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How to invest in properties to build retirement income at every stage of your life-by buying 2 or with just 1 property

1. Why buy 2 properties in Singapore

2. How do I make money from property besides just sell high and buy low?

3. How you can invest according to what age/stage of your life you are in now. - In your 30s - In your 30s - In your 30s - If you are single

building, blocks, lego

1. Why buy 2 properties in Singapore

Lee Ka Shing once commented that if you spot an island which has at least 80% Asian population, most likely you find that real estate will always be sought after and prices will be always on an uptrend.

Whether the above observation is really from the revered tycoon or not, it certainly reflects the situation in Singapore’s real estate market.

Everyday we are bombarded by facebook ads telling us to sell our  current house and buy 2 condos instead.

But what is the ultimate goal in owning these 2 properties? Surely its not just to own a ton of bricks nor is it to burden ourselves with 2 bank loans and enslave ourselves to hefty mortgage installments every month?

2.How do I make money from property besides just sell high and buy low?

For most people, there is only 1 way to make money and that is to buy low and sell high and earn the appreciation.

Or another way is to pay the 25% downpayment, then rent it out and after 30 years the property is yours and you can earn passive income from it.

However another way to look at it is to buy property and use it as a vehicle like a compulsory savings plan that can make you 300% of your downpayment after 10 -15 years.

The great thing about this savings plan is that your tenant is the one putting money into the savings plan for you. And it is a relatively passive exercise-you only need to find a tenant every 2 years.

Get a reliable agent who can get a good tenant and who will iron out most of the kinks in the tenancy.

For example the property you are buying is $1million. The downpayment is $250,000 cash. After you put down the 25% downpayment, you rent out the property say for 10 years.

After 10 years, lets say the property appreciates by  30% to $1.3m.

Is it possible ? Yes highly possible. Pls find below a table of condos which appreciated 30%

how to buy a condo condos which appreciated by 30%

Private properties which appreciated at least 30% from 2011-2021 –          Source : SRX

Guess how much you will be able to get back in cash. A cool $750,000 including the

down payment which you have put down 10 years ago.

Are there cases where the condo appreciated less than 30% in 10 years. Definitely.

May it will take a few years more to appreciate in price by 30%. By 20%? Yes possible too.

The point I am making here is: Hey for a relatively passive way of investment, having $750,000 definitely sooths some nerves when life throws unforeseen adversities our way.

Like an unexpected retrenchment.

Covid 19.

A delibitating disease which threatens to take away our ability to perform taken for granted daily tasks.

Also this three quarters million if invested properly with the right financial advise could provide a nice tidy monthly income of $3500 – definitely enough for basic necessities for a couple during retirement. Read how it can be achieved here.

And if you don’t touch your CPF, there will definitely be additional couple of thousand dollars of income every month to maintain a respectable life style.

For me, I will be able to live quite well provided I am still healthy and able.

buying property for investment

Will I be able to take business class every time I fly?

Er, no.

What about wiping out the LV boutique with wads of cash?

Well, to be honest, not very likely too.

But I can live on my own terms, do the kind of work I want to do. Not work when I don’t want to. Not have to depend on the monthly allowance given to me by my children or anyone.

That to me is true freedom and peace of mind. And I believe that I can achieve this freedom through properties, hence the name of this blog property freedom.

Now that we are clear on the objective of owning more than 1 property.

Is it good advice and the right thing to do?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes for people in certain circumstances and no for some people.

Below I will detail the options for the different people according to their age and stage in life.

3. How you can invest according to what age/stage of your life you are in now

In your 30s

case study of how a couple sold hdb and upgraded to 2 condos

You and your Significant Other is both in your thirties. Life as a family has just begun and you work hard to provide the best for your young family.

Don and Pei Ling own an Executive Condo and they are wondering what their next move should be.

With a combined household income of about $13,000, they were able to buy a 3 bedder condo for their own stay and another condo to build their funds after selling their EC in Punggol (Executive Condo).

Let’s take a look at what the above couple did.

In your 40s
Option 1 - if you own a hDB flat now

how to buy 2 properties

You are still able to do what Chris & Yen Ping did, but because both of you are older, you will be able to take a smaller loan and perhaps only buy a property that’s lower in price.

Nothing wrong with that, except that the with the same multiplier effect, the amount of money you can accumulate at the end of the day will not be that much.

For example you may not be able to buy a $1m second property but one that is $800,00 instead. Which still is better than not being able to invest at all.

In your 40s Option 2-If you own a condo now

If you are a private condo and would like to own 2 properties, you can either leverage on your current property by

  1. selling it or
  2. by buying over your spouse’s share of the property(aka decoupling)

Let’s take a look at how a couple did it here.

investing in properties for retirement

In Your 50s

Ok now that we have hit the big Five 0 (was Hawaii Five 0 a programme on property investment?)

Its ok, only peeps above 50 may have heard of this very popular TV series back in 70s.

Sorry I digress, slightly distracted after writing for about an hour now.

Now that we have hit 50s, we may not want to stop working for fear of sheer boredom or early onset of dementia.

But there’s one thing we definitely want.

We want to have the CHOICE of not working so full time or taking time off our work.

Same way we feel in our youth when we felt left out when nobody dated us on a Saturday night. As opposed to having the knowledge that Peter wanted to go out on a date with me but no, I was too lazy to go out.

The latter felt much better.


how to invest in property

If you are already in your fifties,  you can buy a dual-key property- so that you can live in one apartment and rent the other one out.

Its has the flexibility of you staying in the bigger “apartment” or the smaller one.

At this age, your income and your spouses income may not be as high and the loan tenure is quite short.

This means that it will be difficult to buy 2 properties as one of you may not meet the TDSR.

So a dual-key property will be your best bet.

What if the dual key property is too high and out of reach too?

Well, you can consider a property which can be sub-divided into 2 separate and self-sufficient spaces.

It will work like a dual-key apartment for all intents and purposes-as in you can have your own separate space and yet are able to rent out a part of the property.

However without the prohibitive price tag of the dual key apartment.

One of the properties which I had sold fullfilled this requirement and the buyer bought it for this very reason after I explained the concept.

should i buy private property

For Singles

how to invest in property if you are single

How do invest in properties if I am single? I have nobody to sell one buy 2 with, nobody to decouple from.  

For goodness sake I don’t even have someone in

the house to complain about the long mad queues at NTUC during

the lock down. Jeez.

Am I doomed to work till 75 years old?

Don’t worry I got you covered too.

First, if you can, buy a dual key.

 If that is too pricey, buy a HDB Jumbo or Maisonette apartment or 5 room flat and rent out the extra rooms.

Hate living with strangers?

What about buy a HDB and see if you can carve out separate living spaces?

HDB has rules about partitions that states that you can only rent out rooms that are not partitioned.

There may be ways of achieving this with the help of creative ID designers.

But please please read the HDB regulations on this and do this without infringing on HDB regulations. You will need to be responsible for your own rectifications.

If you have read so far, thanks very much for your time and I really hope you’ve found this article helpful.

Meanwhile if you need help in planning, please contact me!