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Buying your first home in your 20s is the best life decision you’ll make

BI_pub
Mar 13, 2017

In Singapore, buying your first home is usually tied to one of two milestones:

  • Marriage and starting a family
  • Your 35th birthday (when singles can buy government-subsidised housing)

While these conventions are grounded in traditional family-oriented values, the times are changing.

Financially-savvy young adults are starting to see the appeal of buying a home early. According to a recent Manulife survey, 68 per cent of Singapore’s millennials plan to purchase property, with two out of five intending to do so for investment purposes.

As long as you have a steady income, your 20s are actually a fantastic time to buy your first home — whether or not marriage is on the horizon.

Here are five reasons to stop waiting and start house-hunting.

1. Your 20s are the best time to find yourself

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Having your own home isn’t just about partying all you want and freeing yourself from the watchful eyes of your parents. It’s also about creating a space for yourself and discovering who you truly are.

With your own space, you call the shots. Whether you want to keep a pet cat that mum always forbade, binge-watch Netflix in the ultimate entertainment lounge, or grow your own herbs in the balcony, the possibilities are endless.

When you live apart from your parents, you’ll also pick up loads of life skills — from household chores to taking care of yourself to personal budgeting.

The real takeaway here is confidence that you can depend on yourself — an invaluable life trait that’ll get you through the most trying of times.

2. A better relationship with your family

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As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It is easy to take family for granted when you’ve lived with them your whole life. Living apart will really put things in perspective. (Those squabbles you once had seem so petty now!)

When you don’t see them every single day, you would try to make time for your family. Naturally, the whole family will treasure this quality time together and make a sincere effort to connect.

Your newfound independence and ability to run your own home will also put you on better footing with your parents, as they feel a sense of pride that you can now stand on your own two feet.

3. You can get a head start on your career

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As we move into a digital economy, clocking hours in an office is becoming passé, while self-employed, freelance and remote work arrangements are increasingly common.

While there is nothing wrong with renting a co-working space or patronising your local WiFi-enabled café daily, it is hard to beat a proper home office.

Not only do you have a flexible and private workspace to customise according to your needs, you save on overhead expenses too. For aspiring creatives, you can set up your own private studio rather than renting someone else’s, which just makes more economic sense.

4. Perks in the love department

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Being able to afford your own home and take care of yourself are signs of maturity, responsibility and independence — a killer combination that’s arguably more attractive than a gym membership or a $700 Korean hair treatment. (Abs fade, but character stays.)

The privacy of your own home also allows you and your partner to grow as a couple. And when the time comes to settle down and start a family, you’ll have a home to move into right away.

5. A home is an investment with long-term payoffs

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Real talk: buying your first home is not as simple as saying “I want that” and swiping Daddy’s credit card. It comes with a lot of fiscal responsibilities — from servicing the loan to funding renovations to paying the bills.

But if you do your maths right, you can expect great returns in the long run, especially in city fringe areas like Paya Lebar, which the URA has earmarked as a growth area.

For example, a unit at Park Place Residences starts from $780,000 right now, but its value is likely to rise in the coming years, when the 12ha Paya Lebar Central — envisioned as a regional business and lifestyle hub — is complete.

That means it’s possible to make a very sizeable profit off your original investment.

“But I don’t make enough money to invest!”

That is a common refrain among young Singaporeans, the same ones who wouldn’t bat an eyelid when it comes to shopping sprees or buying bottles at the club.

With a slew of resources available online, it is easier than ever to find out what kind of home and loan best fits your budget. Here are a few to get you started:

In fact, your 20s might be the best time to start investing. Without children, medical bills, or a car to pay off, 20-somethings enjoy significant financial freedom.Starting early also means you reap the benefits ahead of your peers. (Early retirement, anyone?)

Add that to the many advantages of living on your own, and surely you can see why buying your first home is one of the best life decisions that a 20-something can make.

Header image: Lendlease