My First Home Purchase

It's time to put it down in black and white and make sure I didn't miscalculate before I pay and exercise the option this Saturday. For those of you wondering why I choose to get a 2-room, maybe you can find the answer here.

Flat Information
Flat Type: 2S (46SQM)
District: Queenstown
Lease Commencement Date: 01 Jan 1967
Valuation Price: $260,000 (24 Dec 2013 to 24 Mar 2014)
Agreed Price: $250,000 (06 Mar 2014)

Salary Information
Monthly Salary: $3480

HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE)
Estimated Loan Amount: $230,100
Estimated Repayment Period: 25
Estimated Monthly Instalment: $1,044

CPF Information
Balance in OA: $76,261.38 (14 Apr 2014)

Housing Grant
Singles Grant: $15,000

Option Fees Paid on 15 Mar 2014
$1000 Option Fee
$4000 Option Exercise Fee

Loan Information
Loan Amount: $158,500
Repayment Period (In Years): 25
Interest Rate of Loan: 2.6%
Monthly instalment: $721
Installment start: 01 Jul 2014

Loan Repayment After Factor in Lease Less Than 60 Years
Purchase Date: Assume 01 Apr 2014
Maximum CPF Usable: $127,500
CPF Usable After Purchase: $127,500 - $91,008.35 = $36,491.65
Years Payable By CPF: $36,491.65 / $721 / 12 = 4.21
Years Payable By Cash: 25 - 4.21 = 20.79

Cashflow After Monthly Expenses at New Home
Take-home Salary: $2783
Give Wife: $600
Myself: $500
Internet and Mobile: $120
Utilities and Conservancy Fees: $150
Savings: $2783 - $600 - $500 - $120 - $150 = $1413

Cash Payments
Option fee: $5000
Valuation report: $133.05
Resale application: $30
Caveat fee: $128.90
Conveyancing fee: $5.35
Title search fee: $10.40
Agent fee: $2675
Fire insurance: $3.10
Total: $7985.80

Painting: $100
Aircon power socket: $100
Kitchen cabinet, stove and sink: $600
Kitchen flooring: $2000

Aircon, fridge and washing: $3500
Mattress: $280

For the first 4 years or so, I can pay the monthly instalments via CPF, but after that I will have to pay via cash for the next 20 years or so. Well, I might not live there forever anyway, maybe when I have children or when my wife gets PR, we might consider upgrading, but see how, $702 a month is not a big deal, as you can see that after deducting for expenses, I still have a surplus of $1413, even if I factor in $702 now, I still have $711, so during this 4 years or so, I will try to save and invest as much as possible, but of course if we have a baby, I think the savings will be reduced, then again, I haven't factor in my bonus, allowance and government subsidies, baby bonus and etc, I think with all of that factored in, I'm sure we can live comfortably, provided I don't lose my job, but I think that is very unlikely, well I didn't choose my current job for fun, people tell me I can get higher pay elsewhere, I know that, but I choose to stay in this company because of the job security it offers, furthermore it has a retrenchment package in place.

Anyway I will keep updating this page as and when information gets clearer, getting a home deserves a page by itself!


Simon said…
Friend, just ask.
Why not a 3 room flat with addiitonal 1.5 rooms. Can rent out and earn extra income.
Just bought a 3 room flat at Valuation 377 plus 40 cov.
Rental at 2400 by current owner to some philippino.
Will cosider even to rent out the utility room in future for 400 bucks to oover electricity and water bill.
Hi Simon,

My wife is not working so I will be the only one paying the loan, 3-room is beyond my means unless I take location such as Woodlands, Marsiling... So in the end I decided to get a good location with comfortable repayment, the rental for my unit also not bad, around $1800-$2000 because near city.
xiaomei said…
Hi how come you are applying for single grant..?

is it because you are married, to a foreigner?

is the marriage registered in Singapore?
Hi xiaomei,

Yes you are right, my wife is a foreigner and she is holding a Long-Term Visit Pass so we are only eligible for the Singles Grant.

Yes again, our marriage was registered in Singapore.

Thanks for dropping by :)
Anonymous said…
Is there any requirement for citizen if want to marry a foreign spouse?
I.e: letter statement / minimum dalary/ etc.

There is no minimum salary requirement, you just need to follow the procedures at Registry of Marriage. You can find it here,
Anonymous said…
I have read your blog for the last few months. I like your practical, direct and prudent approach to budgeting and saving. Congrats on the new home. I myself live in a 3-room flat in the city and agree that location is actually more important than size. I used to live in a bigger flat in Yishun and the travel everywhere was a killer. And the effort to clean up a 5-room flat is also much more troublesome.

Thanks for visiting.

Yep, I bought this 2-room mainly because of the location, it's near my workplace and quite central so getting to places is not so troublesome.
benthai said…
you have a good wife
I always ask my colleague to get a list of his thai wife's cousins LOL
Thanks, I'm sure you will meet someone soon ;)
Lim said…

My Partner(F) and I intend to get a house together soon.
And you seems like a guru, haha. Can you please help me clear my doubt?
I cant find the correct channel anywhere.

Do we need to ROM before buying a Resale flat?

Next, how do you actually collect all the numbers? Like how much we can actually used our CPF.. And.. What are the grants available other than the Non-citizen spouses?

HLE and Bank loan is the same thing? Sorry if I sound ridiculous, Im trying to do my research now.. I just cant find the correct information.

Will appreciate your help !
Hi Lim,

I'm not a guru, just happen to have some experience ;)

Yes you need the ROM cert, this is to show that you form a family nucleus.

You can check out the various eligibility schemes for resale flat here:

As for housing grants, you can check out here:

HLE usually refers to the letter given by HDB to show that you are eligible for XXX amount of housing loan.

As for bank loan it refers to borrowing from bank, so this is different from a HDB loan.
Lim said…

So, HLE = HDB housing loan ? Means Bank loan, I return to bank, HLE is I return to HDB?

Would you give me a rough guideline of how things should be done, please?

Like for example,
After I look for an agent and look out for resales, then go for grants...

How does the grant works? Like for the Non-Citizen Spouse Grant, $15k to my cpf? Can use as downpayment?

Whats the min. amount I must have as downpayment cash for Resales?
I saw your calculations on the Cash & CPF amount, how do you do a rough estimation on that?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Lim,

Yes, HLE letter mean you borrow from HDB, it is a letter saying how much HDB is willing to loan you, bank they call it letter of offer mean you borrow from bank, also saying how much bank is willing to loan you.

First you can start with finding out how much you can loan from HDB, can use this calculator:

Then let's say you buy with your foreign spouse, if she don't have PR, you can get $15K, if she have PR you can get $20K, if she have citizenship or your baby is a citizen, can get $30K.

But before you look for agent better get the letter first, otherwise most won't entertain you, it is just market practice.

Yes the housing grant is just as if they top-up into your CPF account, can use as down payment.

Depend on whether you borrow from HDB or from bank, HDB you can borrow up to 90% of house value, bank I think only 80%. So if the house is $300K, if you borrow HDB, you need at least $30K for down payment, if borrow bank, you need $60K for down payment.

You can use the Resale financial plan from HDB, very useful tool:
H said…

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. My husband (SC) and I (VN) are planning to purchase a resale flat as well. I understand from speaking to HDB that if you want to BTO next time, you should not take any grant when buying resale under non citizen spouse scheme. I can see that you've taken the single you know if this would affect your application for BTO in any way in the future? Thank you!
Hi H,

Yes, in future if I go for BTO, I will be considered second-timer because I took the Singles Grant. I also think it's better not to take if possible but for me I think I'll go for Sales of Balance flat instead of BTO, maybe still not so bad.

But now that I think of it, I don't really need to take the grant, so that person from HDB who spoke to you gave you good advise, if your loan amount is enough, then just skip the grant, it's okay to pay more now if you have intention to upgrade later.
Hi H,

After reading up at HDB site and checking with HDB via email, other than the issue of being a second-timer for BTO (and Sales of Balance flat) after taking a housing grant for a resale flat, there is also the Resale Levy to consider:

For me as a Singles Grant recipient, I would need to pay $7,500 using sale proceeds and/or cash for the Resale Levy if in future I choose to buy BTO or Sales of Balance flat. I don't need to pay the levy if I am buying a resale flat. See here for details on the levy:

And if I choose to apply for the Top-Up Grant of $15,000 now that I have a Singaporean baby, my resale levy would become $15,000 instead. So I don't think I will apply for this one.

There is also the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to consider. See here for details:

For me as I own a 2-room resale flat, the MOP of 5 years applies to me regardless of whether I have taken any housing grant. Basically all types of flats will require MOP except for 1-room flat bought in the resale market.
cgan said…
how come your Conveyancing fee is so little?
Not sure whether it is too little or not, that's what they charged me ;)
KAI said…
Hi, just wondering how to accommodate foreign wife in sg for the meantime. I mean after register marriage overseas and then need to buy resale flat with the marriage cert and this process requires months. Any advice?

Maybe can stay with parents first, or rent in open market, two person should be around $800-$900 a month for your own room, I think $700+ also have but depends on location.
Anonymous said…
Hi bro noobishyang. 1st of all thank you for sharing all these info and being openly willingly sharing to all the bros out there. Indeed a very honest n humble blog. Very informative and very down to earth. Im sure u make a great husband.

I recently got married and also with foreign spouse. A quick qn. Why wont you bto that time? And go for resale instead?
At first i thought of resale but its too hard for me to maintain. As such i decide to go for bto 2room. Looking at sales of balance too.
Anything i should take note of thru out the process? We planning to have a kid in a year.
Anonymous said…
As for the grant. When to use when not to use? I am a first timer. Nv gotten a hdb b4. Got married with a foreigner. Looking at 2room hdb. Which is the ideal planning?

Glad the info here is useful ;)

That time I not yet 35 and my wife didn't have PR so cannot apply BTO, so no choice apply for resale.

I can't advise much on BTO since I never go through the process, but I guess it should be more straightforward than resale because resale more things to consider such as cash over valuation, previous owner, age of flat etc etc, BTO the price what you see is what you pay so no surprises, and it's brand new.

As for grant, just take whatever grant you can take, I don't see any point in not taking since in future when you want to sell, MOP still applies. Resale levy also applies unless in future you sell and buy resale flat. Can't think of any reason not to take the grant.

And since you have plan for kid, it's better to buy 3-room, but too bad cannot buy 3-room BTO, but also ok la, buy 2-room first, future can upgrade. Now I also planning to upgrade when I reach 5 years MOP.
Anonymous said…
Hi, mind sharing on how long you've worked for $76K in your OA? Understand if you don't cause some people feel that money issues quite P&C... But since you already shared it all..... hehehe.

Actually started working since 13 years old (1996) but all part-time jobs.

Full-time was 2004 until now, but between 2004 to 2010 have some gaps (resign cannot find work for some time).

So 1996 to 2014 I saved $76K in OA. If consistently work no gaps I think will be higher.
YT said…
Hi there, I'm also buying a resale with less than 60 years' lease and found your website. Wondering how you got the $91,008.35 for CPF usable after purchase. I'm trying to work backwards to how much and how long I have to fork out cash for my flat. Appreciate your help!
Hi YT,

$15,000 is from the housing grant, the rest are from my CPF Ordinary Account. You can use the HDB resale financial plan tool, it is very useful:

Popular posts from this blog

Long-Term Visit Pass - Plus (LTVP-PLUS)

How to Marry a Thai in Singapore