So you’re finally ready to move out and buy your own home. It can be a mite intimidating to go into this, especially if you don’t know much about the process. Here are a few handy pointers to make your home buying experience the best one ever.
Steps for Simplifying the Process
- Use a property portal. It’s convenient and easy to use. With sites like PropertyGuru Singapore, finding HDB flats that suit your taste should be easy.
- Consider loans. If you’ve got an excellent credit rating, then you can go get a home loan and submit it for approval. If you’re willing to pay for years just to own that home, then this is a good option for you. Just make sure you figure out a way to strike a balance between paying for your loan and living a comfortable life. After all, you don’t want a chunk of your monthly income going towards paying for your loan. Tying up your income that way isn’t practical, especially if it’s going to force you to make ends meet and barely leave you enough room to save, much less use for an emergency.
- Banks or the HDB Loan? When it comes to loans, most people believe it’s always better to go the bank first. However, if you research just a little bit more, ask for rates from both banks and the HDB, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that an HDB loan can net you a lower payment figure. That’s because most banks require you to shell out as much as 20 percent of the down payment up front. However, the HDB only requires you to pay for 10 percent of the down payment, which is great news for you and your bank account.
- Know the 5 Year Rule. AsiaOne reminds you of the 5 year rule, also known as the MOP, when you buy a housing flat from the Housing and Development Board. So make sure you know all about the minimum occupation period. If you don’t, it could cause problems for you later in the future.
- Wait until you’re 35. If you’re single and determined to buy a flat from the Housing and Development Board, you’d have to wait until you’re 35 to put that dream in motion, says Yahoo Finance. If you’re an orphan, though or a widow, you’re eligible to buy the home by the time you turn 21. Also, only Singaporean citizens are allowed to buy this property.
- Check the income ceiling. Before you put anything into motion and definitely before you start planning, make sure you make the cut. Check the income ceiling against your income. If you aren’t eligible, then you’re next best bet is to go into the resale market to check out the available properties. In the resale market, singles who want to buy an HDB flat won’t have to worry about hitting an income ceiling.
- Owning multiple flats. You can actually own another flat from the Housing and Development Board. However, you’ll need to dispose of your previous flat 6 months before you buy the second one. That’s because so long as you’ve got an HDB flat, you’re expected to live in it, regardless of how many homes you already own.
Buying a home is major financial milestone. Here are some tips to help you make money-saving decisions in the future:
- Have an emergency fund. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. That’s why it pays to be prepared for anything. And that includes having an emergency fund to make sure your needs and those of your loved ones are taken care of in case an emergency happens. You could get into an accident or lose your job. If these scenarios happen, having a Plan B is going to go a long way to helping you and your family get back on your feet.
- Never go over your budget. Your budget isn’t a figure you can adjust at will. You came up with the budget in the first place after a long, hard decision. So you know if you overspend even just a tiny bit, that’s going to cost you a lot especially if you multiply that by the many years it’ll take you to pay off your mortgage. So always stay within your ball park. Your wallet and your future self will be happier that way.
- Opt for an ideal location. If you choose a home that’s too far from where you work or a bit too out of the way, then it won’t matter if you got the property for cheap. You’ll end up spending a lot of money on transportation or fuel costs in the end. Not to mention the amount of effort and exhaustion that goes into commuting to and from work every day. If you’re spending 2-3 hours on the road to work and twice that on the way home, you might want to consider moving closer to work or just changing jobs and finding opportunities nearer to your current address.
- Hire a pro to inspect the property. Of course you’ll have to inspect the property too. But nothing beats having a pro do it along with you. That way, you know what signs to look for if you’re looking for issues. An inexperienced eye could miss out on a lot so having an expert with you can save you a ton of trouble and repair costs in the future.