Finding the perfect home can be like trying to find that one outfit with the perfect fit - except you're in this for the longer haul. Your style speaks volumes of who you are, and that applies as much to fashion as it does to your home.
If you’ve started thinking about getting your own place, you’ve reached a new ‘adulting’ milestone. Here are a few things you need to know while planning for your first home.
Balance your need-to-haves and your want-to-haves.
Start by building your shopping list: what are your needs and wants? Naturally, there are the no-brainers such as location, price range, size, and number of bedrooms. What some first-time homebuyers may overlook though, are floor level, tenure, and what the neighbourhood is like.
Accessibility and convenience are two of those things we tend to categorise as good-to-haves at first, until the move-in is done and the dust has settled. But really, getting stuck in traffic for what seems like forever is not ideal; neither is walking 15 minutes or having to drive to find food or buy groceries.
Sometimes, if you know where to look, you can have the best of both worlds.
Marine Blue, a freehold property in the prime district 15, is priced from S$1.1 million. It is also a stone’s throw from several shopping malls and is just off the ECP expressway. The Marine Parade MRT station is also coming up. The Katong area, quaintly dubbed the Indie/hipster capital of Singapore, offers plenty of cafes and meal choices.
Pick a property that suits your lifestyle, needs and wants. d’Leedon is in the heart of district 10, a hop and a skip away from both the shoppers’ paradise, Orchard Road, and the convenience of Holland Village. Sky Habitat boasts a full suite of recreational facilities, including a 50-metre lap pool. The Central Expressway is only minutes away; getting to the CBD will be a breeze.
Make sure the price is right but don't overlook value; there's a difference.
The value of a property is affected by a few factors: demand, utility, lifespan and scarcity of a property. Is there a demand for properties in the area? Does the property meet needs and wants? Is it a leasehold or freehold property? Is this particular type of property difficult to come by? Pay close attention to the PSF (per-square-foot) price. Make sure it matches the property's value. Compare the PSF price among similar properties in the vicinity while keeping value in mind.
Knowing your budget is important but when it comes to a big-ticket item like your first home, you need to look at the fine print – costs that are not included in your property price.
The 4-5% (of property price) out-of-pocket expenses:
Property Agent Fee
Valuation Cost (if there is a loan)
Do expect a 20% upfront payment - 5% when you exercise the Option to Purchase, and 15% when you sign the Sale and Purchase agreement with a solicitor present. If your CPF and loan do not cover the price of the property, you will need to dig into your pocket for the balance.
And of course, if it's a resale unit then you'd likely have to set some budget aside for renovation works to redesign the space according to your needs.
Subscribe below for Part 2 with more tips on buying your first private residence, coming up in October.