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Smart and Stupid Property Investors



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During my in-camp reservist training a few months ago, I had a conversation with one of my army buddies regarding his matrimonial home in Clementi. He purchased the HDB flat with his wife and funded it with HDB concessionary loan about four years ago. I asked him why he didn’t look around and source for mortgage loans with lower interest rates instead. His reply to me was, “Why go for the hassle? Out of sight, out of mind!”
His response might sound cocky to many people but to me, he is just being stupid and careless with his money. Given the low interest rates for mortgage loans, he had effectively lost about $5000 in terms of higher interest incurred in the past four years. This amount of money could had been put to better use instead of giving to government agency (HDB). For example, he could have used the money to invest in himself and take up courses to upgrade his knowledge. He could also use the money for holiday trips to relax himself and enhance his well being. Instead, he chose to waste the money.
My friend is a teacher and hold the position of department head in his school. In this regard, his salary should be respectably high, but in my opinion, he is not savvy with his money. Even though he is highly educated, he could not grasp the key concepts of money and financial management. As such, I doubt that he would be a successful wealth builder in the long run. I wish he had read Property Soul’s book, which touched on how to get the most out of housing loans.The paperback can be purchased online at
The ebook can also be ordered online at Investment WorkshopAccording to her, there are generally a few main types of mortgages, such as Fixed Rate Loan, Variable Rate Loan, Bridge Loan and Interest Rate Loan. There are different risks pegged to the different housing loans. For example, fixed rate loan packages typically have interest rates that are slightly higher than a floating rate loan but the former offers certainty for borrowers. Therefore, fixed rate loan should be the choice for risk averse buyers. On the other hand, variable rate loans may spiral out of control for many borrowers if the banks revise interest rates upwards frequently, which happened in 2006 and 2008.In her book, Property Soul advised readers to always negotiate with the banks when applying for mortgage loans. This is because bankers would always treat you like king when they want you to borrow from them, especially when the property market is slow and competition is fierce among the banks. But to win the negotiation, you must monitor the latest interest rates and the housing loan packages available in the market. So smart investors would always do their research before going to the banks and go for the most competitive mortgage loans to enjoy the lower interest rates.However, one thing to note is that it is always easy to compare current HDB interest rate of 2.6% and benchmark it against the rates offered by the various banks. You can always find out this information from the various online mortgage aggregators. But what about refinancing and repricing? What are their differences and what are the key things that you need to note to avoid losing money in property transactions? To this end, Property Soul is conducting a 1-day workshop on Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop.

First-time property buyers often ask questions about ‘when can I buy’, ‘what to buy’ and ‘how to buy’. When you are about to buy the most expensive item you pay for in your life, you better get it right. This one-day workshop offers you countless smart tips to buy your first property, saving you tons of money from making costly mistakes in property investment.

“Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.”- T. Harv Eker

Workshop details Date   : January 24, 2015 (Saturday)
Time   : 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Venue : National Library
Trainer: Property Soul, Author of No B.S. Guide to Property Investment
Fee     : Member – $299 (1 pax), $499 (2 pax)
Non-Member – $449 (1 pax), $799 (2 pax)

Target Audience
1. First-time buyers of private properties
2. Aspiring property investors

Topics covered:
Morning Session
1. Understanding the key concepts of money, wealth and financial management
2. How to speed up your savings to buy that first property
3. Exercise – Improving my finances in 90 days
4. Successful tips to buy properties at a young age
5. Affordability – Am I ready to buy it now?
6. Setting your property investment goals
7. Exercise – Make your step-by-step property investment plan
8. Group Discussion – How to avoid falling prey to property scams and traps

Afternoon Session
9. Where to find properties suitable for first-time buyers
10. Why some cheap properties are cheap for a reason
11. How to spot the gems in cheap properties
12. Exercise – Calculating return of an investment property
13. Dealing with property agents of the sellers
14. Driving out competition to bag your target property
15. How to master negotiation techniques in property purchase
16. Role play – Negotiate successfully to buy at a bargain
17. What to expect from Offer to Purchase to Sale Completion
18. Getting the most of housing loans
19. Tips of engaging a conveyancing lawyer
20. Quiz – Everything you should know buying your first property
(Note: Strictly NO marketing of local or overseas properties, property-related products or services.)

About the trainer
Property Soul is a property enthusiast who bought her first condominium unit for rent since 2002. In the next 4½ years, she built up a portfolio of five private properties. By 2008, its total value had more than doubled. In 2010 and 2011, she sold four of the properties, realizing a net profit of 80 to 120 percent.

In 2010, she set up a personal blog to share her experiences as a property investor and to exchange ideas with fellow investors on accumulating wealth through properties. In April 2014, she published her first book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment. The first print was sold out in bookstores within 8 weeks’ time. The book was a bestseller in Kinokuniya and Times bookstores.

Property Soul is also the founder of Property Club Singapore – a neutral platform for the learning and networking of like-minded private property buyers, investors and owners. Seminars, talks, workshops and networking sessions are organized regularly.

Payment can be made by one of the methods below:
1. By bank transfer to DBS Bank Current Account number 066-902-8008.
2. By crossed cheque made payable to “PROPERTY CLUB SINGAPORE PTE LTD”.
Mail to Choa Chu Kang Central Post Office, PO Box 251, Singapore 916839.
3. By paypal (add 4% paypal service charge).

For members, please log in and register here.

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Updated: March 16, 2015 — 3:29 pm


Add a Comment
  1. There are no full-term fixed rate mortgages in Singapore. You only have fixed rate for first few years and then the rate is decided by bank for the rest of the loan.
    Hence, you can’t really tell what will be the total you need to pay out from your bank loan compared to what you need to pay out if you take HDB concessionary loan.
    Hence, HDB concessionary loan may still end up cheaper in total interest paid out compared to bank loans over the full term of the mortgage loan.
    In summary, nobody knows for sure.

  2. What the article says about person being Stupid and Careless if choose HDB Concessionary Loan over a Bank Fixed Rate Loan is correct if the objective of that person is to invest in the property and then sell off in a few short years – i.e. only take up the loan for a few years.
    In such cases, you can likely estimate quite accurately the total interest payments and redemption for the two loans and you might find some Bank Fixed rate loans that provide a better deal.
    For the rest who are planning to live in the HDB flat for quite long, then will be difficult to say which one will be the better deal in the long term.

  3. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  4. Agreed that there is no fixed full term mortgages but that doesn’t mean home owners should ignore bank interest rates and just go for HDB concessionary loans. Those who bother to research and do their homework since 2009 would have saved thousands of dollars by now. No?

    SG Wealth Builder

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