It can be very daunting for people who are buying their first home. Couples fall in love and date for some time before getting married. Marriage leads to the mandatory plans of having a home to live in as married couples do.

Being new to this stage in life, you might be lost at what to do.

Here are some points to take note of when looking into plans to purchase your very first home.

1. Eligibility

It is always important to start planning for anything big in life. However, you have to know what options are available to you first before creating that big plan. We wouldn’t want all that effort to go to waste would we?

There are 3 categories when it comes to Singapore property. Public Housing which are your HDB flats; Private properties like landed properties or apartments; and a hybrid of the public-private housing would be the executive condominiums.

Here are some really basic factors you may wish to take note of regarding eligibility, based on property types.


For BTO units, the following eligibility criteria applies:

You must be 35 years and older to purchase if unmarried or divorced without children. This is subject to your income and you are only allowed to apply for smaller flats.

You must be 21 years and older if purchasing with your

  • Spouse and/or children
  • Children under your legal custody (if widowed or divorced)
  • Parents and siblings.

You must be 21 years and older if you have been widowed (with or without children) or are applying as an orphan (that is, the buyer has no living parents).

If you meet the conditions, you can apply directly to HDB for a housing loan—check out the requirements here.

Executive Condominiums

If you are purchasing a brand new EC, you must be 21 years of age and above if you are buying a unit

  • with your family members
  • as a widow (with children) or 
  • as an orphan (the buyer has no living parents).

If you are purchasing a brand new EC as a single person—you are unmarried, widowed (without children) or divorced (without children)—you must be 35 years of age and above to buy your unit under the Joint Singles Scheme.

If you are purchasing a resale EC from the open market, you must be 21 years of age and above to qualify for the purchase.

To finance an EC, you’ll have to take out a bank loan—HDB loans do not apply here! You’ll have to fork out up to 25% in cash or CPF for down payment. 

If you’re buying a new EC, you’ll be held to the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), where you’re not allowed to exceed 30% of your household income in loan repayments. If you’re purchasing a resale EC, you’re subject to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR), where your total loan liabilities (other loans and debts) cannot exceed 60% of your income.

Private Property

The buyer must be at least the age of 21 years.

Do note that there are other factors to consider when it comes to eligibility besides age requirements. These factors are more in-depth to consider like the differences in criteria between resale HDB and BTO units. We will elaborate further on these for the next upcoming blog so look forward to it!

2. Consider your priorities

Some popular factors include thinking about how far away you will be living away from parents, the ease of public transport and the commute to your workplace. These are major determinants of your consideration when purchasing a home.


Yes, some of you might need the safe haven away from them (just joking, parents mean the world to us), however there is a proximity housing grant (PHG). You might want to take note of it to save costs especially if parents are staying in a less developed area.


You might want to plan on how to locate yourself away from your workplace as your daily traveling would be long term, this affects you alot in ways like the extra time to sleep in and the time taken to reach home after a long day’s work. We wouldn’t want to over dedicate our time to traveling would we?

Public Transport

How wonderful would it be to just be within 5 min walking distance to the MRT station. However that accessibility would mean to pay a premium for that long term convenience. Don’t forget the prices also differ based on how far a certain location is from the CBD area.

3. Plan your budget 

Let’s say you’re taking the route of most Singaporeans: you’re applying for a HDB flat and have taken a 25-year loan tenor. You’ll be making 300 monthly repayments including a down payment. That’s a huge commitment! How much do you need to pay this off?

One good way to figure this out is to get an estimate of the loan via HDB or banks. This is usually based on factors such as your age, current income and combined income with your spouse. Starting off by finding out your eligible loan amount would filter your list of choices when the time comes, saving you time from unnecessary considerations.

Do also look out for housing grants! Most grants are available for BTO, resale HDB or new EC units. These are important as it would help lift some heavy load off your huge payments and allow your desired future home to be accessible. 

Typically, HDB owners-to-be apply for a HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter to finance their unit. If you’re using a bank loan instead, make sure to acquire an In-Principle of Approval (IPA), to prove that you have gained an approval to the specific loan amount. 

What if you’re seeking to buy private property? In this case, you’ll most likely be taking up a 30-year loan tenor with 360 monthly repayments—an even bigger decision to make. Of course, HDB grants and loans won’t be open to you. You’ll have to take out a bank loan, so acquiring an IPA is a must. Crucial steps such as meticulous budgeting still apply.


We hope you had a better idea after reading our content. It would be generic though as everyone has a unique case and different stories when it comes to property purchases. Doing your own research will definitely help you in your own way. You will not regret the amount of time you invested that led you in making the purchasing decisions. May you find your ideal home and experience happiness forever!


Here are some useful links that provide more information on what we covered so far: