Meet Leslie & Peter, our lovely couple who’s been married for 38 years with 3 children and are currently living in an HDB Executive Maisonette in Tampines.
Recently, we invited them down to our office to have a chat with our CEO & Co-Founder Rhonda Wong as they have had quite an interesting journey when it comes to real estate. See, Leslie & Peter are currently living in their 7th home and they expect this to be their final one.
How Leslie and Peter decided to right-size
They recently right-sized from a semi-detached house that sprawled over 3,000 square feet of land. They had a rather large family unit, and everyone had an individual room. However, after 2 of their children decided to move out and live abroad and being left with just 4 people at home, Leslie started to feel that the massive space was just too much for her to keep up with.
It definitely helps when you have more hands on deck, but taking care of an entire semi-detached home with 3 floors, daily chores became, well… a chore. They decided that right-sizing to a smaller space was definitely more ideal and less back-breaking for Leslie who proudly takes pristine care of her home.
It was at this point in the conversation that Rhonda happily pointed out that our couple had a perfect partnership. As long as Leslie is happy, Peter is happy, and he is willing to go through inconveniences to make sure his spouse is content. “I’m the silent partner, I just pay for it, that’s it,” Peter jokes.
One unique and heart-warming gesture taken by the couple that pleasantly surprised Rhonda was also the fact that our couple split the profits of their home sale among all their children, equally. It is not uncommon for parents to pass on an inheritance of some sort, but to provide a cash payout to their children while they’re still young adults figuring out life was a great thing the couple did.
Leslie also mentions that she allows the children to decide on their own what they intended to do with the money. “To invest or to place a downpayment for their own home, it was up to them”, she says.
The reality of selling a semi-detached home
The topic of conversation then moved towards understanding how their selling process went, to which Leslie explained that they understood that selling their home would definitely be harder than buying a new home.
It’s important to understand your likely buyer, who they are, the kind of income they would likely need to be earning, and their age profile. Buyers of multi-million dollar semi-detached homes aren’t a dime a dozen.
They belong to the 5th percentile of earners/net worth and thus with a smaller pool of potential buyers (which excludes foreigners as they aren’t allowed to purchase a landed property), Leslie knew it wouldn’t be so simple.
And just from expecting to sell their home at market price and at what it’s worth, their selling journey took roughly 5 years to complete. During this time, they did receive viewings for the place, but they didn’t get the right buyers or receive the right offers, so they just kept waiting.
This ordeal was also draining and time-consuming. Off-air, Leslie and Peter also lamented having to entertain a prospect during Chinese New Year who desperately wanted to see the place while festivities were ongoing.
They accommodated but quickly regretted their decision when they received an extremely lowball offer, which can happen when buyers aren’t pre-qualified by the serving agent before a viewing is scheduled.
When asked about when the couple started looking for their next place, they mentioned that they only started after receiving a firm offer that they were happy with that came with a deposit.
Leslie then continues to share how initially, the buyers said that they weren’t in an urgent need to move into the new place and offered an extension which made the deal sweeter for them, but quickly changed their mind which made the handover process another troubling ordeal.
And this usually happens especially when it takes an extremely long time to sell your home. It’s close to impossible to time the sale with an offer to purchase your next home.
However, Leslie was smart to already shortlist where she’d like to stay, the minimum size of her next home, and also which floors she’d like to stay at. So, when the offer came through, she notified her agent of her criteria and found their dream home.
Rhonda then brought the conversation back to the agent they were working with as they shared that working with the right agent really makes things significantly simpler.
Leslie and Peter mentioned that they had plenty of agents come and go. And instead of firing an agent, plenty of them decided to drop Leslie and Peter instead because they gave up finding them the perfect buyer.
The agent that finally sold their place was actually recommended by their Relationship Manager from the bank they use which shows the power and importance of trust when choosing your agent.
Lastly, Rhonda asked our couple, in hindsight, what they would change regarding the entire process to improve the experience and they delivered a great piece of advice.
Leslie and Peter mentioned how important it is to get temporary storage space early and to start moving items there in batches. Especially when you’re right sizing to a smaller unit, making sure you pack the essentials and move at your own pace instead of rushing everything at the last minute.
It was truly a great experience having Leslie and Peter over and Rhonda mentioned that she truly learnt a lot, both about property, and about being a great parent.
Watch Leslie and Peter’s full interview with Ohmyhome CEO Rhonda Wong:
Are you planning to right size?
It’s usually a good idea to make that final move to a slightly smaller space. You won’t need to clean up as much and cash out equity to either give to your children or supplement your retirement.
Plenty of right-sizers also end up buying their final home without a loan so they wouldn’t have the stress of a mortgage and monthly payments when deciding to wind down in their careers.
If you need advice to do something similar for yourself like what Leslie and Peter did for themselves, have a chat with our professional and experienced Super Agents. Recommended by over 8,000 happy customers giving us 5-star ratings on all platforms, you know you’ll be in great hands.
Speak to us today and let’s find you the right home when right-sizing. Drop us a message on WhatsApp or on our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.