Free and Exclusive: Aviva’s One-Year Home Contents Insurance

No purchase required – Non-renewable – No need to cancel

A home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make in your lifetime. You may spend time, money, and effort to find the best interior designer, furniture, and appliances to create a haven that you can look forward to after a hard day’s work. 

But what happens when your most precious possessions are lost or destroyed due to unexpected perils? It may only take one incident. For example, The Straits Times reported that a young couple lost almost all of their belongings in a fire due to an explosion of their home refrigerator. 

As they did not purchase any home insurance, they had to seek donations from friends to replace their furniture and appliances1

As such, it makes perfect sense to get insurance to cover home contents and improvements.

Ohmyhome is pleased to announce a collaboration with Aviva to provide Ohmyhome’s customers with Aviva’s one-year Home Contents Insurance, with coverage of up to S$130,000.

The best part? It is absolutely FREE!

^Details of the free coverage:

  • Up to S$20,000 on household contents
  • Up to S$50,000 on renovations, fixtures, and fittings
  • Up to S$50,000 on family worldwide liability
  • Up to S$10,000 on alternative accommodation or loss of rent

Call Ohmyhome at 6886 9009 for details on the offer.


FAQs on Aviva’s Free Home Contents Insurance

1. Under what circumstances can I make a claim using this free coverage?

The Perils that you can claim for include:

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Theft
  • Earthquake and Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Bursting or overflowing of water pipes or household apparatus
  • Vehicle impact
  • Riot, strike or civil commotion

2. How long is this plan valid for?

This is a one-year complimentary cover and it is non-renewable. Therefore you do not have to worry about incurring any fees after 12 months.

3. Can I exchange it for cash instead?

No, as this is a complimentary cover.

4. If I have an existing Home Content Insurance plan with Aviva, can I still apply for this?

No, as you would only be able to claim under a single policy. In such cases, Aviva can offer you a free Personal Accident plan with S$50,000 coverage instead.

4. How do I sign up for this plan?

We would need your name and contact number so our specialist can call you to arrange for a preferred time to complete an application with an Aviva Relationship Consultant.

Sign up here.


Important notes:

1. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Extracted with permission. “Young couple get help after losing nearly everything in house fire” 20 April 2017, 

Terms and conditions apply. The above products are underwritten by Aviva. Ohmyhome is not an insurance agent or intermediary and is not allowed to solicit any insurance business or give advice on or recommend any product nor be involved in any discussions or negotiations between you and Aviva or in the arrangement of any insurance contract between you and Aviva. Please direct all insurance enquiries to Aviva.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact Aviva Ltd or visit the General Insurance Association or SDIC websites (www.gia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg). Information is accurate as of September 2021.

Should You Jump Into Property Investing?

It’s possible to get into property investments even if you don’t have a few million dollars lying around – but you must be prudent about it. The best property investment strategy is one that will work well within your financial capability, investment objectives and risk profile.

It is also necessary to understand the factors that will affect the property market and how you can take advantage of these pieces of information to make the right decision for yourself. Here’s a quick read for those who want to dip their toes into the property game.

What affects Singapore property prices?

Singapore’s residential property market is very much influenced by the state of its economy, property measures and interest rates.

The economic growth will determine the income growth and the unemployment state of the country, so it will have a great impact on the property market. Furthermore, the fear of unemployment may discourage buyers, especially investors, from entering the property market.

Singapore’s property cooling measures were first introduced in 2009. These were government policies aimed to encourage fiscal prudence in residential property purchases and prevent the rapid escalation of property prices that are wildly deviant from Singapore’s economic fundamentals. In the past decade, the measures introduced include: Additional Buyer Stamp Duty, Seller Stamp Duty, Loan-to-Value and Total Debt Servicing Ratio.

Lastly, interest rates have a significant effect on the real estate market as they affect both the cost of taking a mortgage from the bank to fund the property purchase, and the relative attractiveness of the property purchase versus other investment alternatives.

How do you make money from property?

The most common way real estate offers a profit: It appreciates — that is, it increases in value. This is achieved in different ways for different types of property, but it is only realised in one way: through selling.

Another way to earn money is through rental, and this can be split into residential and commercial rent.

Source: Planner Bee

Most of residential property income comes in the form of tenancy rent. Your tenants pay a fixed amount per month—which will go up with inflation and demand—and you take out your costs from it, claiming the remaining portion as rental income. The same applies for commercial property income, where an accessible location is important to ensure that you can secure tenants easily.

The last alternative would be Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). With a REIT, the owner of multiple commercial properties sells shares (often publicly-traded) to investors (usually to fund the purchase of more properties) and then passes on the rental income in the form of a distribution. The REIT is the landlord for the tenants (who pay rent) but the owners of the REIT record income once the expenses of operating the buildings and the REIT are taken out.

5 property hacks to spot

Relevant entry price 

Disclaimer: a relevant entry price does not necessarily equate to a cheap entry price.

This is a trap that many buyers fall into: finding a resale property that’s priced below the market rate, and pouncing on the opportunity.

Source: Planner Bee

More often than not, each property is given its particular price tag for a reason – perhaps, for instance, the property is too old for the next buyer to market it for sale, the number of years left is dwindling, or the neighbourhood is declining.

Think about it this way: If you’re buying an “undervalued” property, what are the chances that it’ll be marketable when you try to mark up its value for sale? An old adage can be applied here: if it’s too good to be true, it often is.

Location

Pick a good location and you’ll find yourself enjoying the capital appreciation of your property naturally.

Sounds easy? The challenge lies in identifying the ideal locations – this means not just evaluating the appeal of the area now, but also how it’ll transform in the future – take for example, the Greater Southern Waterfront or Punggol Digital District.

However, a caveat is that the transformation of an area is a process that could easily span more than a decade, which means you’ll need to have the holding power (and patience) to maximise your property’s capital appreciation potential.

Demand and supply

From the very moment you’re thinking about buying, you should also be thinking about selling – more specifically, how well the property will be able to sell.

Source: Planner Bee

Some questions you can consider would be: on a micro scale, how many units does the development have? Is it too large that it’ll throw the demand and supply off-balance?

From a macro perspective, how many projects are there in the area? This gives you an idea of how many other sellers you’ll be competing with when you decide to sell your property, especially if it those around you are nearing the minimum occupancy period (MOP).

Signs of gentrification 

If you don’t know what the word “hipster” means, take a walk along Tiong Bahru or Lavender. Some of the more inaccessible and ‘older’ places are actually home to pricey cafes. At the same time, you may notice some of the corner shops are actually high-end boutiques that ironically retain its low-end appearance.

Gentrification is one of those things that happens organically – it’s seldom planned by the town council or government. This is why you need to walk around and check with your own eyes, rather than just relying on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) master plan.

Major redevelopment plans

Think Tengah ‘Forest Town’ or the High Speed Rail (HSR) in Jurong for the large projects and the upcoming MRT lines across the island as smaller plans. In general, property prices in Singapore are closely tied to the government’s infrastructure initiatives.

Source: Planner Bee

Some key things to look for are:

  • The development of business hubs, such as tech parks and offices; this raises employment in the area, aiding both rental prospects and home values
  • Major park and recreation zones
  • Factors that alleviate traffic and noise, such as “Car lite” designations, which will appeal to residents and tenants
  • Development of education institutions

To read more about these, you can find comprehensive topics on the URA website.

Conclusion

All-in-all, real estate prices depend on the fundamentals of demand and supply of the market and operate in a cyclical manner.

As such, it is important to analyse all of the factors as well as the broader market and economic conditions to get the right strategy and to ascertain the best buy for your housing objectives or property investment portfolio.

If you are looking to buy a home, do call us at 6886 9009 for a free consultation. 


This article was originally published on Planner Bee, your handy financial planning app! Learn more about managing your money, investments and insurance on Planner Bee’s blog.

An HDB Seller’s Ultimate Guide To Seller’s Stamp Duty And Other Payable Fees

Every HDB seller has a financial obligation when selling or changing the ownership status of their flat due to a change in family circumstances, such as divorce or marriage.  

Let us bring you through the costs and fees you, the seller, may be liable to pay during your resale transaction journey. They include:

  • Resale application administrative fees
  • Legal fees
  • Property tax
  • Service and conservancy charges
  • Seller’s stamp duty

Resale application administrative fees

When submitting a resale application, buyers and sellers will each have to pay an administrative fee of $40 for 1-room and 2-room flats, and $80 for 3-room flats (or bigger). The fees include Goods and Services Tax and, once paid, are non-refundable.

Legal fees

Legal fees are incurred when selling an HDB flat because it involves the legal transfer of homeownership from you, the seller, to a buyer. This process is called conveyancing, which starts from the date the offer was accepted and ends on the date of key collection. 

You may engage HDB’s legal services when selling your flat if your current outstanding loan is with HDB or you have no outstanding loan. The legal fees will be based on their Conveyancing Fees Rules 2002.

For resale transactions or transfer of flat ownership, there is a minimum fee of $20. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

Type of transactions for HDB flatsHDB’s scale of fees (computed to the next $)
Resale, transfer or assignment of flat by the ownerFirst $30,000 @ 13.5 c. per $100 or part thereof
Next $30,000 @ 10.8 c. per $100 or part thereof
Thereafter @ 9.0 c. per $100 or part thereof
There shall be a minimum fee of $20

You may also engage a legal conveyancer through Ohmyhome, with fees starting from $1,800 nett. Services will include the following:

  • Conveyancing for Sale & Purchase
  • Mortgage & Real Estate Planning
  • Retail & Corporate Real Estate
  • Power of Attorney/Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Letters of Administration
  • Letter of Probate
  • Notary Public
  • Wills

Property tax

HDB sellers will also need to pay the flat’s property tax up to the end of the year. The official tax payment receipt needs to be produced during the HDB completion appointment.

You can log in to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s myTax portal to check how much you need to pay in property tax.

Service & conservancy charges (S&CC)

Depending on your flat type, the service and conservancy charges (S&CC) of HDB flats typically range from $20 and $90 for Singapore citizens, factoring in the reduced rates offered to them. 

For non-citizens, the charges may range from a normal rate of between $50 and $90. If you own a private property and/or have left your HDB flat vacant, you may also be liable to pay the normal S&CC rate. 

You may check with your town council on the S&CC rates for your flat. 

As an example, here’s the S&CC for Bukit Panjang, payable to the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council. 

Flat TypeNormal RateReduced Rate
1-room$54.20$20.50
2-room$56.70$30.50
3-room$63.00$46.00
3-room Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme$79.50$62.50
4-room$72.50$63.50
4-room Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme$88.00$79.00
5-room$86.50$79.50
5-room Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme$99.50
Executive$101.00

The S&CC are due on the first day of each month without demand. An accumulative penalty fee, typically ranging from $0.50 for a 1-room flat and $7 for an executive flat, will apply from the following month until the payment has been made in full.

Seller’s stamp duty (SSD)

HDB flat owners are required to meet the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period(MOP) before they can sell the flat. 

However, in cases where special approval has been granted by the HDB to sell the flat before the MOP, Seller’s stamp duty(SSD) may apply.

You are liable to pay the SSD if you sell your HDB flat within 3 years. This is called the holding period and starts from the date of HDB flat’s key collection or acquisition, and ends when the Option to Purchase is issued to sell the flat. 

What are the SSD rates in 2021?

There are three factors that affect the total SSD payable:

  • Date of purchase
  • Holding period
  • SSD percentage as per the holding period

For HDB flats purchased on and after 11 Mar 2017:

Holding PeriodSSD
A year or less12%
More than 1 year and up to 2 years8%
More than 2 years and up to 3 years4%
More than 3 years0%

The total SSD payable is calculated by applying the applicable rate on the selling price of your flat or the current market value, whichever is higher. 

In summary, the shorter the holding period, the higher the SSD that you need to pay.

Are these seller’s fees making your head spin? Would you rather leave it to your property agent to handle? We’ve got you covered. Sell your property with Ohmyhome Super Agents today! 

Call us at 6886 9009 to secure an appointment today or message us on Intercom, which can be found at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. You can also WhatsApp us at 9727 5270


Frequently asked questions about Seller’s Stamp Duty

Do sellers have to pay stamp duty?

Sellers may be liable to pay the Seller’s Stamp Duty if they sell their property within 3 years. This is called the holding period and starts from the date of purchase or acquisition and ends on the date of sale or disposal.

Is there seller’s stamp duty for HDB?

Yes, the Seller’s Stamp Duty applies to HDB sellers who sell or dispose of their flat within 3 years of purchasing or acquiring it. 

What is the stamp duty rate in Singapore?

For HDB flats purchased on and after 11 Mar 2017, the SSD rates are 12% for a holding period of a year or less; 8% for more than 1 year and up to 2 years; and 4% for more than 2 years and up to 3 years.

Selling and Buying a Resale Flat Using the HDB Resale Portal

Written by: Benjienen Toledo

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has released an announcement that from 1 January 2018, resale flat buyers and sellers must log in to the HDB Resale Portal using their SingPass to start their buying or selling journey.

What does the new HDB Resale Portal mean for HDB sellers and buyers?

  1. The Intent to Sell / Buy replace the Resale Checklist, which was used prior to 1st January 2018.
  2. There is no more 1st and 2nd HDB Appointment. There is only one HDB Appointment which is the completion date.
  3. The Seller is now required to handover the key to the Buyer on the appointment date, which is eight (8) weeks from the date of HDB’s Acceptance of the Resale Application.

Here is an overview of the streamlined resale process:

  1. Seller registers an Intent to Sell in the HDB Resale Portal
  2. Seller starts marketing for his/ her HDB either through DIY or by engaging an estate agent
  3. Once the Seller has found a Buyer, the Buyer registers an Intent to Buy in the HDB Resale Portal
  4. Seller Grants Option to Purchase (OTP) to the Buyer
  5. Buyer gives the option fee on the Option Date
  6. The Option Period is 21 days; the Buyer exercises the OTP within that period
  7. Both Seller and Buyer will submit a Resale Application within the timeframe they have agreed
  8. The Buyer and Seller will be notified via SMS or E-mail when the HDB’s Approval Letter is posted in the portal
  9. HDB Appointment happens after 8 weeks from the date of HDB’s Acceptance of the resale application if the necessary documents are submitted accurately and promptly. This appointment is considered the Completion Date; the Seller is required to handover the key on the appointment date.

Check: What the new HDB Changes Mean to You

Ohmyhome One HDB Appointment New HDB Resale Portal

How Long is the Validity of the Intent to Sell?

The Intent to Sell is valid for 12 months. You will need to re-apply an Intent to Sell if you do not submit your resale application within 12 months.

The results generated from the Intent to Sell is based on information provided. It offers an indication of your eligibility, and does not constitute an approval by HDB. Your eligibility to sell a flat will be determined when you submit the resale application subsequently.
Please ensure that your details are accurate when registering your Intent. Your resale application will be rejected if the details submitted is different from that indicated in your Intent to Sell.
After completing the Intent to Sell, the HDB resale portal will direct you to download the OTP and to compute your estimated sale proceeds.


Related post:


What are the Benefits of HDB Resale Portal?

The HDB Resale Portal can provide verification checks; thus, buying and selling an HDB resale flat will be easier and faster.
Upon registration, the Sellers/ Buyers will be able to receive instantaneous assessment on the following:

  1. Your eligibility to sell/ buy
  2. The Ethnic Integration Policy/ Singapore Permanent Resident (EIP/ SPR) Quota
  3. Status of upgrading
  4. Billing of upgrading costs; and
  5. Recent transacted prices of nearby flats

With these changes and the introduction of the new HDB Resale Portal, buyers and sellers will enjoy a streamlined resale process. Through the portal, you will be guided on your HBD buying and selling journey and get to track the progress of your transactions.

Log-in to the HDB Resale Portal with your SingPass now to start your resale journey.


You may engage Ohmyhome Agent Service in 4 Simple Steps:

  • Step 1– Request an Appointment
  • Step 2– Get Your Free Report
  • Step 3– Engage Our Agent Service
  • Step 4– Sell Your HDB Fast!

Call us today at 6886 9009 to book an appointment with our agents and get a free customised property report.


While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Ohmyhome is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

How to Safeguard Your Household Contents Against Theft

It’s well known that Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. But low crime doesn’t mean zero crime. In 2019, 35,115 cases were reported, of which 11,218 were theft or related violations1. That means your most valued possessions might not necessarily be safe even within your home.

How can you secure your home against theft?

Thieves often target homes that are obviously unoccupied or have poor security. To avoid making your flat attractive to burglars, here are some tips:

  1. Invest in sturdy locks and security grills for both your doors and windows. If you have more funds, a home security system with CCTV cameras indoors and  facing the front door is a great idea. And don’t forget to activate them!
  2. Don’t announce your travel plans on social media or other public channels. You never know if a thief may be canvassing your house.
  3. If you need to leave your house vacant, make sure it still looks lived-in. Ask a neighbour to collect your mail so that it doesn’t pile up on your doorstep. Consider installing automatic lights that go on and off at preset times so that it appears as if someone is home.

But what if you followed all these steps and still experienced a home break-in? You can add another layer of protection with Home Contents Insurance.

Aviva Home Contents Insurance Coverage

Ohmyhome is collaborating with Aviva to offer a unique Home Contents Insurance plan, free for the first year, that provides up to S$130,000 coverage. to ensure you are fully secured.

Claims of valuable items are also not limited to just jewellery or expensive electronics. Aviva’s Home Contents Insurance also covers other costly items from your wardrobe and even domestic appliances.

What are the terms of coverage for theft?

For losses due to theft, Aviva’s policy will cover you within the maximum period of unoccupancy – this refers to the period when a property is left vacant. Details include:

  • Maximum period of unoccupancy: Up to 60 consecutive days
  • Other condition: Filing of police report within 24 hours upon discovery of the theft

Other terms and conditions apply. For full coverage details, please refer to the Product Summary


Want to safeguard your home contents today? Sign up to redeem your one-year complimentary Home Contents Insurance. This is a limited-time offer, so get yours today!

Call Ohmyhome at 6886 9009 to learn more.

Important notes: 

1. Source: Singapore Police Force. (2021, February 9). Annual Crime Brief 2020 [Press release]. https://www.police.gov.sg

Terms and conditions apply. The above product is underwritten by Aviva. Ohmyhome is not an insurance agent or intermediary and is not allowed to solicit any insurance business or give advice on or recommend any product nor be involved in any discussions or negotiations between you and Aviva or in the arrangement of any insurance contract between you and Aviva. Please direct all insurance enquiries to Aviva. 

This material is published for general information only and does not have regard to specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person. A copy of the Product Summary may be obtained from Aviva Ltd and the participating distributors’ office. This material is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the standard terms and conditions of this policy can be found in the policy contract. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. Information is accurate as of September 2021.

What You Need to Know About Home Contents Insurance

Your home is more than a physical structure – its contents, layout, and decor reflect your personality and values. How can you make sure that your most valuable possession is protected from unexpected perils?

Accidents, calamities, and other misfortunes could happen to your home. In fact, according to the Singapore Civil Defence Force, there was a 7.8% increase in fire incidents in 2019, and 1,168 of those incidents occurred in residential areas1.

Is fire insurance enough?

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has a mandatory fire insurance scheme, which gives some peace of mind. In the event of a fire, flood or explosion, this insurance usually covers the physical structure itself, the fixtures, and the fittings that are considered part of the building2.

But what about your possessions at home? Should the worst happen to your home and you lose everything in it, will you have the funds to replace your work computer and household appliances like your washing machine, refrigerator, or stove? How about valuables like your camera, jewellery, or office clothes?

It’s important to know that all these items are not covered by the standard fire insurance required by banks or the HDB. To fully protect your home and its contents, you’ll also need additional coverage for those items.

Home contents insurance covers the financial cost of repairing or replacing household items in the event of unexpected peril.

Why do you need home contents insurance?

Home contents insurance, also known as household contents insurance, is a plan that protects you against the loss of the important things you have inside your home. Aviva’s home contents insurance covers including:

  1. Air conditioning unit
  2. Audio-visual equipment
  3. Built-in wardrobe
  4. Clothes
  5. Jewellery
  6. Domestic appliances
  7. PC and laptop
  8. Camera

If you are working remotely, home contents insurance becomes even more vital. Your work computer and the other appliances that you use for work are worth much more than their stated sticker price – your livelihood is attached to these devices.

If you lose them, not only do you lose the amount of money you paid for them, but you also miss out on the potential income until you get replacements. Home contents insurance reduces the time that you are not able to work because of the loss of your professional equipment.

What would Aviva’s home contents insurance protect you against?

The following perils are covered:

  1. Fire
  2. Flood
  3. Earthquake and lightning
  4. Explosions
  5. Theft
  6. Bursting or overflowing of water pipes or household apparatus
  7. Vehicle impacts
  8. Riots, strikes, or civil commotions

What is the real value of home contents insurance?

You may not believe it, but what you have inside your home could be worth a lot of money. All those small purchases add up, and you’ll only realise their combined worth when you need to replace them after a fire or other unfortunate events. Good thing then that home contents insurance ensures that you can easily purchase the essentials you need after losing your home, allowing your life to return to normal faster.

Home contents insurance secures not only the important things that standard fire insurance doesn’t cover, but it also covers the legal liabilities that may arise from the insured events. Therefore, if you want to enjoy peace of mind, add home contents insurance on top of the required fire insurance.

Good news! Ohmyhome is pleased to announce the collaboration with Aviva to provide our customers with Complimentary One-year Home Contents Insurance coverage. This is a limited-time offer, so get your free plan today!

Call Ohmyhome at 6886 9009 for details on the offer or sign up now before it ends.


Important notes: 

1. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings. Extracted with permission. “PMD-related and vegetation fires fuel increase in fire incidents last year” 12 February 2020, 

2. Central Provident Fund Board. (n.d.). Home Protection Scheme. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://www.cpf.gov.sg/members/FAQ/schemes/Housing/Home-Protection-Scheme/FAQDetails?category=Housing&group=Home%20Protection%20Scheme&folderid=18096&ajfaqid=15103478 


Terms and conditions apply. The above product is underwritten by Aviva. Ohmyhome is not an insurance agent or intermediary and is not allowed to solicit any insurance business or give advice on or recommend any product nor be involved in any discussions or negotiations between you and Aviva or in the arrangement of any insurance contract between you and Aviva. Please direct all insurance enquiries to Aviva. This material is published for general information only and does not have regard to specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person. A copy of the Product Summary may be obtained from Aviva Ltd and the participating distributors’ office. This material is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the standard terms and conditions of this policy can be found in the policy contract. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. Information is accurate as at September 2021. 

5 Ways to Re-organise Your Home for Students’ Home-Based Learning

Primary 1 to 5 students will be back to full home-based learning from September 27 to October 6, as part of the Ministry of Education’s response to the sharp spike in Covid-19 community cases. This includes Special Education schools offering the national curriculum.

If your kids are part of this group, set up a conducive classroom for them in your living room, kitchen or home office with these five home design tips. 

1. Designate a space based on your child’s learning preferences

Set up a conducive classroom for your kids in your living room, kitchen or home office. 

When finding the balance between work and play, designating spaces where your kids can focus on their tasks for the day is extremely important. 

However, each kid learns and focuses differently. One may prefer complete silence when studying, in which case a spare room may be the best learning space for him or her.

Others may focus better with ambient sounds playing in the background, so the living room or dining area may be better suited for them.

If there’s more than one child at home back for remote learning, invest in some extra desks and chairs so all can have a conducive learning environment. 

2. Prioritise function over aesthetics

When it comes to creating an ideal space for your kids to learn, function should outweigh style. 

When it comes to creating an ideal space for your kids to learn, function should outweigh style. 

A mid-century modern study table may fit perfectly the theme of your home, but it may not be ergonomically suitable for a young student. Minidesk offers height-adjustable tables perfect for lower primary children as they grow up. 

You don’t always have to compromise style for function either. Furniture brands such as Fortytwo build stylish study tables fitted with functional shelves and drawers for extra storage. 

3. Declutter and create space for a better learning environment 

Declutter and create space for a better home-based learning environment for your kids.

There may be some space constraints at home, though, if you are still working from home. So designating a new space for your child may be challenging. 

You may pack them away in storage boxes or rent a personal storage space for some unused items, even if it’s just for the duration that your kids are back to home-based learning. 

Self-serve storage providers such as Yellow Co have rental spaces for as low as $60 a month. 

4. Let your child express and personalise 

Encourage your kid to decorate their learning space by hanging artwork that they’ve done in school or adding simple DIY decorations.

What’s one thing your kids can do at home that they can’t at school? Adding their personal touch to their desks! 

Any type of drawing, colouring or painting on school property, even one as small as a desk, can be considered vandalism. But not at home.

Encourage your kid to decorate their learning space by hanging artwork that they’ve done in school or adding simple DIY decorations. These can add more life and colour into their learning space, and act as visual cues to keep them inspired and motivated in class. 

5. Good lighting helps reduce eye fatigue 

Natural and artificial lighting can improve your kid’s brain performance. 

We know we’ve said this time and time again, but lighting is the key to enhanced productivity. Multiple studies have proven that natural and artificial lighting has the ability to improve one’s brain performance. 

In contrast, low light induces sleep and can cause mild to severe eye strains, which can distract your kid in class. As his or her eyesight is still developing, it’s essential to keep their eyes healthy by providing the best lighting in their learning space. 

While it may sound idyllic to place the study table to face the outdoor scenery, looking at a screen with an even brighter background causes significant eye strain. Instead, fix the table perpendicular to the window to reduce glare while at the same time still having a full view of your neighbourhood or nature.


Want to find a new home that can accommodate all those needs and more? Engage our Super Agents by messaging us on Intercom, which can be found at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. Or WhatsApp us at +65 9727 5270!

Contributed by: Hannah Grey

What happens to the HDB flat when a married couple divorcesRequirements
Neither party is allowed to retain the HDB flatDivorce due to:Non-consummation of marriageAnnulment of marriage
Retain the flat (with children)Parents were listed in the flat purchase application Have child’s custody (care and control) Meet HDB’s eligibility conditions to retain the flat
Retain the flat (without children)Singapore citizenAt least 35 years oldMatrimonial flat is a resale flat purchased from the open market, without the CPF Housing Grant for Family (subject to final judgement)
Sell flat in the open marketFlat has reached its five-year, Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) by the final judgement date of the divorce
(If the MOP has not been met, you can seek special approval from HDB to resell in the open market.)

Most Interesting Person Now: Lee Yik Keat

Lee Yik Keat

Photographer

Instagram: @yk

TikTok: @yk

Looking at his vivid and striking photos, it is quite difficult to grasp that Lee Yik Keat’s passion for photography was something he discovered by accident.

“It started out as a curiosity. Back when Instagram just launched, I was roaming around with a phone and that’s how I started. Little did I know that I would really have the passion for it. It only took six months!” he said.

And to think the now full-time photographer, who has 1.1 million followers on his Instagram account, used to study aerospace electronics. 

We caught up with him recently to talk about his craft.

The way light hits a room is one of the key things Lee Yik Keat looks for in a home as it helps him get ample creative flow.

Could you describe your photography style and where you get your inspiration from?

I would say my style is documenting daily life in a visually cinematic way. I take inspiration from everyday life, even the little details in between, such as how food-stall owners interact with one another. Anything that is human-centred in this digital era inspires me.

How did you teach yourself to get better photos?

Everything online! It involved a lot of scrolling on social media to see what people have been shooting over the years and how they evolved, so I know which stage I am at now and how much more I need to work on my framing, composition or colouring, among others.

What do you like most about being a photographer? What is the most difficult part about being one?

The ability to immortalise moments is my favourite. The most difficult part about being a photographer for me is probably the struggle to share difficulties with everyone.

Which photographers have influenced you and your work and how?

I really love Alex Webb’s work, he makes street photography so organised within the chaos; this is what I want to achieve too in my street works.

To Yik Keat, a house is not a home if it feels empty on the inside. So for him, a home is where people whom he cherishes are at.

Why do you think your photos resonate with so many followers?

I believe it is a mix of the tonality of the pictures and how real they are. I don’t take photographs that extravagantly boost the quality of life. I show reality in everyday moments.

What gears or software do you use to take your photos?

I take my pictures with Canon gears and use Macbook and Adobe for all things editing.

What is your advice to others who feel like they don’t have a passion or any talent?

Don’t fret or be disappointed because many people find their passion only when they are older. So, the age at which you find your passion does not matter. What matters is what you want to achieve through your passion and how you spend your time to pull it off.

Where is your studio? Is it a home studio?

I don’t have a studio, but I’m currently renting an apartment in the central area. The modernity of a home and how light hits a room are two of the most important factors for me as it helps me get ample creative flow and inspiration from the space that I have.

What does home mean to you?

A house is not a home if it feels empty on the inside. So for me, a home is where people whom you cherish are at.


This article is part of Ohmyhome’s The Most Interesting Person Now series, which features personalities who captivate and engage others with their incredible stories, passions or work. Watch this space for more.

Stamp Duty for Rental Properties: A Simple Guide

Just moved to the sunny island of Singapore? Be assured, renting a property without an agent is pretty straightforward here, thanks to tight industry regulations.

Aside from the monthly rent, one of the one-off costs associated with renting a place is the stamp duty, which we shall tackle here.

What is stamp duty? 

Stamp Duty is payable on documents relating to leases of immovable properties in Singapore.

The duty on leases is payable based on the contractual rental or the market rental, whichever is higher, at the below rates.

Rates and computation

Average Annual Rent (AAR)Rates
AAR does not exceed $1,000Exempted
AAR exceeds $1,000
Lease period of 4 years or less0.4% of total rent for the period of the lease
Lease period of more than 4 years or for any indefinite term0.4% of 4 times the AAR for the period of the lease

Here’s a sample computation if your rent is $4,000 per month and the lease duration is 24 months.

Total rent $96,000
Stamp Duty Rate0.40%
Stamp Duty Payable$384

Who pays?

The party who is liable to pay the stamp duty is usually stated in the agreements. For example, if you rent a property, the tenancy agreement should state who is liable to pay stamp duty.

In actual practise, it is usually the tenant who pays for this duty.

How to Pay?

Stamp duty can be paid using FAST (for DBS/ POSB accounts), AXS Kiosk, AXS Mobile, AXS Website, eNETS, GIRO, among other options. There is no instalment payment for this duty; it must be paid in full.

For more details about the payment options, click here.

E-stamping 

It used to be that a physical revenue stamp had to be attached to or impressed upon a document to show that stamp duty had been paid before the document was legally effective. Not anymore.

e-Stamping has replaced adhesive stamps for a while now and gives users the convenience of stamping documents at home, in the office or at the service bureaus. There is no subscription or transaction fee to do this – all you need to do is key in your document details and the system will calculate the stamp duty that needs to be paid.

To pay, you will need an existing bank account. The full amount will be deducted through eNETS for a non-registered user (general public) or through interbank GIRO for a registered user.

All documents liable to stamp duty will have to be stamped through the e-Stamping system.

Where to e-stamp documents?

1. e-Stamping Online

The e-Stamping Portal allows you to carry out the following e-Services:

  1. e-Stamp your document
  2. Pay additional stamp duty
  3. Retrieve your stamp certificate
  4. Amend stamp certificate
  5. Request for refund
  6. Seek adjudication or appeal

2. Service Bureaus

SingPost has four Service Bureaus where you can get assistance to stamp your documents for a fee.

The locations and operating hours of the Service Bureaus are here.

3. Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s Taxpayer & Business Service Centre

You can also visit the IRAS Taxpayer & Business Service Centre to e-Stamp your documents at their e-kiosks.

These are located at the main lobby of Revenue House which is in the Newton/Novena area.

A stamp certificate will be issued once the payment is successful. To check the authenticity of a stamp certificate, visit the e-StampingPortal.

When to pay stamp duty

You are required to stamp a document before you sign it. If you sign a document before stamping, you must have it stamped within the following time frame without incurring a penalty.

  1. Within 14 days after signing if it is signed in Singapore or
  2. Within 30 days after receiving the document in Singapore if the document is signed overseas.

Penalties will be imposed on late payments.

In case you haven’t found your new home away from home, here’s a guide to condo renting. Want to rent an HDB flat instead? Check out this article.

Need help on your property needs? Messaging us on Intercom, which can be found at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. Or WhatsApp us at +65 9727 5270!

HDB BTO Sites for Nov 2021: A Location Review

HDB has announced that it will launch for sale about 4,400 BTO flats in November. It said these will be spread across seven estates in the towns of Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang Whampoa and Tengah.

If you are someone mulling over the locations of these build-to-order flats, here are some notes about the amenities near the estates to answer your first questions about the projects.

Choa Chu Kang

The BTO site in this town will be located at the corner of Choa Chu Kang North 6 and Choa Chu Kang St 62. The project will offer 60 two-room Flexi units and will be integrated with a polyclinic, kidney dialysis centre, hawker centre and community. 

The Flexi flat scheme allows elderly citizens the flexibility of choosing the length of lease on their 2-room flat based on their age, needs, and preferences.

This allows someone who is 55 years old or older to take up a lease of between 15 and 45 years in 5-year increments until the lessee and spouse are at least 95 years’ old.

Meanwhile, first- and second-timer families, as well as first-timer singles, can buy new 2-room flats on a 99-year lease.

For details about eligibility conditions, click here.

Amenities nearby

The project here will be next to Yew Tee Point – a mixed development with 2 levels of F&B and retail outlets, as well as a food court and an NTUC Fairprice.

Yew Tee Square mall is across the street with more F&B and retail choices while the Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council is also nearby.

Meanwhile, the Yew Tee MRT station on the North-South Line is a short 1.5-minute walk away.

Hougang

There will be two BTO sites here located across each other, separated only by Hougang Avenue 1. A total of 690 4-room and 5-room flats will be available to families, couples and orphans.

Amenities nearby

The sites are next to a proposed park and opposite a proposed health & medical centre. The locations are also about 10 minutes away from a food centre.

Parents may want to know that the Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Primary and Secondary Schools are within a kilometre away. Drivers, meanwhile, may appreciate that the projects are a 2-minute drive to Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway.

However, the nearest MRT station, Kovan on the North-East Line, is 15 minutes away via bus 113. Take note that the bus stop before the MRT station is the one for Heartland Mall-Kovan (which has a Cold Storage) and Kovan Hougang Market and Food Centre.

Jurong West

The BTO site in Jurong West will be located at the corner of Jurong West Street 92 and Street 93. Some 220 units of 3-room and 4-room flats will be available.

The site is near an NTUC Health outlet, some coffee shops and the Nanyang Community Centre.  It is also just 5 minutes away from Jurong West Sports Centre and Stadium.

Jurong West Primary School, Xingnan Primary School and Juying Secondary School are within a kilometre radius, while Nanyang Technological University is just a 2-minute drive away.

The nearest MRT station here is Pioneer on the East West Line, which is accessible by bus 241 (available every 9 minutes).

Pioneer Mall is this location’s nearest suburban mall.

Kallang/ Whampoa

The project here will offer a total of 430 2-room Flexi and 4-room flats.

Amenities nearby

Located on Owen Road, the site is opposite the Pek Kio Market & Food Centre and will be within 10 minutes’ walk to the Pek Kio Community Centre, Farrer Park Field, Farrer Park Hospital and the Farrer Park MRT station on the North-East Line.

Moreover, City Square Mall and Mustafa Centre will be about 12 minutes’ walk away.

Within a kilometre’s radius is Farrer Park Primary School, while the Central Expressway and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital are a short 1-kilometre drive away.

Tengah

There will be two BTO sites here located across each other, with Tengah Park Avenue separating the estates. A total of 2,120 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats will be available to the public.

The location is next to a proposed park, near a bus interchange and the neighbourhood centre with a polyclinic.

Around a 12-minute walk away will be the Tengah Plantation MRT station on the future Jurong Regional Line – which will serve the Jurong area and the western part of Singapore – as well as the future community centre.

Meanwhile, a future special education school, Dunearn Secondary School and St Anthony’s Primary School will be within a 1-kilometre radius.

Research by Adam Yap Keh Chew