Buying a House Overseas? Basic Things You Need to Know

Living overseas can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your life, especially if you have enough money to invest in a business and spend less for a better quality of life. In countries like Singapore, the quality of life is truly exceptional, and the same thing can be said in many cities in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and Thailand. However, if you want to buy a property there, you need to acknowledge the fact that the competition is tough. The processes can be quite elaborate, especially if you are a foreigner seeking to live in the country permanently. Nevertheless, it will be all worth it in the end, knowing that you are part of one of the most advanced and progressive countries in the world.

Before you think of planning your interior design for a landed property or condominium, there are a couple of important things that you need to know when investing in a house overseas. Here are some of them:

First Things First

Basically, if you’re a foreigner planning to live permanently in a country like Singapore, there’s great news – you can buy properties in the country, and these include condominiums and private apartments, which are in a shared structure. But if you want to invest in landed real estate properties, such as bungalows and single-detached homes, you may have to get an approval from the government.

Other countries have their rules and guidelines, often requiring a partnership or even citizenship to do so. Check with the laws governing property and ownership and discuss it with your lawyer.

Know the Major Types of Real Estate Properties

Properties may not have the same categories as in your home country, but in a country like Singapore, there are three major types of properties: the Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, executive condominiums, and private properties. HDB flats are public housing, and they are obviously the most affordable among the three. Executive condominiums or ECs are real estate properties built by private developers, and they are similar to private condos; ECs, however, are classified under HDB for the first ten years. Private properties, on the other hand, include landed houses and non-landed homes, such as private condominiums.

You have to keep in mind that in many countries foreigners are not eligible to own property, but if allowed to do so, know what kinds of property you could purchase. In Singapore, foreigners cannot own HDBs, and they can only buy executive condominiums that have been standing for at least ten years.

Couple bought a house

The Cost of Property Ownership

Singapore has one of the most expensive housing prices in the world. Average price of a property in this country is around US$800,000 or over S$1,000,000. And if you’re a foreigner eyeing an executive condo, you may need to prepare S$1,400,000. And because Singapore is a tiny nation, you can expect that landed properties are much more expensive. Landed properties may fall within the range of S$3,000,000-S$5,000,000.

The Cost of Living

More than the housing costs, you will need to consider the cost of living in the country. Singapore remains one of the most expensive countries in the world. But with the right budgeting techniques and proper setting of priorities, you can live comfortably. You may think twice of buying a car, as Singapore has a very robust and reliable transportation system. You can get anywhere using the metro or the bus. After all, cars in Singapore may fetch a higher price tag, and you may need to acquire a Certificate of Entitlement.

Plan accordingly

The key to landing a good property in Singapore is through proper planning. This is something that Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs), and foreigners can achieve by consulting with the right people.

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