Buying Your First Home? Here’s What You Need To Know

Buying Your First Home? Here's What You Need To Know

If the American Dream is a house with four bedrooms, an open kitchen, two-door garage, beach-house décor and a walk-in closet, then the Singapore equivalent would be to own property. However, navigating the route to homeownership can be tricky due to the various property jargon and numerous steps required. Over and above that, the authorities released fresh measures on September 29 to calibrate property financing conditions, which was met with a knee-jerk reaction as many bemoaned the impact to their home buying abilities - especially when it is the dream of many to climb the property ladder.

On The Afternoon Update with Rachel Kelly, Preeti Nair aka PreetiPls, Comedian, shared her top tips for buying your first home, and her journey of climbing the property ladder.

Rachel Kelly: First off, congratulations on buying your first home! Tell us all about it. Also, what would you say is the key lesson that you’ve learned?

Preeti Nair: I went into it completely clueless because at that point I was still 26 years old and of course in Singapore, it’s almost impossible to buy a house at that age. I underwent a very long process to get to where I am now. Initially, I spoke to my MP (Member of Parliament) and had written many appeals to HDB (Housing Development Board), which finally I was able to purchase a resale unit as a family nucleus - including my brother and my mother. My brother and I are the owners of the unit and my mother is an occupant. In hindsight, we did our due diligence and researched plenty during the process. We spoke to many of our friends who were first-time homeowners too, although their situation was typically different as many of them opted for the BTO (Build to Order) scheme. I do think we made the right decision because I witnessed how the bank loans and the fixed interest rates were not as good as how it used to be, so it was a good opportunity presented then.

Rachel: It's a big move and a big investment. How long did it take you to find the right property?

Preeti: This is actually quite funny but when we started our search, we embarked off on our own - without any property agents. My brother and I were just seeking what was in the area and what was considered as an ideal spot. Truth be told, the unit we actually ended up buying was literally the first home we viewed, even though we went on viewing way more units after. We eventually engaged an agent to help us seal the deal and the numerous paperwork involved.

Rachel: You went through renovations as well. What was that like?

Preeti: In the same vein as deciding on a home, renovation is as such. We took a long time deciding whether we wanted to go down the interior design route or work with an independent contractor directly. After speaking with a bunch of friends, we realised that we had no confidence to work with a contractor as it seemed like we would need to do a lot of managing. Unexpectedly, we had amazing contractors who took on everything and they basically functioned like an agency, where they gave us so much design advice and sped up the process - considering we were in the midst of Covid. It took about 2 and a half months for a 5-room full renovation. But I think they also had to expedite everything as we were renting before that so it was a very tricky timeline. We urgently needed to get out of our previous home as we could not extend the rent anymore. I’m just glad that our contractors made it work and everything fell into place.

Rachel: There’s always a lot of talk about sustainability and making homes climate friendly. What were some of the key considerations that you thought about or put into your home and your renovation?

Preeti: We really went into it with a blank slate because I’ve been renting units my entire life after my family lost our childhood home. I personally like the smallest things like hanging something up on the wall or even painting my room. It was so thrilling when we moved into this house because I could finally do all of those and more. We did implement various aspects like having dura and zip-trap blinds, several glass elements - to make the whole house way brighter and seem more spacious. These are one of the many considerations we took - to have more space instead of actually creating more space.

Listen to the full podcast on Awedio: SPH's free digital audio streaming service, as Preeti Nair aka Preetipls shares with us her first home purchasing experience and the important things to look out for when purchasing your first home.

Download the podcast.

For more, tune in to The Afternoon Update with Rachel Kelly from 1PM to 4PM.

This interview was broadcasted on MONEY FM 89.3 on 30 Sept 2022.

Disclaimer: All analyses, opinions from interviews, recommendations and other information broadcasted, podcasted, published or printed herein are for general information. You should not rely solely on the said information and are advised to seek independent financial advice from your own financial or investment consultant prior to making any investment decisions. Before acting on the information you hear or read on MONEY FM 89.3, remember to consider if it is suitable for your own investment objectives and financial situation. SPH Radio does not accept any liability for any loss whatsoever arising from any use of the information broadcasted, podcasted, published or printed herein.

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