Monday, March 14, 2011
Buy a 2nd Property or Buy REITs?
Should one buy a 2nd property or invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts? I have been thinking about this for sometime. The minimum occupation period for my HDB flat is almost up. That means that I can actually sell my flat in the open market pretty soon. At the same time, I really love the place where I am staying at now. So it is going to be a tough decision.
The remaining mortgage on the HDB flat is now $238,000. Market value based on a similar size flat sold at the opposite block is estimated at $600,000. Bought the flat for slightly over $300,000. Currently monthly mortgage loan is $1096. Right now, I have been thinking about the following few options. Family's gross monthly income is around $5600 (really average!).
Option 1 - Sell the HDB and Buy a Private Property
This will mean selling the HDB flat, giving it up and buying a new private property. It is going to be difficult as I will have to buy a private property that is less than $1mil I guess. If I can only take 35% loan based on family's gross monthly salary, that means the maximum monthly mortgage loan that we afford is around $1900+. As we are still paying for the car we bought, it probably means that we can only afford a mortgage loan of around $1,400. I don't think the banks will be willing to land us to much. I figure that means we can only borrow around $350k (pls correct me if I am wrong). Selling the HDB and buying a private property also means that this does not count as my 2nd property and I am not obligated to set aside the 50% minimum sum in both my wife's and my CPF account. We can probably use the gains from selling the HDB to pay for the private property.
End of the day: I am probably saddled with more debt but have effectively upgraded to a more expensive property. There will be less money to spend as I have to pay more each month for mortgage.
Option 2 - Keep HDB flat, Buy a Private Property to rent out.
This is option 2 which I have been thinking about and which I am leaning towards. But it seems almost impossible to do this. This is because of the following reasons:
1. No money in CPF-OA to pay for it. Will have to use all cash to pay for the downpayment. Even if all assets (stocks + bank accounts) are liquidated, I figure that we only have slightly over $220k. Not too sure how much the bank will actually lend us for the 2nd property but I guess it is around 60-70%.
2. Will also have to rely on cash to pay for the monthly mortgage. That is impossible considering that existing HDB loan is already $1096. It means I can only get around $800 per month more in mortgage loan. Will also have to repay off the car loan so that I can borrow the $800 per month more in mortgage loan for the 2nd property. That leaves very little options for me as I won't be able to find such a cheap property that only costs $800 per month!
Option 3 - Keep HDB and Buy REITs.
REITs are easily liquidated. I also collect dividends. This seems to be a very feasible option with little downside.
Option 4 - Sell HDB and Buy 2 Pte Property
Lately, I came across this strategy which advised to sell 1 property and buy 2 properties. In this manner, you can rent out 1 and stay in the other. Not too sure whether this strategy will work at all cos it will probably mean that I have to buy 2 really small pte property.
Wise folks out there. Any advice on all the options???
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