Geylang Remains as a Residential Area

Some SHophouses in Geylang
Nice photos of Geylang conserved shophouses (photo: Matthias)

I live in a red-light district area for almost 10 years and never had problems with it. We haven’t seen any reports of men sexually harass girls here for a long time too.

Minister Mah Bow Tan was responding to a query from a Marine Parade MP on tightening the security of Lorong 22 – 44 Geylang (I live in lor 36) to control the vice activities that might spread from the smaller numbered lorongs (Lorong 10 – 20 are more tyrant on red light activities)

Personally, I never find prostitutes walking around a problem, and to be honest, the situation isn’t as bad as what the Marine Parade MP Fatimah thinks. From time to time, we’ll see illegal freelancers from China walking around to solicite their services, but rarely do any man responded to them. The numbers aren’t as frightening as those in Lorong 10 – 14. Probably 3 – 4 a night on the stretch of Sims Drive?

I’d wish the zoning could change for the higher lorongs of Geylang though, it’ll bring more robust and entertainment to the already very vibrant and colorful Geylang. We’ll see more and more developments coming up with Paya Lebar converting into a business hub and new mall springing up around the area.

Shop houses around these higher lorong numbers should benefit from the new changes in the near future.

The proximity location from Geylang to town in my opinion is one of the best too. With Nicoll Highway just around the corner. Zipping to Suntec City can take as fast as 10 minutes from here.

Singapore Real Estate News – Estate (Death) Duty Abolished

The long awaited budget day for 2008 was released today by the new Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam. With 6.4 billion surplus in revenue at the closing of 2007, the parliament decides to reward citizens, giving rebates. For the important part of realtors (estate agents) and people who invests in real estate in Singapore, you might be interested to know that the estate duty tax has been abolished.

Previously, if you die and have assets of dwelling houses of more than 9 million dollars and CPF/ other tangible assets of more than $600,000, you’re liable for estate duty (death) tax before your properties are distributed to your family/heir.

For the every dollars of your 1st 12 million dollars, you’re previously liable for 5% tax and anything more than 12 million, it’s 10%. With this law abolished, it’s big savings to wealthy individuals.

This probably would attract more high net worth individuals and professionals to be a Permanent Resident in Singapore in the future.

Singaporeans Average Life Span At 80 – CPF Life Introduced

Even I’m pretty skeptical at how old I could live till, but our Government now expect a typical Singaporean life expectancy to be at 80. With that, the Government introduces a new scheme, CPF Life

We can live more than 80 years old!
We can still pak tor when we’re 80! (photo: magictoast)

With 12 types of annuity plans to choose from, Singaporeans who are aged 50 and below for now are set to get a steady retirement income till death. Payouts can start from as early as 65 or as late as 90 (my god, that’s a little ridiculous). And if you do not choose a option, the default for payout to start will be set at age 80.

CPF will be the sole Financial Institution and Government Board to manage CPF Life.

The scheme will be rolled out in 2013, 5 years from now.

What it means to us:

Social security during old age is a plus point, but that probably means setting more aside for the existing CPF minimum sum component where the premiums will be deducted from.

Psychologically, I’m not too sure about setting an age an an option which is not changeable once you’ve set it. Like with the refund or non-refund option to family, would we because of CPF Life target to live longer just to care about the payouts?

This is bewildering.

Everyone should probably get a copy of Straits Times and read on the 10 FAQs covering most questions that a typical citizen would ask. Also, this PDF file from Channel News Asia would probably cover your doubts with scenarios and explanations.

Well Maintained Yishun HDB For Rental

A beautifully maintained, fully furnished, 4 room HDB apartment in Yishun is available for rental. The owner did a great job maintaining this cosy place.

The Living Room, Well-lit and Cosy
A very clean and well maintained flat

I have posted this out for rental at Myoochi, PropertyGuru, Singapore Property Exchange, ST701 (That’s a number of sites we’re going to review soon!)

The Living Room, Well-lit and Cosy
The Living Room, cosy and definitely well lit. Furnishing with a 32″ Samsung LCD TV, Surround Sound.

Well Maintained Kitchen, Clean and Spacious
Well Maintained and Very Spacious Kitchen

One of the Common Room
One of the Common Room

Another Common Room
Another Common Room

Interested parties can give my mobile a call at 91253045, or even drop me an email at for a no obligation discussion and viewing too. Cheers!

Commission Structure for Real Estate Agents – Is It a Sin to Ask For More?

Most Singapore realtors (real estate agents) works on the recommendations from Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) to quote their service fees on a successful closure. You can download a copy of their guideline from IEA’s website here.

There’s this grey line which most agents when comes to co-broking may face if its a small rental deal. The guideline is as such, should the rental per month be lesser than SGD $2,500, the Realtors in charged can collect commission from the tenant as well. To make it easy, co broking agents will collect from their own client (aka, the Realtor acting for tenant will take his share and the other Realtor acting for owner doing vice versa)

But have you ever met agents who don’t wish to co broke and even if they do, asks you to take your service fees from your tenant even if it is more than $2,500?

Plenty of agents out there mind sharing their commission and wishes for a direct client to come connect to their ads, but realizing that they can’t do it fast, asks for the tenant Realtor to work for free. While it seems fine and feels right, it’s not at all! When we’re talking about acting ethically for your owner, you should not in any way reject co-broking cases or even ask for the other side to collect commission if it is not under the guidelines. For all you know, you’re rejecting tenants that are willing to pay even a higher commission that your direct cases.

Its never ethical to collect more than you should. And we wouldn’t want our customers to complain that we aren’t professional when it comes to our fees. Why worry about having not enough commission when you spoil your reputation and risk customer satisfaction on your performance?

The Singapore Flyer Takes Off Today

The humongous ferris wheel, Singapore Flyer (新加坡摩天观景轮) opens today and is set to take off its virgin spin for private corporate customers tonight.

The Singapore Flyer
Photo: Wikipedia

Tickets for this inaugural event has been sold out for the next 3 days with corporate companies taking a bite at its $8,888 tickets (Good auspicious number for Chinese New Year) and is expecting to be opened to the public in the 1st March 2008 onwards.

Touted to be the biggest observation world in the world, it is 30 meters higher than the London Eye of Britain standing at 165 meters and is situated in Marina Bay Sands Casino complex. I’m elated as I blog about the big wheel. With the casino peaking up in 2009 and F1 Formula races hosting in Singapore, the view from Singapore Flyer would be superbly magnificent especially at night. p.s. You can even see views of neighbor countries like Malaysia and Indonesia from here!

Guess I’ll be bringing my girl friend for a romantic night once it opens. Tickets are really affordable at SG $29.50 (about US $21), considering the fascinating view of the cityscape Singapore.

Oh if you’re a tourist visiting Singapore, advance ticket sales are available by emailing them. You can check out the details here in Singapore Flyer’s website.

Reviews of Singapore Property Sites

Hear hear! It’s still day 2 of Chinese New Year! 恭喜恭喜! As we know the importance of the web and how it’s revolutionizing our daily ways of buying and even selling stuff, it’s becoming more and more easy to even market your property through the internet (especially for Singapore where more and more social portal sites are trying to top one another for a good spot to earn ad revenue from agents in the near future).

We’ll look at some of the good looking ones and decide which is better for us agents and you as a consumer to advertise your homes for sale/ rental in the next few days.

Happy Lunar New Year 2008! 恭喜发财!

I wish all the Chinese and everyone in this world a fantastic Year of Mouse (鼠年) a very happy lunar new year and with lots of good happenings ahead of you in this upbeat 2008!

Candy Tray - Chinese New Year
A typical candy tray in the new year! credit: hale_popoki


That’s about all the chinese idioms I can sum up with! :)

Fancy Investing In An Australia Property?

If you’re in Singapore or Japan, it’s not that hard for you to buy properties from Australia at all. Check out Aussie Property Investing’s article on Multi-Currency Loan – An Attractive Option for Offshore Investors?

You’ll understand more on the financing part as well as the advantages and disadvantages of taking a multi currency loan to support your property investment venture.

Any Use Cutting And Pasting Newspaper News on Blogs?

It’s disappointing to see people just plainly cutting and pasting property news from our national papers or even Business Times to their own personal blogs. Why would they want to do that. Yes, it’s purely news from our papers and nothing else.

Quoting an article to show the views would be good. You mean you’ll need to do some kind of archive for property news in Singapore for a reference in case Straits Times website collapses?

Weird people. And you’re probably infringing copyright of their authors even though you’re quoting the source if you really don’t know. It’s good to have a motive to blog, but to just lift, cut and paste.

Might as well just scrap the sources instead. People who have no passion to share shouldn’t start a blog at all.