Rhonda Wong, founder of online property marketplace platform Ohmyhome, made her first million at 25 from trading, but recommends investing in property as a source of passive income that you don’t have to constantly monitor.
Stocks rise and fall but “property won’t hit zero”, assuming the unit is in a liveable condition. “Even if a property in a less ideal location depreciates by 10 to 20 per cent or 50 per cent, it can still be rented out.”
To achieve a return that exceeds your initial investment, Rhonda suggests looking out for certain factors when buying: location, scarcity of the property type (for insurance, exclusive units in a condo might feature a squarish living room or sea view) and future developments in the area, such as shopping malls or MRT stations, all of which may increase the value of your investment. Fengshui is also a key consideration for some buyers, who may prefer unit number eight over four.”
“When buying your first property for investment, considerations like a sea view are not as crucial. If that gives you a higher monetary return, go ahead, but don’t choose it because it’s something you would want in your dream home,” says Rhonda. “If you live in your first home instead of using it as an investment, you’ll be paying it off for years before any return. It would be wiser to rent it out for, say, $4000 and rent a place somewhere for $800.”
“An HDB flat is more of a shelter than an investment product,” says Rhonda. To invest, she suggests looking beyond Singapore to places like the UK, where you might be able to get higher returns. Australia is also affordable and, like the UK, its policies are similar to those of Singapore as contracts are governed by Commonwealth law, so it’ll be easier when it comes time to sell.”