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Do I need a bigger home and what to do if I do?
Aspire, Personal Finance | 03 August 2015
Articles (41) Profile

Housing is a topic that is close to our hearts. It would not be wrong to say that most people tend to be somewhat emotional when talking about our homes. After all, home is where the heart is.

So, being objective which means not being emotional about our homes when it comes to viewing it simply as an asset or liability is not easy for many people. Fortunately, for some reason, AK is quite emotionless when it comes to his home or so his friends have observed.

Here, we have an example of AK dishing out some objectivity on a reader’s housing situation:

Hi AK,

Hope this email finds you well.

Thank you very much for taking your time responding to our queries in relation to giving us your honest opinion in matters of money management.

I have a “worry”.

Currently, we bought a condo and owing about $400k+ with the bank and paying our monthly mortgage still at $2000/month. Its a one bedroom small condo and small enough that we feel we needed a bigger place given that we just had a baby a few months ago.

1) Sell condo now and wait for 2 years before we are “allowed” to go into Econdo and might take another 4-5 years before TOP. In practicality, i feel its not practical to wait that long because we will need a bed for our 5 year old grown up boy but pros are we could save up “more” before buying into a bigger econdo home for a 3 member family. So more time for us to save up for something more value for the money e.g econdo, hdb. We made the mistake of buying to condo initally.

2) sell this condo now and buy into another bigger place with our current savings of $250k, meaning take out our savings and buy a bigger place, something like a 2+1 bedroom private condo. pros we can take opportunity of the low condo price now and “hope” in few years it shall provide us some asset appreciation. Note: Selling our current 1 Bedroom condo will make a 50-60k loss because of the low demand in current market now. we would have made 25% loss on our initial downpayment.

3) take our savings and stay vested so we could have more passive income (my idea actually). If stay vested with REITS e.g saizen of $250k. we could have about 1-2k per month passive income. Cons is we wont have a bigger place (will need to stay with our parents) and there is risk of an economic downfall (my wife’s worry) and i am not sure during the last subprime recession how much did Saizen drop to? Meaning if i used my savings for buying a property at least the pros is i could have something physical at hand during economic downturn. Am i making any sense?

4) lower our debt ratio and sell off when the market improves then rip the profit–> then buy in to a bigger place. ( by then may be the property market and outlook would have improved)

I know nobody can tell the future but i would sincerely hope if you can share your experience and expertise on the subject i have at hand currently.


Hi B,

All of us need a roof over our heads. How big or pricey a roof? That depends on each person’s circumstances.

I like to approach situations such as yours by thinking about the needs:

In your case, the first question to ask is whether you really need more space or could you make do with what you have (i.e. your current one bedder condo)? If you could somehow make do with what you have, then, no issues. Think about possibly refinancing the housing loan if that could bring down the cost of servicing the loan.

If you absolutely cannot make do with what you have and really need more space now, then, sell your current place only if you are able to find a good value for money offer in a larger condo somewhere. Don’t buy a larger condo unit just because you can afford it, always bearing in mind that our homes are consumption items and not investments. What about buying a resale HDB flat instead?

If you think you don’t need more space now but will need more space in the future, then, selling your condo and moving in with your parents first while waiting for a couple of years before you could buy an Executive Condominium from a developer (or a BTO HDB flat if your combined salaries are not too high) will most probably give you the best value for money. In the meantime, you could invest some of the money in the stock market for some extra income.

In summary, what you decide to do at the end of the day should consider:

1. What you need.
2. When you need it.
3. What kind of housing is acceptable.

I hope my talking to myself is helpful to you. :)

Best wishes,

AK is a Singaporean stock market investor and a popular blogger. His blog was created with the intention of educating investors and sharing his investing journey with the target of having a more secure financial future in an uncertain world by creating a stream of reliable passive income with high yields.

Please click here for more information about this author.

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