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Guide to Buying Condo in Singapore 2021 : How to Buy a Resale Condo?

Ohmyhome

Ohmyhome

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Written by: Marissa Saini

Ever wondered what it takes to buy a condominium on the resale market? Here’s a handy guide on all the necessary steps in your buying journey from financial planning to collecting the keys, plus the important timeframes every condo buyer needs to know!

Resale Condo: Buyer’s Timeline

Timeline Steps
Step 1: Map out your finances and set your budget.

Check the maximum home loan amount and property purchase price you can comfortably afford based on your income, age, and loan commitments.
Costs to note:

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) – BSD is tax paid on documents signed when you buy or acquire property located in Singapore.
  • Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) – The TDSR prevents borrowers from being over-extended with their loans. The current TDSR is 60%, which means you cannot use more than 60% of your gross monthly income to service your total loans. This includes car loans, home loans, and even credit cards.
  • Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio – For your first housing loan, you can get up to 75% LTV ratio with a bank loan. However, the LTV is drastically reduced when it comes to the second housing loan.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) – Liable property buyers in Singapore are required to pay ABSD on top of the existing BSD. ABSD and BSD are computed on the purchase price as stated in the dutiable document or the market value of the property (whichever is the higher amount).
    • Singapore Citizen (SC) buying second, third and subsequent residential property
    • Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) buying first, second and subsequent residential property
    • Foreigners or entities buying any residential property
Validity period of 30 days Step 2: Obtain Approval in Principle (AIP).

In this step, you should also get an approval-in-principle (AIP) from a bank. The bank will consider your financial capabilities and credit history to determine if you’re eligible for a home loan. In Singapore, the AIP typically lasts 30 days.

Ohmyhome offers in-house mortgage advisory to assist you on your home loan. Our mortgage specialist will compare home loan packages across all the banks in Singapore to advise you on the best rates, at no cost!

Step 3: Browse condo listings on Ohmyhome.

Start by narrowing down your search according to your housing needs. Do you wish to live in a two-bedroom condo in Pasir Ris? Select those filters and you’ll be able to find search results that match what you’re looking for.

Ohmyhome features thousands of listings, directly from homeowners. Download the Ohmyhome app on the Play Store or App Store. After creating an account, search genuine listings and chat with homeowners.

Step 4: Chat with the homeowner and arrange for home viewings.

Schedule an appointment to get a closer look at your potential new home. It is best to schedule the viewing a few days in advance to provide ample time for the seller to prepare the property for viewing.

Our in-app chat allows you to directly contact the seller and enquire about the property or arrange a home viewing.

Step 5: Make an offer.

Be sure to do your research by checking out the recent transactions and current market prices at Ohmyhome before making an offer through the in-app chat.

Once you’ve found the right price, make an offer! Upon acceptance from the seller, you will be granted with the Option to Purchase.

Step 6: Engage a lawyer.

You’ll need to engage a lawyer to help you with the conveyancing process and to exercise your Option on time.

At this step, you have 2 weeks to:

  • Get a home loan
  • Exercise the Option
  • Step 7: Get the OTP and pay the Option Fee to seller.

    The Option Fee is usually 1% of the purchase price. After paying the Option Fee, you’d have successfully expressed your keen interest in this private property and the seller is not allowed to issue OTPs to other buyers.

    Step 8: Exercise the Option.

    You will have 14 days to exercise the option and prepare the remaining downpayment of 4% of the purchase price (in cash). This process will proceed at the law firm.

    In the event of withdrawal, the option fee of 1% would be forfeited.

    At this point, you should have engaged a lawyer and secured your home loan.

    2 weeks from the date of exercising the Option Step 9: Pay Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), and legal fees.

    The BSD and ABSD (if applicable) will be based on the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is higher. Your legal representative will advise you on when to make the payment. Usually, it is within 14 days from the date of exercising the option.

    8-10 weeks from exercising the Option Step 10: Get the keys!

    Once you’ve completed the final payments for your purchase – including the balance 20% downpayment – it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for. Collecting the keys to your condo!


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