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Author: Si jie LIM
7 HDB schemes that Singaporeans must know in order to take advantage of buying a Singapore property.
To make home ownership a reality for Singaporeans, HDB has introduced different HDB schemes to make homes more affordable. But there’s just one problem: All the schemes that are meant to help Singaporeans are published separately, making it difficult for Singaporeans to read everything at one go. It is no wonder why some Singaporeans end up buying their HDB without leveraging on the available schemes.
That’s why we decided to write this guide so that Singaporeans will not make the silly mistake of missing out on HDB schemes that were meant to help you in the first place.
7 HDB Schemes Singaporeans Must Know To Avoid Making Silly Mistakes
- Staggered Down Payment Scheme
When you made up your mind and sign the Agreement of Lease with HDB, the next thing you need to think about is making down payment. Most people know that you need to make a down payment within 4 months of booking a flat. But do you know what is the down payment amount you need to make?
What Is Staggered Down Payment Scheme?
Under the HDB staggered down payment scheme, you don’t need to pay all the down payment upfront. You have the option of splitting the down payment into 2:
- Within 4 months of booking a flat
- The rest can be settled upon collection of keys to your new home
How Can You Stagger Your Down Payment Under The Scheme?
The amount that you need to pay under the staggered down payment scheme depends on whether you are taking a HDB or bank loan. Here’s how much you need to pay depending on your loan type:
- HDB Loan
|Down payment at Signing of Agreement for Lease||5% of home value using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash|
|Payment during Collection of keys||5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash|
- Bank loan (with 75% loan ceiling)
|Down payment at Signing of Agreement for Lease||5% in cash + 5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash|
|Payment during Collection of keys||15% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash|
- Bank loan (with 55% loan ceiling)
|Down payment at Signing of Agreement for Lease||10% in cash|
|Payment during Collection of keys||35% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash|
HDB Schemes Eligibility – Staggered Down Payment Scheme?
Since HDB is giving you an option to stagger your HDB down payment, why not take up their goodwill? In that way, you get more time to prepare for your second down payment. However, not everyone is eligible for the scheme. There are a few criteria you need to fulfill for eligibility:
- At least one of you is a first-time applicant
- Applying for a maximum flat size of 5-room
- The younger of the two applicants has yet to reach your 30th birthday
- Deferred Down Payment Scheme
Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear of Singaporeans right-sizing their homes. Right-sizing allows Singaporeans to unlock value in their homes for their retirement needs. To help retirees smoothen the right-sizing process, HDB introduced the Deferred Down Payment scheme. For retirees who are downsizing to a 2-room Flexi or 3-room BTO flat, you can defer your down payment till the collection of your keys. This will help ease the cash flow of homeowners with funds tied in your existing flat.
The Deferred Down Payment scheme is automatically offered to flat buyers above age 55. You don’t need to apply for it.
- Fresh Start Housing Scheme
The Fresh Start Housing scheme is part of the government’s initiatives to give financial support to low-income families. In particular, the scheme aims to help low-income families that are living in public rental flats to own a 2-room flexi flat. The Fresh Start Housing scheme comes with a few key features:
- It lets you take up an HDB Concessionary Loan with reduced interest rate (subjected to credit assessment)
- You can receive a Fresh Start Housing Grant of $35,000 for a 60/65-year lease (adjusted based on lease year)
- $20,000 will be a lump sum disbursement into your CPF Ordinary Account just before key collection
- Remaining $15,000 will be disbursed over 5 years into the CPF Ordinary Account after key collection
- Cap on resale levy (max $30,000) when you buy your next home
- Parenthood Priority Scheme
As part of the government’s plans to encourage more childbearing, the Parenthood Priority scheme was introduced. This scheme allows first-timer married couples (with or expecting a child) to have priority allocation when buying an HDB flat. At every BTO exercise, up to 30% of BTO flats will be set aside for these (soon-to-be) parents.
- Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme
As an extension to the Parenthood Priority scheme, the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme lets first-timer married couples rent an HDB flat at a lower rate while waiting for their BTO HDB flat to be completed. The rental is typically 50% (or more) lower than the market rental rates.
- Deferred Income Assessment “HDB Schemes”
Unlike the old days, couples nowadays tend to think much further compared to their parents’ generation. As such, most couples prefer to get their own home first before committing to a marriage. Coupled with a few years of waiting needed for a BTO HDB flat, this has led to later parenthood years. To help young couples settle down earlier, the Deferred Income Assessment “Scheme” was announced.
Instead of assessing your income at the point of housing application, this scheme allows you to defer the income assessment date. For uncompleted flats (i.e. BTO), income assessment only takes place 3 months before flat completion. This allows young couples who are in the early stage of their career to apply for their ideal home without being restricted by their current income (or lack thereof).
- Temporary Loan HDB Schemes
One problem that existing homeowners face when you are looking for a change of flat is the problem of a lack of cash flow. While you are awaiting the sale of your existing flat, you might be forced to take up a new loan even though the sale proceeds from your existing flat could cover for the new flat purchase. To help buyers transit between homes, the Temporary Loan Scheme was implemented. The scheme lets you take up a short term loan to temporarily take care of your cash flow shortfall without committing to a long-term mortgage loan.
Bonus: Missing Out On Home Loan Deals
Lastly, one major mistake that Singaporeans tend to make is missing out on good home loan deals. For example, when your loan package is up for refinancing, do you take advantage of the opportunity to switch to a cheaper deal? You could be looking at saving a few thousand dollars of interest rate every year!
Refinancing can be easy if you know how. Search for the best home loan deals on iCompareLoan today.
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