The above replay of the webinar will be available here till 30 June as part of Pink Fest 2021.
On the 10 June, Prident organised a webinar as part of the Pink Fest program line up. Co-founder and realtor William Tan shared information about planning and buying an HDB flat in Singapore as an LGBTQ+ member. Insightful case studies touching on unique situation faced by the community. Also guest speaker Daniel Ng from UOB talks about home mortgage financing and comparison of HDB loan vs Bank loan.
Below are some Q&A questions from the participants and answers provided by William.
Q1: I have a civil partnership in Switzerland. I understand this will not be recognised in Singapore. So will I be considered as a Single person when I want to buy a HDB? Is there a financial cap to be eligible for a purchase, given that I am earning in Switzerland? I am Singaporean.
William : Yes, you will be considered a single Singaporean buying under Single Scheme. For BTO, your income cap is $7k. For resale HDB, you have no income cap. But to qualify for grants your income is capped at $7k. But do note that you cannot own a foreign property when you buy an HDB property.
Q2 : Is it possible to buy HDB as a SPR with my partner (same sex) if yes what are the options and criteria (Potential ans: EC after 5 years in open market)
William: Unfortunately, you cannot buy an HDB flat as SPR with a partner. For PR to buy from HDB you have to form a family nucleus on public scheme, but a gay partnership does not quality. Your option will only be on private property. For ECs, you can buy them in the resale market after it has passed it’s first 5 years. Note that for SPR, you will pay 5% ABSD on top of normal stamp duty for your property purchase. If you have intention to convert to Singapore citizen, you can wait till to get the citizen to avoid the ABSD.
Q3: If I am local but not based in Sg. How can I go about with purchasing of HDB
William: You will need to be living here to buy your HDB. Because the MOP (Minimum Occupancy Period) of 5 years, requires you to be living there. HDB flat is that sense is a home for you , not an investment tool.
Q4: For the public scheme, do we have to stay with parents’ siblings or can they be just registered in name?
William: Yes, you will need to stay with your parents physically
Q5: What to factors to consider when it comes to rent vs buy property
William: It is a long one. But generally, to buy a property you will need to ensure you have enough savings to pay the upfront and be eligible for loan. It will require careful planning.
Rental is of course just a monthly payment aside for rent.
So you have to think carefully about what your long term goal is. To have a place you can call your home, and an asset that you can potentially capitalise on when you are older. A rental will never be able to give you that. Also I mentioned that if you want an HDB flat, you might qualify for grants from the government that is there waiting for you. If you just rent, you might never enjoy those grants.
Have a word with a property adviser to look at your finances and affordability to work out a plan for you.
Q6: My bday is in Sep but the upcoming Hougang BTO is in Aug, can I apply for it?
William: You need to wait for your birthday to pass before you can apply. YOu can try to contact HDB hotline to see if they can make exception.
Q7: Is it difficult to get sales of balance?
William: Well sales of balance can also be heavily contested especially in popular estates. So yes, it can be.
Q8: Does the BTO premium of $15k apply to the Joint-single scheme as well?
William: Nope . For JSS no need to add $15k.
Q9: Do you recommend that we get the in principle approval before applying for bto or condo new launches?
William: Yes, it’s always good to get an assessment done so that there will be no surprises and you go in with a clear idea of what you can afford.
Q10: Is there a premium for EC under JSS?
Q11: Can I own one EC and one HDB under my name since EC will be privatised after 10 years.
William: No cannot. To buy an HDB, you must not own any other property on hand.
If you currently own an HDB, and want to buy and EC after, you must get rid of the HDB with six months after getting the EC.
Q12: For EC what about a couple made up of 1 citizen and 1 PR?
William: Cannot include PR under the Joint Single Scheme. Both must be Singaporean when applying for the EC.
Q13: Can under 35 PRs/Singaporeans buy EC from the resale markets? ECs that already passed the MOP years?
William: Yes, you can. It is treated like you are buying a private property.
Q14: Are the grants stackable or exclusive?
William: For BTO, you only have 1 grant. Enhanced Housing Grant.
For resale, if you qualify, the 3 grants (Single, Enhanced and Proximity Grants )can be stacked.
Q15: My Biological father doesn’t exist, my mum is married to my stepfather and I have a step brother. Am I considered an orphan if my mum dies?
William: We have not encountered this so far. But our understanding is that stepchildren are not considered a person’s children unless legally adopted. This means that unless your biological mother has adopted your step brother, and your stepfather has adopted you, there is no sibling relationship between your stepbrother and you. If your mother passes away, and you were her only child (whether biological or adopted) we expect HDB to treat you as an orphan. You should contact HDB to clarify this.
Q16:: Can you move into a sale of Balance flat once u get it or theresis there a waiting period? (Can move in straight)
William: If it has been completed, yes you can move in once sales completion is key is collection. But there are also sales of balances that could still be under construction.
Q17. Is there a sweet spot within the 99 year lease to let go of a resale flat?
William: Property prices can vary across location and other factors as well. But as a general rule of thumb, a flat that passes 40 years will become more challenging to grow (value) and sell in the market.
If buying a flat, I try not to look for something more than 30 years. If selling, try to sell it before it is past 40years.
Q18: JSS case study for resale flat with grant included.
William: Yes if they both meet the eligibility criteria. Combine income less than 14K.
Q19: What is HDB pledge property?
William: I assume this in reference to the CPF Retirement Account topic.
Here’s a link to CPF specifically on the discussion of pledging property to withdraw from CPF when you are 55.
Q20:: Would you recommend viewing different areas and types of homes a bit more to see if it’s what you really want.
William: Of course. Buying a home is a big decision. You have to choose carefully and have a trusted realtor to give you his advise.
Q21 : If I am in my early 30s instead of waiting till 35, I have decided to hold out till my late 30s (save more money) to get a private property instead of a resale flat, is it advisable?
William: Sure, buying a private property requires a much higher upfront and one should not make a plunge unless you have done the property calculation. But it is good to have an idea what it is you want, and work out the numbers now. Property prices will only get higher so the longer you hold out the future prices may be higher too.
But if you can afford it now, and you saw something that meets your needs, why wait?
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