Your newbie guide to buying condos in Singapore – Part 2 – Other costs, freehold, buyer stamp duty
Keep in mind transport costs
Another key selection factor that you need to keep in mind is transport costs. The closer you are to all forms of public transport, the better you would be. Now, it makes a lot of sense to select units district or district location based on this factor.
But you should also apply the same selection criterion to the location of the unit that you’re thinking of buying within the building itself. For example, if you are in your 50’s and you have a tough time with higher elevations, it’s probably a good idea to insist on a lower floor.
This is one of the most overlooked selection factors among expatriate Singapore property buyers.
Consider the rarity of freehold titles
Please understand that all residential districts in Singapore are not equal. When it comes to the type of titles you would get with your property, you need to be very careful as to where the condo project you’re thinking of buying a unit in is located.
For example, central Singapore, which is the heart of the business district and which houses the most foreign expatriate, has the very best buildings, but freehold titles are few and far between. It’s increasingly becoming rare in that part of Singapore. The demand is that high.
So, what is the alternative to freehold titles? You get a title that allows you to occupy your unit for a fixed number of years. After that, the title expires. Basically, what you’re getting is the right to occupy within a certain time frame. Regardless, you can still sell that title.
But most people who are looking for a property prefer the security of freehold titles because this is the closest you would get to the kind of title that is associated with buying a house and lot. Where can you get such freehold titles?
Try East Singapore. The eastern part of town is increasingly becoming popular with ex-pats and long-term foreign visitors. How come? Not only is housing more affordable, but it’s quite close to the airport and you can easily get to the central business district.
The best part is there are quite a number of freehold title buildings in this district. You can also try the outskirts of Singapore. For example, the Sembawang area. This is a great place because not only is it cheaper, but you can get a freehold title for your condo property.
The only downside with more peripheral areas like Sembawang, Jurong, and Serangoon is the fact that they have to take a longer commute through the railway system.
Buyer stamp duty
When you buy a property in Singapore, you have to pay a 15% buyer stamp duty. Keep this in mind. Also, the cost of your unit is dependent on the progressive property tax which is assessed on your property. How does the Singapore government come up with this rate? It is based on the rental value of your unit.
Stay tuned for Parc Central Residences floor plan. Interested buyers can now look at the CPF Housing Grants for EC /EC Eligibilities and book appointment to view the Parc Central Residences showflat which will be ready in H2 2020. Meanwhile, you can check out more information at CPF website if you plan to use CPF for down payment or installment.