4 helpful tips for first-time property buyers

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By Seng Bingyang, Consultwho.sg

SINGAPORE — In my role as a financial planner, I observe a worrying trend amongst the many young professionals whom I advise and speak with.

Whenever I ask them about their three-year term goals, many will list purchasing their first home as one of their top priorities. However, they often admit that they don’t really know where to start nor understand the necessary considerations when it comes to buying their first homes.

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Punggol to get its own visitor centre to showcase achievements

Artist's impression of the new Punggol Visitor Centre, to be built within Punggol Town Centre. -- asiaone.com

Artist’s impression of the new Punggol Visitor Centre, to be built within Punggol Town Centre. — asiaone.com

SINGAPORE — The Housing Board (HDB) town of Punggol has notched several firsts as a model new town and now it can count its own visitor centre as among them.

To open in the later part of this year, the three-storey visitor centre in Punggol Town Plaza will house a gleaming showcase of the area’s development and boast a top-floor deck with a panoramic view of the Punggol Waterway.

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The ‘Amityville Horror’ house is for sale: Five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and one bloody history

Authorities investigate a mass murder in Amityville, N.Y., in 1974. - washingtonpost.com

Authorities investigate a mass murder in Amityville, N.Y., in 1974. – washingtonpost.com

AMITYVILLE, NY — In 1974, it was an expensive and stately Long Island estate, nestled in a vintage-home village, with white shutters on the windows, white lattice on the side and a white sign out front that read: “High Hopes.”

But the house on Ocean Avenue in Amityville was darkened that year by a gruesome mass murder that claimed every family member there — except one.

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Union Jacked: Britain votes to leave EU in historic divorce

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LONDON — Britain has voted to leave the European Union by 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent, final results from all 382 of Britain’s local counting centres showed on Friday.

The final result showed 17.4 million people had voted “Leave” and 16.1 million people had voted “Remain” in the EU membership referendum.

It is an outcome that sets the country on an uncertain path and deals the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two.

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5-room HDB flat shatters Singapore real estate record

The deal sold for a record SGD960,000 (USD717,400)

The deal sold for a record SGD960,000 (USD717,400)

SINGAPORE — According to Housing Board data, a five-room HDB resale flat at Block 425 Clementi Avenue 1 was sold for a record SGD960,000 (USD717,400) this month, which translates to about SGD769 (USD575) per sqft.

Located next to Nan Hua High and NUS High School, the approximately 1,259 sqft HDB flat is located between the 28th and 30th floors of the HDB block, which forms part of the Casa Clementi precinct, an acclaimed public housing project.

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5 Things You Should Bear in Mind Before Listing Your Place on Airbnb in Singapore

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SINGAPORE — It’s a modern day horror story–the tragic tale of how two HDB flat owners got their homes confiscated by the authorities after renting out their flats on Airbnb has struck fear into the hearts of indignant Singaporeans. Welcome to Singapore, where the biggest thing threatening your home isn’t a natural disaster or fire but the heavy hand of the HDB.

Still, judging by the number of listings on Airbnb, scores of people are still renting out their properties. If you own a condo unit or a house, you might think you can rent your property out to tourists with impunity, since URA has not clamped down on private property owners after all these years. But make sure you bear in mind these five things first.

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5 Designer Ideas for Your HDB’s Exposed Beam

Hacked a wall to create an open-concept space in your flat? Or there's a structural support running through it? Here are clever ways to deal -- Houzz.com

Hacked a wall to create an open-concept space in your flat? Or there’s a structural support running through it? Here are clever ways to deal — Houzz.com

High-rise public housing, or HDBs as we commonly call them (as they are built by the Housing & Development Board), are designed to maximise space while keeping construction costs affordable. So there are sometimes-unsightly structural members hanging lower than the maximum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.6 metres. Often, too, HDB dwellers merge two rooms into one bigger space, hacking down a non-load-bearing wall and exposing the load-bearing beam above it.

According to HDB’s renovation guidelines, while the demolition of non-load-bearing walls is allowed, beams are untouchable.

Some designers may recommend false ceilings to conceal the beam, but with HDB you can only drop so low (2.4 metres is the minimum floor-to-ceiling height allowed). And, as you can see, the beams hang lower than that already.

Here are five ways you can work around this architectural dilemma.

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