Property Life Stage Planning – My own HOME
Just a quick backdrop: This journey was set in 2016/17 when I was not a realtor and in my corporate job. My impression of realtors then was they are sales driven and they will by hook or by crook, encouraged you to buy a private condo.
So, my wife and I were dating since 2014 and after hearing some friends who either gave up their BTO flats after they break up or tried to be married together because of the incoming BTO flat, we decided that we wanted to be very sure of each other to continue the journey as a married couple before purchasing our matrimony home.
Well, the proposal happened and wala! The planning begins! From preparing our wedding venues, house hunting and going for marriage seminars. Having said that, even with skepticism, we decided to speak to my good friend who is a realtor.
Understanding our priorities and plans:
- We want to have kids and a space that can allow our family to grow in it mid to long term
- We are relatively low-risk takers and would like to have ample of safety net
- Do not want to overspend
- We are not too particular about location
- We were actually focusing on HDB resale flat and setting aside about 500k as a budget to begin. We have viewed a few HDB resale flat at Ang Mo Kio for a start – most if not all would need an extensive renovation.
- After speaking to my realtor friend, she recommended to do a financial assessment first and if we are open to consider other options.
- After working our sums, we realised we can consider executive condo especially those that might be ready within 1-2 years time (We have an option of about 5 of them) and able to take some housing grant with it.
- We decided to go for a 3-bedder Executive condo in Choa Chu Kang. After considering the downpayment needed, we realised that we have about 32 months of mortgage safety net should both of us have a lost of income; being the largest EC in Singapore, the maintenance fee is also the lowest and it has ample of facilities. We also do not need any major renovation as built-in and white goods are provided
- Having said that, there are trade-offs – we do not have a storeroom; we will not be able to get some government subsidy like GST, S&CC discount; the land in front of our house was zoned as residential and wala!, they really building a BTO after a year plus from our moving in.
- My family grew – we enjoyed the facilities and the neighbours (I joined some for soccer,cycling, basketball, tennis and meals at times)
- It also helped me realised that there are more to real estate and the consultation portion can really add value to many families to make informed property decision. Started my journey in 2017 and have not look back.
- Time to also plan our next step. We are looking at about close to 30% capital appreciation for this EC. Our options available:
Decouple – rent out , buy another for own stay; Sell and buy back a bigger EC; sell and buy a HDB fully paid; sell and buy another property as a couple; just continue to stay