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Buy a new home or renovate your current place?

Getting a home of your own is an exciting endeavour. Whether you’re a single individual looking to own your first property, or a newly-wedded couple looking to build your own home, the decisions can be huge, seemingly insurmountable, but at the same time a thrilling adventure!

For those who are confused about whether to buy a brand-new HDB Build-To-Order flat (BTO) flat, or an old (resale) flat to revamp, property and renovation experts – Drew and Jonathan Scott aka the Property Brothers have much to offer.

The handsome pair have seen many couples, families and individuals through creating their dream homes, and here are four things they think you should consider before taking the leap:

  1. What is your budget?

First rule: Stick to the budget. Second rule: Read the first rule again. Crack open a bottle of wine or two and sit yourself or your partner down to think about how much money you are willing to part with, and how long you can actually wait for your new home – this is the most important step because you should not spend beyond your means.

For Singaporeans, it’s important to read up on the different housing grants you might be eligible for, if you’re considering to purchase a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat. If you’re a first-time flat buyer looking to buy a public housing apartment, you can receive subsidies between S$5,000 to S$80,000 under the Enhanced Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant. A resale flat for first-time buyers, whether you’re a family or a single buyer, now has a wide variety of grants available depending on your income ceiling.

A BTO may not necessarily be cheaper with these new resale grants, so it’s important to do your research accordingly!

  1. Are you thinking of the big picture?

Many first-time buyers tend to focus on what’s shiny and new, rather than thinking of the form and flow of the space. With a new flat, it’s often a brand-new canvas to play with, whereas an old flat often has its layout already set in stone. It’s important to give some thought to how a space can complement your lifestyle, to determine whether you should work with a new flat, or an existing one which could be a perfect fit for you.

Top Tip from the Property Brothers: Go in with a list of non-negotiables. So if you want a house that has an open concept, think about whether that’s possible from the start. Don’t be blindly hacking walls, or creating an open kitchen with a polished marble counter. It’s going to cost you!

  1. Can any experts help?

If you’re still at a loss, approach someone for help. Whether it’s your trusty group of friends who have been through this, or an experienced contractor, there are professionals who help new homeowners through their journeys, so consult them for some advice before you take the leap.

The Property Brothers say that getting an old home that needs renovation and then taking on the work, whether through engaging contractors or renovation experts, is one way to stretch a budget. From what we’ve learned through the couples on the show, we say that this is money well spent. You might know a thing or two about plumbing but it doesn’t mean you can take on the renovation on your own. Also trust us, you don’t want to stress out with your partner alone!

  1. Are you letting your emotions lead the way? 

Buying a new home is a business investment, not an emotional decision. You need to weigh the pros and cons of getting a new home carefully - don’t be tempted to rely on your feelings just because.

Even though you’ll be faced with several decisions from picking out the furniture to the colours of your new home, do not give in to the pressure and stick to the game plan!

P.S. Refer to Tip #3. Having expert advice might help to relieve some of your anxiety.

Don’t forget to tune in weekly to the season 13 of the Property Brothers each Monday on Singtel TV Channel 250 at 10pm on HGTV for more tips.

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