The HDB allowed some homeowners to obtain their money back on the remainder of their leases, if they wanted to move out of the homes they bought at one point. But, unfortunately, not all homeowners were able to enjoy this buyback scheme until recently. This led to the appearance of numerous senior citizens that are living in large apartments, which can generate rather considerable costs. Mr. Tang Lum Sui, for example, is one of those seniors. He is a widower and living in a large apartment, with 5 rooms. For quite a while now he’s been trying to obtain access to this scheme, but without any success.
Fortunately, things changed recently and the buyback program is now applicable to all the apartments provided by the HDB. In other words, it doesn’t matter what kind of HDB apartment you are currently staying, as you can now monetize a part of the lease you have. This is great news for homeowners that have large apartments, as the scheme was only available for flats that have a number of 4 rooms or less, until now. Also, it is worth mentioning that the owner of the apartment must reach a certain age limit in order to be considered as eligible for the buyback program. At the moment, the age limit is 65 years old, so the homeowner who wants to get his money back should be at least 65 years old, or older.
Of course, there are other conditions as well. Besides the age, the monthly income of the household should not exceed the amount of $12,000. Also, one of the homeowners should be a citizen of Singapore and the lease available to sell should not be less than 20 years. And, depending on how old the homeowner is, he or she should still have 15 to 30 years of lease left at the same time. In spite of the fact that this scheme appears to be rather rigid since the changes became active, a number of 34,000 families in Singapore could enjoy it. Many other homeowners that are living in 5-room apartments, like Mr. Tang, will be able to keep onto their home and get some money back as well. Mr. Tang admitted to not wanting to move out of the apartment, as he lived in the area for very many years already. Also, the extra space offered by his apartment is very useful when the son and his family come to visit Mr. Tang in Singapore. As said by Mr. Tang, as long as the conditions are alright, he has no problem taking this opportunity.
What will happen once a part of the lease is sold back to HDB? There are some conditions here as well. For instance, the owners that enjoyed the benefits of the scheme will have to raise his or her contribution to their retirement funds in the CPF account. So, if they are the only owners of the apartment, they should upgrade to the full retirement sum recommended for their age. Or, if there is more than one owner, they should be able to reach the basic sum for retirement in Singapore. The remainders of the cashed sum can stay within the household, once the retirement fund has been covered as requested by the scheme.
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