When it comes to right-sizing, one might think selling a house to buy a resale flat is the natural route. But this isn’t always the case – we recently chatted to Mdm Sim who made the wise decision to trade her four-bedroom home for a two-bedroom condo. Here’s why that could be the smarter move:
“What are the motivating factors behind right-sizing to a smaller condo?
After consulting with Mdm Sim and other like-minded individuals who have made the switch, the consensus seems to be:
- Peace Of Mind In Terms Of Financial Stability,
- Access To Amenities That Enable A Vibrant Social Life,
- Resolving Legacy Planning Issues,
- And Avoiding Lengthy Wait Out Periods.
1. Peace Of Mind In Terms Of Financial Stability
Mdm Sim asserts that relocating to a more compact condo, instead of an apartment, provides her with greater financial peace of mind. Her rationale for this is:
“If I own private property, I have the option of downsizing in case I need more money after retirement. Selling my property and moving to an apartment would be my only option if I only have an apartment.”
Mdm Sim firmly prefers freehold properties over leasehold ones such as HDB flats; she feels it can help maintain its worth and ensure further gains should she ever decide to sell.
“This statement is partially accurate; freehold properties have the potential to maintain their value more effectively over the long haul, however, it is not certain that they will always out-perform a leasehold condo in terms of value appreciation.”
2. Access To Amenities That Enable A Vibrant Social Life
Many seniors have noticed that, due to the luxuries offered in a condo, their families have become more eager to pay them a visit; and Mdm Sim has had a similar experience.
“Every weekend, it’s a good reason for the whole family to come together; my grandchildren have swimming lessons from their instructor at the local pool, while my son-in-law uses the gym here, since he doesn’t have one near his apartment. As a bonus, it also gives me a chance to see my daughter more often since they usually visit together.”
A fellow right-sizer enlightened us with the fact that, although HDB flats boast an array of modern amenities, condos remain the superior option for hosting large events. The luxuries provided by their clubhouse, he noted, far surpass those of the average void deck, and the BBQ pits in flats are far too cramped to accommodate larger gatherings.
You must select your projects with great care. While newer mass-market condos may boast an array of amenities, having a single swimming pool and tennis court shared among a thousand units could lead to overcrowding on weekends.
Having the condo security guards around certainly makes a difference according to Mdm Sim; they graciously open the door for her if she arrives by taxi, and even lend a hand with her shopping bags when she calls for assistance. This small act of kindness is especially valuable to her and her husband, who is wheelchair-bound.
3. Resolving Legacy Planning Issues
Mdm Sim decided to purchase a condo for a variety of reasons, one being that as the majority of Singaporeans own their own homes, their kids cannot inherit their parents’ HDB flat. This means that when their parents are downsizing or retiring, it is not possible to own two HDB flats; so to avoid having to give up one property, they can opt to buy a private one.
Mdm Sim is keen on passing down the property to her daughter, who already owns a condo unit, thus making a private property the perfect choice. She believes that her daughter’s condo unit would not only appreciate more than a flat, but it would also retain its value much better, ultimately giving her daughter a more substantial legacy.
4. And Avoiding Lengthy Wait Out Periods
Mdm Sim is fortunate that she’s already over the age of 55 and therefore isn’t affected by the September 2022 cooling measures, but Michael and his spouse, both in their late 30s, were unfortunate to have their plans for selling their condo and buying a resale flat thrown into disarray due to the sudden announcement of the policy change.
“After inheriting my late grandmother’s condo, which was quite old, my wife and I decided to sell it and downgrade to a more modern two-bedroom. We chose to purchase this smaller place so it would be near our shop and avoid having to wait out with a 15-month rental contract while trying to run our new business.”
Despite the fact that they had chosen a condo instead of an HDB flat, which resulted in a significantly lower capital for the business, Michael takes solace in the fact that he still owns a condo which is a valuable and growing asset.
Retirees May Be A Hidden Gem Of Potential Buyers For Owners Of Smaller Condos!
It is widely assumed that selling a shoebox unit or two-bedder could prove challenging due to the limited number of potential buyers; however, this is not necessarily the case. Recently, a trend of seniors opting to ‘right-size’ into smaller units has emerged, with many believing it to be a great investment and/or practical gift for their children.
Your children may not be able to move into it, but they can use it as an investment tool! With a fully paid one or two-bedder, they can use the rental income to help cover the costs of their current home loan and possibly become mortgage-free.
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Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?
If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?
It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.
I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.
I can help you by:
- Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
- Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.
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