Here in Singapore, and indeed around the world, we’re always on the lookout for how we can make extra cash. One of the popular ways that Singaporeans turn to is investment in property, with a particular focus on generating monthly rental income.
While it’s easy to claim that you want to invest in land, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye, with the main factor being that you can spot a successful investment in land.
These are some of the main things to look out for when you’re on the lookout for an investment property.
Emphasise on entry price
We firmly support the view that investment in real estate should not be a lottery. Some consider how much you’re getting off a real estate purchase at the point of selling, but what others don’t know is that it’s already calculated at the point of buy. Knowing the value of a home you are purchasing inside is critical.
One should get a property at or below current value, not above. You shouldn’t purchase a property assuming it will help future purchases. We suggest checking the historical psf price trend to see if it is going upwards, downwards or flat to help you decide on your purchase price. The data can be found on the URA web site.
Look for value, not the most affordable price
Properties that come with a freehold lease or are close to MRT stations typically command a higher premium in the same location compared with 99-year leasehold projects and those that are not around MRT stations.
If you can spot the premium properties that are offered at the non-premium property level, you can be sure it is a must-grab. Many buyers purchase from close international schools and are willing to pay a premium from a ready pool of tenants for the ‘guaranteed’ rental income.
And you shouldn’t just look at that one thing. Many schools rent houses, and could be moving abroad. Instead, consider the bigger context and search for other factors that will lead to good future rent and return on capital.
Focus on location
You have heard this probably before, but it is true. Location is almost everything, really. Needless to say, being close to town center is a tremendous boon to the value of the house, particularly if you rent it out too. Look for properties outside the center area close to transportation hubs or commercial buildings such as shopping malls or amenities. Schools are good too. Prime position does come with a cost, though. In traveling further away you may want to strike a balance but being accessible to major transport will still be advantageous.
Be aware of masterplans
All three agents agree that it is crucial that there should be improvement in that region in order for a property to have potential for capital appreciation. They advise buyers to review the URA Masterplan to decide which areas will be built by the government as money is spent on infrastructure , transportation and amenities. The key shot to price increases in the arm was the launch of integrated resort Marina Bay Sands.
“I believe buyers taking the first mover advantage will benefit from the upcoming developments in Marina South. It’s priced sensibly, has a reputable developer, a famous architect, and is linked to malls and four MRT lines. “I believe buyers taking the first mover advantage will benefit from the upcoming developments in Marina South.It’s priced sensibly, has a reputable developer, a famous architect, and is linked to malls and four MRT lines.
Be prepared to enter the market
When you’re actively and genuinely searching for property to purchase, irrespective of the reason, the first move is to make sure you ‘re on a sound financial footing. It ensures you’ve done your loan appraisal beforehand and can quickly hit the iron while it’s hot (and available). Since there’s a lot of eyes on the market, other people will snap a decent chance if you’re taking too long to commit.
There will always be a golden window of opportunity to purchase an undervalued home. But, what’s good for you is generally pretty good for everyone, meaning everyone is able to catch it when they see it. When you see units that ask for below current market price range, chances are you’ve found an undervalued home.
Monitor vacancy rates for residential properties
A lot of investors test rental yields in an city. That’s helpful, but experienced landlords are also careful and watch vacancy rates while looking for a real estate.
It is a more direct measure of the current situation . For example, there were high vacancy rates in the Sentosa Cove region in February last year. That was a clear sign that things were not hunky dory, given the typically high rental income associated with the region (it was due to a dwindling number of well-heeled expatriates, an ongoing issue this year).
Watch for already ageing estates
No, it’s not hoping for an en-bloc sale while there’s the chance. It’s about rental yield. Note, renters don’t really know how many years they ‘re left on the lease – what they know about is flexibility and flexibility.
This means that an older property, if it is in the right location, could produce the same rental income as comparatively newer properties. Since its price is lower due to age, you would actually have a higher rental income. However, you need to make sure that the maintenance or restoration price is not too high. In many cases, hiring a painting contractor and getting some restoration works done will make it much more palatable to potential tenants. Also, you need to be sure of its rentability, as it is not easy to sell a condominium with an expiring lease.
To everyone else, the answer to this question will seem obvious but you might be shocked that many new home buyers would reply for both stay and investment. The fact is you can’t do any of these. Why? It is simply because the strategy pursued to manage the property would be different depending on the intent, thereby also affecting property choice.
As it is a form of public housing, HDB flats are intended for owner occupancy and as such have some characteristics that make it more difficult for investment. That includes meeting the Government’s eligibility requirements for buyers, as well as a minimum length of employment before you can rent or sell.
Obviously you may also acquire a private condominium for your own residence, but the form and location of your home will be influenced by the buying purpose. For example , if you buy it for your own stay, you’ll typically take your family’s lifestyle needs into consideration.
Compare this to buying a rental-income home. You would likely go for a smaller studio or 1 bedroom unit closer to the city centre, a place within walking distance to the MRT station and use one that has some sets of facilities that could appeal to the expat. You would probably also opt for a new condominium so you don’t have to spend on your home renovation.
Preparing Your Finances
If you opt to buy a condo over a HDB apartment, there are a range of additional costs and your budget needs to take these into account. You need to measure four main numbers here to find out what kind of condo you can afford. Are you planning on buying a condo by the end of next year for example? If so, this gives you more of a runway to accumulate your savings for the necessary 25 per cent down payment.
Are your CPF OA contributions larger or smaller than the amount of monthly loan repayments? When you spend less than you pay out, you’ll need to take the cash top-ups into account. And make sure to get your loan ‘s Approval-in-Principle before putting down the non-refundable option fee for the new condo. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of homebuyers have lost more than a few because they had not completed their due diligence in advance. When you have a family, you will also be factoring in fixed or recurring costs such as private tuition for your children, car loans and care for the elderly.
Housing Loan Types
When you take out a bank loan, you can borrow up to 75 per cent of the value of the house, as long as you have not reached the TDSR cap. A word of warning though: many people are financially overextending to purchase their dream homes and refusing to see the risks associated.
Loan interest levels are extremely volatile and macro environmentally prone. Any adverse market effect can easily cause a sudden rise in interest rates, resulting in you paying out more than you’d originally expected every month. And with the Seller Stamp Duty in place, if you don’t want to pay the extra fee, you have no choice but to sit there. That’s why it’s best to get a clear picture of your financial position before purchasing a condo on a steep commitment.
Checking For Eligibility
Once set a definite objective of purchasing a house, the ability to purchase the house also plays a significant part. For HDBs, in order to apply for purchase, you would need to satisfy the requirements of nationality as well as family nucleus. You don’t have these requirements for condominiums, but visitors do need to be mindful of the extra buyer’s stamp duty imposed as part of the land refrigeration measures introduced in 2013. Permanent Resident will have to pay an additional 5% on their first purchase of the land, and foreigners would have to pay an additional 15%.
Another significant factor is another constraint laid down as part of the cooling steps – Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). This applies fairly to both Singaporeans and foreigners. The TDSR effectively restricts the amount lenders will spend on overall debt repayments to 60 percent of their monthly gross income. Full debt repayments do not only include your mortgage loan, but also other debts that you may have, such as vehicle loans, research loans , personal loans and credit card bills. So before you even start looking for your perfect home, it might be prudent to figure out how much loan you can take on your salary to narrow down the option of the type of property you can afford.
HDB Flat Or A Condominium
Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive countries to buy a home, but it also has a high level of ownership of over 90%. This may be the initial presumption – considering that in recent years, public housing buildings, known as HDBs, have been reaching the S$1 million mark. Nonetheless, the high percentage of home ownership can be due to the genius retirement-saving scheme called the CPF, which enables many Singaporeans become homeowners, as well as the substantial amounts of grants given by the government.
For many Singaporeans home ownership is a growing dream. Yet there’s still the dilemma between purchasing a HDB and purchasing a private home. Considerations involve option of lifestyle, qualifications and, of course, the capital appreciation opportunity should one intend to sell the property one day.
Freehold vs Leasehold
If there is really no doubt that the best option is to purchase a private home, then the next thing to consider is: Freehold or leasehold?
The option depends on your expected stay time and on your budget. Since of the permanent possession, you pay more for freehold property which also makes fast financing. This is ideal for house buyers or HDB upgraders who expect to live a long time.
If budget is a constraint, leasehold can be a viable alternative, given the property is under the age of 21. They begin showing greater depreciation after this point. Unless you intend on selling your HDB flat after the MOP, we will suggest buying a brand new or fairly new leasehold.
Yet don’t be misled into believing freehold assets often command higher sale rates than leaseholds. The price will depreciate as a freehold property is aged just like any other property. Keep in mind, too, that as new condos are being constructed each year, older properties will face even more competition over time.
Buying Condos for Investment
You will still find fantastic investment properties in Singapore so long as you don’t expect the same returns as you might get a decade or two ago.
The numerous cooling steps have considerably quieted the market, but it has also contributed to a more competitive market with sufficient financial backing from buyers and sellers. There is more room for growth, too, with the influx of immigrants.
If you are expected to buy a property for investment purposes you will need to take some measured risk and consider the great economic and financial climate. Most people seem to expect their rental income to help offset the annual mortgage repayments that they will have to account for. You may want to look at the global pattern in the interest rate setting for this. Even the rental price is primarily determined by rental flat demand and supply. Although your apartment may be in a position to order a premium because of its venue, furnishings or services, you will not be able to avoid the trend. And you would want to research the macroeconomic climate before taking the plunge.
When you’re more interested in capital gains, condominiums may be the way to go, because they cater for a broader variety of buyers, and historical figures have shown that returns from private housing are typically higher than public housing.
Find Out More
There’s no correct or incorrect to buy a condo in Singapore so long as you don’t take on too much debt to do so. The interest is still in the beholder ‘s eye but you would certainly benefit from a level-headed attitude in the long term.
Buying a house is after all no small matter. A small misstep by hundreds of thousands will set you back. If you are unsure, always find greater clarification before going forward.
If you’re a first-time car buyer, here are some tips to help you stop turning the thrill of buying into regret for ownership. A car is a message to some Singaporeans that they did it, which we think is crazy. Getting financial freedom is much easier, rather than buying a symbol of it. It’s like paying for a jewelry box so much, you can’t afford to put a ring in it. Here’s why you should think again about your decision to purchase a car.
Owning a car is a heavy economic undertaking, especially in Singapore where cars cost several times the annual salary of the average person. That’s why it’s important you remember everything
Factors wisely to stop making a wrong or impulsive decision, just to end up resenting your costly purchase.
If you’re a first-time car buyer, it’s worth remembering these common mistakes people frequently make, so you’ll appreciate the experience of ownership more down the road.
Finding a lifestyle fit
Although coupes and convertibles boost your sex factor, don’t let your heart overpower your brain, especially if it’s your only vehicle. It’s important to pick a car, like the first point, that fits your needs and lifestyle. Sure, a two-door convertible might be a big boost to your ego, but think about the trouble of ferrying around your elderly parents or the trouble of installing a child seat at the rear.
Take a list of the requirements or upgrades your car will have to help you make a more informed decision. This list can also be helpful in budgeting, as it will allow you to decide how much money you will be able to spend on these mods and requirements.
If you’re a parent, it’s crucial to make sure the car you ‘re buying can comfortably and safely accommodate your kids. Younger kids will need to ride in child seats so carry one while you’re in the showroom to check whether the car you ‘re buying is child seat-friendly.
First time vehicle owners are frequently tempted to splurge on their first ride. You should think sensibly as temptingly as it may seem, and hold off the vision of driving a luxury car. As the proverb goes, living within your means is necessary. Do not make the mistake of buying a car which you would not be able to sustain.
Note, a car should be viewed as an asset that makes your life simpler and not a product that financially holds you down. You should also consider the other extra costs and fees of owning a car, in addition to the above points. With time, these extra costs accumulate to include vehicle maintenance fees, road tax, car insurance, parking, to fuel. While buying a car, remember to incorporate these costs into your decision, including the occasional breakdown and car towing service.
One benefit you have for current car owners is that you can sell your old vehicle to cover the New Car’s down payment. If your car’s worth is fairly high you won’t have to fork out a single cent for down payment. One way to optimize your returns is to get your vehicle from multiple sources to accurately valuate the business. To do so, either you can drive down and the dealerships to get a valuation that’s very difficult frankly, or you can get a free , no-obligation car valuation here within 24 hours.
A liability instead of an asset
A car’s value within the first year will fall in value by as much as 60 per cent. A car’s worth nothing more than its deregistration and junk money by the time 10 years are up.
In fact, cars are not cash-generating assets (unless you’re a full-time Grab driver, or something similar, again). Each month, cars actually cost you money, in terms of insurance, road tax, fuel, parking and more. It makes your car a liability, and potentially the most expensive you’ll ever be taking on.
Affecting home loan eligibility
The Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) system caps the maximum amount you can borrow when you get a home loan. This means that monthly repayments on all of your debts (home loans, car loans, educational loans, etc.) can not reach 60% of your monthly income.
You have a couple of other debt commitments now on top of that. You have a renovation loan, and a loan from your wedding, which includes repayments of every month. Including the car loan will increase your monthly debt obligations. When it reaches your TDSR and you will refuse your home loan. This might mean paying a heavier down payment, or failing to get the house you want.
Know all hidden costs
You have to continue to pay other prices, such as your auto insurance premiums, irrespective of whether you are using the vehicle.
Even if you haven’t been using the car for half a year, you still pay for the premiums, aircon maintenance, taxes. This is a huge deal in financial-crisis times. You would be forced almost inevitably to sell the car at a loss because it depreciates when conditions turn grim.
Just find out if there are any extra hidden costs and don’t worry about saying no to, or negotiating the number. Everybody needs to go home satisfied at the end of the day so sit down, have a cuppa and hammer out something fair for both parties with them.
Car payment terms
Much like the car shopping, when it comes to loans, you too can look around for the best offers. Many banks are approaching to see what each of them can do. Some banks may offer you lower interest rates, whereas others offer you more flexible terms. Some could even throw freebies at them when they take out a loan.
At the end of the day, the interest rate charged and the characteristics of the loan are important to look at. A longer period of loan or a smaller sum of instalments may not actually be the best option because you would potentially end up paying more interest over your loan tenure. Remember, borrowing is a huge financial commitment so be sure to shop around at the best rates.
Know the details
Buying a car can be a difficult process and often dealers can try to mislead you with all sorts of traps and fine print. Some dealers can even sell you ‘attractive’ car loan and insurance policies but if you’re unhappy with it, it’s not a must to take them up. The same applies to Guaranteed COE packages.
And understanding your rights as a customer is critical. Consumers in Singapore are covered under Lemon Law. In the case of new vehicles, this means that if a flaw is discovered on the purchase within six months, the manufacturer will have to fix or rebuild the vehicle as necessary, unless it can be proven that it is not a fabrication fault. Consumers may also report a faulty vehicle for used cars within six months of delivery, but the seller has an duty to show that the alleged defect was not present at delivery time.