Many people today are looking for a place to invest in a second home, especially abroad. There are certain countries that are more welcoming to foreigners buying property than others, with less restrictions. Singapore has historically been open to expats looking to settle there for business or even solely for leisure, especially when it involves real estate investments. There are many pros and cons of living in the country which are mostly based on financial factors, but the overall experience is very positive if you’re looking for a safe, modern, and cosmopolitan place to purchase property within Asia. It’s also a gateway to many other countries, so if you’re interested in traveling frequently, it’s an excellent place to have a home base or second residence. Here are a few reasons why Singapore is a great destination for expats looking to purchase property, as well as the ins and outs of how to navigate the process.
- High Cost of Living, Low Taxes
According to BBC, Singapore has become the most expensive city in the world as of March of this year, but they also point out that one of the perks of owning property in the country are the major tax breaks. Although the cost of living is very high, the taxes aren’t nearly as steep as in the West. This comes with the caveat that you can only be there for a limited time during the year, but if you’re planning on using your property as a second home or vacation spot, then this isn’t something you need to worry about. For the rest of the year, if you purchase, you can also rent out the home. There’s also the option of renting if you know what window of time you want to be in the country during a particular year, so it’s really up to your individual needs and capabilities. This also means that you don’t have to pay the cost of living that’s a reality of internationally all year round, choosing to live more frugally in your own country for the rest of the time you’re not in the city-state paradise.
- Types of Housing to Consider
There are many types of properties on the market in Singapore, and some of the best options are non-landed ones for buyers looking to find something low maintenance with built-in amenities. If you search PropertyGuru Singapore for condo for sale, you’ll see that most of the biggest factors that vary are size and location. Overall, condo living usually means conveniences such as security and access to community services, sometimes including a clubhouse or pool, though this varies. You’ll want to make sure to check the listings specifically.
Another type of housing that’s similar to condo is a regular apartment, although these vary more in terms of what types of services are offered, how old they are, and whether land is developed around them. One of the most important things to take into account if you’re considering purchasing is whether the adjacent land is planned or unplanned, since in the latter scenario, you could lose views and even transit options. Access to highways and other modes of transportation could be blocked if you get the wrong type of building erected nearby, so you’ll always want to make sure what the future could hold in store for nearby land that hasn’t been built up yet.
- Access to Other Travel Destinations
If you’re an expat who’s fond of traveling not only between your home country and Singapore, but also desires access to other countries, then it’s the perfect choice. Business Insider reports that one of the biggest perks of living in the city-state is the ability to have ample access to other travel destinations, calling it a jumping off point to other parts of Asia. Because it’s a major hub right in the center of both commerce and leisure, with a diverse population of foreigners and permanent residents, travel options are extremely diverse and accessible. Not only that, but Singapore is also considered to be one of the more adaptable places to reside if you’re not used to Asia yet. It’s safe, easy to navigate, and has lots of modern conveniences, whereas other nearby countries are very hit and miss in terms of what you can expect to find that you’d encounter in the West. It’s a good place to adjust and discover Asia without throwing yourself right into the midst of a culture that’s drastically different.
- No Language Barrier
Depending on where you’re coming from, many people speak English both in the West and Asia even if it’s not your first language, and it’s common in Singapore also. According to Expat Arrivals, one of the major perks of living in the country for expats is that everyone speaks English, so you won’t find yourself caught in a situation where you’re unable to communicate with someone. This is especially important in terms of getting around and other basic, everyday activities. While it’s advisable to at least make an effort at learning some of the language and being able to interact with the locals, since it shows a certain level of respect, you won’t have to worry about falling into a trap where you’re trying to tell a taxi driver where you’re going and he or she has no idea what you’re trying to say.
Singapore has a lot to offer expats in the way of attractive real estate, low taxes, and a laid back attitude toward allowing foreigners into the country to both work and play. Although there are certainly restrictions on things like owning landed properties and what kind of jobs are available to expats, the same is true of any country. Singapore’s status as a city-state with excellent public transportation makes it easy to navigate and get around, as well have easy access to airports and other modes of travel. If you’re looking for an ideal place to purchase a second home, this country is one of the most ideal places around, especially for Westerners who want the comforts of home they’re used to alongside the experience of living and traveling in Asia.