Common scenarios of changing needs of Singaporeans

REAL ESTATE planning“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

For something as big as a real estate decision, a wrong step might cause distress, financial losses and unfortunately relationship issues.

Do not make this huge decision based on luck or hearsay, we have the financial tools and statistics to help you make the most informed decision.

Below are some common scenarios that Singaporeans face at different stages in their lives.

There’s no one-size fits all solution or so called “best solution” as everyone’s family and financial situations are different.

Let us help in drawing up your real estate plan.

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Different life stages

DownsizingInvesting | Divorce | UpgradingEnbloc | Refinancing






David and Linda had lived with David’s elderly father all their marriage life, as David’s father passed on, he left the semi-detached house to them in his will. David and Linda doesn’t plan to have any children in the future. They find the house too big for just the 2 of them, maintaining it, cleaning it was a chore. Friends had advised them about renting it out, but they do not feel comfortable living with strangers under the same roof. After some discussion, they decided to move to another smaller place. But these questions are in their minds as they discussed.

  • Is selling the house the only available option?
  • Would keeping it be a good investment?
  • Do we have enough funds to get a new place without selling the house?
  • Should we get a private condo or an Executive condo or a HDB flat?

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David and Patricia had bought the current condo unit 7 years ago in the resale market. As market sentiment is picking up, they are thinking of buying another unit for investment purposes. They had read about Additional Buyer stamp duties, decoupling and recently the government just tweaked the buyer stamp duties percentage.  They are not sure what to consider at this point.

  • How much could they loan with the current outstanding loan they are currently servicing?
  • How much cash would they need?
  • Should they or decouple or not?
  • How best could they minimise the tax payable should they decide to purchase another property for investment?
  • Which type of property would stand a better chance for the highest returns?

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Unfortunately, cases like these are more common than we hoped. Mr and Mrs Ong had tried their best but it didn’t work out. It is mutually agreed that they would sell the matrimonial home and Mrs Ong would get custody of both kids.

What would be the best course of action for Mr Ong / Mrs Ong after this ordeal, would have to depend on their current financial situation, age and the sale of their matrimonial home.


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Tony and Linda are very lucky and had successfully balloted and purchased a unit at Pinnacle@Duxton when it first launched. They know that selling it would surely give a handsome profit, but should they sell? Even if they sold their flat, what would be best plan for their profits? They would surely have to buy a property to live in, but could they do more with the cash proceeds? Here are some of their thoughts:

  • Can we keep the flat? After all, if we sell it we can never buy it back again at the old price!
  • If we were to keep the flat, how much more do we need to buy a private condo?
  • This location is superb, what alternatives do we have? We don’t wish to move to ulu location.
  • If we were to sell, how much would it fetch us and do we still have to fork out extra cash to buy a new place?

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EC upgrade

Mr and Mrs Tan bought this resale flat 5 years ago. Since then, they have given birth to a beautiful baby, engaged a domestic helper and their income has risen considerably. Mr Tan had hoped to get his elderly mother to live with them as she is getting on age and living alone currently. The Tan family is considering to upgrade to an Executive Condominium as it’s not as expensive as a private condominium but still able to house everyone comfortably in.

First of all, ECs have certain eligibility criteria like BTO applications, so it’s imperative to engage someone qualified to give advices on EC purchase. They would have to consider the cash outlay, CPF balance and if they met the eligibility conditions, and of course this change would have to fit into their planning timeline.


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Henry & Sharon owns a 3 BR unit in Normanton Park. Henry is 55 and Sharon is 50. They loved big living space. Their daughter is 25 this year and plans to get married with her boyfriend and get themselves an Executive Condo and would move out once plans are concrete. Henry & Sharon are very close to their daughter and promised her should she have a child, they’d be more than happy to help her with the day-care of the grandchild.

They are planning to downsize to a smaller unit in the near future. Would buying a resale condominium or HDB make a better choice in this scenario? Or should they help their daughter with the initial downpayment for the executive condo, and buy a 2 BR resale condo for retirement? Should they pay as much cash as possible?


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The structure of home loans are generally this format, they are low for the first 3 years and would have a significant rise from the 4th year onward. As such many homeowners would consider refinancing options at this point to reduce the monthly payments.

Another reason would be to change to fixed rates from the current floating rate loan they’re servicing.

Lastly, switching from HDB loans to bank loans. HDB loan rate is always 0.1% higher than the CPF ordinary account interest rate, which rarely changes.

This is where refinancing comes in: you can swap your existing property loan for a cheaper loan package. This means shifting your loan to another bank entirely (if you change loan packages but stay with the same bank, that’s called repricing, not refinancing.)

Note that there is no advantage to staying with the same bank when interest rates rise.

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If you find this page useful to you in someway, or you’re currently wondering how best to restructure your real estate portfolio, feel free to schedule a no-obligations appointment with us. It’s free and would only need 45mins of your time.

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