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3 Things To Consider Before You Buy Your First HDB Flat / EC / Condo

August 30, 2017

Considering buying a property? Before making that critical decision on a property, here are three important considerations that you should to take into account before making that final decision to buy your dream home!


Before you begin to looking at properties, it is important to understand how much you can afford to spend.

Things to consider:

  • How much cash do you have on hand?
  • How much do you have in your CPF Ordinary Account?
  • How much are you – and your partner if applicable – earning?

How Do I Figure Out How Much I Can Afford – Down-payment

The first thing you need to consider is how much you can afford as a down-payment.

HDB Flats with a loan from HDB only require a 10% down-payment (Can be paid entirely through CPF Savings) on the purchase price. So if you have $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in your CPF Ordinary Account, based on the down-payment alone you can afford to buy a HDB Flat worth $500,000

Private property/ HDB Flats with a loan from a bank require a 20% down-payment (Requires first 5% to be paid in cash, the remaining 15% can be paid through CPF Savings) on the purchase price. So if you have $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in your CPF Ordinary Account, based on the down-payment alone you can afford to buy a property worth $200,000

How Do I Figure Out How Much I Can Afford – Home Loans

The best way to figure how much you can borrow, is to get an Approval In Principle. This is where you submit your documents to a bank and they pre-approve you for a loan of a specific amount. With this done, you can then go and shop safely as you know that you’ll be able to borrow that amount of money.

Finding out the maximum you can borrow and afford is easy now with EasyRates easy to use Home Affordability Calculator


What’s Important To You?

Are you looking for a simple home for just you and your spouse? Or a place where you can start a family and raise kids? Understand your own life stage and take that into account when making a decision on your property!

If you’re looking for capital growth, Executive Condominiums (E.C.s) and private property may offer the kind of returns you’re looking for but often are not as big as HDB Flats.

If you’re looking to raise a family, you might want to consider the prospective primary schools, childcare and other family friendly facilities in the vicinity. Staying with elderly parents? Remember to consider the distance to the nearest healthcare facilities, in case they need a health check-up.

A home is a long term purchase, so account for plans that you may have over the next 10 years. Do you think you’ll be starting a family? Interested in having a large golden retriever? Factor all your concerns before making that critical decision to buy a property.


Type Of Property

Choosing between a Condo, E.C., HDB Flat or landed property is not always an easy choice, however, here are some things you can consider.

Condominiums and E.C.s


  • Great facilities right at your doorstep
  • Most affordable form of private property with reasonable capital gains
  • Less restrictive pet policy
  • Generally more secure as condominiums are usually gated


  • Normally smaller than HDB Flats
  • Higher conservancy fees
  • If you don’t use facilities, it may not be as worth it
  • At least 5% down payment must be made in cash

HDB Flats


  • Most affordable housing option
  • Subsidies help reduce the cost
  • Able to take a loan with HDB (Though HDB Loans are relatively more expensive than bank loans, they do offer a degree of stability)
  • No cash down payment necessary


  • Lower conservancy fees
  • May be slightly harder to sell, because of racial quotas and other factors
  • Governed by HDB rules
  • You cannot own a second property as long as you own a HDB flat

We hope that we’ve helped you understand more about the factors you should consider before you buy your first HDB Flat/ EC/ Condo. If you think we’ve left something important out, feel free to drop us a comment below. Love what we wrote? Share us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Wayne Quek

Wayne is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Finance) from Singapore Management University (SMU). A successful Relationship Manager during his time with DBS and HSBC, Wayne used his expertise in financial markets to help his clients build up comprehensive investment portfolios. The entrepreneur is also the founder of Home Loan Whiz, a mortgage consulting firm that assists clients with selecting ideal mortgages for their needs.

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