We have been applying for a flat from HDB (Housing Development Board) via the BTO (Built-to-Order) and SBF (Sale-of-Balance Flats) system for about 3 years now. It has come to the point where we no longer have faith in the system and decided that we are just plain cursed when it comes to public housing. Since we got married 3 years back we have been living comfortably with Hub’s parents in a 5 room flat in the Western part of Singapore. Although I feel pretty happy living with Hub’s parents, Hubs is keen on getting a place of our own so we can have a bit more privacy, less arguments on how not to spoil their little grandchild, and more living space to have baby no. 2/
Having given up on the public balloting system, Hubs and I started looking at resale flats. This is probably the worst time to start because frankly, prices are sky-high and at the point of no return. We have viewed flats in the west, north, north-east, and most 5 rooms flats are valued about SGD$580,000 to $650,000. Average asking COV is about 40k to 100k(*faints). I must say these are exorbitant prices for flats that are 20/30 years old and poorly renovated. If you do buy a resale as such there will definitely be major renovation involved and it will cost you upwards of 25k because there will be more work involved for the old stuff has to go before the new can be installed. Unless you are cash rich, otherwise you may have to take up a housing loan, reno loan, and who know some people may opt for furnishing loan as well! No thanks!
Anyhow, Hubs and I went house scouting with a couple of real estate agents and we almost settled on a 5 room flat in Seng Kang. We even placed SGD$1,000 for the Option-to-Purchase (OTP) – which means the seller will honor 14 days for you to think through your decision to buy, give you time to settle your Housing Loan Eligibility (HLE) if you have not already done so, and for the more “kiasu” buyers to check with town council and neighbors for any harassment cases in the area. This is exactly what we did, because we were offered a 2k COV(AMAZINGLY LOW by market standards!) so we were very paranoid/uneasy about the whole transaction. After all the snooping around and given the all clear, we decided to take it that God was looking out for us and gifted us a blessing at the most opportune moment.
However… Hub’s dad does not like the location and felt that this flat’s value will stagnate as all the flats around Seng Kang/Punggol will reach MOP(minimum occupation period) around the same time – once people start selling we will not have any advantage against other neighbors who live on high floors or have had good renovation done. We agreed and listened to him – he works at HDB, he should know best!
Thus, we started looking around again before the OTP expired to give ourselves more options… and we found Parkland Residences! We were one of the last chinese buyers and there was a lot of panicking and hoo-hah on the evening we went to place the OTP for our preferred flat at the gallery… but that’s a story for another day.
For now, see our floor plan! I love that we will have a good-sized balcony in the living and the masters! 😀