Waiting for the right time is the best example of wasting time

Waiting for the right time is the best example of wasting time (2).png

If you are an engineer, you know lean lesson one tells us to remove waiting time in any process.

If you are an investor, you know a dollar today is more than a dollar tomorrow and how compounding effect does magic.

If you remember your national service days,  you know how we rush to wait and wait to rush like time is of no value.

If you have a crush on someone, you know how painful it will be when you are 25 minutes too late.

If you are applying for HDB BTO, you know how frustrating it is to receive lousy ballot outcome for six consequent times.

If you are still waiting for ABSD to be lifted, you could be banging your head to the wall when it becomes the norm.

If you are someone who cannot appreciate and value time because of your firm confirming bias trapping your mind in delusion, maybe it’s time to stop waiting for the right time.

The truth is you will never be totally ready.

Alright, let’s get going!


Buying a Resale Property Now? Beware of Mini Seller’s Market Phenomenon


For whatever reasons that you want to buy a property in the resale market now (this year end), you have to know this to understand why sellers are gaining temporary power on pricing negotiation.

Seller market is coming

You must be thinking – “Are you sure?”

Firstly, for the benefit of all, a seller’s market refers to the situation where demand exceeds supply and sellers have a stronger power in pricing negotiation.

Yes, we all know it is generally a buyers’ market now, but the real estate market is just like any other marketplace. It is highly dynamic and driven by several forces, there bound to be small ups and downs in any long-term up or down trend.

Here I’m giving you a heads up of an imminent mini seller market phenomenon that will last for 2-3 months likely to happen in the month of November.

During this period, buyers may face upfront seller decline of your seemingly high offer. Do not be too surprised, because there are actually quite a few reasons behind it.

Mini seller market phenomenon

Be it HDB or private non-landed resale market, it will undergo this unstoppable prevalent phenomenon.

There are essentially two indicators to observe its arrival;

  1. a significant drop in volume
  2. an increase in average prices (usual on a small reversal)

Some historical data

Look out for the small upswing in average prices and a decline in volume.


HDB Resale Transaction, source: http://www.squarefoot.com.sg
Private Non-landed Transaction, source : http://www.squarefoot.com.sg


Why is there such phenomenon?

What we see from the above charts is the outcome, but what’s more interesting are the causes. Here are two of them;

  • Festive season
    • Christmas will come in 2 months time and Chinese New Year will come in 3 months time.
      • Vacant possession will fall in these festive periods and it will be a big hassle. Where is the seller gonna stay when he hands you the key 1 week before Xmas/CNY?
    • Pre-occupied with vacation planning
      • Sellers are busy planning for their year end family trips and have no urgency to sell. With the lack motivation, Sellers tend to be very persistent on the asking price, there is possibly zero room for negotiation.
  • Year-end slowdown
    • Yearly targets and KPI
      • Same for agents, by now, most of the diligent ones have already met their target, it’s about time to slow down and spend time with their family. With lesser brokers to ensure timely closure, transaction volume will go south.

In this situation, the supply seems to have dropped significantly, so if you are a buyer looking to buy a resale property, you need to know how to protect your interests and to ensure you still get a good deal.

Otherwise, you will be one of the contributors for the year-end price upswing.

So How?

If you are a DIY resale buyer, unless you have chanced upon a distressed sale, you are left with 2 options;

  • wait for another 3 months
  • talk to an estate agent to strategise the game plan with you.

Nevertheless, how about taking a look at the new launch market?


The Day Your Monthly Income Crosses $6,000



You are now ‘officially’ above Singapore median income level.

From today onwards, you should be financially savvy enough and does not require any subsidy or assistance from the government.

Financial Independence

Still remember those days, where a $100 pay increment will give you an additional $37 increase in CPF contribution amount (20% from yourself and 17% from your employer). However, from today onwards, your total CPF contribution will be capped at $2220 (37% X $6000).

From today onwards, with the ordinary wage ceiling, any salary increment you get is what it is, there will not be an additional 37% into your CPF.

By now you should be wise enough to manage your own finances without mandatory savings plan (a.k.a CPF) for the portion above $6,000.

You are on your own, do spend wisely.

Forget about HDB BTO

As we all know the income ceiling for HDB BTO is $12,000 and assuming your spouse is working as well with similar experience, your combined income should be very close or over the ceiling already.

Fret not, it is not that bad. You still have executive condominium which has an income ceiling of $14,000. Hurry up, before you miss the chance again.

On the other hand, if you are a single planning to apply BTO under the Singles schemes, you are too late.

You have been disqualified due to your income being more than $6,000. You are now left with HDB resale flats in the open market.

Forget about HDB loan

If you are a single buying a resale HDB, you are no longer eligible for HDB loan. You have no other choice but to get a bank loan instead.

In short, get your flat early before your income crosses $6,000!

Retirement Planning Is Not Just About Saving That Sum

good retirement planning is simply

Not matter how much money you set aside, whether it is in your CPF or other savings, it can be depleted in just a matter of time. However, an income would not. The untold secret about retirement planning is actually about retirement income, not the fund itself.

Retirement lifestyle and retirement fund

You must have heard a lot about setting a realistic lifestyle that is comfortable yet not overly straining on your retirement fund.

So what is your realistic lifestyle?

And have you calculated how fast will your retirement fund last you till?

If you have not, don’t be too surprised if it didn’t last you as long as you expected. It can actually deplete quite fast.

See the following scribble I draw together with a client on how fast can retirement fund deplete after one leave their full-time job.


retirement income.JPG
Retirement fund over time 


Retirement income

This is the key to successful and happy retirement, a good sustainable passive income for retirement.

It could be one or two of the following :

  • Dividend payout from stocks, bonds, insurance etc
  • Profit sharings from stakes of companies, partnership or startups
  • Returns from crowdfunding, high-interest deposits
  • Rental income from properties
  • and the list goes on

All the above has certain risk components in it, you have to decide which is the most suitable for your risk appetite and to start building it now.

Whether or not you are in 20s, 30s or 40s, start today to think about what is your retirement income and plan a way to achieve it.

It is never too late when you start today =)



5 Reasons Why I Will Buy Forest Woods Condominium


If not for the 5 years minimum occupation period, I would certainly put my name in the application for Forest Woods this weekend. As a few of my friends are already doing site recce for this project and got the bank’s IPA ready, I think it is only fair to let more people know about this plot of awesomeness.

Here are 5 reasons that will make me buy Forest Woods.


Whether you are buying to stay or to rent out, convenience will most likely be the key factor. Fortunately, in terms of convenience, Forest Wood is a pretty clear winner.

It is only 5 minutes walk to NEX megamall which has almost two of everything you can think of; 2 supermarkets, 2 food courts etc. And with Serangoon MRT and Bus interchange within NEX, it is also 5 minutes away. This is the key factor why I will buy this. I always have to join the queue to the car parks to NEX

This is the key factor why I will buy this, going to NEX will be just a short walk rather than joining the queue to the car parks like I always do.

Furthermore, being in Serangoon also means that you are just a short drive to the city centre, also with CTE / KPE / PIE nearby, accessibility will not be an issue.

forest wood convenience.JPG

Reputable developer

City Development Limited (CDL) is a homegrown developer that have earned the trust of many generations of Singaporeans. Through its leadership in sustainable and greener buildings, it has been recognised in various local and international awards. Not forgetting other recent good projects by CDL such as Gramercy Park, Up @ Robertson Quay and The Venue Residences and Shoppes.

Good premium developer means high-quality development in terms of construction, internal furnishing and appliances. Furthermore, riding on to the bandwagon of home automation, units in Forest Wood will be equipped with smart home appliances. How cool is that!

In short, you can be rest assured that they will do a good job and live up to their name.

forest wood appliances brands.JPG

One of its kind in Serangoon

There are no other equivalent condominiums in the radius of 2 kilometres.

It has been years since we last saw a project like this in Serangoon, you can imagine the pool of residents currently living in Serangoon waiting for this to come. It is going to be highly anticipated.

With such limited comparables supply in the vicinity, there is no doubt that the demand for this project will be high.

forest wood comparables.JPG

High rental yield

Being one of its kind and lack comparable supply makes it the unique when comes to the tenant market.

Even with 50% of the units being 1 bedroom and 2 bedrooms, it may not be enough to fulfil the demand from potential tenants that like this area and the convenience Forest Woods can provide.

With a good tenant pool, rent rate will not be impacted by the current slow and tenant’s market. Hence, together with the current low interest, rental yield will be an appealing factor if you are planning to rent out your units.

Potential capital gains

With multiple government plans in place, such as the Serangoon sub-regional centre rejuvenation and makeover for Defu industrial estate and Seletar Aerospace Park, there is no doubt that this area will look very different in a few years time.

As we all know capital gain is highly driven by the development that changes how the area will look and feel, the potential capital gain is promising.


Certainly, there will be tradeoffs with all the good points you see above, with more convenience means more crowd and with a reputable developer comes with a premium price tag. It is all about seeing the intrinsic value of these good points that can provide a better living standard for you and your family in the long run.

This project is going to launch this weekend, contact me if you need help to understand  your readiness to buy into this great property!