Purchasing a condo is a big decision that will affect your finances and lifestyle for years to come. Even if you feel ready for the responsibility of homeownership, you may not be financially prepared to purchase a condo yet. To help you decide if it’s the right time to get on the property ladder, here are five condo buying signs that indicate you’re ready to become a homeowner.
1. You Have Significant Savings
Buying a condo in Singapore requires a sizable downpayment. You can only finance up to 75% of the purchase price of your condo, so you’ll have to come up with the other 25%.
Up to 20% of your down payment can come from your CPF Ordinary Account, but a minimum of 5% has to be liquid cash. Considering the median price of a condo is S$1,467,778, you’ll need about S$73,000 in cash.
If you’re a Singapore Citizen buying your first condo, you won’t have to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty. However, you will be on the hook for Buyer’s Stamp Duty. The rate varies depending on the market value of your condo but can be as much as 4%. Luckily this tax can be paid from your CPF OA.
You’ll also need to have a couple thousand dollars on hand for incidentals like valuation and legal fees. If you have enough money saved up to cover these expenses, it’s a great sign you’re ready to purchase a condo.
2. You’ve Paid Down Your Debt
Being debt-free is another sign you’re financially prepared to buy a condo. In Singapore, your monthly debt payments (including your mortgage) can’t exceed 55% of your monthly income. This guideline was implemented by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to prevent people from taking on too much debt. So if you have student loans or car payments, you won’t be allowed to borrow as much money from the bank.
That’s why it’s a good idea to pay down your debt before you start hunting for your dream condo. Without debt dragging you down, you’ll have more financial breathing room and be able to afford a bigger place.
3. You Can Afford the Costs of Homeownership
One of the most important condo buying signs is that you can afford the costs of homeownership. Most condos have monthly maintenance fees you have to pay on top of your regular mortgage payment. They usually cost about $200 to $350 per month. However, maintenance fees can climb as high as $1,000 per month if you live in a luxury development with lots of amenities.
Property taxes are another cost you’ll have to take into account. They’re based on your home’s annual value, which is the amount of money you’d earn if you rented out your condo. You can expect to pay anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars in property tax each year.
Finally, don’t forget about the price of any renovations or repairs you want to make. It costs an average of S$39,000 to renovate a new condo, and even more if the property is older.
4. You Want to Build Equity
Renting gives you the flexibility to pack up and move whenever your lease ends. But if you’ve found a part of the city you love and are ready to settle down there, it makes sense to buy a condo. Instead of wasting money on rent, you’ll be able to start building equity.
Historically condos have been good investments, and experts expect that trend to continue. In the past decade, private property prices in Singapore have risen by 53.6%. So buying a condo could help you increase your net worth and even generate additional income if you rent it out.
5. You Want to Customize Your Space
When you rent an apartment, you can’t customize it to your taste by changing the flooring or switching out the countertops. If your rental came furnished, you didn’t even get to pick out your own couch and dining room table. This lack of choice makes it harder to take pride in your space and feel like you’re truly at home.
If you enjoy designing your home and doing DIY projects, it may be time to upgrade to a condo. You’ll have the freedom to renovate your condo to your liking and create a space that’s perfect for you. As an added bonus, all that sweat equity you put into your condo could even increase its value.
If these condo buying signs apply to you, it could be the right time to purchase your dream property. When you’re ready to start looking at condos, make sure you check out the Thiam Siew Avenue new launch.
Thiam Siew Residences is a luxurious development with numerous amenities such as BBQ pits, a children’s playground, and a swimming pool. It’s a stone’s throw from a variety of shops and restaurants, 3 MRT stations, and major expressways. If you want to tour this beautiful development and take advantage of direct developer discounts, register for the early bird preview today.