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How can I afford my first home?

20 Oct 2017, Fri
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM (+08:00)
The Good Space @ National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, #04-88 (BLUE ZONE), The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059817

Directions to venue: Take the lift or the escalator (next to Owndays) to the 4th floor of The Central (above Clarke Quay station), and head to the BLUE ZONE. It's around the corner and look out for the room with the glass door. 


Back by popular demand, PlayMoolah is hosting this special edition of Honesty Circles in partnership with A Good Space. This session aims to answer the burning questions you may have about the BIGGEST purchase you will probably make in your lives - Buying your first HDB Flat.

To many, this may seem like a very daunting process in Singapore, which forces us to understand the different schemes, clarify our aspirations, juggle our expectations, and manage our financial obligations.

But with the right knowledge and skills, realizing your dream home can in fact be a very empowering milestone to look forward to. In this session, we shed light on the crucial factors to consider when making this all-important purchase, and hear from others like you who are planning to buy their first flat. Discover ways that will help clarify your values and decisions easier around the purchase of your first home - through lots of play, laughter, and sharing!


Buying my first home: Security or Freedom?

I was about to embark on the biggest purchase of my life so far - my husband and I recently got invited to select a flat from HDB. Home ownership has always been a “natural” thing for Singaporeans to aspire towards, and I am no exception. It was my dream to buy the biggest house that I could lay my hands on, much like the 5-room executive apartment that I grew up in. The flat was so big, that as a kid, I was able to ride my bicycle indoors, making loops around the kitchen, living room and dining room.

So when it came time to look at prices for my first home, it was an instinct to filter flats that matched my childhood aspirations. Alas, my more rational other half did the math, and it turned out that our income could only allow us to comfortably afford a 4-room flat. So I convinced myself that I would make a tradeoff for a shorter commute would make me happy. After all, that’s what my positive psychology prof said makes a person happier, so why not test it on myself? Alas, we did not get a good enough queue number to allow us to pick that flat.

I swept the idea of home ownership to the back of my mind as we planned our wedding and moved into the master bedroom in my mother’s place while we awaited another opportunity. In the process of moving in together and clearing out my closet space to accommodate his belongings, I realised that the process of purging my home of the things I did not need was rather therapeutic.

In that time, I was re-introduced to the tiny house movement via a video that was shared by a co-worker and for the first time, actually considered that it would be a lifestyle that would suit me. It just made so much sense - smaller environmental footprint, less debt and more time (from not cleaning a big house!). At the same time, an opportunity to apply for a flat arose. We decided that a 3-room flat would meet our needs, and for the future that we planned together.

When thinking about signing on the dotted line for my new home, the financial considerations were again at the forefront of my mind. This time, however, I have made peace with my mental and physical downsizing - a 3-room flat would mean less financial responsibility. With less space, it would also force me to consider my future purchases, which would have both an environmental and financial impact.

Perhaps this responsibility of this step of ownership I’m about to take has shifted from that of a financial burden to one of conscious decision-making. It’s taking a stand that I don’t need that extra space. And perhaps this is what taking ownership of something truly encompasses.

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