s Guide to Buying a Property in Singapore

Singapore is the financial hub of Asia. There is no surprise that many global businesses are employing thousands of expats. The growth of expat communities increased over the years. Some expats even decided to stay and settle in Singapore until they grow old. Whether you move to Singapore for work or for retirement, you have to know different things about buying a property here.

You have to know that under the Residential Property Act, you can own a property without seeking approval from the government first. Most of the expats purchase condominiums like Riverfront Residences Condo or apartment. The average prices depend on the district and the developments around. If you want to live in the city center, you need to pay a lot of money for this but the living space is kind of restricted. If you want to save, you can consider the suburbs with more space.

If you want to know more, here’s the guide to buying a property in Singapore:

Find a lawyer

Your lawyer can help in terms of drawing up contracts and checking agreements. It is important to choose the one you can trust.

Find a property agent
The property agent can help you identify areas that suit your needs best. Selecting a property will be easier with their help.

Find the right bank for loan/mortgage
You are expected to pay upfront but if in case you do not have enough money for that, there are banks that provide expats in Singapore with loan or mortgage. The good thing is there are many banks that you can consider here. You can start with the largest bank here – The Development Bank of Singapore. Determine the mortgage product that suits you best then make an application right away. This will mean you need to deal with paperwork and personally visit the bank to get approval.

Make an offer
After everything, you can now make an offer to the seller. Make sure that the seller agrees to it. The lawyer will then confirm the ownership of the property and will determine if it can be legally sold.

Pay
You have the option to pay 1% of the total price to reserve the property. The remaining 9% deposit should be made within 14 days or 2 weeks to complete the deposit payment.

Transfer

Now you are closer to owning the property. The lawyer will prepare the pertinent documents that will transfer the title of the property to you. It is important that the seller sign the documents. After that, your lawyer will ensure that the property is properly registered.

Taxes and other fees
You have to be ready the moment you decided to buy a property in Singapore. Aside from the actual cost and the professional fee, you have to think about the taxes. You should expect 7-16% additional to the actual cost of the property to your bill. The registration fee is the US $52. You should also need to pay the buyer stamp duty of 5-15%.

Buying property in Singapore is a serious thing. It is not something that you can withdraw if you do not feel like continuing.