Sorry I have not been updating this blog for the past few days – something unusual as I have made it a point to update at least once a day for the past two years.
I have been quite busy at work, having a few upcoming campaigns. However, the main reason is because of my family’s frantic house-hunting caused by a sudden sale. After three previous failed attempts a few years back, my current residence with my parents have finally undergone a successful collective sale.
This may sound like good news as most people make a tidy profit from their en-bloc sales. It’s quite a nightmare for our household though as we are not speculators with second properties like a few of our neighbours, but owner-occupier.
First, we need to vacate our current residence by December this year. This leaves us barely three months to secure a new place and get all the paperwork done – a near impossible task if we are considering the HDB resale flat option as most sellers also need time to find another place plus HDB takes an estimated three months to get the paperwork done. Time is working against us. With each passing day, the reality of having to live in a rented place for the time being sinks in harder on us – something which my conservative parents are reluctant to do.
Second, property prices are ridiculously high now despite the recession! Pesky speculators are pricing out true owner-occupiers like my family and we are at the mercy of ruthless market forces as the Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, apparently decided to sit on building more HDB flats to prop up property prices.
“We cannot be building new flats to cater to every last person who wants a new flat…because if you do that, then obviously you are over-building.” Said Mr Mah in a Straits Times article published in July this year. The solution to this is to… under-build ah?
Third, Rachel and I recently purchased a DBSS unit at Toa Payoh. We made use of the S$10,000 grant for staying near my parent and another S$30,000 grant for first time buyers. When we signed our contract at the HDB office, the officer who handled our transaction told us that if my parents were to move house within the next seven years, we will have to cough out S$40,000 as penalty to HDB. We find it rather odd that when my parents move house, we are even penalised to forfeit the S$30,000 grant for first timer even though WE STILL ARE FIRST TIMER. Shouldn’t we just be paying back S$10,000? We even double-checked with that particular HDB office who went on to consult her senior, confirming that what she told us was correct. Nonetheless, we signed the contract at that point in time as my parents had no intention of moving and really did not expect a sudden en-bloc sale. We are now thinking of writing to HDB or a MP to appeal on this. Let’s see how things go.
The property agents who handled the sales of the Toa Payoh DBSS project, HSR, informed us that the penalty was just S$10,000 if our parents were to move – this was even confirmed by their tema leader. We were actually very shocked by the difference in information the HDB officer told us just a few days later. When we expressed our sceptism, she promised to email a document on this to me within a week – it has been more than two months now and I have not received anything from her. Despite the undue stress it might have caused us, I hope she is the one who got her facts wrong rather than the HSR agents. We are calling up HDB again to clarify. Wish me luck.
Anyway, because of all the reasons stated above, my family is going through stressful en-bloc woes now. Blogging will have to take a hiatus till my family secure the next roof over our heads.
I will update again when time allows.