Author: Property Soul

Property Soul Podcast Episode #1: Home Sharing

It’s exciting to announce the birth of my first Property Soul Podcast. I have picked a highly debated topic on home sharing or short-term rental, especially after the URA proposal that came out last Monday. The video answers four main questions of home sharing: 1. What is home sharing or short-term stay? 2. What are the likely outcomes of URA’s proposal? 3. Should we leave the decision to consensus? 4. Why landlords need short-term rental? Special thanks to Michael Cho from Urban Zoom who kindly sponsored the webcam and microphone, and above all, his invaluable advice and comments to...

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Selling property buyers dreams and fantasies

I like watching TV and online commercials, especially the award-winning ones from Asia. Those from Japan and Thailand are my favourite. They are always creative and entertaining. The ads can be a funny episode, a humorous situation or a touching story. At times, they keep you guessing until the very end what they are really advertising. (Not sure whether it is the problem of the agencies or the clients. But those made in Singapore can hardly leave an impression on the audience.) Nissin Cup Noodles Es Club Commercial Early this month, Nissin re-launched their three ethnic favoured cup noodles....

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How easy is it for Singaporeans to fall victim to herd mentality?

We were waiting for the lift in a shopping mall. Only two lifts were in service for the whole building, including the top few parking levels. More people joined us after they parked their cars. Two families moved next to us. Another three groups stood right behind. The lift on the right was full after it reached the fourth storey. Instead of continuing to go up, it descended to the third floor. Seeing the lift on the left slowly climbing up from the ground floor, a couple found their way to get in front of us. I could feel...

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Singapore property game: The winner takes it all

I used to see property investment as a means to achieve financial freedom. That was also the drive to build my first property portfolio in the 2000s. Sixteen years later, my knowledge on the subject has increased more than tenfold. Now I finally understand that property investment is nothing more than a game. Property: a popular Singapore game Many Singaporeans are big fans of the property game. We can’t wait to play it. But how well do we know the rules of the game? Are we aware of the unwritten rules? Do we know whether winning is determined by...

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Saturday will be our last Buying My First Private Property Workshop

I have received some enquiries regarding the Buying My First Private Property Workshop this Saturday (April 7). Let me answer your questions in a Q&A format. Q: How is the materials covered in the workshop different from the content of your book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment? A: I am the writer of the book and also the trainer at the workshop. So expect me to stick to the same guiding principles in buying properties. They have never been changed since the first day I blogged in August 2010. Oh sorry, you are asking whether the content will...

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Is property the reason why Singapore is not among the happiest countries in the world?

As we are near the end of the first quarter in 2018, we take a look back and see how the year has started on a happy note. Singapore’s GDP grows 3.5 percent in 2017. Salaries are expected to rise 3.9 percent this year. The stock market continues to close at new record highs. An en bloc deal is closed every other week, the latest being the second-largest ever recorded sale of Pacific Mansion at S$980 million. Singaporeans have all the reasons to be happy. Still, Singapore ranks only 34th in United Nation’s newly published 2018 World Happiness Report,...

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How the 4% Buyer’s Stamp Duty makes speculators look foolish again

Singapore Budget 2018 has only bad news for the property industry. The top marginal Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) rate is raised from 3 to 4 percent for residential properties valued over $1 million. The revised rate is effective immediately on or after 20 February 2018. The Finance Minister explained this is done to enhance “progressivity” in our tax system. For industry stakeholders who said confidently that the government would soon ease the property cooling measures “progressively”, this is no doubt a real slap in their face. In July last year, I wrote the blog post “MAS makes commentators look...

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Is IQ important for a successful property investor?

Did you ever have the experience that someone in the audience gives you a “you think you are so smart” look when you are elaborating your point of view? For me, this happens often during my presentation or at the Q&A session, in an industry talk or at my own event. But that doesn’t bother me at all. Because I know that I am really not so smart. In primary school, my academic results were far from satisfactory. I was always daydreaming. My dad took pity of my skinny look and told my mum not to put any pressure...

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Recording of Meet the Blogger Session

Eighty-five attended the Property Soul Meet the Blogger Session at YMCA@One Orchard last Saturday. We would have accommodated more people if not because of room seating limit and fire safety concern. In response to your requests, we have arranged a videographer to record the session for members and readers who can’t make it on that day. Now everyone can watch what we have shared at the session any time convenient to them. The following topics were covered during the 1-hour presentation: 1) Property market in next 2 years’ time;2) Residential properties: good buys and bad buys;3) All about commercial...

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Defects inspection tips for home owners: an expert interview

PS = Property SoulWK = Tan Wee Kwang, Founder, Absolute Inspection PS: We see increasingly more reports on defect cases in condos, ECs, BTO and DBSS projects, such as The Sail @ Marina Bay, The Seaview, The Coast, RiverParc Residence, Austville Residences and Trivelis. Some even have to be settled in court. What went wrong? Is the standard dropping for building quality in Singapore residential homes? WK: Residential projects may encounter problems at various stages of occupation. Some of the projects which you have mentioned are in the news for post-DLP (Defects Liability Period) problems or maintenance issues which...

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Will the real women property investors please stand up?

I have a girlfriend whom we know each other for over a decade. But I didn’t know that she is a savvy property investor until quite recently. “Unlike men, we women seldom bring up topics about money, finance and investment. We talk about husbands and kids when we see each other.” She explained. “As Asians, we are taught to be humble and not to show off our wealth. As women, we are taught to stay low profile about our capabilities.” That is the reason why articles on money advice for women are about smart spending, personal saving, life protection...

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Property Soul Meet the Blogger Session

It’s been a while since we last held our Meet the Blogger session. I remember the first one was organized at Tanglin Community Club in November 2012. Twenty-two people showed up at that time. I enjoyed the small group with very interactive discussions. In April 2014, our second Meet the Blogger session was held in the small lecture theatre at Marketing Institute of Singapore. I used the occasion to launch my new book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment and officially announce the setup of Property Club Singapore. I put together presentations and drama for an audience of 89....

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5 property advice in the Year of the Dog

We kick-started the new year with a Property Club Singapore education seminar titled “Reading Property Signs in the Year of the Dog”. I used the occasion to share with the audience the property strategies for homebuyers and investors in the year of the earth dog. The presentation can be summed up with five key advice. Advice #1: It’s all but a tail-chasing game. I receive many messages from people asking me for advice about buying properties. Honestly, I am not motivated to reply at all. No matter what I say, they will do it their way afterwards. Sooner or...

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Do you want to be a better investor and homebuyer?

You might have missed all our previous education seminars and workshops. It’s fine. But I need to tell you that you definitely cannot afford to miss the coming one. It doesn’t matter whether you are a savvy investor, a multiple property owner, an aspiring landlord or a first-time buyer. Our next seminar will force you to face who you really are, learn from your past mistakes, see what you will become with reference from others’ examples, and be a better investor (and a better person in life as well) from now on. You bet I will be the most...

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Finding good bargains again this Chinese New Year

Still remember my 2014 blog post “Finding great bargains in a Chinese New Year fair”? We flied to Hong Kong again this lunar new year and stayed in the same hotel opposite the Victoria Park Flower Market which opened from Feb 10 to 6 a.m. on Feb 16. Most people buy plants and flowers to decorate their homes and offices one to two weeks before Chinese New Year. Many visit the flower market on New Year’s Eve as a tradition for good luck. The busiest hours are after reunion dinner from 10 p.m. to after midnight. People enjoy the...

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