Wanted a HDB, ended with a Condo. The troubles of getting a place in 2021.
I can see my unit in this picture! Guess which one.
The Start of a Headache (HDB SBF)
It all began when Glen and I decided to apply for a Sales of Balance Flats for fun...without thinking we would actually get a queue number. None of us stayed near Kallang/Whampoa, but we selected that area since... we didn't give it much thought. A month later we got a queue number of 42, with 17 units available.
Many nice units available, those at Towner Crest, Kallang Residences, St George Tower etc. We did all our research and listed out the units we wanted in order. But on the day of our appointment, we were left with our last choice. Level 5 Carpark View at Jalan Tentaram. A ridiculously out of the way area, 800m from MRT. To drive there, you got to enter the CTE, then exit, then enter the CTE again and then exit to get there. And somehow the community vibe there reminded me of the people in The Truman Show. It is cheap though, 400k when the market price now is at 700k for a similar unit at the same development. Glen and I previously agreed that we would still take that unit. So he was quite disappointed after I got cold feet when I was holding the pen at HDB hub, about to sign the house. I didn't want to get married in 3 months just because of a house I didn't like. I doubted my decision for the next few days, it felt like getting kicked in the gut. But then what's done is done.
So I thought, it is just back to square one, apply again next time and see my luck. However, Glen dropped a bomb on me. He has to be registered as an employee in one of the start-ups he invested in, after he successfully raised a series A round for them. Therefore, we only had 2 months to find a resale HDB before our grants go from 120k to 20k.
All Time High Resale Prices (4Room flats at decent locations >900k)
We went all around the country viewing units but there was nothing suitable. In a far far away place in Telok Blangah, 800m from the nearest MRT, with forests and absolutely nothing around the area.... 900k was the asking price. The average COV at this time is 30k! Developments closer to MRTs in areas such as Toa Payoh or Kallang are above 1 mil. This is crazy for HDBs. If I'm buying a 5 year old resale unit at 30k above market rate, I would already be thanking the gods if I could sell it at the same price another 5 years later after my MOP period. There would be new and more attractive units than mine and I would probably lose money if I try to sell it. The only money I will be making is from the grants, and I still have to be married in 3 months.
I guess its fine if you are planning to stay in it forever, but if its for investments wise, I think that would be a really bad idea. So after 3 weeks of road-tripping, from one show unit to another, I gave up. 3 Days after, I bought a condo at The Antares.
The Antares Condo
It took Glen and I two days of consideration before we decided to go for it. It was the only development that will TOP at a suitable time (Dec 2022), relatively cheap with good investment potential and it's so close to the MRT! Spent a lot more, but the upside is a lot better. Not forced to be married, and would definitely make more than the HDB resale grant amount. Oh and I really love the sheltered pool, even though I can't swim. But I will learn how to! The area is kind of quiet for now, so the residents at Antares literally have a private MRT (Matter MRT). Hopefully when the plot of land nearby gets sold, the housing price for Antares would increase too. By then, it would be time to hunt for a new place. There's only about 280 units at Antares, so there won't be an over supply when I try to sell in future. So the stars aligned for this!
We also rushed the purchase because the units were getting sold quickly. We had to secure the unit fast so with the help of my agents, we got it done within the day. We bought a 3 bedroom unit, which has plenty of space for Miu Miu and Teddy to run around, a nice balcony view for them to bark and scare random passerby. Excited to get my keys and plan my renovations!