Advertisement

Bachelor Pad in Singapore: How to Buy or Rent Your Own Place (2022)

Mary Wu
Bachelor Pad in Singapore: How to Buy or Rent Your Own Place (2022)
So, you want to get a bachelor pad. Essentially, you’re a happy single who wants a place to call your own. For women, a bachelor pad is usually referred to as a “bachelorette pad”, but in this article, we’ll use the former for convenience.
There may be several reasons why you’d want your own place. Maybe you want to experience ‘solo-living’, which is something you can’t do if you wait till marriage to move out. Or perhaps you’re in your thirties and think it’s about time to leave the nest. If you’re single and over 35, you might be deciding between an HDB BTO flat or a resale flat. Otherwise, you might be buying a private property or renting an apartment.
Whichever it is, this new home is going to be all yours: you can live wherever YOU want, renovate it however YOU want, and decorate it however YOU want, all without input from another person (other than your interior designer or contractor). Here’s our guide to searching for and buying a bachelor pad in Singapore.

Bachelor Pad Singapore: What Exactly Is a Bachelor Pad?

There isn’t a specific definition of a bachelor pad or a bachelorette pad, but there are certain stereotypes… Stylish, designed around your own lifestyle, and compact without the need to be family-friendly.
Style and decor are totally up to you (it can be family-friendly if you often have friends with kids over, function as a home gym or yoga studio, or be pet-friendly for your 10 cats or other HDB-approved pets), but the size of the home is usually grounded in practicality.
White,Minimalist,Bedroom,Interior,With,Double,Bed,On,A,Wooden
Some people like to go for a minimalistic bedroom design and keep a generally spartan home. Having fewer things means less cleaning too!
My single friends mostly stay in small homes: just right for one person, these are both cost-effective and much easier to keep clean and tidy.
My cousin lives in a 1-bedroom condo unit in Geylang, and another friend recently moved into a studio apartment in Tiong Bahru. Another friend is looking for a resale 2- or 3-room HDB flat in the Holland Village area.
However, one of my single friends recently purchased a 4-room HDB resale unit in Choa Chu Kang, citing reasons such as the preference for the 4-room HDB flat layout. As she enjoys shopping, she can convert a bedroom (or two) into a walk-in wardrobe with ample space for her clothes, bags and accessories for her bachelorette pad.
If you are commitment-phobic or don’t know if you’d enjoy staying alone, why not try renting first? Check out these 5 studio apartments that you can rent for $1.5k or less a month, or find out what’s the rental price for 3-, 4- and 5-room HDB flats in Singapore.

Bachelor Pad Singapore: How to Choose the Right Property

International-womens-day-iwd (7)
Check out this ‘jungalow’ created by Sherry. Read her home story here: Turning A Plain Shophouse Yard Into An Instagram-Worthy ‘Jungle’
There are no hard and fast rules for choosing the right property for your bachelor pad (or bachelorette pad), but here are some of the important considerations that will help you make the best decision.

1. Work out Your Budget

How much do you have in your CPF Ordinary Account, and how much are you looking at paying for your mortgage each month? It tends to be costlier for singles as you’re basically paying for it on your own (with no spouse to split with), but the good news is that you may be eligible for some HDB grants.
Unsure how to start determining your budget?
  1. Check your CPF OA balance
  2. Learn more about financing your new home through PropertyGuru Finance
  3. Find out your loan-to-value ratio, which affects how much you can borrow
  4. Get the help of PropertyGuru’s affordability calculator to assess your affordability, possible monthly mortgage, stamp duty payable and so on
  5. Read up about approval in-principle for your home loan
  6. Check out our other useful guides to buying property

Affordability Calculator

Estimate what you can comfortably spend on your new home

$

In-Principle Approval (IPA)

Get your IPA to budget for your dream home confidently

2. Decide on the Location

Also related to budget is location. It goes without saying that property in Orchard is definitely more expensive than a similar unit in Serangoon or Punggol. Trying to spot a trend? We regularly analyse the market in our PropertyGuru Singapore Property Market Report Q1 2022.
But what if you want to live near the Central Business District? Or value accessibility and being close to amenities – that means you’re probably looking at a place that’s near an MRT station and shopping malls.
Or maybe you prefer a quieter spot and want to live near nature. What if the terms of you leaving the nest comes with conditions like living within XYZ metres of your parents. Do you still bite the bullet or search for a more affordable home that’s still within an acceptable radius? So many things to consider.
You already know that in more desirable areas, you’ll need to accept that due to the higher psf, you’ll need to settle for a much smaller home to fit your budget, versus a cheaper or larger home in an area with a lower psf. Alternatively, if you were initially eyeing a landed property or condominium, to stay in a more expensive area, you might need to look for resale HDB flats instead.
International-womens-day-iwd (8)
This is Rina, she ended up buying a 5-room flat in the Northeast part of Singapore. Initially, she had planned to buy a 3-room flat in the city fringe area but found they were not within her budget and too old for her liking. What can we say, plans change!

3. Consider the Layout and Floor Plan

In turn, size affects the layout of your home. Typically, in a studio apartment, you’d likely only have a kitchenette (okay if you hardly cook or don’t intend to entertain guests with a gastronomic feast), and your bedroom is in the same space as your living room (bye, privacy). There’s no luxury of space for your walk-in wardrobe, gaming ‘man cave’, indoor plant collection or your 1,000 Marvel figurines.
A 2-, 3- or even 4-/5-room affords you more space, and minimalist dwellers could even rent out the extra bedroom to generate a steady passive revenue stream.
If possible, get hold of floor plans and think through what you want to do with your home before you get your bachelor pad. Some questions to ask yourself:
  • Do you need spare room(s) for your hobbies and/or things?
  • How often do you intend to hold gatherings, entertain or host your friends?
  • Do you like to cook and/or bake, and how often do you do it? What kind of kitchen setup do you need?
  • Are there any dream home features that you absolutely need in your bachelor pad? For example, an outdoor balcony for yoga or a barbecue pit, a green feature wall with sufficient sunlight, walk-in-wardrobe, bathtub, open-concept kitchen with bar table, and so on
International-womens-day-iwd (9)
Rina bought a 5-room flat and has a study/lounge/cat room, as well as a wardrobe room for clothes and other personal belongings. Read her full home story here: Newfound Independence: A Story of Buying and Moving Into A First Home
Even if it’s not important to you right now, you can also think about ways to maximise your limited space, including getting stylish and creative furniture that is multi-functional and/or space-saving.
The same principles apply to just about anyone who is looking for a new home, actually.

Should You Buy a Bachelor Pad or Rent First?

As briefly touched on earlier, those unsure about living solo can consider renting first. Other considerations that come into play include budget (mortgage), eligibility, future plans and so on.
Here’s a quick shortlist for your consideration:

Is Your Bachelor Pad for the Short-term or for Long-term?

Do you hope your partner will ask you to apply for a BTO flat together soon, but just want to stay on your own first? If it’s a short-term thing, consider renting, because property is illiquid and requires more effort to buy/sell (unless you have enough money and plan to rent out the bachelor pad after buying your matrimonial home).

How Much Can You Afford?

After sorting through your finances and calculating your mortgage, consider if it makes more financial sense for you to buy or rent. You may also need to turn to renting if your LTV ratio or CPF monies can’t financially support your decision to buy your own place, or if you can’t afford the downpayment.

What Properties Are You Eligible For?

For HDB, you can only buy your own home from your 35th birthday as a single. In addition, you may or may not be eligible for HDB grants. It’s more flexible when you purchase private property as you can do so from your 21st birthday, but prices tend to be higher.
While the interest rate for bank home loans is currently low (good), they don’t offer as much flexibility as an HDB loan (hmm), which is not a good option for those that may default on payments due to financial issues in the foreseeable future (unstable income, commission-driven, freelancer, project-based).

Bachelor Pad Singapore: How to Budget

Let’s assume that we are looking for a small home to buy/rent, and it can be an HDB flat or a condo unit. Let’s assume there is $200,000 in our CPF OA, you don’t have a cap on your LTV and your monthly salary is adequate.
If you plan to buy:
  • The median transaction price of a 3-room HDB resale flat (HDB resale statistics as of Q4 2021) is about $293,900 to $465,000, depending on the neighbourhood
  • The estimated price of a shoebox condo unit or a studio unit starts from $530,000, based on the asking price of available listings on PropertyGuru.
Note: Minimum downpayment for your first mortgage is 15% for an HDB loan (thanks to the latest December 2021 property cooling measures) and 25% if you plan to take a bank loan.
If we take the cheapest estimate for each property type:

Bachelor Pad Singapore: How to Budget When Buying

3-room HDB resale flat (HDB loan at 2.6% p.a., with 85% LTV)
$293,900
$44,085 (15%) via CPF
$249,815
$1,134/month
3-room HDB resale flat (bank loan at 1.6% p.a., with 75% LTV)
$293,900
$14,695 (5%) via cash + $58,780 (20%) via CPF
$220,425
$892/month
Shoebox condo/studio unit (bank loan at 1.6% p.a., with 75% LTV)
$530,000
$26,500 (5%) via cash + $106,000 (20%) via CPF
$397,500
$1,609/month

Bachelor Pad Singapore: How to Budget When Renting

Type of property
Estimated rent/month
3-room HDB flat
$1,600 to $2,300 (based on HDB rental statistics for Q4 2021)
Shoebox condo/studio unit
$1,250 to $9,200 (based on the asking price of available listings on PropertyGuru)
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Need help financing your latest property purchase? Let the mortgage experts at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.
This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.

More FAQs About Buying or Renting a Bachelor Pad in Singapore

A bachelor pad or a bachelorette's pad is an apartment of a single, unmarried person.

In Singapore, a shoebox apartment or a studio condo unit can start from $530,000.

A bachelor pad or a bachelorette pad is a space where a single person inhabits and uses it for living, spending their free time, enjoying their hobbies, and entertaining.