HDB mansionettes are usually 1500-1700 square feet and about the biggest HDB flats you can find.
They can be located in Jurong West,Tampines, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang and Hougang to name a few.
You may be looking for a different kind of house but buying a first house is roughly using the same kind of strategies and considerations.
How much loan you can actually get from HDB ?
This is the first step you must take which can be done through your Housing Loand Eligibility (HLE).
A good rule of thumb is about 60x of your combined monthly income.
If you combined income is $7,400, you will qualify for about $450,000 worth of loan from HDB.
Hence, if the mansionette you are looking at is $750,000 and you only have $450,000 in qualified loans, you would have a shortfall of about $300,000.
Using this 60x combined monthly income tip, if you are looking for a $750,000 mansionette, your combined monthly income should be at least $10,000.
How much CPFOA and savings do you and spouse have?
The downpayment with HDB loan are 10% of the flat. If the flat costs $750,000, you should have at least $75,000 in CPFOA ready.
If you are on bank loan, then it would be 20% in CPFOA/cash and 5% mandatory in cash.
Next, find out how much savings you have.
Renovation costs that may be $50,000 and furniture cost that can go up to an additional $10,000.
How much cashflow do you and spouse have?
Find out how much cashflow per month you have.
When you pay for your mortgage, it's going to take about 20 to 30 years. In this journey, I've seen many couples underestimate costs that come along the way such as cost for your kids as you need to send them to school, infant care centers and they cost quite a bit of money.
It is very important to when you buy a house be prudent and set aside a budget that's comfortable so that you can afford it with no stress for the next 20 to 30 years.
If possible, plan to pay off your monthly mortgage within your CPFOA income per month. Then, you wouldn't tap into your monthly cashflow.
Are you able to wait?
Resale transactions now can be completed within 6 months on the other hand.
On the other hand, a BTO requires a few years while a sale of balance flat requires still 1- 2 years.
Check out this blog post I did on why I like sales of balance flat (SBF). If you can wait consider something that's NEW like a BTO or SBF. From my research there's a lot of upside when you go to a new flat based on market data. I've even personal friends who sold their house after their minimum occupancy period (MOP) with quite a bit of gain.
Is the size of the house suitable?
If you are just married without kids, a mansionette will likely have excess rooms. I've even seen friends who have a 5-room flat and have kept a room empty all this while.
Before you buy your first house consider if you really need the extra space because it is going to take you time and money to maintain it. You also pay more property taxes on it.
A strategy I'd suggest for you is to settle for something that's smaller and fits your needs now. If kids are not in the near term then 3room flat may have enough room.
When you have 2 kids already, start planning for long term space. That's a time to upgrade.