Friday, June 9, 2017

Guide to first time buyers of home properties in Singapore

Guide to first time buyers of home properties in Singapore    

Many people and many younger of the population will find themselves once in their lives be involved to choose a property unit, whether it is for their own use or as a family unit whilst living with their parents.

Hence it is essential for all involved to cultivate the knowledge and experience to choose effectively and choose well.

On the overall, some have selected well and perfectly. Bravo!! Others somewhat have chosen quite correctly in one area but inadequately in another.

Yet many others have inadvertently made bad choices and choose units that they find to their shock and dismay, heaps of unforeseen problems that result from their wrong choices that hurt and harm them and their lifestyle for many years to come.

As a result, I choose to write this blog to offer a free guide to all, having been in the property line for many years.

Having also help many family members and close friends to select properties ranging from bungalows, to condominiums, private apartments to HDB properties, I like to share a few pointers.

Time and again, I find that numerous individuals will make the similar recurring mistake over and again.

Fortunately, for those who take my advice, they have eventually progressed on to resell them at good prices making a handsome profit.

Some are thankful for the advice that they have received and they live peacefully in good and pleasant environment, even to this day.

For those who refuse my advice, sadly and regrettably they suffer for their poor judgements to this date. Too bad, friend…just too bad!

So, anyone choosing to buy the first property in Singapore can follow the next simple guidelines and one can certainly not go wrong.


To begin with, the correct choice of the property is choosing the best location. Location, location, location first, always the top priority to abide.

Location is utmost priority No. 1, for sure, no. 1 ranking in terms of ranking of all priorities!

Choose a property in the location that suits your life, your lifestyle, your career and proximity to your workplace and to your family’s home.

So, let’s say, if you live in the East and are used to activities in the East, so it’s best to choose a site that you are familiar with and that you feel comfortable with, right?

Next look out for available nearby sites of the chosen location for HDB flats, condominiums or private properties.


Choose the type of property according to your budget and affordability. Do not overstretch yourself for in years to come, the property can become a financial burden and in your lifestyle and in your future life. Evaluate and calculate wisely and prudently. Don’t try to catch up with the Joneses, so they say!

Request and enquire further of the mortgage plan from several banks before deciding. If buying a private property, there is higher cash out to be lodged for deposit as according to Singapore Government’s guideline. You can also enquire more from a housing agent.

Remember do not calculate so tightly that you have no spare cash. You must allow yourself ample cash for many unseen future costs, like renovation costs, moving costs, stamp duty and lawyer’s fee. There are many hidden and unseen costs, so be beware!


Now, you may want to engage the service of a house agent to help with the purchase. These agents have more contacts and networking to help find the most suitable units for you.

If you are looking for a property in a newly launched condo or property, there are appointed agents who can help you.

Just a word of caution here. The choice of agents is also very important. Get an agent who has done some sales for a friend or a family member. They will protect your interest more. Ask them about the commission that they expect upon successful purchase.

Usually it is 1% to 2% of the sales price for private properties from the seller only. Buyer of private property do not have to pay commission.

For HDB property, it is 1% of the sale price for the buyer and 2 % for the seller.

Bear this in mind: these agents can only help with the right connections to the right properties or desirable unit.

Choosing the right unit is your responsibility as you know what you want and what’s best for you and your lifestyle. Do not let any agent choose the unit that they fancy but not what you fancy!


Upon locating the prospective unit, go for a house and site visit.

Ask yourself these few questions:

1)  Do you like your surroundings? Too near school, too near to the road, too many factories nearby, MRT track in sight, buildings of worship are also important factors for there will be public loitering around your property due to religious activities and their celebration and religious day.

2)  Do you like the appearance of the property? Too modern, too dated, too dirty, even colour of the property is very important to some people because of some belief or personal likes or dislikes.


The orientation of the unit to the East- West sun is noteworthy. Ask for the direction of rising sun and the direction that it sets. Usually try to avoid unit that faces the West or the setting sun as it is hotter in the afternoon. Units that face the West will be hotter.

Choose unit that faces the morning sun. It is good to have sun for morning period as the sun will help brighten the unit and will freshen up any mouldy environment. Unit that gets morning sun will be cleaner and more refreshing.

Always avoid a unit that get both the morning and afternoon, a unit that is not planned along the East West Orientation. Some condo units are not best planned with this golden orientation as they are designed within a small restricted site area, causing some units being unable to be planned to the correct orientation. So, pay extra attention and be careful on this point.

Most HDB flats are planned with the correct East- West Orientation due to the immensity of land area given for urban planning of the whole estate and town. I can safely say that a high percentage of HDB flats are planned correctly to the EW orientation.


Next: Is the unit too noisy being too close to major road, expressway and even MRT tracks? These are important factors because these contribute major noise throughout the day and even night and it can upset one’s lifestyle, especially if there is an elderly or a baby living with you.


Next: the layout of the unit is very important. There are many units that are not planned well or planned insufficiently for good interior layout or with much long corridors which are not useable to you.

One terrible layout I consider in present planning of units is the lack of Yard. Many of the modern condo units are designed without a yard, which cause the kitchen to have no opening or window. Hence there is no direct ventilation of the kitchen when cooking one meal but every odour from cooking will have to ventilate through the living area to the outside space.

Due to non-provision of yard area, the washer/dryer is located along the lower kitchen cabinet. Hence one has synchronised their cooking and washing to be at different time.

I have seen such unit with non- provision of yard area in which the owner has no choice but to dry their clothes in the balcony beside the living room. I find this arrangement to be unacceptable and ridiculous as some such units cost a 7 digit dollars property (more than a million dollars) and yet the owner must live with their laundry in their exclusive balcony area which is meant for relaxing and entertaining!!


Also, items like location of the playground area and BBQ area are important factors for the choice of the unit. These are public areas that create noise and unwanted smell. Decide if they can be acceptable to you and your family.

If buying a resale unit, you may have to consider the renovation costs. But if the unit is brand new, most of the built-in cabinets in the kitchen and bedrooms will be included in the sale price. Even new condo will provide fridge, washing machine on top of the usual oven hob and cooker with the kitchen cabinets.


Lastly, read the building specification carefully before signing the dot.


One last word of advice: if you like the unit very much, do not commit immediately. Visit the chosen unit at different times of the day and night including viewing them at weekends to observe the surrounding environment and ambience to further help with the decision.

Best success to your house hunting!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

The biggest salute I can give to the greatest leader who visions this tiny nation to its present day.

Without your courage and leadership, I cannot be who I am today.


You are always on my mind. ALWAYS AND FOREVER.


What can I say but pen these word? Today as he lies in ICU at SGH, he alone deserves this mementos. Yes, it’s truly from the bottom of my heart. I have to pen it before I have to weep, to weep for a man so great and so different whose life creates so much for me and all of my loved ones in this land.

These are some words for me to remember by and must be on record for all who share my thoughts. It’s on record for me to reminisce to the end of my life yet also for those who may not live through the early years of lack, times of suffering and of hopelessness.

Short that this blog may be, but surely it will touch many true Singaporean’s heart like yours and mine.

He and his many strange policies have been a part of my life from the age of 9. No one including me ever expect that though with unwilling submission and sometime even with unforgettable oversights, we as a nation be capable to evolve to this significance and height, from an era of a peaceful unknown little isle to a homeland that no one can snub. No one can expect this tiny nation to become so impressive and so unique. Yes, isn’t it so?

Yes, we are all uniquely Singapore, uniquely Singaporean as a nation, uniquely Singaporean in our little humble ways, in our diverse racial beginnings, uniquely in our history of unsought separation, uniquely now Singaporean and ours in every way.

So, this brief blog is my heartfelt sincere honor for our nation's founder who has steered this nation through ups and downs, who brings much extremes to both young and old, who produces much revered outcomes for all, who foresees like a seasoned prophet excellent visions of the looming changes of time, who undeniably makes this nation so prominent and so undoubtedly a first-class ideal that nations with superpower rank have found us hard to forget.

So thank you, thank you, thank you so much, MM Lee Kuan Yew. You are always on my mind, ALWAYS AND FOREVER .

By a grateful Singaporean and fan forever.... Ms YH Tan

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Be sure to try this Cancer Plant

Be sure to try this Cancer Plant   

To all cancer patients and everyone who want to prevent it, there are unquestionably further organic remedies and natural therapies than known by the medical world of the modern day.

Often and day by day, we stumble upon accounts and true stories of courageous people when endeavoring out natural remedies for their illnesses and of their success stories of these survivors who had trodden the unknown path.

When someone unfortunately contracts this undesirable sickness, no one should let go of any iota of chance of attempting unproven method in the eyes of the medical world but these can be major breakthroughs that bring a turning point of their lives for those who dare to try and to have a go at it. Well, as the saying: no one really knows!

Yes, I am talking about a known natural cure known to some simple local folks of the yesteryears but scorn by the highly educated and medical science of the modern world.

Right, one of my friends has discovered an orthodox but easy cure for cancer. This is not my personal experience and I have not tried them as I do not have cancer at all.

But as I have to repeat this again, everyone who is desperate for the breakthrough cure for cancer should not let this pass. Have a go at it!! Have a go at it, you never know!!!

Recently, a friend whom I knew from the past contacted me out of the blue. After relating her update on her life, she encouraged me to speak to her husband who was about 10 years older than her.

In the last few months, he had discovered by sheer accident that he had terminal cancer. No pain, no symptoms, no whatsoever, he had simply carried his life without a hitch until recently. He lived his life as normal and could eat and sleep normally.

Because of a sports injury, he went to carry out a MRI on his spine.

The MRI had brought a dismal but unexpected turning point in his life. He was told by the results of the MRI findings that there were many lumps in his human organs. More medical tests and further consultations later, the doctors concluded that he had terminal prostate cancer.

At home, he thought about his recent event developing in his life. Out of the blue which I believed, by God's guidance, he received an inspiration about a local plant that he had faithfully grown and taken care of for many years.

He had prior knowledge that this plant was known to help cancer patients for years but he had never expect to consume them. This plant that he took care of innocently for umpteen years turned out to be the most rewarding and most important personal effort for him.

So he decided to give it a try and take the risk. He started to consume the leaves of the plant in its raw form every day, about 10 to 15 leaves each time.

After 3 months of this simple treatment, he proceeded for his check up and blood test. To the utter and complete surprise of the doctor and to my friend, the cancer marker fell 99% to almost zero.

Let me now elaborate on this plant, two of its species are found and grown locally here in Singapore and Malaysia.

These species available in Singapore and the neighboring countries are called "Pereskia Bleo", the one with the orange flower or “ pereskia grandifolia”, the one with the purple flowers.

It's a bushy shrub or small tree that can grow to a high height of 2 to 8 metres in the open fields. The purple flower species is known as "pereskia grandifolia" has longer but lesser thorn on its stem with thicker uncorrugated leaves. The orange flower species is called “pereskia Bleo” has shorter thorns with thinner and corrugated leaves.

Both species belong to the botanical family of cactaceae . It is a leafy cactus, native to the forests of Central America that can grow to a woody, prickly high shrub with large attractive flowers that resembles orange blossom.

They have been used by the natives of Central America for the treatments of many minor ailments. The locals in Singapore and Malaysia called them “Jarum Tujuh Bilah “

Because of the thorns on their stems, they should therefore be grown in places where it will not hurt children or elderly. It needs plenty of sunlight and normal watering every day. However do not add any fertisilser to the plant, let it grow naturally with just strong sunlight and plenty of clean water.

Both pereskia  bleo and pereskia grandifolia have been used as natural remedies for cancer related diseases, either eaten raw or taken as a concoction brewed from the leaves of the plants. They are believed to be anti-cancer, anti- tumor, anti- rheumatic, anti- ulcer and anti- inflammatory properties.

They are also used as remedies for relief of headaches, gastric pain, ulcers, hemorrhoids, dermatitis and for revitalizing the body.

In addition, they have been used as a water purifier, insect repellant, hypertension, diabetes, stomach and gastric pain.

Some of their Common names are: Chinese Rose, Wax Rose, Spinach Cactus, Desert Rose and Rose Cactus.

Please read other related articles on the toxicity of the plants before consuming the right amount each day.


Because of this incident, I have purchased two pots of plants from a nursery in Sembawang Road for only S$5 per plant. Now I take good care of it every day and tell everyone of what I have discovered so that many more can be enlightened to spread the discovery to help many more.

As for me, I will boil the leaves of this plant, about 5 to 10 leaves. After consuming it, I drink a cup of warm green tea.

That’s all I have to share. I hope that this can bring someone a turning point to his or her health to those who choose to walk the unknown path that may be a breakthrough to their health and to their illnesses.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How to renew Indonesian domestic maid’s passport DIY without an agent’s help

How to renew Indonesian domestic maid’s passport DIY without an agent’s help

In the past when a maid needed to renew their passport, it was typical that we would approach a maid agent to carry out the necessary.

In the most recent case of our Indonesian maid having to renew her passport here in Singapore, I decided to DIY and to find out the procedures which from hearsay was uncomplicated and extremely straight forward.

Henceforward I could save paying a fee to the agent and for all future cases, I could thus renew the passports of future maids without a hitch.

For anyone interested to DIY like me, foremost before proceeding, please check on the expiry date of your maid’s work permit and her passport.  

Normally , it was advisable by the Embassy that the passport should be renewed at least 2 weeks before the expiry of the work permit, not the expiry of her passport or whichever expire earlier.

Before the actual day , one must get ready all the necessary documents and to choose a suitable date.

Consequently, on 8 July 2014, our maid together with the Employer mentioned in the work permit went together with myself for this matter.

We chose Tuesday as Monday, being all Mondays were often crowded everywhere because of the weekends.

These are the following documents to bring along:

1) Form PERDIM 11 form which can be downloaded from the Embassy website  (  OR  ) or obtain one from the counter upon arrival. Just get the maid to fill it in as it is in Indonesian language, but make sure she fill it with black ink pen.

2) One photocopy of Employer’s I/C ( front and back)

3) One photocopy of maid’s passport, front and back page and also bring the original passport

4) One copy of her Singapore work permit (front and back) and also the original work permit.

 5) You can bring along other form of identifications like Driver’s license, EZ link card, etc. This is to help you submit one ID at the security counter while you bring the original work permit or passport or I/C to the counter for the renewal.

That’s all the documents you need to bring. Remember to bring cash ( S $38) for the payment of the new passport. It seems that they do not accept credit cards, or Nets.


Take note of the Embassy address:

Indonesian Embassy in Singapore

No: 7, Chatsworth Road

Singapore 249761
( Between Botanic Gardens and Redhill MRT) besides Tanglin Road.

Telephone   (+65) 6737-7422

Telefax         (+65) 6737-5037



On that date, set out early. Be ahead of time so that you can park your car along the side road of the Embassy which has limited space but be prepared that you may get an illegal parking ticket.

It may be more convenient to go by taxi and also then return by taxi .  Getting  a taxi along the main road of the Embassy is effortless as many people will arrive there by taxi and you can easily get one to go back. In addition, you can also radio a taxi or use Mobileapps like Grabtaxi.

The Embassy opens on normal business day at 9am to 12 noon (Monday to Friday except PH) for passport renewal.

But when you arrive, you will find that there may be already a short queue at the security guard’s post.

Upon clearing the security, proceed to the first floor waiting area at the main building. There is sufficient signage to guide you there.

Upon entering, take a queue number and wait to be called at Counter 1, 2 and 3. You can wait at the reception area for your number. Meanwhile, you can use the restrooms located on the same floor.

Unless you are first five in the line, you may take your breakfast at the canteen which is located just behind the reception area in the outside garden area ( 5 metres away)

Simple breakfast should cost you about S$6 each. The waiting time to submit the passport renewal should take about 10 mins to 30 mins depending on the queue and your queue number.

Please note that you need not be present at this renewal submission as the maid should be able to carry it out on her own as it is very simple.

After the maid has submitted the documents to the counter and all things being in order, she will be given a form for collection of the new passport with the date of collection stated on it. 

Usually, the collection date should be 3 days later in the afternoon only (between 2.30pm to 5pm except PH) and from the same counters.

Since the application was made on Tuesday morning, hence the collection day would be on Friday afternoon.

For collection of domestic worker passport, a work agreement must be produced. The work agreement is issued by Consular Department (second floor of the Indonesian Embassy) after the domestic worker and her employer are interviewed by our officer.

Before proceeding to the second floor, the maid must pay at the cashier’s counter for the passport renewal which costs S$38 for 48 pages passport.

After that, she must wait at the reception area again to wait her name to be called into the Biometric Room for her thumbprint and her signature.

After all these matters are fulfilled, only then will the Employer needs to proceed with the maid to the 2nd storey of the same building for a short interview for work agreement.

When both of you reach the 2nd storey, take another queue number and wait. The Embassy staff will call both of you thereafter for a short interview when they will enquire about her current pay and her off days. The whole interview takes less than 5 minutes.

By now, all matters are in order, just wait again at the reception before the Embassy staff will return to you the collection form duly cleared and in good order.

Now after all this, you and your maid can go back, which in our case, the whole procedure only takes 1 to one half hours.


Three days later, your maid can go alone to the Embassy following the same procedure at the same premise to collect her new passport.

The new passport can also be collected by the Employer, the maid herself or someone with the same address of the Employer with an authorization letter.

Remember to bring the collection form.

You can only collect the passport in the afternoon (Monday to Friday except PH) between 2.30pm to 5pm.

The whole procedure to collect the passport is again very simple and fast with the passport collected in just 30 minutes.