Living In The Sky (Terrace) @ Dawson

When high-rise residential buildings were first introduced, there were no lifts and most people still preferred to stay at the ground floor like they used to be. Back in the old days, the property price reduces as the level gets higher, but today it is the direct opposite.

Today, people are used to taking lifts and prefer an unblocked view of the horizon from their rooms, hence resulting units at the higher level being sold at a higher price than their neighbours on a lower level.

Just like many others, I was very lucky to get a flat that is high up, above 35th floors.

After staying in the sky, for more than a year now. I will dedicate this post to listing some pros and cons when living on a high floor.

This will be particularly useful if you are considering a high-rise property.


Beautiful panoramic view, of course.

Furthermore, with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and nature reserve right in front, the lush greenery brings tranquillity into the house. This is especially useful to kick start myself in the morning with positive energy from the greens.


Very frequent strong wind, that can turn the ceiling fan when it is turned off and wind-dry the laundry overnight. On many occasions, the whistling wind will turn in sudden gust strong enough to slam the windows shut one after another.

Early storm warning, is a plus point especially when we are preparing to head out.


Sell at a higher price, of course. I do not have to say more on this.


Long wait for the lift or the long ride with multiple stops is quite frustrating when you are in the rush to appointment or to use the toilet =x

Popping ears or the uncomfortable feeling in the ears when taking the lift due to sudden pressure change.

The air conditioning system has become a white elephant.


And the list goes on.


Nevertheless, I have fallen in love with this home of mine especially when all the pros outweighs the cons substantially, I’m not sure how am I going to adapt to a landed property in future. Let’s see.


District Rotations In Property Market

District Rotation

Basically, there are a few factors that can push up the property prices in a certain district, one salient factor is the government funding for development.

Government funding for development

It all started with development plans for some districts to improve infrastructure and amenities in the area with the interest of its residents, as part of the bigger master plan.

This will lead to more demand in properties as better infrastructure means better price, which will attract more real estate developers to build more properties. Eventually, new properties and amenities will reach a saturation point and this district will be considered as ‘developed’ or mature estate.

However, as it gets more crowded, some issues are now more intolerable such as traffic congestion, limited parking space, crowded public transport.

At this moment, the funds from the state will then be channelled to develop newer districts such as Punggol, Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Bidadari etc.

This is when early adopters receive comments from their friends saying that their new home is so out of the way. But soon enough, one can imagine, these  districts will be the new hot topics in town as they get the new facilities such as roof gardens, sky terrace designs, waterway hub etc. Such branding will draw more crowd to invest and move in.

And the cycle repeats to the next district – Tengah, the Forest Town.

Turning your CPF into an ATM machine

how to turn cpf into atm

The answer is simple.

Via rental.

When you are using CPF to pay for the mortgage of your investment property that is rented out, you will receive cash from rent. In this way, the CPF withdrew has just been converted into cash by renting your property out.

Only use this method when you know how and have a plan for this extra income.

If you do not have plans to earn at least 3% per annum from this extra cash, I would recommend you to leave them in your CPF account for a 2.5% interest.



10 Years From Now, Don’t Say We Didn’t Tell You To Invest In Property



10 years from now, You will be in your late 40s, some in your 50s. You might still have 1 last chance to have another stake in the real estate arena. But why did you not do it 10 years ago?

But why did you not do it 10 years ago?

Imagine yourself looking back, which of these will be your reasons?

Hesitant to upgrade your property

Unsure about your capability to afford a property

Chasing the bottom during recovery

Didn’t plan for retirement

My friends say to wait for cooling measures to be lifted

If you somehow can foresee yourself 10 years later in such situation, you still have a chance now to change it.

Start now. It is never too late if you start today.


Fine-Tuning Total Debt Servicing Ratio For Home Owners to Enjoy Zero-Interest-Rate-Policy to The Fullest

fine tuning TSDR 2016 09 01

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has just announced today that, with immediate effect, owner-occupied residential property owners can now refinance their mortgage without the ceiling of Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TSDR).

As for non-owner-occupied properties, owners can enjoy this exemption only when the following two conditions are met:

  1. Commits to a debt plan with his financial institution to repay at least 3 percent of the outstanding balance over a period of not more than three years; and
  2. Fulfils his financial institutions’ credit assessment

How can I benefit from this change?

Nobody knows how long will the current Zero-Interest-Rate-Policy (ZIRP) last till, so while it is still low, isn’t it the best time to quickly clear your mortgage and fully redeem your property?

Let’s say you are comfortable to service your mortgage at 90% of your monthly income, here is how much time and money you could save if you were to refinance your loan tomorrow.


  • Monthly income – $5,000
  • Property value – $811,645
  • Interest rate – 2.0%
  • Max loan repayment (with TDSR) – $3,000
  • Loan repayment @ 90% (without TDSR) – $4,500

Using a simplistic example, with constant monthly repayment and ceteris paribus, you will cut short your loan by 12 years and avoided paying over $115,000 of interest.

interest avoided for refinancing to shorter tenure.JPG

How will this change impact the property market?

In the short run, there is technically no impact to the property market because this change is targeting at existing owners only.

There is no change in TSDR restriction for new property purchase. You can still only loan up to the ceiling of 60%.

However, in the long run, when more properties are redeemed earlier, owners will be able to buy the next property earlier with the interests cost avoided to pay additional buyer’s stamp duty which is likely to stay for awhile more.

Furthermore, down payment will be low as they would be able to take 80% loan with a debt-free status (instead of 50% loan when they are still serving an existing loan).


All in all, this is a good start from the government to calibrate the market with a long-term perspective allowing property owners the flexibility to service their mortgage at a higher debt ratio in order to take advantage of the current ZIRP.