BTO

Comments

Here’s how we decided on what home to buy.

[Featured Advertorial]

As some of you guys may know, I finally moved in to my home this year. I’ve shared previously on my renovation aspects but have yet to share how Skai and I decided on the choice of our home.

Type of housing?

At the point where both of us decided to take the next step, Skai and I discussed the type of housing that we were looking for e.g. HDB, Condo, Landed etc.

As both of us were two broke fools, we talked about feasibility. At that time, I had just graduated from university and started on my first job. Skai had only worked for a couple of years. Based on our combined income, we could not afford any huge downpayments as we did not have any savings then.

We decided that a HDB was a good fit for both of us. We looked at our CPF contributions and toyed with the idea of a 4-room or 5-room, and finally decided on a 4-room. Reason being, if we had bought a 5-room flat, the monthly instalments would be more than our monthly CPF contributions. That meant that we would have to top up cash, which I wasn’t comfortable with. I would rather buy within our means.

$ & Location?

The prices of a 4-room flat in a mature estate differs drastically from a 4-room flat in a non-mature estate. While we were looking for a HDB flat, we also had to consider between a resale or a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat. As mentioned, we did not have any savings at that point in time and the property market was a seller’s market then. Thus we’ve decided on a BTO instead of a resale.

Another thing to consider was location - we would have loved to stay near our parents but there were hardly any BTO projects at Bedok or Toa Payoh back then.

12961514_10153952628920923_2087842922166953883_n

While we were looking through the BTO launches, we noticed a stark difference in prices due to location. A 4-room flat in a mature estate such as Clementi would cost way more than a 4-room flat in non-mature estates such as Punggol. In fact, the 4-room flat in Clementi could cost more than an average 5-room flat!

Again, as our main concern was affordability, we decided to opt for a BTO in a non-mature estate. Skai was also excited about the development prospects in Punggol back then.

Thus, we leaned towards BTOs in Sengkang and Punggol. Not too bad a decision in the long run and it really paid off. Waterway Point, one of the largest shopping centres in North-East, and Punggol Safra was built near our BTO. While Punggol is considered an ‘ulu’ location to many, I love how scenic and quiet the place is.

Also, as a bonus, I get to wake up to this view every day.

11218617_10155818644050375_3875234753435987513_n

So we applied and got our flat 4 years later.

Deliberations over loans.

4 years went by and our keys were ready for collection. During that time, Skai and I had accumulated a considerable amount in our OA (Ordinary Account) as both of us worked right after graduation. With our loan amount reduced, our monthly instalments would be lesser too.

Take for example, a couple earns a combined income of $4,000 and assuming that they do not enjoy any increments over the 4 years.

Their monthly CPF contribution would be $1,480 (inclusive of employer’s contribution of 17%). 23% out of the 37% goes to the OA account, which means that they would have accumulated at least $40,000 in their OA account! Reducing the loan by $40,000 would mean that you could opt for a shorter loan or lessen the monthly instalments.

Another thing that Skai and I agreed on was to opt for a shorter loan tenure. Most people do not realise how scary compound interest is. For example, if we had opted for a $300,000 loan over 25 years, the total amount that we would have paid inclusive of our interest would be: $408,300. That means the interest alone would be $108,300!

On the other hand, if we had opted for the same loan over 15 years, the total amount that we would have paid would be: $362,700. That’s a difference of $45,600! Madness. Also, that would mean losing out on at least 2.5% interest that we could gain if we left our savings in our CPF accounts! Needless to say, Skai and I opted for a shorter loan tenure.

Another factor that we considered was that we wanted to pay off our housing loan before we hit the age of 55 when the contribution rate would have decreased. We also aim to further shorten our loan by making partial capital repayment as much as we could afford.

Moreover, we managed to free up our cash for other expenditures since we need not fork out cash for our monthly instalments. Thankfully we did, as a very big unexpected expenditure popped up this year: giving birth and raising a child.

Spending within our means.

In order to pay for our home without breaking the bank, we decided to scrimp on certain aspects and splurge on others.

We did not overspend for our renovation. While some may have gone for the works with a budget of $80,000 (yes, we’ve heard of such cases. This is just on renovation, excluding furnishings or electricals!), we decided to spend more on affordable furnishings that we purchased overseas.

24761701982_45661309f1_z

Instead of opting for designer furniture, we played with furnishings such as colourful cushions, a “hipster” carpet and some affordable balcony furniture to create a cosy and homely feel. Definitely getting more bang for our buck!

CostOfHome(logoupdated)

Also, there are many other costs involved ASIDE from the monthly housing instalments. There’s insurance, utilities, taxes, conservancy charges. These necessary expenses were definitely more important than overspending on frivolous items.

Conclusion?

I think we managed to own a cosy and comfortable home according to our needs. Thankfully we were financially prudent thus for unforeseen expenses (like giving birth this year) didn’t set us back.

24974225291_658e3b60ae_z

Untitled

Here’s my personal take on how we could afford our home. 🙂

While this is a sponsored article by CPF Board, opinions are my own.

Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram  and Dayre to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

Comments

My curtains and blinds from Alto Fabric garnered lots of praises from friends. I previously casually blogged about it however there were queries via my social platforms and emails asking who I used. I had contacted Damien from Alto Fabric thru Facebook. He had supplied curtains and blinds to my ex-colleague Christine and she raved about him. Good recommendation Chris!

Here are some pics of the curtains and blinds!

...continue reading

Comments

[Review]

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I installed an automated laundry system from Steigen. I promised to write a detailed post on the system as most of my friends were rather interested in it.

Just to recap, some reasons to why I chose an automated laundry system.

  • The manual pulley system provided by HDB was cumbersome and troublesome to use.
  • We did not have the space to install a dryer.

Some other reasons are:

  • In the long run, we'll save more money than using a dryer. An electric dryer can be costly as the energy consumption can be extremely high. Also, with Singapore's climate, save for a few months during the monsoon season, we usually have hot temperatures that is sufficient enough to dry our clothes in good time.
  • It's less tiring to use. The manual system requires much effort. You'll need to pull, release the cord in certain angles. Heck, with a newborn now, I don't even have time for myself these days. To have to deal with the hassle of the pulley and cord system, would definitely make me lose my patience.
  • With the automated system, all I have to do is press a button. Extremely convenient with the least effort, time, money and steps needed. I love the remote controlled system. Less effort indeed!
  • The system also has a safety mechanism where it lowers at a steady speed. If it encounters an obstruction, the system will halt immediately. Aside from that, the material is made out of strong aluminium which can withstand heavy weight.
  • I love that the poles are retractable, I can lengthen and shorten the poles according to my needs e.g. When I dry bedsheets, I lengthen the poles. For lesser laundry, I can shorten the poles and use less space!
  • In-built LED lighting. Instead of installing a light, I utilised my existing lighting point for the system.

While there are other automated laundry systems with other features such as UV lights and/or fans, I found it unnecessary.

We took some pictures during the installation which was a breeze.

IMG_0775

Measuring the area needed.

IMG_0779

Some prep work before installation.

IMG_0781

IMG_0787

IMG_0791

Installation in progress. I love how sleek it looks!

IMG_0792

IMG_0796

My ex-colleague's husband showing us how it works.

IMG_0802

The installed automated laundry system by Steigen

IMG_0804

IMG_0813

IMG_0814

Bringing the poles down

IMG_0815

IMG_0816

IMG_0817

With the LED light on

IMG_0818

Bringing the extended poles down

IMG_0822

IMG_0821

Untitled

Actual usage!

I'm extremely pleased with Steigen and have been promoting this to my friends! As mentioned, my ex-colleague's husband handles this and has kindly offered a discount to my readers! Show some support to them please!

For more info about Steigen, check out:

Steigen
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SteigenSingapore
Websitewww.steigen.com.sg

Physical store: 12 Arumugam Road. Lion Industrial Building Block B. #03-10B. Singapore 409958
Opening hours:
Monday, Thursday, Friday: 12pm - 6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Contact number: 88186588 / 86993219

Discount code:
Quote "NADNUT" in the voucher code to enjoy a $50 discount for the laundry system

Do check out my other entries on #nadskaihome (aka our Punggol BTO) here:

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

Comments

As some of you guys may know, I had a lot of setbacks with my renovation. It was a very unhappy working experience. I know some of you guys have been asking for updates but I've been really busy settling into my new role as a mother (honestly, am functioning with very very very little sleep these days) and I've been neglecting this space of mine. Am also trying to recuperate from the c-section during my confinement.

Not to worry, I will definitely share some tips on the renovation process and the mistakes I faced.

I also will be sharing pictures of my home! Unfortunately, some of the renovation items are not performing well. My contractor promised good quality items however things such as the shower kerb has been leaking many times despite the repairs. Tsk.

Aside from the renovation shit, I was very pleased to have worked with good vendors. Thank god!

While searching for a replacement for the HDB's laundry rack, I found out my ex-colleague's husband is working for Steigen, a laundry drying rack system.

Why did I wanted to change my brand new laundry rack from HDB?

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

It's so troublesome to use it! The manual pulley system is cumbersome and tiring to use. You'll need to pull and release the cord in a certain angle and I've already heard from some friends that their system has jammed in less than a year.

Also, as I was quite far along in my pregnancy with backaches and all, Skai wanted to take some extra load off my hands.

Of course, there are other options such as an electric dryer but after evaluating the space and considering other constraints, Skai and I felt that an electronic laundry drying rack system was the best option for us.

I spoke to my ex-colleague's husband and he demo-ed Steigen to us. We were sold! He installed the system and we were very pleased with it!

IMG_0821

IMG_0810

I'll share more info and pictures in another entry soon!

For more info about Steigen, check out:

Steigen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteigenSingapore
Website: www.steigen.com.sg

Physical store: 12 Arumugam Road. Lion Industrial Building Block B. #03-10B. Singapore 409958
Opening hours:
Monday, Thursday, Friday: 12pm - 6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Contact number: 88186588 / 86993219

Discount code:
Quote "NADNUT" in the voucher code to enjoy a $50 discount for the laundry system

Do check out my other entries on #nadskaihome (aka our Punggol BTO) here:

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

Comments

[Sponsored Review]

While looking for a mattress in Singapore, Skai and I visited many brands. There were brands such as the famous S-es, some local/house brands in shops such as furniture and electrical shops and finally we found out about Tilam King.

nadnut Tilam king

Some of my friends bought from famous brands in Singapore. In fact, an excolleague Jeffrey and Pamela told me that they bought some famous D brand and it turned out that it was "sinking". OMG

Skai actually told me about Tilam King after doing intensive research online. I also read about them thru Qiu Qiu's review about them. We visited their showroom as a customer and was wowed by their non pushy attitude especially by this sales guy called Jeff. Really patient guy who went thru the various types of mattresses that Tilam King has to offer.

...continue reading