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wannabee

Small bungalow - Rebuild or Reconstruct

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Dear experts and experienced homeowners, 

We are in the process of buying a small detached house. It’s an old house built in early 1990s with some internal renovations done in last 10 years.

We kind of max out on our budget on the purchase and planned to do a reconstruction, to reconfigure the house and add an attic. The shell and shape of the house is suitable for what we need. 

Having spoken to a couple of architects it was suggested we should consider doing a rebuild so there is more freedom with the design, not constrained by existing structure/columns.

Do people who have done reconstruction regretted doing that instead of complete rebuild? Anyone looked at both options and found good reasons to choose one over the other? 

A rebuild will cost more and take longer, and will need to fit in a household bomb shelter.

i thought what we save on reconstruction we can use to buy furniture etc. 

Appreciate your views. 

 

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I think you need to ask youself and/or your family a series of questions.

1. are the existing bedroom sizes sufficient for the planned usage?

2. are there enough toilets existing for usage? is there ensuite toilets for all bedrooms? if not, are the shared toilets acceptable for use?

3. is the kitchen sufficient in size? is there a dry kitchen? if you are into baking, do you need a big dry kitchen?

if you haven't noticed, the questions are all linked to space planning which is directly impacted with the existing house's structure.

if you want bigger rooms, you can knock down the walls. but if there's columns at certain areas, you can’t simply remove the columns. so your bigger rooms need to be worked around the existing columns.

if you need to add/shift toilets, you are again constrained by the existing beams and columns. cos the pipes would need to be run around these structures and this could mean a lower false ceiling since the waste pipes have to be run below the beams.

if you are going to tear down 50% of the house and do a reconstruction, you could be better off just doing a complete rebuilt and not be bounded by any existing constraints. you are not going to save a lot by keeping that 50% of existing house.

most people do a reconstruction without very major works or to take advantage of the existing house's design which was based on old regulations. eg: a house has a deficient setback of 5m at the front so the owners keep the front part and need not follow the current regulations of 7.5m front setback.

for household shelter, it is not a given that SCDF will grant a waiver for reconstructions. your architect would need to do the proper submissions with the plans, etc and seek this waiver. so there would be a chance that you would still need to build a household shelter even if you are doing reconstruction.

Edited by snoozee
Typo
 

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Snooze has given an excellent piece of advice, it's better to do a complete rebuild now, no point doing a bit here and there, then regret couple of years down the road for not doing so. Matter of fact is rebuild is more cost effective and you get to do what you like, whilst AA maybe smaller in quantum but not really cost saving. 

 
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Thank you Snoozee and George for your sharing.

I am also coming around to this view, that better to do a complete rebuild. Now just have to scrape up more cash for the project...

I will continue to consult this forum as we embark on this project.

 

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20 hours ago, wannabee said:

Thank you Snoozee and George for your sharing.

I am also coming around to this view, that better to do a complete rebuild. Now just have to scrape up more cash for the project...

I will continue to consult this forum as we embark on this project.

if this is going to be your family home for the next 20 years or more, it would be better to just bite the bullet now and do a complete rebuilt. if not, the money you sink in now for A&A or reconstruction would be wasted if you decide to do a rebuilt some 5 or 10 years down the road.

 
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2 hours ago, snoozee said:

Congrats on your journey. Remember to inform IRAS on the demolition if you have not done so and also apply for property tax remission

Oh I didn’t know this, will look into it. Thanks! 

 

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2 hours ago, snoozee said:

Congrats on your journey. Remember to inform IRAS on the demolition if you have not done so and also apply for property tax remission

Submitted online now, thanks so much snoozee! 

 

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1 hour ago, wannabee said:

Oh I didn’t know this, will look into it. Thanks! 

IRAS don't play with them. they can do claw backs and add on penalties. So better be good and just do the proper documentation for them and avoid the problems. Also remember that property tax remission only lasts 2 years from date of demolition completion. So you must get TOP within 2 years else your property tax will be very high.

 

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On 7/3/2021 at 7:19 PM, snoozee said:

Congrats on your journey. Remember to inform IRAS on the demolition if you have not done so and also apply for property tax remission

Does the remission only apply for demolition? How about A&A? Also, how about the period when applying for BCA approvals etc but no construction work yet - does remission apply?

 

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1 hour ago, Topline said:

Does the remission only apply for demolition? How about A&A? Also, how about the period when applying for BCA approvals etc but no construction work yet - does remission apply?

my understanding is that remission is only applicable for demolished houses and building a replacement. A&A or reconstruction is not applicable

before the house is demolished, usually owners will be taxed at the residential rate. but once demolished, the property tax is computed based on land value which is much higher hence need to apply for remission.

however it is best is check with IRAS on the finer details of the regulations if you want to know more.

 

 

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It doesnt matter whether it is a full demolition or a partial demolition - you still need to declare it to IRAS and you will be charged higher property tax rates once demolition is completed and construction commences.

So it is treated the same - once the house obtains TOP and it occupied by the owner itself, remission is applicable.

 

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On 7/3/2021 at 10:35 PM, snoozee said:

IRAS don't play with them. they can do claw backs and add on penalties. So better be good and just do the proper documentation for them and avoid the problems. Also remember that property tax remission only lasts 2 years from date of demolition completion. So you must get TOP within 2 years else your property tax will be very high.

you are right! I paid about 24k per year in property taxes for 3 years (after the 2 years tax remission ended) when my builder played punk and delayed the project.

 

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