Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident Property

Must My Spouse A Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent…

With many companies undergoing globalization, many Singapore citizens are traveling out of Singapore. Likewise, many foreign talents have also travelled into Singapore to work due to the skill set requirements.

With the movement of people between countries along with the improvement of technology, communication is no longer limited to IDD calls and emails. We now have better tools such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, LINE, and more, hence bringing people from different parts of the world together, and potentially becoming a couple.

As a couple going into the next stage of life, they would have to settle down in one of the 2 countries. Should they decide to settle down in Singapore, several options that they would have to consider in terms of housing would be; to rent a flat, buy a HDB flat, or buy a private property.

What options are present to the couple

Renting

Renting an apartment is the fastest option. They just have to find a place that is suitable, spell out their requirements to the landlord and they are able to move in and stay for the next 2 years. Approaching the end of a 2-year lease, they can decide to continue staying by negotiating with the landlord on the terms or move to another rented unit and continue for another 2 years.

The risk for the above is that should the landlord decide to sell the flat, a relationship with the new landlord needs to be re-established, and should they private property that they have rented, undergone an Enbloc process, they would be forced to move out. There is too much uncertainty.

Most importantly, the couple is helping to service the mortgage of the landlord property, which they are entitled to purchase a HDB flat.

Buying from HDB Resales Market

Since your spouse is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident, you are entitled to purchase a HDB flat from the open market as you have never taken any grant or purchased a BTO flat from HDB. You may exercise your citizen entitlement, to obtain a grant from CPF.

Buying Private Condominium

You will be entitled to purchase from both the open market or the new launch of a private condominium. With this, there is no grant from CPF and/or HDB although you are a Singapore Citizen. You will be purchasing the market price on those units sold.

Buying Landed Property

You will be entitled to purchase landed property in Singapore. As the landed property is classified as private property, there isn’t any grant made available for the purchase.

What Options the Couple DOES NOT HAVE

Buying BTO

As the HDB Flat is purchase under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme, this scheme does not allow the non-citizen to purchase a BTO flat directly from HDB.

Buying Brand New Executive Condominium

The couple is not entitled to purchase a brand new Executive Condominium. However, they are allowed to purchase from the open market, an existing Executive Condominium that is over 10 years of age. The Executive Condominium, at this age, will be treated as private property.

What Benefits Do I get

For the purchase of HDB from the resales market, you will be entitled to the grant for the purchase. The following are the type of grants made available to the non-citizen spouse scheme:

Enhance Housing Grant

Depending on your monthly household income. The Enhance Housing Grant (EHG) is between $2,500 to $40,000. This amount was determined through an average of the past 12 months period.

Enhance Housing Grant

First Timer Grant

Being a first-timer buying a HDB flat, you are entitled to have your first-timer grant amounting to S$ 25,000 if you are purchasing a 2 to 4 room HDB Flat. However, in the event that you purchase a HDB flat from the open market that is 5-room and above, your total first timer grant is only $20,000.

Buying Selling HDB Flat

Proximity Grant

Should you decide to stay near your parents, there will be an additional proximity housing grant awarded to you. As your spouse is yet to be a Singapore Citizen, your entitlement will amount up to $10,000. But should you decide to stay with your parent, there will be an additional $5,000, leading the total grant amount to be $15,000

In addition, the distance between the flat you are buying and your parent flat has increased from earlier 2KM to 4KM. This gives you a wider range when it comes to selection in buying resales HDB Flat.

Another key requirement to obtain the grant is that the remaining lease of the purchased flat has to be 20 years or more.

What happens if my spouse is not Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

Items to be Cautious

Payment of Resales Levy

All Singapore Citizen are entitled to 2 subsidized flats. In the event that you exercise your right to purchase the second subsidized flat, you will have to pay a resales levy for the earlier flat upon selling.

The positive side of this is that since you are getting only half the grant as a single Singapore Citizen marrying a non-citizen spouse, your resales levy will be half of the total levy.

Offset of down payment

Although you are entitled to the grant, the grant amount cannot be used to offset the down payment for the purchase of a flat. Should you require to have a down payment of 25%, this amount will still need to be paid, through CPF OA account or CASH.

Case Study

Recently, I assisted a newly wed couple in purchasing a resales HDB flat. Mr. Wong, which is the husband has married Ms. Zhang, a Chinese nationality early this year. They have been viewing many units of flat but was not able to commit on any due to their budget constraint.

Mr. and Mrs. Wong, age 30 and 32 respectively with a combined household income of $1,750 per month, was unable to purchase anything that is bigger than 3 room flat. Understanding his constraint, I worked with a banker, to ensure he got his loan approved.

At the same time, I suggested for them to purchase a 3S flat near his parent house. The purchase price of the unit was not higher than $250,000. This has given them limited options to select from, but it is not impossible. Through weeks of sourcing, they have managed to shortlist a unit near their parent in Circuit Road at a price of $250,000.

With the purchase price of $ 250,000 and his monthly income of $1,750 per month. He has obtained the grant with the following:-
First Timer Grant : $ 25,000
Enhance Housing Grant: $30,000
Proximity Grant : $10,000
The total grant obtained after the purchase was: $65,000. With his OA amount of $35,000 and cash $ 20,000
His total loan required will be $ 130,000 over 30 years of the repayment term. A monthly repayment amount that is affordable.

Conclusion

Although the marriage between yourself and the non-citizen spouse does form a family nucleus due to the fact that the spouse is yet to be a Singapore Citizen, the grant entitled amount will be at half the actual. Nonetheless, the spouse can request to top up when their Singapore citizenship is obtained. This will allow the top-up of the grant. The reverse is true, when it comes to payment of resales levy, the full amount will be payable in this case.

I will suggest that since you have obtained the half single grant and if it is financially affordable, to do an upgrade to private after the MOP period. This allows you to have more choices when deciding what to do after the upgrade.

If you are unclear. Do contact me at +65 90107188 or via WhatsApp here. I am most honored to share with you any concern you have and how can you move forward with a lower impact on the accrued interest.

Buy Sell Renting of your property

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has been in real estate since 2005. Together with him, he brought along a long history of experience in both HDB and Private property.

His personal belief is, to share the truth and facts with everyone. With that, he has good credibility with his client. His strong belief in a partnership and not the client made him successful in this career also.

Should you have any queries, relating to HDB. Be it Buying, Selling or consider to rent your HDB after staying for over 5 years. , or other properties that are of your interest to upgrade or invest. Drop me a WhatsApp HERE. I will respond to you soonest possible.

Buy Sell Property Property

Should Your First Home Be HDB BTO

Should The First Home You Are Getting Be HDB BTO Flat

Congratulation, when you start to reach about this post, it tells that, you are about to make one of the bigger ticket investment – Property

Being a first-timer, wanting to own a property. you might have zillion question, such as what should we buy, where should we buy our HDB Flat, how much are we going to pay, how much loan we can take etc.. etc.. etc.. and more

Now, let me share with you, some of the broad options you have before you start to walk the ground.

Buying from HDB directly, the Build To Order (BTO) option

Consideration when getting a BTO Flat

Buying BTO flat direction from HDB, is normally the first consideration for any Singaporeans. This is a sign telling you that, you are finally ready to move into the next stage of life. Building a family.

But, how we kick start and what are the processes involved? Let me share with you, the step-by-step guide, from application to owning the flat.

Checking your Eligibility

For the purchase of BTO directly from HDB, following are the various HDB eligibility schemes available

  • Public
  • Fiancé/Fiancée
  • Orphans
  • Single Singapore Citizen
  • Joint
  • Non-Citizen Spouse

From the list above, most of the applications are in the Fiancé/Fiancée schemes. I will share more of this scheme. Should you require understanding on the rest of schemes, please scroll to the bottom and contact me for detail description

For the purchase under the Fiancé/Fiancée scheme. you are required to form a family nucleus.

Family nucleus can be broadly defined as two persons that are related have the intention to stay in the same household. The relationship is husband and wife.

To support the proof of relationship, the certification of marriage is required to be submitted to HDB. This submission can be done during the key collection appointment.

In the event, the marriage certificate is not obtained on time, it can be submitted within 3 months, from the collection of keys. The submission can be done through HDB branch

Getting of Home Loan Eligibility (HLE)

If you are planning to obtain concessionary loan from HDB, HLE Letter will be required. The HLE will also indicate what is the total loan amount being allocated. These total loan amount entitled allow the applicant to know what is the purchase prices of the flat applicant

Balloting

As shared earlier, all applications to HDB required to fulfill the eligibility requirement.  Due to the high volume of applications.  Every balloting exercise for BTO flat from HDB is being computerized. 

BTO HDB Resales

The initial process from HDB will mainly be the verification of the applicant.  Verification includes the eligibility of application, any priority schemes and also any information or documentation gaps.

After all necessary verification, the next stage of shortlisting, which will require a wide range of considerations.  These considerations include household status, flat type, any priority schemes.  After all the above consideration, the applicant’s queue position will then determine.

Ballot Matrix

Over the years, there are more and more priority schemes being incorporated.  These priority schemes help to meet the needs of different groups of applicants.

The system was being finetuned progressively to allocate different quotas for different priority schemes.  The process will also take into consideration applicants who fits more than one priority schemes

Audits and Checks

To ensure fairness during the BTO process.  stringent checks are carried out on applicants’ eligibility, computerized process and cross-checking of ballot result before releasing to applicants

Notification

After going through the whole process, the applicants will be informed of the final results of the balloting. Informing of this result is through SMS, email or hardcopy letters.

Selecting your flat

The queue number obtained during the application process, determine your priority in choosing your unit.  As a form of contingency, the total queue allocated might potentially exceed the total number of units available for selection.

Buying HDB flat

If your queue number is over the number of allocated units, there are chances that you won’t be able to get any units during this balloting cycles.  You will, therefore, have to ballot again during the next cycle.

After you have selected your unit with HDB, the whole purchase process started by paying an option fee.  The amount of option fee payable depends on the flat you are purchasing.  For 3-room flats, the option fee is $1,000 and the option fee for 4-room flat and above is $2,000.  This option fee will be part of your down payment.

Any entitled CPF housing grants will also be applied during this time.  To ease the application of grant I will recommend you download the grant application forms and bring along during your booking appointment.

Sign the lease agreement and pay the downpayment

All lease agreement has to be signed within four months from the booking of flat.  Please ensure, all your loan application is approved by that time.

On the day of signing the lease agreement.  Additional payment, such as down payment, stamp duties, and legal fees is payable.

Downpayment amount will be 10% of the agreed price of the flat when you are taking HDB loan and this amount can be paid using cash and/or CPF.

Collection of keys

Confirm your appointment date

Once the flat is built and it is ready to stay-in.  HDB will informed you when to collect your key.  To ensure, you can check back on the date.  This information is being updated in the HDB portal.  You can login to HDB Site, navigate through My Flat > Application Status > New Flat > Reg.No.

Applying for fire insurance

All flat owner, taking HDB loan is required to purchase Fire insurance for the flat.  The current appointed insurer for the HDB Fire insurance is FWD Singapore Pte Ltd.  The insurance can be purchase via online

Applying for Utility Account

This application is not critical, but if you are a busy working adult, you might want to do it on the same day. Alternatively, you can also apply online.

As Singapore has open fair competition for utility provider, you can go online to source for the best rate available, that is to your benefit. some of the provider such as:-

  • Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd
  • Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
  • Geneco (by Seraya Energy Pte Ltd)
  • iSwitch Pte Ltd
  • Keppel Electric Pte Ltd
  • Ohm Energy Pte Ltd
  • PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd
  • Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd
  • Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd
  • Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd 
  • Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd
  • Union Power Pte Ltd 

Prove of fire insurance

The certificate of fire insurance will be required. Without that, the collection of key will not be successful. All required document are to be printed. Before your key collection appointment..

After understanding the process of applying for BTO. The next key question will be, “wah.. so much work needs to be done”. Why should I go through those processes?

Why BTO

Although buying of BTO flat is a lengthy process. but they do have benefits in buying BTO Flat.

Some key benefits for you to think through.

  • Newly build flat
  • From HDB, which is the fair market price
  • Lesser worries and time, where sourcing is not from the list of selection provided by HDB
  • Defects Liability Period  (DLP) of 1 year is available

The flip side of buying BTO will be

  • Limited location for BTO (BTO is base on availability, you might not able to have the expected location)
  • CPF Housing grant is made available if you decide to buy a resales HDB flat, that is near your parent
  • You can potentially get a slightly bigger unit if you are buying an older HDB flat
  • Amenities and accessibility are more established.
  • Able to renovate to you own liking

Read the following before you make your decision

Buying from Resale Market

Lewis of Orange Tee and Tie
Ring me at +65 90107188

Lewis became part of the family of Orange Tee and Tie in 2020. He has brought along with him a long history of experience in both HDB and Private property.

His personal belief is, to share the truth and facts with everyone. With that, he has good credibility with all his client

Now, let’s ring me at +65 90107188 if you have any queries relating to real estate. I do understand you might be busy. As SMS and/or WhatsApp will be easier and I will respond to you.