To buy or not to buy, that is the question

I think I had a similar title on my FB post recently about housing issues. To buy or not to buy, given the current economic situation. After weighing the pros and cons, we decided to buy and we are done with the Option to Purchase. Yay!

I’m attaching the news article which resonated with us. We have also considered the points listed by the reporter. Maybe this is another confirmation that we should buy?

In any case, our minds are set.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. 
Article in The Sunday Times, 21 August 2011.

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Stressed.

Buying an apartment is one of the most stressful things that could happen to anyone.

Yesterday, I asked mom to go down to view the apartment. I wasn’t sure if this is a right move because I know if she was to give a bad review about it, I would be greatly affected. But the fact is, she is critical and honest in her opinion and that’s what I need most.

Coincidentally, bro emailed me about the recent news on housing matters and I updated him. I know he’s not very supportive of us buying resale flats because to him, buying from HDB is the best option since it is the cheapest. Of course, that would be ideal except that we would like to have the apartment soon and without having to wait 3-5 years for it. Bro’s intention is to make a profit from selling the apartment after the 5 years are up but our goal is to stay there for long. Our goals thus don’t match but I know I was affected by the email exchanges.

And as I have expected, I didn’t have a good night’s rest. I was stressed. I need to know mom’s reaction to the flat.

And…my mom is actually okay with it! It turns out that the owner is someone she knows! She had a quick glance at the flat and felt comfortable in it. That’s the thing I want to hear! Since we could not be present to view the flat ourselves, my mom’s opinion does count a lot because she knows my taste, to a certain extent. She even told me that I wouldn’t like the kitchen decor and she’s absolutely right! We will do something about that!

I am at peace again. Mom’s ok with it and that means a great deal to me. Yes, we are all concerned about the economic situation but what needs to be spent has to be spent, as long as it is within our means.

One more barrier crossed. *Thumbs up*

I felt assured again. Thank you, God!

Proceeding with paperwork

The next move…apartment woes

We actually went ahead with the Option To Purchase (OTP) before we left for our trip.

A few reasons prompted our action, despite the economic uncertainties.

Personally for me, the location is the greatest pull factor. Granted that it is not next to an MRT station (actually, I didn’t want that too), nevertheless, it is only minutes from it (I mean the future station) and the bus stops. The location is near to our parents which is a great draw and near to schools which I want our offsprings to be enrolled in.

In terms of budget, we are comfortable with it. In fact, after the grants, it is well within our budget. While we are afraid that the prices might be affected with the gloomy economic news, I believe we should stick to the criteria that we set for ourselves in terms of the budget; we would still have sufficient for renovation and fixtures.

It’s all not so easy for us to trust, to be honest. Before that sleepless night, we were praying for open doors if that is the unit meant for us. And when it seems that the doors are opened, we prayed for closed doors if that is not the one due to our fears in these uncertain days.

And we both realised that we allowed fear to creep in and affect our decision even though we have already set our criterion. We have to be prudent, no doubt, but we recognised that we should not allow fear to rule us.

So, we have 7 days more to decide if we will eventually go ahead with this unit. We do have the peace unless something crops up to deter us from doing so.

Is waiting the only solution?

Both of us had a sleepless night in Boston.

We were thinking about the next move. Is it prudent to go ahead to purchase that apartment? The price (COV) is incredibly ridiculously (some say) high and with the gloomy economic situations now, with every piece of news we heard hardly encouraging, we are thrust into confusion, again.

And 90% of the people whom we sought for advice have asked us to WAIT. Only two, one being my dad, have commented that if we are okay with it, then go ahead. It’s hard to tell the times right now. During the 2008 economic crisis, it was anticipated that HDB prices would drop but they didn’t. They only escalated, thanks to our wealthier counterparts, either new citizens or those who downgraded from  private property (among the few players), sending us into panic attacks.

What’s going to happen next? Will the same scenario surface or will the prices really go down – by how much and for how long?

It is said that prices will drop when there are more supplies than demand which will happen in 2-3 years time or a severe recession which will kill demand. But will the latter happen (honestly, I don’t want that to happen to my country).

We are clueless, frustrated and tired from a lack of proper rest.

What’s next? Should we wait? Is that the only solution?

1st viewing

Lord, please guide CG and E as they view the flats tomorrow.

This morning, we received an email from CG with videos of the four units he, E and FIL viewed.

We have been in conversation with him for weeks already and finally, yesterday, we progressed to the first viewing.

We decided, after considering the prospects of the various locations, that Bedok Reservoir View (BRV) is what we are looking for.

1) MRT line and station will be built there in future, making it more accessible. As of now, there are quite a few buses servicing that area. It thus has prospects of being more developed = higher value in future (not that we are buying for investment’s sake).

2) It is situated in the middle of Tampines and Bedok town. Our community is there and our parents’ places are within walking distance (more for my parents). This is quite a top priority, for me.

3) BRV is near the reservoir, meaning we have a decent place to run, away from the roads! There are also cycling paths leading to Pasir Ris Park and East Coast Park. Bonus!

4) There isn’t any market or decent amenities nearby but when we crossed over the bridge at the highway, we will be back at Bedok North Ave 4! Blk 85 market!!! Happy! And since there’s quite a few condos and we have friends staying there, that also means complimentary swimming pools and clubhouses! Yay!

5) Our alma mater schools are in the region. In fact, Ken’s is within walking distance from BRV. Good!

6) The flat that we are eyeing is within our budget and may not need extensive renovation. It is relatively new too – 10 years old – which means less issues with pipes and what not.

7) We are contented with the flat.

Lord, is this a go-ahead? Let us secure the flat?

Apartment hunting…and woes

Source: Straits Times

While many have been complaining about the exorbitant prices for the DBSS units at Tampines, the folks at home (one of them) actually went to view it and asked for an application form on my behalf.

I nearly flipped and breathed out fire.

It’s the time of the season when apartment-hunting is on my radar and making me frustrated and…hot-headed in these summer days. While staying in swanky new apartments is ideal, we really do not have the finances to fund it, unless my parents want to give it to me as a present, like what the New Yorkers are increasingly doing. Otherwise, it’s a big NO NO.

Anyone wants to donate to the Queks’ foundation?

At the end of the day, I believe the folks just want us to stay in a relatively new flat, free from the problems old apartments would give, which is absolutely understandable. They have our interest at heart, love them! But there are constraints too, or criteria which we need to consider when we think about purchasing a place we can call our own.

Let me attempt to list them, as the hubs has so often asked me to do.

Budget

No money, no talk. No matter how cool the place looks, if we are short of finances, there is really no point in discussing it. We looked into our savings and did our Math. Financial freedom is something we want to achieve in time to come and slaves to the bank we want not to be. Looking into the future, we want to be able to survive on one income and provide for our children in a comfortable way. Raising kids is no mean feat and we do need to consider the cost involved too. Bearing these in mind, let’s be realistic – we cannot afford a high-priced apartment.

Location

We ❤ the east! Thankfully, both of us grew up in Bedok and love the area to the core! My FIL’s place is just 20 minutes’ walk to the East Coast and we enjoy the morning jog every weekend. The church we worship at is about 15 minutes’ walk from both Ken’s and my place. Our primary schools are in the area and we want our kids to be schooled there too (either one will do). Ample amenities are available and we are spoilt for choice. The best thing is, we will be close to our parents if we can find a place there so Bedok is the place we want to reside eventually. At one stage, Punggol seems like a good choice because the flats are new and the area quiet. Besides, many of my friends stay there and it’s easy to meet up with them. However, I find the location a push factor and decide, in the end, that it is not a viable choice.

Type of apartment

This is related to the cost and location. I had adamantly wanted a 5-room apartment since I grew up in a space such as that and love the spacious area. Love having a dining room and a balcony to grow some herbs but because of the budget, a 4-room apartment might seem more feasible.

Since we want to reside in Bedok, we might need to be content with old flats. We went to view the flats in that area before and I was not in the least happy with what I saw; the apartment was in a dire state and in desperate need for a make-over. Think renovation cost!

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