Looking to buy or rent a house? Apart from the CPF Housing Grant (which pretty much everyone knows about!), there are also a few lesser-known schemes that may help you defer some of your cost. Read on to find out more!
#1: Fresh Start Housing Scheme
The Fresh Start Housing Scheme is applicable for second-timer families with children below the age of 16, who are currently living in public rental flats. (Second-timer families refer to those who have previously enjoyed one housing subsidy). Under this scheme, you’ll be able to purchase a short-lease 2-room Flexi flat in BTO or SBF sales exercises. Lease options range from 45 years to 65 years – these are all more affordable than standard 99-year lease flats.
The scheme in a nutshell: Buy a two-room flexi flat on a shorter lease. HDB concessionary rate loans and Fresh Start Housing Grants of up to $35,000 may also be applicable.
Caveats: At least one of the applicants must have been in stable employment for the past 12 months. Also, there is a 20 year Minimum Occupation Period if you purchase a house under this scheme.
#2: Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)
The PPHS helps to temporarily house families as they await the completion of their new flats (by allowing them to rent flats at a reduced price). Whilst this was previously only available to families with young children, HDB has since loosened the reins, with the rental units is now available to all first-timer couples who have booked an uncompleted flat under the BTO or SBF exercise.
According to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, over 2,000 families have benefitted from the PPHS since it was launched, and more than 400 babies have been born to families living in these PPHS flats.
The scheme in a nutshell: First-timer couples awaiting the completion of their flats can rent units at rates that are up to 50% cheaper than those offered by landlords nearby.
Caveats: There are limited flats available, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to nab yourself a unit. Also, if you’re applying under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, you’ll have to submit your marriage certificate to HDB within 3 months of taking possession of your PPHS flat.
#3: Staggered Downpayment Scheme
With the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, you’ll be paying your downpayment in two instalments, instead of in a single lump sum. Half of the amount will be paid when you sign the Agreement for Lease (which typically happens within four months of booking a flat). The remaining amount is paid on your key collection date.
The scheme in a nutshell: An extended runway for you to pay the downpayment for your flat.
Caveats: Only those who have booked an uncompleted flat will be eligible for this scheme. On top of that, the flat application has to be submitted on or before the younger applicant’s 30th birthday.
#4: Deferred Downpayment Scheme
This one might not be as applicable for you – so pass along the information to friends and family who might find it useful! The Deferred Downpayment Scheme essentially enables elderly who are right-sizing to defer the payment of downpayment until key collection.
With the DDS, elderly flat buyers are only required to pay the stamp duty and legal fees when they sign the Agreement for Lease (instead of paying the entire downpayment). These flat buyers need only pay the purchase price of the flat once it is ready for key collection (usually a few years later).
The scheme in a nutshell: Homeowners aged 55 years old and above who are applying for a 2-room Flexi or 3-room flat in a BTO or SBF exercise can get to defer their downpayment until they collect their keys.
Caveats: As long as the applicant has not sold or completed the sale of their existing flat at the point of new flat application, they’re eligible. The good news: the DDS is extended automatically to all eligible flat buyers; there’s no application needed!
#5: Temporary Loan Scheme
The Temporary Loan Scheme (TLS) helps flat buyers who intend to use the sale proceeds from their existing flat to pay for a new flat (without taking out a mortgage). Here’s how it works: while the sale of their existing flat is underway, flat buyers should first apply for a temporary loan, so that they may complete the purchase of their new flat. This temporary loan will be redeemed subsequently, using the net proceeds from the sale of the existing flat.
The scheme in a nutshell: Using a temporary loan, buyers can sell their existing flat and purchase a new one without taking out a mortgage.
Caveats: In order to qualify for the TLS, you must have booked a new flat (with the keys being ready for collection), submitted an application to sell your existing flat, and have a sufficient CPF balance (or sufficient cash proceeds from the sale of your flat) such that you may fully redeem the temporary loan
Check out other rental related articles here: Should Ask Questions (SAQ) for tenants in Singapore and How to tell if your rental property is being used for illegal activities
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