Divorce can be a heartbreaking and challenging experience. It can significantly impact all aspects of a person’s life, including their housing situation. In Singapore, one option that may come to mind for divorcees is purchasing an Executive Condominium (EC). However, the question remains: Can divorcees buy EC in Singapore?
While the answer is not straightforward, in this blog, we will explore the different factors to consider and whether it is possible for a divorcee to own an EC in Singapore.
Can Divorcees Buy EC in Singapore?
Divorcees can buy an Executive Condominium (EC) in Singapore, but only after the divorce has been finalized. To be eligible to purchase an EC, the eligibility criteria include forming a proper family nucleus under one of the following schemes: Public Scheme, Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, Orphans Scheme, or Joint Singles Scheme.
At least one applicant must be a Singapore citizen, while one of the applicants must be at least 21 years of age. If applying under the Joint Singles Scheme, the applicant must be at least 35 years old. The income ceiling for EC eligibility is SGD $16,000 per month for households with four or fewer members and SGD $18,000 per month for households with five or more members. Applicants must also not own or have owned any private property or overseas property in the past 30 months before applying for an EC. It is recommended to check the latest eligibility conditions before applying for an EC in Singapore.
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Eligibility conditions for purchasing an Executive Condominium (EC)
To purchase an Executive Condominium (EC), certain eligibility conditions must be met. Firstly, the applicant must be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident. Secondly, the applicant’s gross monthly household income cannot exceed $16,000. Thirdly, the applicant must not have owned any private property or been a private property owner for the past 30 months. Finally, the applicant must not buy or own more than one subsidised flat in their lifetime. Prior to purchasing an EC, it’s important for applicants to be aware of eligibility conditions to avoid any complications in the purchasing process.
Retaining ownership of an EC after divorce
If a divorcee wishes to retain their ownership of an Executive Condominium (EC) after a divorce, they must meet certain requirements. Firstly, they cannot have obtained the EC due to non-consummation of marriage or annulment. Secondly, they must have no children under their custody, care and control. The divorce parties would need to decide on the mode of effecting the ownership change, which can be through a change in the flat ownership structure or a transfer of ownership.
It is important to note that parties may only submit an application for the intended change in flat ownership once the divorce is finalised. Obtaining an EC as a new purchase or resale is subject to different eligibility criteria, which a divorcee should also take into consideration.
Subsidised flat ownership for both parties after divorce
Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally turbulent time for many people. Fortunately, the Singapore government has made it possible for both parties who have undergone a divorce to buy or own a subsidised flat each, as long as they meet the eligibility conditions. This policy offers a smooth housing transition for both individuals after their separation, allowing them to start anew in a home of their own.
It is important to note that this policy only applies if the divorce is legal, and the Court may grant an order for change in flat ownership. Additionally, divorced parents can purchase a new flat from the HDB with their children and may qualify for the Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers. Overall, the policy for subsidised flat ownership after divorce can offer a measure of stability for those who are going through a difficult time.
Restrictions on buying an EC during divorce proceedings
When going through a divorce, buying an Executive Condominium (EC) in Singapore may present some restrictions. Divorcing spouses are required to wait three years from the date of their divorce to purchase or own an EC. However, since March 2018, this waiting period has been lifted for the purchase of subsidised flats. Divorced parties can immediately own these flats subject to eligibility requirements.
In cases of amicable and uncontested divorces, parties may choose to continue co-owning a property post-divorce. When purchasing an EC post-divorce, required documentation includes proof of divorce and a letter from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) stating the disbursement of proceeds from the sale of previous property. It’s important to note that applying for an EC under the Fiance/Fiancee scheme is only possible after the divorce is finalised.
Eligibility for purchasing a resale EC as a single citizen or SPR
If you are a single citizen or SPR looking to purchase a resale EC in Singapore, there are certain eligibility criteria you must meet. As per HDB regulations, singles are eligible to purchase two-room flexi flats or resale flats of up to five-room on the open market, but the CPF Housing Grant for Singles does not apply for buying ECs. Also, there is no requirement to form a family nucleus while purchasing an EC from the open market. However, you need to adhere to the income ceiling criteria, which state that your household income should not exceed a certain limit. It’s essential to keep these rules in mind while looking to invest in an EC as a single citizen or SPR.
Applying for an EC after the MOP of an existing EC
After fulfilling the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for an Executive Condominium (EC), individuals can apply to purchase another EC from a developer. However, they must wait 30 months after selling their previous EC unit before applying for another subsidised flat from the Housing and Development Board (HDB). During the 30-month period, they will need to seek their ex-spouse’s consent before purchasing an EC with a new partner. Alternatively, they may choose to apply with their parents or as a single citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) to buy a resale EC. It is important to note that the eligibility conditions for purchasing an EC and co-ownership options for divorcees should be considered when applying for an EC after the MOP of an existing EC.
Required documentation for purchasing an EC post-divorce
After divorce, it is still possible for the parties involved to qualify for owning an EC. However, to do so, they must provide specific documentation to the developer. The Certificate of Making Interim Judgment Final or the Divorce Certificate for Muslim applicants is necessary to prove that the divorce has been finalized. Additionally, they must prove a valid family nucleus by forming a co-applicant or essential occupier, and for widowed or divorced applicants, children under their legal custody, care, and control. The required documentation is vital to prove eligibility for purchasing an EC post-divorce.
Fiance/Fiancee scheme for purchasing an EC after divorce
The Fiancé/Fiancée scheme allows couples who are engaged to purchase an EC together. However, if a couple goes through a divorce post-purchase, the ownership of the EC must be resolved. The divorced couple has the option to transfer ownership of the EC to the other party or buy their spouse’s share at an agreed price. If they are unable to come to an agreement, they may need to sell the EC and divide the proceeds. It is important to note, however, that divorced couples cannot purchase an EC together until the divorce is finalised. And, if they wish to purchase an EC together in the future, they would need to reapply under the Fiancé/Fiancée scheme with the required documentation.
Immediate subsidised flat ownership for divorcees without children
For divorcees without children, immediate subsidised flat ownership is now possible in Singapore. This means that they can purchase a resale flat in the open market without having to wait for the three-year period post-divorce. In addition, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant is available for divorced persons who are buying a new flat from HDB with their children. For those who do not have children, co-ownership options can be explored. These options allow for two or more individuals to jointly own a flat and share the financial responsibilities. With these options available, divorced individuals without children can now have faster and easier access to a new home.
Co-ownership options for divorcees with no children under their care
For divorcees who don’t have children under their care, owning an EC might seem like a distant dream. However, co-ownership options are available for them too. Divorcees can consider finding a co-owner to purchase an EC together. With this option, they can share the down payment and monthly mortgage instalments. One important aspect to keep in mind when choosing a co-owner is to consider someone who will not be a hindrance in the future. It’s crucial to have a clear agreement on how the property will be divided when one party wants to sell or exit out of the deal. So, while co-ownership may not be a solution for everyone, it is worth exploring if it seems to fit your situation.