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Everything posted by Dr.Anarchy

  1. rickoveron, For FSM is just a reference as I do notice that most people only audit after they get their keys and when FSM said negative thing about the flat, we don't like to hear that. Still remember the ad on one radio station, we only like to hear the good things. Not to discuss too much on FS, its just for those who are particular about tilting their door. As I see that as the main thing in FS.
  2. As a first-time flat owner and just got married, I think it is a good idea to start a new topic by me to share what I have gone through. My experience and what I can highlight in my journey so that future home owners can benefit from here. Also I will not be listing down electronics model as a year later, technology improved, this thread is no longer valid. I have reserved the first 10 posts for mine input. While searching for a resale flat... 1) We asked our self how much do we have to renovate and do furnishing. Even you have decided a 30K for example, buffer another 15% - 20% for hidden cost. Why renovation cost is the first question we asked is because it will directly affect your COV budget. For this blog, I'm focusing on minimum COV and full renovation. Setting a budget for renovation, furnishing and COV is very important. It should be discussed way before you start to look for a flat which will reduce quarreling and financial headaches in future. We planned and took 2 years to plan to ensure we have a healthy budget and no loans. 2) Ask yourself how long do you intend to stay in this flat? This will affect the type of material used for your renovation. You can buy the best for everything but you will only be staying there for 5 years? The next owner will most likely tear down everything again as its not to their preference. Renovation is just like buying a car, it is only depreciation over the years. How much are you willing to let it depreciate. This is important as well, because when all renovation is done, you can work backwards base on depreciation cost and see what is your minimum COV you need to ask for when you sell your flat. 3) Look at all walls and see if there is any water seepage. Some walls can be very "wet" as it is a corner unit which the wall outside your flat is expose to rain etc. Take note that it can only be fixed when HDB do block painting. Some new owner may not like the fact that the bomb shelter have a high level of moisture. You will have a problem storing your dry items in it and constantly need to use hippo to reduce the moisture. 4) Look at the pipes. You may want to box them up but if the pipe is in a weird position, it may affect your design and rainshower. I have seen bathroom's shower area with huge pipe that can be pretty unsightly. Sometime I really wonder how those architect design our flat. 5) Fengshui. If you believe in fengshui. Get your master to go up and do a site inspection before you place your deposit! I repeat again, always get fengshui master to go up before you place deposit. You don't want to buy a flat and later he tell you, okay bad house, you need to tilt the door. When possible buy a house that requires no tilting. Likewise, since you are shopping for something, why buy something that has defects? We can't find a perfect house but at least the main thing in fengshui is decent. 6) Not mandatory if you belong to those who enjoy moving house every 5 years. Planning of kids and their school. If you belong to those who want to send your kid to famous school in the next 6 to 10 years, buy a flat that is near that school. For myself, I bought a place that is next to a school. It is easier for the little one to go to school. Most importantly all of us don't need to wake up very early. I have seen kids waking up at 5am just to travel to school. Maximum for me is 5 minutes walking distance to school. 7) Near parents. Never belittle this. Think through this carefully. 10 friends/relatives of mine, I will say 5 of them after staying for couple of years, can't take the stress of staying too far from their parents after they have kids. This symptom only surface when you have kids. They sell off their flat, move somewhere close to their parents. Imagine you work late, out for D&D, movie and etc, who is going to look after your little ones? House Protection Scheme (HPS) I will not going into the lengthy process of explaining the resale transaction. Can easily find out more from HDB website. I want to highlight one area which I feel most owners will choose to ignore. When you buy a HDB, you need to buy HPS. It is compulsory as most HDB officers will tell you. This scheme is offered by CPF and can pay using your CPF money so most will choose to just accept it since no need to pay any cash from our own pocket. There is a few disadvantage of CPF HPS. 1) Most or all of us will move house at least once. For example, a young couple age 28 just bought their first house. Be it BTO or resale and they are healthy, no existing illnesses and they chose CPF HPS. 5 to 10 years later, they sold off their place and bought another resale flat. They have to repurchase the HPS again and whether they are accepted depends on whether they have any medical conditions during the 5-10years period. CPF HPS is non-portable. You can't bring the insurance with you when you buy a new house. 2) CPF HPS is base on decreasing term insurance policy which means if your first house is value at 300k. The insurance bought at the first month is 300K, 2nd mth may be 299.5K and so on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying decreasing is no good. Its one of the better plan out there if one can manage his/her investment well. 3) Touchwood. If anything happen to one partner, the payout is payable to HDB, in another words, from left pocket to right pocket. You will not get a single cent from the policy. Now the Advantage of CPF HPS. 1) Payable using CPF cash. Did you know...... 1) I believe most of us here do have your own private insurance be it term or life policy. If your private policy coverage is high enough, you can request for HPS exemption. For example A have a personal insurance of 300K. He can use that policy to request not to take up HPS. Form can be found here: FORM HPS/2: Application for Exemption from Home Protection Scheme (HPS) http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-Info/F...f-forms-mbr.htm For those who don't have any insurance policy. I will suggest looking into term insurance. The cost is low, high coverage and for a period of time, say 20 to 30 years. Reason why I suggest this is, it can get exempted from HPS, very decent coverage at low montly cost. I'm not sure how many here will agree that at our younger age between the age of setting up a family till your kids are old enough to feed themself, our liability is a decreasing term. At the age of 60, our liability should be clear by then. I will not go into life insurance as personally I have my reservation on this and I don't want to turn this thread into a insurance thread. To sum it up. CPF HPS Advantage: 1) Payable using Cash Disadvantage: 1) Non-portable to your 2nd house 2) Able to purchase again if you don't have pre-existing medical condition at the point of buying. 3) No cash payment. It is payable to HDB only. 4) Decreasing term Private Insurance or HPS Advantage 1) Payment in Cash. You can use it to pay your house or other liability leftover by your spouse. 2) Payout is not decreasing term. If you take 300K policy, it will be 300K when you claim it. 3) Accept your medical condition. When you buy young, you are safe from future breakdown in health. Disadvantage 1) Payable using hard cold cash. 2) Insurance agent reluctant to sell you term policy as the profit margin is low. Don't quote my word for it as this is what I observe.
  3. This thread will serve as a good reference guide for future home owners to decide whether what kind of flooring they want beside using tiles. Pretty comprehensive. We have a good post on laminates now we have a good one on real wood
  4. abupapa, Differerent household different consumption and bathing duration. How to advise accurately? If base on specification of instant and storage heater, instant heater will be cheaper than storage. But as said earlier, don't base on cost for comparison as it is really difficult to calculate. For this comparison, I will say its a intangible cost. Just base on whether you have rainshower and do you need hot/cold mixer for all your taps. If both is no, get instant heater.
  5. I like the youtube videos as comparison Its so true that most house owners who went to ID firms are not granted the chance to view real wood and do a comparison. The only reason I can think of is most first or second time owners are looking are marble, granite, homogenous tiles instead. It is not so frequent that you see an entire house laid with laminate let alone real wood. Even when come to buying of furniture, how often do we see the younger generation buying teak wood for their sofa, TV console etc. It is usually the westerners who loves wood. Singapore scene are more towards leather. Seriously, I can't bear to part away 2 to 3K of my money on leather. 2K can get me burmese wood sofa which can last me like 30 years and still looks good! Okay I'm drifting out of the topic. I do agree real wood need more maintaining than laminate and I feel I will choose real wood when my kid has grown up, no more banging and scratching/drawing on the floor when they are still young and most importantly lesser liability. As we grow older, we should have more cash than we are starting out our first home.
  6. basically lets put it this way for future owners who want to renovate their house if you choose copper, the pipe need painting. After few years, it requires new layer of paint as it does peel off. Especially so in the bathroom as these are the area of the highest moisture. if you choose stainless steel, most stainless steel are pretty much standard in house renovation. Grade or no grade, how do we identify, you aren't going to check the source of the stainless steel before installation right? Still remember 20 years ago, HDB is still using PVC pipe. Those can easily last 20 years before giving way. Reason why now there is copper or stainless steel is because we have hot and cold mixer in our tap. To sum it up, if you are those type who will do painting once every few years, can consider getting copper.
  7. actually very simple, if you want rainshower get storage tank, no rain shower get instant heater. I live with instant heater for the past 20 years++ and now I'm switching over to storage heater as I have rainshower in my bathroom. It is not all the time about cost. You choose rainshower, get the required item to run it properly cant do 1/2 1/2 lah
  8. Hi All, Need some enlightenment, is there such thing as solid veneer door? I thought... There is only solid nyatoh door which is the traditional door with small square or rectangle on it. Those door can't be use for veneer nor laminate. If want veneer or laminate door, the door can only be semi-hollow or hollow?
  9. morganwu, very interesting post. A good insight in real wood. Like titanax said, should have know you earlier. I believe hardwood comes with grade as well. Don't quote me as my knowledge in this area is limited. Indonesian wood may be cheaper but the nicer range comes from Myanmar which can cost a lot more? I believe the trend locally is more gear towards laminate. Even for those who stays in semi is using laminate rather than hardwood. I don't know why. I'm sure they are in a better position to spend more than me. My in law's house is using hardwood and after years of using it, it tend to have small dent hole cause by shifting of furniture etc.
  10. using concrete will pose a problem in future. If there is any leakage, concrete will not be visible till the entire thing collapse. For board, you can start to see visibly where is the leakage, get someone in, cut the area affected, repair the pipe, cover it up and paint over will do. Repair cost is still cheaper than using concrete should there be any leakage.
  11. khengjoo, you work for them ah? haha you pushing quite hard for this wor....
  12. How is bosch compare to Electrolux? Assuming both same price. Went to neighbourhood store, all say Bosch good. Went to big stores like HVN, best denki all say electrolux better.