Author: Property Soul

A ‘single’ property owner’s wishlist for Singapore Budget

All taxpayers are not created equal. In every year’s Singapore Budget or National Day Rally, the media will feature a low-income or middle-class family, highlighting ‘what he and his family will get’ or ‘how she and her family will be benefited’. But no one bothers to interview singles like us. Because we don’t get anything anyway. Why do they have to penalize singles when it comes to income tax? We are not eligible for the spouse and parent tax reliefs, but get restrictions instead when buying HDB flats. We don’t take any cash bonus, baby gift, marriage benefit, childcare...

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The property market in the Year of the Goat

As we usher in the lunar new year, property enthusiasts are trying to peep into the crystal ball to see how the market will fare this year. Below are what PropertySoul.com sees in the Singapore property scene in the Year of the Goat (or Sheep). (Disclaimer: I have no vested interest in any property-related company, or influence from any individual in the real estate industry.) 1. As gentle as a lamb According to Chinese feng shui masters, 2015 is the Year of the Wood Goat that carries a strong earth element. Wood on dry earth with the absence of...

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How to Buy Good Quality Properties 1-Day Workshop

How to Buy Good Quality Properties 1-Day Workshop A workshop by Property Club Singapore Synopsis Do you know how to choose the best unit in a property development and the best house in the street? Do you know if you want to lease or sell your properties faster and at a rate higher than the competition, the project, direction, facing, layout, fengshui, etc. can make all the difference? Unfortunately, many property buyers have no clue. Are you one of them? The trainer will share with you how to pick good quality properties from her knowledge and experience accumulated after...

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When property hotspots become ghost towns

The original meaning of ghost town refers to a village or a city that has once been populated but is abandoned due to bad economy, high unemployment, or natural or human-caused disasters. In recent years, the media have given ghost town a new definition: a new city that has been built and ready for resident occupation but no one moves in. It has been abandoned even before any habitation. Beihu Gulf Economic Zone the next hotspot? The story below is from a new documentary about urbanization in China. In the northern part of Guangxi province, there is a new...

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Three tips to master the art of asking for property advice

At the Invest Carnival ‘Meet The Investment Bloggers’ session held last Sunday, there was a question for me from the audience during panel discussion. Someone asked what I do with my money after selling four properties. It sounds like how the media interview the lucky winners after they win the lottery or the Changi Millionaire contest. Unlike a windfall from hitting a jackpot, there is no excitement at all. Like what some investors say, you feel ten times more excited the moment you find and secure a good deal compared with the moment you profit from it. I didn’t...

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The secret of profiting from old houses

The following is an abstract from my book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment, currently in its third print after it was first published nine months ago. How a property plastic surgeon makes his fortune My neighbor Sam runs his own family business that specializes in additions and alterations work for old houses. Apart from his business, Sam also has a flair for property investment. Once he shared with me his secret of making money from properties. “Everyone knows that I am a contractor. But few know that I am also a plastic surgeon.” He continued, “And I am...

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The stick behind the dangling carrot

More than 52,000 turned up for the four-day Singapore Motorshow last week. It was not surprising given Singapore’s car-worshipping culture. Be the first to see the latest car models Two weeks ago I received an email invitation from my car manufacturer. The marketing message read like this: (Car company) invites you to the Singapore Motorshow from 16 to 18 January. Be the first to discover the most exciting cars of 2015 … This event is for you and one guest. I told hubby about this and he immediately asked me to get two free tickets. However, when I logged...

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Meet the investment bloggers at INVEST Carnival 2015

Come and meet Singapore’s popular investment bloggers (including me!) at the coming INVEST Carnival. Event : INVEST Carnival 2015 Organizer : ShareInvestor – a subsidiary of SPH Date : 1 February 2015 (Sunday) Time : 2.45 – 4.00 p.m. Venue: Singapore Expo Hall 6B Seminar Room 2 Host : Maddy Barber Bloggers: Propertysoul, BigFatPulse, drwealth, cheerfulegg URL : http://investcarnival.com/ Free registration now opens. Sign up today and see you...

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Buy, Fix and Profit from Old Houses/Apartments

Buy, Fix and Profit from Old Houses/Apartments A strategy sharing talk by Property Club Singapore Event details Date : February 8, 2015 (Sun) Time : 2.30 – 5 p.m. Venue: National Library Agenda 1. How to identify opportunities under the URA Master Plan 2. Tips of looking for gems in rundown houses with potential for revamp/rebuild 3. Deciding between tear & rebuild versus A&A 4. Project management: the Dos and Don’ts 5. Budgeting different costs in a “buy and fix” project 6. How to avoid landmines when buying old apartments/houses 7. Maximizing the value of your property with smart...

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Trust yourself you can create wealth in property

I received a few messages from readers of my blog which read something like this: I like properties and I want to learn everything about it. My dream is to earn passive income from property investment. I hope to be financially free one day … But I am only a 20-something guy who just started working a few years back. I live on a humble four-figure salary every month. I don’t have rich parents. I don’t even own an HDB flat … Do you think I will ever be able to realize my property dream? Don’t judge a book...

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Six qualities that make women great property investors

I was looking through the member list of Property Club Singapore when I noticed that only one-fifth of the members are ladies. It shouldn’t be surprising, given that those who are interested in investment are mostly guys. You should call yourself lucky if you attend a stock investing course and there is a lady sitting next to you. And there is a high chance that she is accompanying her husband there. Singapore women not into investment? If you start a conversation about stock or property with Hong Kong or Shanghai girls, there is a high chance that they will...

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Three property investment mistakes you should avoid in 2015

No matter what your new year resolutions are, it’s time you said goodbye to your bad habits in property investment. If you are buying a private home in 2015, avoid making these three common mistakes. Mistake #1: Rush in and get burnt. According to URA, there are 88,627 uncompleted private residential units (including ECs) in the pipeline. As at 3rd Quarter 2014, 28,120 units (excluding ECs) are launched but remain unsold. For public flats, HDB will launch another 16,900 BTO flats this year. Do the math. Ninety percent of resident households already own their homes. Population growth in Singapore...

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The best home for a child

A reader of my blog shares with me the dilemma that he and his wife are facing: They know they shouldn’t buy when property prices are on the way down. But they are expecting their first child and want to get a condo unit now. Buying condo for the sake of your child If you can afford a private property and you want to buy one, do it by all means. But take a step back and ask yourself: Are you buying a private property for the future of your child, or just for fulfilling the Singapore dream of...

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URA’s reply for “Public deserves reliable, consistent data”

I have written to The Straits Times Forum regarding the problem of inconsistent and incomplete private property transaction data. Below is my letter (Dec 18, Thursday) and reply from URA (Dec 23, Tuesday). Public deserves reliable, consistent data Published on Dec 18, 2014 THE computation of the HDB’s resale price index has recently been improved to give a more accurate picture of price movements in the public housing market (“New way to better reflect HDB resale market”; Dec 10). In contrast, there are different property price indexes tracking the private residential market – including the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s non-landed...

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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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