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7 Important Tips To Take Note of When Choosing Your Dream Home. Written April 2022

For many of us, buying a home is on­­e of our biggest goals as it is not just a roof over our head, but an important investment as well. Hence, it is crucial to take into consideration many factors when it comes to buying a home. Here are 7 important tips to take note of when choosing your dream home!

Tip No.1: Living Space

Your home will be the place of comfort for you and your family members; hence it is naturally important that you take into consideration all of their needs as well. Depending on your family unit size, you will need a different number of rooms. For example, are you planning on having more kids? Will you or your partner be bringing your parents into the new home?

Other considerations include a car garage, the need for renovation to accommodate special spaces in the home, or the need for a certain size of the kitchen. This will narrow down the type of units you would want to consider.

Tip No.2: Accessibility

After determining what you need inside your home, the next is deciding what you need outside of your home. Yes – what you want your environment to be.

For example, you might want to live close to your parents or in-laws. Otherwise, you might want to live within a 1km radius of the schools you want to send your kids to. If any of your family members require medical attention, you might also want to live close to major hospitals or medical centres. All these will affect the district and area that you want to live in.

Such considerations vary from one to another, and other factors may include your preference to a bustling city or a serene and quiet neighbourhood. Another is the proximity to dining options and shopping malls.

Tip No.2: Connectivity

Next, other than the facilities in the surroundings, you will also need to consider the connectivity of your new home. With the advent of new MRT lines across Singapore, there are now much more options to consider when it comes to properties that are near MRT stations.

From the Downtown line to Thomson-East Coast Line and even the upcoming North-East Line extension, you should take this into consideration when narrowing down the area you want for your new home.

A house located in the central area will naturally be much more convenient in terms of travelling. Take for example Dhoby Ghaut area, where it is well connected to North-East Line, North-South Line and the Circle Line. Travelling to your work place and bring your kids to their schools will be significantly easier. Living in the city fringe like Pasir Ris or the developing districts like Punggol will be less costly, but the travelling time will be significantly longer as well.

In general, it is best that you pick a location based on places that you and your family would frequently visit. This will make settling in your new lifestyle much smoother as well.

Pro tip: When testing these out, remember to go to the property location at different times of the day to test out the traffic, the travelling distance and time taken, the actual walking distance to MRT and time taken to reach (with shelter or without etc.) and more.

Tip No.3: Home design and layout

While this tip is more for private properties (especially landed ones), this is something that you should consider when buying a home as well. The design of a house is usually the representation of a person’s taste and personality. You should try to structure it or design it to match your preference as well. For example, if you are someone that prefer to have a bright atmosphere with lots of greenery, you would want to consider a home that has big windows facing the sun and perhaps a bigger balcony area.

For those that loves to cook, having a home with a big kitchen area to perhaps fit an island counter would be perfect. The walls, structures, room layout will all be something you want to really look into to find the perfect fit.

Tip No.4: Status of the unit

If you are going for a resale unit, chances are that the house would have endured a certain level of wear and tear. Depending on the number of years it has clocked up, some of the homes might be considerably run down and dirty. The greater the amount of wear and tear, the more extensive your renovation would be. In addition, if you want your home to fit a certain layout, hacking works might also be required as well.

Renovation is a cost that can become incredibly expensive depending on the works you want to do, and therefore, it is important to carefully consider what are the renovation works you want to commit to. Not to mention, furniture costs should also be taken into consideration as well. Certain appliances that are built-into the unit might no longer be working, and you will need to spend extra cost replacing some of them (e.g. built-in oven, induction cooker).

Do make sure to check the condition of these appliances before making your offer. If you are unsure of what to look out for when viewing the unit, make sure you reach out to a reliable property agent to get insights and advice.

Tip No.5: Enlarge your method of searching

When it comes to finding the right property, being passive about it and waiting for the right ones to appear on property platforms would not be effective. With the extensive number of platforms available, make sure to do extensive research across every platform and check professional sites for property updates as well. Make sure to search, compare and do your price analysis before reaching out to the property owner.

Due to the complexity of the analysis and property search, many of us turn to property agents to do the work for us. Since property agents have ample experience and property information to discern what is the best deal for the client, they are in the best position to advise and find the right home for you. To get to know more on how a property agent can assist you, reach out to our team to know more.

Tip No.6: Set a budget

Arguably the most important step would be to set a budget for your dream home. While many of us would have our needs fulfilled if we could move into a landed property right in the central area, not all of us can afford that as well. Do your research by calculating the price of the home before making your move.

However, calculating home prices can be tricky at times. From figuring out your Approval in Principle, you also need to take into consideration stamp duties and procedural costs. If you are contemplating on a private home, you also need to factor in maintenance fees every month.

Otherwise, for resale or HDB flats, you will also need renovation fees to varying extents depending on the status of your dream home. It is best to reach out to an expert in the area – speak to a property agent well versed in optimising and calculating your budget. The property agent will be able to do a Total Debt Servicing Ratio or Mortgage Servicing Ratio assessment with you thoroughly as well, so that you can make informed decision that will not overly burden your finances. Once you take into consideration all the costs and finalise your financial plans, stick to the budget.

The above is written by Kaeden Ong. To know more, contact him at +65 9048 0660.

The information provided is for generation information purposes only and does not have regard to specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any recipient hereof. No information here should be used as legal, taxation or investment advice.


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