Personal experience: Buying a HDB

Before buying a flat, me and my wife discussed about what the unit should have and good to have. These factors will determine what you are looking for and make decisive decision when you see a desirable unit.

I have a good friend who is a property agent. I must really thank him for rejecting my business. Way before I have any discussion with my wife, both me and my wife knew that we are going to buy a flat. However, we just do not have anything in mind. When I approached my good friend to bring us for viewing, he rejected us after asking me this question: “do you know what you want to buy?”. “I have no idea” I said. He told me we will be wasting everyone’s time. Thanks to him, I am being forced to discuss with my wife which save time and money. Moral of the story, know what you are buying before even approaching a property agent. Do not waste everyone’s time!

Our must-have factors:
1) near my parents’ place
2) near MRT because we have no car
3) lift landing because my wife need to carry heavy bags to work
4) no odd shape unit because we hate odd shape house
5) COV as low as possible (hopefully less than $20k) because we rather pay less COV and use our excess cash to renovate our house
6) 3-room or 4-room because we are a small family
7) less than $300k because we do not want to burden ourselves to the housing loan

Our good-to-have factors (we can live without):
In fact, we do not have any! Since we can live without these factors, we should not even consider or think about it! This will make our decision easier.

Equipped with out must-have factors, we went house hunting. We informed our property agent our criteria. Within a week, he got us 3 units for viewing and we bought ourselves a four room HDB, COV at $11k and total price at $301k. Not only did we spend a very short time to look for a suitable unit, we got ourselves a bargain (Nov 2009)! Previously, we had more than 15 viewings and none came close.

Anyway, the trick to getting low COV is poor condition of the house. If you are going to spend good money to renovate your house, simply go for poor condition house. When there is no other offer to compete, you can start with very low offer to the owners. You will be surprised that they will even consider your offer! And I start my offer at $6k!

Hope my experience can help you with our house hunting.

Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


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