HDB Resale Flat Journey: A House of Our Very OWN!
Sales of Balance Flat Exercise – Flopped
Following my ranting on our woes in balloting for the Sales of Balance Flat Exercise (http://www.aldoramuses.com/sales-of-balance-flat-may-2013-update), we balloted for a second time and yet again we did not get the units we desire.
Hence we relinquished the idea of getting the SOBF and switched our target to purchase a resale flat instead due to the below reasons:
- We can choose the ideal location
- Older Flats have better layout and are more spacious than the BTOs
- We can choose the ideal floor level of the resale unit
- Property Prices are on the downtrend due to cooling measures implemented
Purchasing a resale unit is never an easy process as our income ceiling has hit the S$10k ceiling but we did not have enough cash to pay for the 20% deposit if we were to obtain a bank loan.
Obtaining the HLE (Housing Loan Eligibility) – Over 2 Months
Hence our nightmare began with us appealing to HDB to grant us a HDB loan – you only need to pay 10% deposit from your CPF Ordinary Account. The process took over 2 months and it was exceptionally painful for Sweetie Muffin as he is self-employed and hence had to produce more documentations to justify our appeal.
We were asked to provide a long list of documentations, including but not limited to the following:
- Photocopies of our NRIC together with both our parents’
- Our Parents’ Marriage Certificate
- Our Birth Certificates
- Income Statements
- Bank Statements
- CPF Statements
- Breakdown of our Monthly Expenditures and other Financial Commitments
The list went on and on. This is what happens when you are under the mercy of HDB.
However by God’s grace, we were granted the HDB loan like finally (after my incessant chasers and follow-up calls to HDB)~ *PHEW*
Hunting for Resale Flat! – In July 2014, Deadline: End August 2014
Our loan together with the S$30k CPF Grant allows us to purchase a flat which cost about S$480k and we intended to purchase a 4-room flat which fulfils the following criteria:
- Near Our Parents’ Home
- Near MRT
- Near Our Workplace (which is in the Central Business District)
- Accessible in Short
We currently live in centralised locations (Macpherson and Little India) and hence we are too used to travelling to our office in under 30 minutes.
|Intense Flat Hunting on PropertyGuru|
However, houses near the existing MRT Stations are too exorbitant (over S$500k) and hence we explored to find areas near the upcoming Downtown Line (TOP 2017).
Initially we explored matured estates like Bedok (due to the future Bedok Reservoir MRT Station). We explored a few units at Bedok North which were within our budget but none were to my liking as the building looks rather old and dirty. Also, the units are pretty much in their original condition and the existing owners did not do property maintenance to their houses. The size of the 4 room units were only 93sqm and I felt claustrophobic when I was there 🙁
Then, we explored Bedok Reservoir View and I pretty much love their big and spacious layout – 105 – 107sqm with service balcony. They come with a lovely price tag as well – S$490k and above.
I was obsessed with the condo like layout of the units there and almost purchased this S$490k unit @ Bedok Reservoir View. Here is an apartment tour taken during my second house viewing:
Also, the place was about 10 minutes drive down the expressway to my parents’ house.However, we did not purchase this unit ultimately – reason being is that the unit is pretty inaccessible. It takes 15 minutes to walk from the unit to the nearest bus stop and future Bedok Reservoir MRT. Also, there are no amenities at the area except for a coffee-shop (about 10 minutes walk) and market (across the overhead bridge). We tried walking ourselves without our property agent one glorious afternoon before deciding to give up that unit 🙁 Such a pity!
It appears that houses below 100sqm do not appeal to me anymore after seeing the spacious units at Bedok Reservoir View. Moreover Sweetie Muffin insisted that he is against low floor units due to the lower resale value and susceptibility to dust and noise. Hence we were further constrained by the below factors:
- 4A Layout (with Service Balcony and Spacious Bathrooms)
- High Floor (5th Storey and above)
- Quiet (i.e. not near Expressways / Roads where the air is polluted and dusty)
Geez! Seems like having choices ain’t too great either…
The Best Match – Confirmed in end July 2014
To cut the long story short, we continued to explore for units near our parents’ houses but realised that not many people are selling them due to their accessibility. Even if they are selling, either the prices are sky high or Chinese quota has reached.
After over a month of house hunting and almost over 5 house viewing sessions, we settled with a 4A (106sqm) unit on the 6th Storey asking for S$500k at Eunos Ville. We tried all we could to bargain for price reduction and the seller went down to S$490k, S$488,888, S$486k and finally S$485k.
|Alas, behold our flat!|
Hence, we paid initially S$1k deposit first and got the unit valued. The valuation dropped drastically to S$480k (The SRX Value was at S$489k in late July 2014) and hence we had to fork out an additional S$5k cash over valuation! Now we can fully understand why most young Singaporeans hate the government due to their “Roti Prata” housing policies.. Grrrrr!
Anyway we decided to proceed with our flat purchase as that unit fulfilled all the above criteria just that it is a corridor unit (all 4-room units are corridor units in that area, only the 5-room units are situated at the corner and selling for over S$550k). The unit is partially renovated with parquet flooring in all 3 rooms and laminate flooring in the living room – hence we can save on the flooring during renovation.
The air there is very fresh and it is only a stone throw away from the future Kaki Bukit MRT Station which makes it a lot more accessible to our parents’ place along the Downtown Line. Also, there is a direct bus 15 which goes to our church which we can take from a nearby bus stop. Thank God!
|The Layout of our 4A Unit – Any Renovation Ideas?|
|Interiors of our unit…|
- Green Kitchen Cabinets with ultra old-fashioned door knobs
- Wall with a peep-through window between Kitchen and Living Room – WHY? Reminds me of HK Cafés where orders are being served through the service windows from the kitchen… Meh :S
- Dining Table in the Middle of the living room – WTH?
- Chilli Red Sofa
- Bathroom looking tiles on Kitchen Wall (Yes, they used the SAME tiles in the bathrooms too)
- Purple walls for Service Balcony
- Master Bedroom Built-In Wardrobe
I am currently researching for renovation ideas to makeover the entire house and will be posting them in a separate post shortly – stay tuned!