Many people marvel at the beauty of Singapore and her progressiveness. Way before becoming the cosmopolitan city of today, Singapore was just a humble fishing village, inhabited by an indigenous settlement. Today. Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city of high-rise buildings, landscaped gardens and heritage-rich precincts. Home to a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture, Singapore is rich in contrast and colour. In fact, you would find that Singapore embodies aspects of both East and West in many interesting ways. Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore has a land area of about 710 square kilometres, making her one of the smallest countries in the world and the smallest in the region. Although small in size, Singapore commands an enormous presence in the world today with its free trade economy and highly efficient workforce. Also, her strategic location in the region has enabled her to become a central sea port along major shipping routes.
Singapore's climate is tropical so the island is warm and humid throughout the year. The average temperature is around 31oC and does not usually fall below 23oC. Sunbathing, swimming, sailing and other water sports will excite most people but if you’re not a big fan of the heat there are plenty of air-conditioned buildings.
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Foreigners are able to buy property in Singapore but with restrictions, The Residential Property Act (RPA) is then amended on 19 July 2005 to allow foreigners to purchase apartments in non-condominium developments of less than 6 levels without the need to obtain prior approval. For restricted property such as vacant land, landed properties such as bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses, prior approval is still needed if foreigners wish to buy. Landed properties is a special class of residential property that Singaporeans aspire to own, and should remain restricted. Foreigners need to apply for approval from Singapore Land Authority before buying
Once you have found the property you wish to buy you need to pay 1% of the purchase price as consideration in exchange for the Option to Purchase from the seller. Upon which, you will be given 14 days to decide whether you want to purchase it. If you choose to do so, you should exercise the option by signing it and forwarding it to the seller’s solicitor together with another 4% to 9% of the purchase price. Alternatively, you can request your agent or solicitor to draft the Offer to Purchase stating clearly the price and terms and conditions. Most agents can refer you to a reputable solicitor if your wish to consult any. Leave things in the hands of your solicitor. He or she will complete the sale in 8 to 10 weeks by lodging a caveat on the property and coordinating with the financial institutions if necessary. You can inspect the property one last time before the completion of sale if you seek permission to do so in the Option to Purchase. You should check the furnishings of the property and the items that the seller has agreed to sell together with the unit.
Within 14 days of signing the Option to Purchase or the Sales and Purchase Agreement, a stamp duty of 3% of purchase price has to be paid to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore if the property exceeds S$300,000. While the agency commission is borne by the seller, which varies from 1% to 2% of the purchase price, you need to bear the legal cost. A one-off fee of S$3,000 is payable to your solicitor for every transaction
Offer to rent Once you have found the property that suits you, you need to go through some formal procedures with the Landlord. You will need to give the Landlord a formal offer to rent the property through a “Letter of Intent”. The Landlord officially accepts your offer when he/she signs the letter. Generally, the property agent assigned by the Landlord or you will prepare all the necessary documents. Letter of Intent The Letter of Intent is a proposal by you to the Landlord, citing your intention to lease and your requirements. Most Landlords will of course have agreed to accept the requirements verbally ahead of time. As good faith, most rental agreements will start with the Tenant giving the Landlord 1 month’s rental in advance as a deposit. Term of lease – typically ranges from 12 to 24 months, with an option to renew for another 12 to 24 months upon the expiration but subjected to possible adjustments of rental price at the discretion of the Landlord based on the prevailing market rates. Landlords prefer to have 24 months lease terms to lock-in the good rental rates.. Deposit – it is usually the amount of one month’s rent. • Rent is paid montly • Stamp Fee The Tenant will pay the stamp fee. Generally, the agent will arrange for the payments to be made to the relevant government agency (i.e. the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore), but the Tenant needs to pay the agent in advance or reimburse the agent later; depending on what is agreed between the agent and Tenant in advance. - If the lease term does not exceed a year; S$1 for every S$250 or part thereof of annual rent - If the lease term exceeds 1 year, but does not exceed 3 years; S$2 for every S$250 or part thereof of annual rent - If the lease term exceeds 3 years, or has any indefinite term; S$4 for every S$250 or part thereof of annual rent.
Landlords pay the Agents fee