Sunday, 12 February 2017

Couple Talk: EC or Resale

I've dated my partner for close to 5 years. I always joke that I gave him my youth (that's true).

5 years is a long time. I also joked about how if we're fortunate enough, we would already have a baby (好命的话,我的baby可能1岁咯). Unfortunately, we have been sorely unsuccessful in getting a flat. I probably am more anxious than him because I feel like I've an expiry date, and my biological clock is ticking. I know there are some stories of mummies at 40s and 50s, but I'd rather meet my goal of having kids before 30.

I used to think I'd get married and have kids at 23. Then it postponed to 25. And then to 26, and then to 28. It got delayed all because we have not secured our own home.

I want to start a family soon. But, without a flat to call our own. It's tough. We are not comfortable staying in each others' houses too. In-laws relations, proximity to workplaces and "it's never the same staying in someone else's home, cause it's never as comfortable as yours" thoughts are some of our own reasons.

We faced a few dilemmas deciding on a flat. Years ago when we were young(er), BTO was the most obvious choice. We have the time to wait. I even thought getting a flat was easy! Just apply only ma! I won't be so unlucky to end up with nothing one la. But after rounds of unsuccessful balloting (and these took years), I'm getting frustrated. Even if I were to be successful in getting a BTO for this round, the TOP in 2021/2022 would mean I'd wait till my 30s and him in mid 30s to get hitched. And don't get me started on the probability of having a kid immediately after we wed.

With BTO being less of an option for us because we are not very huat, both of us have different opinions on our next option.

He prefers an EC, while I prefer a resale.

I prefer a resale for the following reasons:

  • I want one with close proximity to the MRT
  • I could get one near my parents to receive the housing grant 
  • We can get married soon after settling the house reno
  • Bigger size than BTOs
He disagrees. He said that resale flats has high reno costs given that you'd need to hack a lot of things if you're not satisfied with the current fittings. Next, the resale grant will need to be returned back if we sell it. Most importantly, because he sees his first property as an investment tool, a resale flat would not give us much profit if we sell.

His preference is for an EC because:
  • Don't need to wait as long as BTO
  • As an investment tool
  • Interior mostly done
  • Also because his cousin and friends kept telling him "EC is the way to go"

*rolls eyes*

I disagreed. Mainly with his point that the first home is for investment purposes. To me a house is for long term stay, not to sell and profit. He said that I'd need to consider that we would want to upgrade and upsize our flats, but I wasn't convinced. Also, I don't think we should purchase an EC at this stage. 

Assuming our EC costs around $1m for a 3 bedder and a loan amount of around $800k, we'd have to fork out $3200+ per month. This excludes monthly maintenance fees (googled and it's around $180-$250/mth). 

Based on our current take home pay, it's not that we totally cannot afford an EC, but we would probably have to live with sandwiches most of the days. What for right? And, I still have not factored in furniture costs (though it's a one off purchase), utilities and what about our milk powder money?!

On the other hand, the resales I'm looking at are not cheap either. A flat in my block could cost $800k as well......there are even some who are selling for $1m nearby. My partner is also slightly uncomfortable to stay near my parents although he understands how convenient this estate is. Everyone prefers to stay where they grew up in which I understand.

I used to think the average housing amount I need to fork out would be around $300k. That was in 2009. However, after looking at the recent BTOs at mature estate (and even Bidadari), I had to set my budget to a minimum of $550k or else, it's Punggol or Seng Kang. Even then, there are people selling their Punggol or Seng Kang flats at $500k! It's insane thinking about how the average housing prices are now. I even lamented to my partner that we should have balloted for a flat when we first met so as to lock in cheaper prices hahaha!

My partner has already locked in some dates for viewing at ECs. I'm still keeping my options open, but as his Finance Minister, I'd be sure disapprove if it gets way out of...our budget.

I don't want to end up like this, but I know the majority of us has no escape.