Category Archives: First Property Stories

“Many friends and relatives believed that we overpaid for our apartment.”

daren

“The decision to purchase an apartment came about after the birth of our first child. We needed the living space in order to properly raise a family, so we began searching and ultimately decided on our current home for several reasons.

The location was desirable. It’s fairly central, roughly 15 minutes to the city by car or public transport. The block within close walking distance to the nearest train station and bus stop, making travelling very convenient.

The estate is surrounded by numerous stores and other useful amenities. All basic conveniences such as a supermarket, postoffice, eateries, laundry, clinic, hardware store etc are just across the road.

The size of the apartment was adequate for our needs at 125sqm (1,345 sq ft) for a 5-room government housing flat (HDB). Most 5-room flats of the same model average between 110-120sqm (1,184 – 1,292 sq ft). It is located in Ghim Moh, near my family. A housing subsidy grant of up to S$40K is provided for resale flats purchased near parents. It also allows for a HDB loan which has a fixed interest rate over 30 years.

The asking price was reasonable and the final price after bargaining (S$605K) was below valuation, meaning that the entirety of the apartment could be paid with the loan and CPF so no cash payment was required.

The value was likely to rise as a mall and other shophouses were in development at the time of purchase. These have since been completed. The current market value of the apartment is estimated between S$750K – S$780K.

At the time, many of our friends and relatives believed that we overpaid for our apartment especially for a government flat, but as it turns out, paying more for quality was a good investment.”

– Daren – Ghim Moh, Singapore


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“Everyone said that it is so far from PJ and we would regret buying it.”

jeri kota kemuning

“The notion of owning a house never crossed my mind for a long time as a young workforce with not much cash in hand. But when my husband and I were planning to get married, he one day told me that a friend shared with him about this house someone booked but didn’t manage to get a home loan approved. The house was still in the early stage of construction and we only have a house layout plan from the brochure.

I had no idea where Kota Kemuning is and everyone I spoke to said that it is so far from PJ and we would regret buying it. However, being a civil engineer who builds houses himself, my husband had a feeling it would be worth buying. So we looked at the plan and liked the layout instantly.

It was an end-unit with a 5 ft land at the side. I didn’t think we could afford the then RM360k home but somehow we managed to pool the down payment and get a home loan.

On the day we got the keys, we were bursting with excitement. It felt surreal to finally step out of the car and see the house right before us. We were very lucky to get a unit right next to the grassy walkway instead of a road as many who booked much earlier only got an intermediate unit.

Today, 12 years on, we never regretted a single bit for investing in this property. The price has soared and the location was perfect. It doesn’t feel too far from PJ with the highways. More and more property are coming up too. What I learned from our home purchase is to never buy a property that you can afford at the time. But invest in a property that has good potential even if it costs a bit more. Look at the long-term ROI.”

– Ms Jerica – PJ, Malaysia


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“I forced myself to buy a pricier property so that I will work harder.”

anjali

“I bought this unit because of several reasons. I like the design; high ceiling, private lift lobby, sunken bathtub and lots of windows. It has KLCC view too. Oh, and the showroom is very eye-catching too.

Location wise, it is convenient as it is close to Mont Kiara and Dutamas. I bought the 1,300 sq fr unit at RM850k in 2014. Some units are selling for RM980k now. It has always been my dream to own a property before I am 30 years old. I am 29 years old now.
Also, I wanted a place where my parents can stay with me instead of with relatives when they visit KL. I forced myself to buy a pricier property so that I will work harder.

The developer informed that we will get the VP letter this month. We were supposed to get the key last September but there was a delay due to labour issues and the developer is doing the QC checks to minimise defects during VP.  The property is Anjali North Kiara and the developer is Tago.”

– Mr Phoon – KL, Malaysia


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“The property was cheap, with little demand”

dad 2“My family moved here at the end of 1982. Back then, this area is considered the outskirts of Malacca. There wasn’t much demand, it was cheap, and property had generous land area; about 3,400 sq ft. I bought it for RM88,000.

This house was recommended by a friend who was already living close by. My late father told me that I was crazy for staying so far away in the “estate”, instead of living in town.

It is about RM300,000 to RM400,000 now. Prices went up as it is close to MMU (Multimedia University).”

– Koh – Malacca, Malaysia


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“When the market goes against you, it can be very painful…”

milan 2

“I think a lot of people know about the mistakes I made in property investment. Frankly speaking, if you want to be a property investor, you will make mistakes along the way. You just have to learn and don’t repeat the mistakes. The mistake I remember the most is the first mistake I made when I bought my first property in Singapore. It was way back in 1993 or 1994. At that time, the Singapore property market was going up and I had 4 -5 years of work experience.

My friend gave me this advice – “Buy the biggest property you can’t afford”. I asked him why should I buy a property I can’t afford. He said today you may not be able to afford it, but in a few years your income goes up, you’ll be able to afford it. and at that time the Singapore property market was going up. So when you buy a $200,000 property, and if it goes up by 10%, you make $20,000. But if you buy a $400,000 property, and it goes up by 10%, you make $40,000. So that was his logic and I bought into it.

So my first property was something I couldn’t afford. When the market turned sideways and started coming down, that property became a big liability. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have listened to my friend and bought something I couldn’t afford yet. That was my first mistake in property investment and I doubt I’ll ever forget it.

If you asked me 10 years ago, the whole idea was to borrow, borrow, borrow and buy, buy, buy. After I turned 50 years old, the lesson is not to have too many. Because when the market goes against you, it can be very painful and you realise that you are working hard and taking the risks, and those making the money are the agents, developers and banks, and so forth. Now my goal is to reduce my leverage on the bank and do something more manageable.”

– Mr Doshi – KL, Malaysia


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