Thursday, December 3

One-hit instant kill

In Singapore, everything is expensive.

A small 4-room resale flat of 85 square metres set me back by S$320,000. Under the current exchange rate, that works out to be US$228,000 or RM$768,000.

Which means I can sell my 4-room flat in Singapore, return back to Johor
(1) buy 2 much bigger double-storey terrace house
(2) buy a small car
(3) and still have some small cash left

And resale flats in Singapore are supposedly subsidised housings for those who couldn't afford private housing.

And so the Singapore government has set restrictions on who qualifies for the flats. Generally, it can be jointly purchased by married couple to start their family, or singles who are above 35 years old.

Anyway, the story goes like this. A close friend of mine got married with his long-time girlfriend some months ago and started to shop for a resale flat for their love nest.

My friend finally found the perfect flat.
(1) High floor (13th level), which means it is more windy.
(2) Just opposite the MRT station, which is good news for non-car drivers.
(3) Bright, which means lights do not need to be switched on in the day.
(4) Well-maintained, which means less renovation.
(5) No odd-shaped rooms (rooms that are not rectangular are less optimal for maximising space usage).
(6) And best of all, the price is below government valuation.

And while he's overjoyed, his wife outright rejected the flat.


Because it is on the 13th floor. And to the superstitious Chinese, 13 is an unlucky number. And that's a one-hit instant kill. So now, they are still "homeless" and staying separate with their own family despite being married. And still searching for the perfect flat.

Have you ever had 50 good reasons to do something, and yet have it shot down with a one-hit instant kill by someone close to you?


Ai Shiang said...

How do you define 4 room flat? Does that include the living room?

85m2 sure is quite small. But if it is a 1 bedroom for $320,000 it is very cheap.

The average 2 bedroom apartment. We don't count the living room as 1 room. The price is about $600,000 (S$767,160) that's an average of 100m2.

As for the 13th floor. I thought that's western's superstition

Ai Shiang said...

Oh I forgot. Not everything in Singapore is expensive lah in my opinion. The MRT is so cheap. The food also cheap. The taxi also cheap! Maybe only the house is expensive huh?

iamthewitch said...

Very interesting. Hmm perhaps something to ponder about. I guess those who are very superstitious might not want to take the chance.. after all, it's not something cheap...

Roxy. said...

Wah ! This is really a one hit kill, even though the advantages outweighs the disadvantages by a whole lot.

Yes, it had happened many times.
Sometimes 50 reasons of my input might not equal to that single hit because of the different angles we look at things. I look at it at a positive way and of course the more reasons to prove that i am right and this is the best for me, while probably the person close to me is looking at a more neutral viewpoint and providing me with an alternative viewpoint that will put me on a different perspective altogether.

MKL said...

Did you know that I once (in 2005) lived in Tampines in an HDB block? Who knows, we may have crossed paths, hehe. Ok, well, how about the 4th floor? Is there always Malays and Indians on the 4th fllors in Singapore? I thought 13 is an unlicky number in the West :)

Lily Riani said...

13 western culture for bad luck numbers maa... chinese shud be 14 right or 4, i wouldnt want a 16 as well...

mrdes said...

Funny how the young people nowaday are still supersitious...maybe the government should consider building flats with the 13th floor marked as "14th" instead...haha. Btw my office is on the 13th floor:P

wenn said...

shd do away with superstition..

Toothfairy said...

HUH? I thought 13 is not a unlucky nr for Chinese, but 4 is! My grandma never had problems with 13, but she hates nr. 4. And she's pretty superstitious and very asian. :P


khengsiong said...

Home price is expensive in KL too, and keeps going up. Wondering if I can find a job in Ipoh...

TeeHedgeBee said...

13 is good for Chinese leh Uncle Shingo. Ang moh don't like 13 la. She ang moh pai bah. If it is me I take liao.

Anonymous said...

Everything comes if a man will only wait........................................

Anonymous said...

Seriously, people still step out of their homes and go about the usual business on a 13th day...and not stay indoors. So aren't they afraid something might happen? Might as well stay home on a 13th day!

Erny said...

The previous condo I used to live in doesn't have "4th" and "14th" floor, as it is believed to be unlucky. So, they go by this way...
"3, 3A,5,6.........13, 13A,15,16"

Cherish Tulips said...

although s'pore has expensive houses/hdb flat to purchase,the cost of living is still flairly affordable than m'sia. transport system is great so you don't need to buy a car and most of the stuff there (groceries etc) are way cheaper...

SJ said...

in msia wud be cheaper mayb

A smile from SJ =)

Shingo T said...

Ai Shiang:
In Singapore, 4-room flat means 3 bedrooms and 1 living room.

Public transport is cheap in Singapore, that I agree. For a developed country, the taxis are a fraction of a cost of what it cost in similar countries like Hong Kong.

I'm glad I'm not superstitious. I'm way too practical to give up such an offer.

Having someone who can balance your viewpoints is good, as we can sometimes be too one-sided when we want something.

Tampines is about 15 minutes by bus from where I'm living. Gosh, you should tell us about your Singapore adventures someday. I think you are in love with Asia!

Lily Riani:
16 is an unlucky number too?

My office's on the 4th floor, and I'm still not "dead". (4="dead" in chinese)

A little superstition does little harm, I guess. But as the nation starts to progress, superstition should drop.

ya, 13 is an unlucky number only for the angmohs. Maybe my friend watched too much English shows like Friday the 13 and got influenced. Haha.

I haven't been to Ipoh before. But I guessed the pay there should be lower also with the lower cost of living, as compared to KL.

Agree with ya. Hey, time for you to get a house if you haven't. =p

Your remarks sounds a little philosophical, haha.

Mei Teng:
If everyone stay home on the 13th of every month, it sould have been really economically productive for the country. Glad that didn't happen.

Wow, good one! Hope it doesn't cause much confusion to the old folks.

Cherish Tulips:
Singapore has cheaper groceries than Malaysia? Not that I remember. But then again, I never buy groceries in Malaysia.

Cars are a huge liability in Singapore, glad the country is small and everywhere is easily accessible with the wonderful transport system.

Work in Singapore, spend in Malaysia, that's the saying that's been going around here.

MKL said...

LOL, just posted a long post about Malaysia :P Singapore may be in January, will be exactly 5years since I've first stepped on Asian soil, which was in Singapore :)

HappySurfer said...

So sad that your friend and wife have to stay separately even though married. Situational, I guess. Life's like that.

For the Cantonese, 13 is a fantastic number, besides 18, of course. Perhaps, your friend should have consulted a feng shui master instead as his reading would be more credible as relevant factors, such as baxi, are considered instead of just believing in the supposed bad vibes of the number 13. It's good to believe that nothing is good or bad but it's the thinking that makes it so.

Cost of living may be cheaper in Sgp than here in KL but the housing and automobiles are not, vis-a-vis KL's though I know someone who drives exotic cars, a Maserati once. But then again, KL housing is no longer cheap now. I was at a developer's sale yesterday and noticed that a 450sq ft studio apartment is going for from RM314K onwards and this is not cheap by KL standards - and every unit has been taken up! No doubt location plays a part. This project is in Damansara and projects in this area sell like hot cakes somehow. Another hot location is the KLCC area downtown.

I know people from Sgp who go over to JB for their groceries and sundries during the weekend. Come to think of it, it makes sense considering every Sgp dollar a Sgporean spends stretches more than twice as much.

Thanks for the insight on network marketing and the other one. Good to know.

Shingo T said...

haha, will head over to your site to read your adventures in Malaysia.
Good to hear you are coming over to Singapore again. Maybe we can catch up for tea someday.

Agree with ya that staying apart after marriage is kind of sad. Isn't that one of the reasons why people get married in the first place?

Wow, our country's real estate business is booming, based on what you said. One good thing about buying simple properties in Malysia is that you don't get rules like "Only the married are eligible" or "Only singles above 35are eligible". That's what happens in most land abundant nations.

HappySurfer said...

That's really a blessing that everyone in a no-restriction country takes for granted.

I recently heard a true incident of an engineer who wanted to upgrade his (and wifey's) digs to a bungalow in Sgp but application was turned down. Despite his wife being a medical doctor, he as an engineer does not qualify for a bungalow. Can you beat that!? They emigrated to somewhere where they can spend their money the way they see fit. Scary scenario in the 'fine' city state, huh?

Shingo T said...

This story is new to me. Agree that the "fine" city has lots of restrictions.

But it is also the same restrictions that make Singapore the tiny yet powerful social and economical powerhouse.

HappySurfer said...

That's true, of course. The pros outweigh the cons by lots, plus, nothing is perfect.

Have a lovely day ahead, Shingo. The weather is awesome here in KL.

foongpc said...

13 is not an unlucky number to the Chinese. It means sure to live in Chinese, so it's actually a lucky number!

Only Western people associate 13 with unlucky. Your friend's wife must do some re-thinking : )

foongpc said...

Wow! So expensive those flats! And they are just lousy flats right? : )

I wonder how much high class condos would cost in Singapore! And if we sell that condo, how many bungalows we can buy in Malaysia! Haha!

foongpc said...

But if based on salary earned in Singapore, I think the food and transport there are pretty cheap compared to Malaysia!

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