For a young working adult, staying at home with your parents seems like the perfect place to live in. Since the rent and food are usually free, you will be able to get a financial head start.
However, this living arrangement can hold you back if you want to live an independent and autonomous lifestyle. Think about it!
To help you, here are some signs to validate your desire to move out:
1. YOU ARE DONE ANALYZING YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
Renting or buying your own flat is one of the biggest investments you can ever make in your life. It is a long-term commitment that you should carefully analyze and plan.
Before deciding on whether you are renting or buying your own home, you must first know how much you earn, how much you can afford, and how much do you need. The type of flat you can afford to rent or buy depends on your income and savings. The exact amount of money you need includes the upfront payments and the monthly payments such as conservancy charges or housing loan installments.
You are only ready to move out when you are done examining your financial capabilities and done weighing your housing options.
2. YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT SAVINGS
In order for you to move into your own nest, you must have sufficient savings in your account. This savings is not only for your down payment but also for your emergency fund that compromises maintenance, repair, and moving expenses.
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Since loans may take up a huge chunk of your income, it is advisable to have a sufficient cash at hand (amounting to at least four months’ worth of salary).
3. YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY FOR DOWN PAYMENT
If you are purchasing a house in Singapore, the bank can give you a loan of up to 80%. This means, you will need to have 20% of down payment upfront. Instead of getting trapped in a credit hole, it is important that you can afford the down payment. And if you really cannot afford it just yet, you can either wait or find a cheaper place.
4. YOUR POTENTIAL HOME WILL NOT ELIMINATE YOUR ENTIRE CPF
As a working Singaporean, you are entitled with a comprehensive savings plan called the Central Provident Fund (CPF). This is mainly used for your healthcare, retirement, and housing needs. However, you must not blow it all on one area such as housing.
If you do not have other investment options to cover your lifespan then, it is not necessary to take the highest HDB loan possible just because you can.
5. YOUR PARENTS ARE ITCHING FOR YOU TO GET OUT
If you are constantly finding yourself in an argument over simple things especially the ones that pertain to the house rules then, it is time to consider moving out. Furthermore, if your parents are throwing subtle comments on you then, it is time to take the hint.
Moving out may be the suitable solution for you to keep your loving and peaceful relationships in tact.
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Aside from these signs, you must not overlook the pleasure and responsibilities of living on your own!
According to the latest Population Trends report, single-hood rates are highest among lower-educated Singaporean men in their 30s and 40s and among higher educated women. It is clearly observable that the number of unmarried Singaporeans have been growing over the years but that does not stop one to contemplate about purchasing his or her own flat.
With the hefty housing prices in the market today, can an individual with an average income really afford a huge investment single-handedly?
To tell you honestly, the answer is YES!
It is possible, but you have to consider these few things:
1. KNOW ABOUT THE AVAILABLE SCHEME AND GRANT
In 2013, the government introduced a scheme that allows first-timer singles aged 35 and above earning up to S$5,000 a month to purchase a 2-room flats in “non-mature” estates. At that year, HDB launched 3,861 flats for sale in Sengkang, Bukit Merah, and Yishun under the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.
This relatively new scheme is called Single Singaporean Citizen (SSC). As you are aware of, before SSC, singles could only buy either private properties or resale HDB flats which can be costly! Thus, this will give a great opportunity for all the singles out there that are planning to become home owners despite of their average incomes.
Say you are an unwed Singaporean who just turned 35 a few months ago and you draw an average of S$3,000 a month, you can be entitled to receive the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) worth S$10,000. However, the eligibility of SHG is only given to first-timer citizen who is applying for a 2-room flat in non-mature estates. Furthermore, his or her average gross monthly income must not exceed S$3,250.
By knowing the available scheme and grant, one can safely conclude that owning a 2-room flat in Singapore is possible without the need to fork out loads of cash upfront.
2. ANALYZE YOUR BUDGET
Since purchasing a house is probably the biggest financial commitment you have at this point, it must be planned carefully. Before you start looking for a flat in the non-mature estates, know what you can afford as well as what you need to pay for first. Even if you are purchasing a new private property, you will need to reserve extra money to cover repair, taxes, and maintenance. Affordability is certainly a huge issue!
3. PROTECT WHAT YOU OWN
There is a huge sense of comfort and independence in owning your own home wherein you make your own decisions as days go by. Along with that comes the responsibility to take care of yourself. It is important that you have sufficient insurance to cover your health and your life.
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4. CONSULT THE PROFESSIONALS
As I said before, buying a home is a huge commitment to make. This is why you must take your time and do your research with the available resources you have. Aside from this, it is always a good idea to talk to real estate agents or to consult a financial adviser beforehand.
Wouldn’t you want to know where to put your hard-earned money, so it can work by itself? Don’t you want a secure and profitable investment that will bring money in the long run? Well, who doesn’t? But if it was so easy, why isn’t everybody doing it. Because it isn’t that easy and the markets become increasingly unsteady. However, there are certain areas that come close to what you would want to call a safe investment.
Those are areas that are less dependent on the fluctuations of the market. For example – as the world tries to stir towards renewable energy resources, an increasing number of governments are subsidising this particular industry. Hence, the industry grows and becomes more profitable – no matter whether another financial crisis will hit or not. Although nothing is even 100% secure, certain areas of investment are very likely to create profit. Not all are in Europe and North America though.
Investing in Asian markets is nothing new. However, some markets are booming and won’t stop for another decade at least. Singapore is one these markets. This sovereign city-state has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world and therefore plenty of investment power within the country. The construction industry is already booming for over a decade and there isn’t a sign for a halt. Property agents have turned wealthy, as land is being reclaimed and developed with the speed of light.
But there isn’t only property. The government and the Singapore Economic Development Board have opened up the country for foreign investors. The economy is not limited to construction and property, but excels in trade and shipping as Singapore has the busiest port in Asia. Also other sectors, such as technology, tourism and financial services, are welcoming and prosperous. As Singapore’s government stirs the economy towards further development and growth, there isn’t any end in sight for long-term investments.
Another interesting location for investments is Qatar. With the FIFA World Cup 2022 coming up, the investments from within the country are enormous. Qatar is not only investing stadiums and infrastructure, but aims to create a wonderland for tourists, just like Dubai has done. Stocks are being predicted to rise, if not triple within a decade. Different sources recommend the Qatar investment fund. However, there is a bitter taste to the bite. The Arab country has recently been criticised for the unfavourable treatment of their foreign workers. Furthermore, the FIFA is under pressure, due to accusations of bribery during the bidding process and allegations of slave labour. Although the FIFA says a reallocation of the World Cup 2022 will not happen, one should keep it in mind when investing in the Gulf country.
Properties can be in another sense an interesting investment. As certain cities loose their population, others are becoming increasingly popular. Detroit for example has lost half of its inhabitants in forty years. However, there are other urban centres that are already experiencing a scarcity of housing. Berlin for example has a rising demand for housing for ten years straight. The German capital has once been cheap with plenty of living space. Investors have renovated entire neighbourhoods and created upscale living. As the popularity of Berlin isn’t declining, the rents have not only increased, but property has become the hottest commodity in the city. Those who have invested in property early enough have made significant financial benefits.
Similar developments can be seen in various cities around the world. Brooklyn, London, Paris and Amsterdam are only a few examples. Furthermore, due to the housing crisis and the collapse of the international market in 2008 and 2009, the prices for houses and properties broke down. Five years later the prices are slowing picking up speed with the tendency to rise rather than to fall again. An investment in inner city housing and urban property will in many cases be a profitable one.
Barcelona, Madrid, Austin and other cities are becoming increasingly attractive. As the rents there are down at the moment, these cities provide investors with interesting prospects. The prices on the international housing market were terribly bad for a couple of years. As the crisis is passing and most countries are recovering, the prices will go nowhere but up. While the market in some cities might take some time, other city markets are already starting to boom. Furthermore, the trend of urbanisation is speeding up the process. London, however, is no longer interesting, as the rents have become too expensive which minimises the profit margin dramatically.
Up and rising are also leisure and entertainment. Never before have we consumed such a quantity of entertainment. Hence, the technology sector will not just be interesting, but also offer itself as a profitable investment opportunity. Social Media brands and small start-ups, such as Facebook and Whatsapp have in an extremely short period of time generated a large amount of value and money. Many others are following the example. The technology market has grown tight links to the entertainment and leisure industry. Therefore, it will be interesting to watch what is coming.
Surely there are people that keep reminding us constantly of the bursting dotcom bubble. However, investments in technology are profitable now and in the future. The dotcom bubble was an entity in itself – complex and difficult to understand for investors at the time. Through smart phones, iPads and HD gadgets the world has become more receptive towards this kind of technology. All these devices seem to be irreplaceable already – just imagine where the industry will be in only five years.
Furthermore, it is not only leisure and entertainment, but the finance and business world that aim to catch up with the speed of the technology. Entire industries are upgrading – no matter whether medicine, manufacturing or construction. The technology industry offers a wide range of investing possibilities. Brands like Facebook, Google and Apple are one option. However, there are also special technology funds that offer themselves ideally to long-term investors. These are a perfect alternative for those who don’t want to bother with daily fluctuations.