Buying a property in your home country can be costly enough, but if you want to purchase a property overseas in a country such as Singapore, then you may need to factor in several different extra costs. This is especially true if your main purpose for buying the property is to live and work in a different country as an ex-pat.
Along with the cost of putting down your down payment on the property, legal fees, and commissions to agents, you will also need to think about the cost of moving, finding a new job, and getting yourself set up as a new permanent resident in your chosen country.
If you are thinking of buying a property overseas to live in and create a new life for yourself somewhere else, then here are some of the main costs that you will need to consider.
Many countries around the world including Singapore will charge stamp duty on properties. How much stamp duty you will pay will depend on a few different factors including the value of the property that you are purchasing and whether or not you are a first-time buyer. For example, in Singapore, people who are buying a second property will need to pay an additional stamp duty of 12% of the total property price. You can use this buyer stamp duty calculator from PropertyGuru to get a better idea of how much stamp duty you will need to pay on the properties you are interested in buying. PropertyGuru is the top property site for Singapore and has lots of resources for foreigners who are interested in buying property in the country.
Estate Agent Fees
When you are buying a house or apartment abroad in a country that you are not very familiar with, it’s worth spending more to work with an estate agent who is well-versed in the property market in the local area and can help you find the best property option for you. However, if you want to take this route then you will also need to budget for the additional cost of paying agent commission. The price will vary depending on where you are moving to and the kind of service you need. In Singapore, for example, estate agents usually charge a commission of one percent of the price you pay for the property.
Mortgage Broker Fees
Working with a mortgage broker is another good idea if you are moving to a different country where you may not be as familiar with how banks and lenders work and could use some help finding the best deals for you. Interest rates can easily take a up a huge chunk of your expenses for the next few decades if you are going to buy a property with a home loan overseas, so it’s a good idea to work with somebody who has access to better deals and knows where to look to help you save money in the long-term when it comes to how much you pay overall for your new home.
Along with the costs that are directly related to buying your new property, you will also need to factor in the cost of moving. If you are moving from the US to Singapore, for example, then this can be quite expensive, especially if you have a lot of belongings to ship over. There are various international shipping companies that you can use to do this, and you can save money by decluttering as much as possible and only taking the essentials with you.
Chances are that you will need to enlist the help of a local lawyer or legal firm if you are interested in moving to a different country and buying an overseas property. A lawyer is not only able to help you with making the purchase of your new property itself, but you can also get legal advice on things like tax and visas to make sure that you are entering your new country legally and able to get started with your new life without any hassle.
Cost of Living
Finally, you will also need to budget for a new cost of living in a new place. While this might end up saving you money if you are moving to a country where things are less expensive compared to your current home country, it’s worth doing some research beforehand as this is not always going to be the case. Make sure that you are aware of the average cost of things like utilities, transport, property maintenance and groceries before your move so that you can figure out your budget accordingly.
Buying a property overseas and starting a new life in another country can be an exciting time. However, it also comes with a range of expenses that you will need to budget for.