7 Properties in 13 Years: Interview with Ho on Property Investment

Investment Property and Investing in Property Early

Why purchase property as an investment over other types of investments? As someone entering my 30s, I am often bombarded by advertisements and calls by insurance agents, financial advisers, and all things investment. This got me thinking about what would be the best form of investment for someone like me, and what type of returns I could expect in my later years.

As I explored different options from Blue Chips to the stock market, REIT, and different funds, I started looking into Real Estate as a form of investment.

It got me thinking, how would I even go about looking at property as an investment? Shouldn't a property be for me to live in?

Interview With Ho On His Property Investment Journey

There were many questions and so I decided to sit down with Ho, Senior Sales Director here at Keystone to learn more about his personal journey and why he chose property as his investment.

First Round Table

What made you choose to invest in property as your form of investment for your future?

Ho: Property investment to me is a very stable tool. Commonly, people purchase shares and investments in banks. I have always felt that those instruments are more volatile and subjected to change dependent on the market. If you have the risk appetite for that, that's great! However, to me, I wanted to look at a more stable asset and investment tool.

Do you invest in property overseas?

Ho: My father taught me from a very young age to try and avoid (investing in) things that you are unable to touch or see. And so, I've followed these teachings and do my best to avoid overseas properties and investments.

We have heard of horror stories stemming from emergencies in overseas investment properties. While I understand this could be a confirmation bias, it solidifies my early teachings.

It's not that we are unable to earn on overseas properties, but I've always just felt that they were too distant. As much as possible, I want to invest in tools that are more stable with lower relative risks. 

Singapore's property market has been proven to be a good investment tool over many years. This is why I still prefer to invest in Singapore and not overseas properties.

What should we look out for when choosing to invest in a property?

Ho: It's hard to cover everything without context, but in short it revolves around location, location, location. You will want to:

  1. Look at what's nearby — MRT, good schools, eateries, work hubs, etc.
  2. Look at the demographic of people in the vicinity.

  3. Look at past transactions in the area, look at the age of the HDBs in the area. You'll want to consider if the HDB prices in the area are high to sustain the ecosystem of the HDB upgraders to private property.

  4. Have a feel for the noise level. (ie. Is the MRT above ground? Is there a major roadway?) It may not be the unit you're looking at, but if any units do face these noise level, the appreciation of the entire project may be slower.

  5. Look at historical statistics of the area to see how past developments have performed.

  6. Look and study the URA Master Plan.

There are many things you will want to consider, remember that if this is for an investment and not for self-stay, the factors you will consider may be different.

What general recommendations do you have for people looking to invest in property? 

Ho: Start young. I purchased my first property at the age of 30. The younger you are, the better loan quantum you can achieve with the same buying power, and so have a headstart in your investment portfolio.

So explore your options younger, and if you've passed a certain age, there are always ways around achieving a high loan amount too. You'll just need to speak with the right people.

Start Young — Do Your Homework

As we explore our different options, I am incredibly lucky I have such a great resource like Ho, who has transacted 7 properties while currently onwing 5 properties over the course of 13 years, on my quick dial list and is readily available to answer any questions I may have in my home journey.

If you are exploring your options and are looking for advice or just a sounding board, you can reach out to the Ho as well to pick his brain and understand what will work best for your situation!


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