01

Bigger is not always better

4-room or a 5-room flat? A 5-room flat is more spacious and you have a balcony! If you can afford it, why not just go for the 5-room flat?

Most of us would fall into the mentality that bigger is better. However, working out your finances is important. Other than the monthly repayment loan for the house, there are also other fees. Instead of stretching yourself too thin, choose a flat size that meets your needs. You can do so much more by saving that extra $100k you have to fork out for a 5-room flat – such as going on a trip with your family at the end of the year or invest in that home theatre system! – Grace

02

Underestimating the total costs of homeownership

 

In purchasing a new home, most young couples tend to consider only the price of the flat. There are other processing fees which you have to include on top of the flat of the price – Option-to-Purchase (OTP) fee, Stamp Duty Fees and other legal fees. With all these added up, it can amount to roughly an additional $10k.

Option-to-Purchase (OTP) fee ranges from $500-$2000, depending on the size of the flat purchased.

As for Stamp Duty Fees, it’s 1% on the first $180,000 of the flat price, 2% on the next $180,000 and 3% on the remainder. Do note that Stamp Duty Fees can only be paid via cash or CPF!

Aside from all these fees, you also need to set a budget for your renovation. If you are happy with the interior of the new flat, you can save that renovation cost for purchasing new furniture. However, if you want to get that Scandinavian interior look, you would need to engage an Interior Designer to transform it into your dream house!  

Furniture does not come cheap as well – especially furniture that are long-lasting. A simple solid Suar wood dining table would easily cost $1,000 and above depending on the grain and size you choose. Not to mention mattresses which is another big ticket item that is costly and ranges around costs 1k – 6k depending on your requirements. And don’t forget to include all those essential home appliances!

Setting a realistic budget would help you to spend within your means and also be prepared for any unforeseen situations that might pop up.

03

Fire Insurance =/= Home Insurance

 

If you are purchasing an HDB flat, it would be compulsory to purchase an HDB Fire Insurance as long as there is an outstanding HDB loan. However, the coverage is limited and lots of homeowners incurred heavy losses in unforeseen events. Imagine all the costs for renovation, home appliances and furniture – all gone up in flames!

HDB Fire Insurance only covers the structure of your house, not the contents of it. To cover the contents of the house, you would need to purchase a home insurance policy. Depending on the type of coverage you choose, some insurance can even cover damages done by wildlife!

For a guide on purchasing a home insurance policy and a list of available ones on the market, click here to find out more. 

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04

Space Planning

For condominium owners, the floor area provided by the developer is not absolute. Sometimes due to some unforeseen circumstances, adjustments are needed in the construction process. Therefore, the area of the unit might be slightly smaller than expected. Homeowners should take this into consideration when shopping for furniture or when you’re planning for some renovation works with your interior designer.

Walking space. When purchasing furniture, homeowners tend to use the available space they have as a guide to decide the dimension of their furniture. Most often than not, they tend to overlook leaving a comfortable space for walking and moving about. As a general guide, they should leave around 60-90cm on all sides of the table from the wall so that chairs can be easily pulled out.

Have you ever eaten at a dining table with your arms tucked tightly to your sides for the fear of accidentally hitting the one next to you? So, remember to leave some elbow space between each chair so that you won’t bump into each other while eating!

Insufficient Storage Space. Remember to include areas for storage! With the newer housing getting smaller, space struggle is real. If you have a bicycle, is there a space to store it away? You want to make sure that there is enough storage space to store your knick-knacks away. Avoid stacking your items up and cluttering your house in the process!

05

Going for the lowest price

 

Don’t we all love to get something at a steal? However, be careful if the price appears to be too low – it might be too good to be true! If you are engaging an interior designer, check the package that they are offering and what kind of materials are used in the renovation work. If the prices are on the lower side, the materials used might not be durable. This means, after a few years of usage, you will probably need to find a replacement. However, we are not saying to go the most expensive ones!

Do your research diligently and check out others’ review on the interior design firms you have in mind before committing to one. Make sure that your doubts are cleared before proceeding to engage their services.

Likewise, for furniture and home appliances, don’t go for the lower-priced item. Focus on the quality! If you’re on a tight budget, wait for end-of-year sales happening in furniture stores in Singapore! You might really get more than what you bargained for!

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