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  • Writer's pictureAaron Lin

Singapore Property Scams?

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Summary

There is no free lunch in the world - it is important to assess property advertisements based on facts and common sense.


Performing thorough calculations will help you prevent getting scammed by advertising gimmicks.

Most advertisements have gone through approval and property agents are regulated by the Council for Estate Agencies.

Article

There have been many questionable property advertisements popping up on social media. Titles include: “Earn $6000, Buy Condo”, “Sell HDB, Buy Two Properties” and “Buy Without ABSD”. Are these real?


Sell HDB, Buy Two Properties


Firstly, it is entirely possible to sell your HDB and buy two properties but that will ultimately depend on your financial ability!


Earn $6,000, Buy Condo


Secondly, it is also possible for someone earning between S$5,000 - 60000 to sell their HDB flat and buy a condo. Suppose the person is aged 40 and his current property is almost fully paid up, the person can take back between S$600,000 - 700,000.


Own 20 Properties With No Cash Down


There is no free lunch in the world. Plus, property is a serious matter in Singapore. Should it really be possible to evade tax or own property without down payment, the government will be the first to stop it since it is illegal! What the advertisement really refers to is crowdfunding. While I am unable to comment on the legality of this, crowdfunding means you don’t really own the property and cannot decide which tenant you want. You will only own the property in the same sense as you own part of a fund. The rental returns also depend on how much percentage you invest.


Advertisements work similarly to how showflats work, where developers will always say that the price starts from S$1,200 psf when that simply reflects the price of the cheapest unit. You have to know your facts to make the correct judgement. For you to determine whether the advertisement is true or false, or whether your agent is cheating you, you will need to perform accurate calculations.


For example, you can easily calculate how much CPF and cash you will receive by selling your HDB flat. You can also easily check with the bank how much you can borrow based on your current income. Based on this information, you can find out whether you can afford your property. Hence, it is actually difficult to get cheated or scammed once you perform you calculations.


Many of the methods suggested in the advertisements are actually possible, especially since these advertisements have gone through approval and are put up by property agents regulated by the Council for Estate Agencies.


The gray area lies in how you interpret the advertisement.




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