Author: Property Soul

Unmasking the five myths of property tax

On December 5, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) announced the reduction of property tax for HDB flats in 2015. Three days later, there was an article “Property Tax cut for one in four private home owners” in The Straits Times. A week after their announcement, a representative from IRAS further elaborated how annual values are calculated in The Straits Times Forum (“Annual values of homes reflect market rents“; Dec 15). Below are my two cents contribution after being a private home property tax payer for twelve years, with an attempt to demystify the five common myths of...

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Four useful expressions at showflats inspired by Taiwan girls

Last month I went for a five-day trip in Taipei. After a 4½-hour flight, I was overwhelmed with fatigue and boredom. A lovely lady working in the Subway kiosk at the airport smiled at me a few meters away, using her coquettish voice to draw me to her eatery to order a sandwich meal. One by one, a few guys queued up behind me, probably all being put under the same spell. That reminds me of the simple spell used by my three-year-old girl. She just needs to look at you with her innocent big eyes on that angelic...

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Tis the season to spend future money?

With the countdown to Christmas well underway, the whole retail industry is in full swing to fill up this joyful festive season with a shopping atmosphere. 50-month installment to own a luxury watch I was reading the newspaper early last week when I came across a half-page advertisement about a 50-month 0% interest installment plan to buy luxury timepieces. It is a joint promotion between a luxury watch retailer and the credit card of a local bank, for the celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee next year. (What has the 50th year occasion got to do with buying a branded...

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When housing becomes unaffordable for the next generation

Just came back after spending five days in Hong Kong. During the daytime, we didn’t go to any popular sightseeing place except meeting up with friends and relatives. In the evenings, we went back to the hotel to watch the news on TV about the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement. A visit to the occupied zone With clashes between the police and protesters, we had to avoid passing by the Mongkok area. The original protest site in Admiralty was occupied by aggressive leaders of the Umbrella Revolution. To get a glimpse of the Occupy Central supporters, we decided to pay...

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Buying property as a gift

A Singaporean man is suing his ex-lover for the return of gifts given to her during their courtship, including $340,000 for a condominium unit bought under the woman’s name. The ex-lover defended that he offered the property to her as a gift. He only asked for its return when their relationship turned soured. On the other hand, the man complained of being cheated. He claimed that he was the rightful owner of the property. He purchased the property for investment. She was only holding it in trust and she knew that it had to be returned one day. He...

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Foreign properties: Why long-distance relationships fail

Tonight inside this dimly lit bar with deafening music, you emptied a bottle of liquor without uttering a single word. Guys drink when they stress over money and relationship. Obviously, you have no luck in both now. First impressions are deceiving From day one when you told me that you fell for this high maintenance girl from a foreign country, I knew you are going to have an exciting but challenging relationship. You should have looked beyond the surface. First impressions could be deceiving. You know how everyone dressed up to look their best on those occasions. And you...

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Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop

Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop A workshop by Property Club Singapore Synopsis First-time property buyers often ask questions about ‘when can I buy’, ‘what to buy’ and ‘how to buy’. When you are about to buy the most expensive item you pay for in your life, you better get it right. This one-day workshop offers you countless smart tips to buy your first property, saving you tons of money from making costly mistakes in property investment. “Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.”- T. Harv Eker Workshop details Date   : January 24, 2015...

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Learning to be a smarter landlord

I had my first tenant since 2002. For more than five years, I was renting out four condominium units at the same time. Over the years, like any multiple-property landlord, I signed tenancy agreements with dozens of tenants on both company and individual leases. I had tenants who were Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, Americans, Indians and Singaporeans. Similarly, I encountered problems and issues like any other landlord, including bad tenants, dishonest agents, low rental, frequent repairs, late payment, etc. After being an owner in Singapore for longer than a decade, I thought I could call myself an experienced one. Well,...

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Achieving a meaningful market correction of property prices

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told the press that there is “some distance to go in achieving a meaningful correction”, hinting that the property cooling measures are here to stay. I am surprised by Mr Tharman’s creative use of the word ‘meaningful’. It is an adjective or a descriptive word that leaves much room for imagination. It is up to the target audience to figure out the real meaning behind it. When the government replies with a definite yes or no answer, you are certain what is next. When the government replies with a vague answer,...

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Attracting good offers in a competitive property market: An expert interview

Date: October 27, 2014 Venue: A condominium unit in Orchard with home staging in progress Interviewee: Kelvin Yeo, General Manager, Singapore Furniture Rental PS = Property Soul Kelvin = Kelvin Yeo PS: The rental and property price indexes of private residential properties have been on the decline since the second half of 2013. There are four to five thousand completed private residential units added to the market every quarter. Facing intense competition from fellow owners and lower rental return, how can owners lure good buyers and tenants in the current market? Kelvin: The more stagnant the market, the more...

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Only 5 percent say they are buying now: Property survey

With developers rushing to launch or re-launch new and existing projects ahead of the festive season, the Saturday after the Hari Raya Haji public holiday saw twenty-two property advertisements in the Straits Times marketing local property projects. Despite aggressive marketing by developers, the PropertySoul.com Blog Readership Survey revealed that only five percent are saying that they are planning to buy a private property now. The property survey asked 355 respondents when they are planning to buy a private property. It was conducted online between September 5 and 23 this year on readers of PropertySoul.com. Prefer to rent than buy...

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Seven tactics to maximize the return of your investment property

(This article is extracted from my book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment, a bestseller at Kinokuniya and Times bookstores.) As an investor, you have two major objectives when you are holding your property: 1. To generate an optimal return from your investment; and 2. To increase its value to be sold at a good profit in the future. To achieve that, you have to maximize the rental income and minimize the costs at the same time. In other words, Maximizing the return of your property = cost savings + value creation Below are seven useful tactics that you...

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To launch or not to launch, that is the question

Last night, I asked you whether you are married or not. There was dead air for ten seconds before you replied “I still consider myself single”. I was expecting a simple yes or no answer from you. This marital status question from my heart only offers two options: single or married, or at most with two more for divorced or widowed. Sorry a vague answer won’t open you to more options. Because I am naturally confused by ‘yes but’ answers. Don’t tell me that you are single but attached, married but available, single but engaged, married but separated, or...

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Six ways to add value to your property

We are fortunate to have Andrew Esmonde-White, COO and Co-Founder of Kluje, to speak in the upcoming Smart Landlords vs Smart Tenants Education Seminar. Below is a blog post from Andrew where he shares with property owners how smart touch-ups can add value to their properties. 6 ways to add value to your property (by Andrew Esmonde-White) In the current market, it’s all about the longevity of your home. You may be living in it at the moment, but you could never entirely eliminate the possibility of putting it in the resale market. Using the right renovation techniques to...

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