19 September 2022, by Patrina Tan
Just like any family in Singapore, the moment your BTO reaches the MOP (minimum occupation period), the thought of selling your house will start to linger. Initially, it didn’t cross our minds because we are comfortable with our current house and even more comfortable with the mortgage. At one point, we even discussed if we should re-renovate and make this our forever home.
My sister-in-law is a property agent and when she learnt of our plans, she sat us down and gave us an outlook on the property market. Because she is family, and I mean a very tight-knitted kinda family, we felt that she had more of our interest at heart and decided to hear her out. Long story short, because we are still at a good age and capable of leveraging from the bank, we should make use of it and invest in a private property and hope that in 3-5 years’ time, make some profit out of it. We are also aware that it is not a guaranteed profit and we will be taking a chance. But no risk no return right? Hahaha! We also told ourselves that if we don’t 100% like a unit, we will put off the idea of selling and buying until next year.
We started with browsing some listings on PropertyGuru and went on to view some units. It was fun going for viewings and reimagining what our next house could be. Back when we got our current house, our wedding and renovation cost came at the same time. So we had limited funds to do what we envisioned our house to be. We went with the bare minimum and improvised along the way. And I’m glad we didn’t overstretch ourselves.
There were a lot of factors to look into when buying a house. Typically,
3. Future developments in URA Master Plan
4. Remaining lease of the building
5. Layout of the unit
There might be other factors that I might have missed but these were what we were looking out for. As we are tied to a Proximity Scheme with John’s parents, we are limited to a 4km radius around their house. So that kinda required us to remain in Punggol, but this gives us a reason to stay in Punggol because our family are here. It is comforting to know that help is always near whenever we need it. We are also hopeful of the upcoming Punggol Digital District that will attract more people to stay near their workplace. There is going to be a new university too! The potential seems like a good bet for Punggol properties to rise but we’ll see. Accessibility is one key factor because I don’t drive to work and rely on public transport. So being near the MRT or having near-distance direct buses to the interchange is very important for me. That helps in sizing down to a few condos and striking out those that are further. We also made sure to take note of the surrounding of the estate. If there is an empty plot of land nearby, it is good to check out the government’s plan on the piece of land in URA Master Plan as new developments around the area, will contribute to noise and air pollution.
The rest of the factors come naturally when you’re in the unit. You will know if it’s the one, 5 mins into viewing the house. And after 14 viewings, we managed to size down to one unit which we couldn’t get our mind off. We kept comparing other units to this particular unit and knew that it is something we don’t want to forego.
The unit we chose caught our hearts with its non-obstructed view. We could totally imagine ourselves sitting at the balcony chilling and spending some time just watching the world go by. We initially were looking for 3 bedder but couldn’t find the right layout. Wardrobe space is important to me because I have a lot of clothes (need to start decluttering) and it will be impossible to build a big wardrobe in the master bedroom. We were at first apprehensive about looking at 4 bedder units because we figured, it is going to be just the 2 of us and we might not need such a big space. But this unit got exactly what we wanted. It is a compact 4 bedder unit which is not too big for the 2 of us. Not all bedrooms are the same size so we will be converting the smaller bedroom to a wardrobe while still having 3 bedrooms. The renovation Pinterest search has begun and I am so excited for reno to start. The downer is that it will only happen next year March. 🙁
But till then, we will be documenting down the journey on our Instagram (@patrinathy and @johnathanchua) and on my Tiktok (@patrinathy)! Can’t wait to share more!