“The earlier you get onto the property ladder, the better it is.”
When Chew Chang Hui hit 35, he decided it was about time he owned a property. His plan was to purchase a house first and decide later whether to live in it or rent it out. “Everybody needs to buy a house one way or another…”
As a former PropertyGuru employee, Chang knew about district prices and their potential. He considered a few locations — Toa Payoh, Balestier, Queenstown, and the East Coast — but found the prices were inflated. “I checked so many units, and some I checked twice because they were advertised by different agents.” He joked that everyone should have an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the properties they have viewed.
“I only looked at condominiums, because with an HDB, I need to fulfill MOP (Minimum Occupancy Period) to sell or even to rent it out. With a condo, I have way more options.” He finally settled on a two-room condominium, just a short walking distance from Potong Pasir MRT Station. “This place made an impression on me because the previous tenant took care of it very well.”
He sought out a quaint place, in a small development which was cosy and snug. “I like that this is an up-and-coming neighbourhood. There’s potential for property investment and I have an emotional attachment to this area, as my grandmother lived here.” These childhood memories give the neighbourhood a feeling of familiarity.
Not renting out…for now
Chang decided to live in his new property to gain a new experience. “I have never lived in a condo, or had access to the amenities before. So, a part of me was excited to try such new experiences. At the same time, the rental market is a bit soft, so there’s no reason not to stay here and enjoy it for a while.”
A few things changed for Chang once he became a property owner, “Now that I own a home, I’d rather invite friends over rather than meet up elsewhere.” As an avid cook, Chang has his heart set on a bigger kitchen. “While the space is sufficient to cook for one person, cooking for eight people is very difficult.” His favourite recipes include pot roast, roast beef, and baked bread. He also enjoys steamboat with his family and friends.
However, with a new home, comes more responsibilities. “Now, when I come home, I feel that I need to do my house chores, #Adulting.”
Chang’s two-room flat looks airy and green with the addition of several potted plants, which he casually refers to by their Latin names. “I first purchased them thinking that they’ll work as natural air-purifying plants.” But now, they’ve grown to mean much more to him. “My favourite place in the house is my couch.“ The reason? He says it’s the best position to relax, stare at his plants, and play games on his PS4.
For Chang, owning a property is symbolic of finding security. “The earlier you get onto the property ladder, the better it is.”