SINGAPORE: A pair of Reddit posts on the resale and renovation of flats have gotten much traction recently. u/renewedsoul17 posted on r/Singapore on Wednesday (May 3) the best advice she could give after her experience when her family bought a flat last year.

 

She wrote that though she researched to help her parents, “my inexperience showed and I’m just writing stuff out for future homebuyers to take note”. “BOY could I write a PhD thesis on the slimey-ness of the interior design industry” she added

TL;DR — Here are her top tips:

  1. “Do extensive research of the neighbourhood” where you intend to move. Aside from more obvious points, would-be homeowners should take note of estate upkeep, ask people who’ve lived there before or are currently living, scour past Reddit posts on r/singapore to look for common complaints and walk around the area both by day and night.
  2. Take note of water damage when inspecting homes to buy. This means looking beyond the surface for possible mould and making sure you have a full renovation budget to replace anything faulty or too badly damaged.
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3. Previous owners and property agents CAN lie. The post author recalled the agent told her family that they had bought a flat in move-in condition. Guess what? It wasn’t.

4. Do your due diligence when making a reasonable offer for the property you’re eyeing. “There’s plenty of resources online that will give you info on recently transacted prices,” she wrote.

5. Trust your gut and intuition. “If a place gives you ‘bad vibes’, believe it.”

6. Be picky. “This may seem counterintuitive to our current housing market, but if you are resorting to resale because of failed BTO attempts (and not because you’ve exclusively gone after mature estates), resale homes are notoriously fixer-uppers and after taking on a decades-long mortgage, the last thing you want is to throw more of your hard-earned money into making the house ‘livable.’”

7. DIY when finding a home, don’t get an agent to do the work.

8. “Be aggressively skeptical of listing prices of newly MOP listings. The COV is usually insane (>50k in my experience). A lot of homes that appear good, sit on the market for a long time because the owners are insistent on making a tidy profit and refuse to budge on price. Just leave it. Don’t give in to it.”

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9. Go over the fine print of the renovation contract and question everything you don’t understand, to the point of asking, “what is the per foot run costs and re-calculate yourself.”

10. Lowball—never reveal your actual budget to the ID (Interior Designer) or contractor.

11. “On that note, ask if the items include ALL associated cost. We had a dispute where we wanted to install Line8. On the contract, it very clearly stated that it included supply of Line8 and labour to install. Weeks later, we receive a electrician’s contract for services to install the Line8 that was in addition to it.”

12. Do some comparison shopping when it comes to ID costs.

13. Document every change/modification in writing. Message them on the spot and get them to reply to their agreement immediately.

14. “DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY APPLIANCES/FURNITURE FROM ID CONNECTIONS.” /TISG

Executive maisonettes, flats facing rubbish bins, top floor units: Property agent advises 1st-time homeowners on what NOT to buy