You can lose money with real estate if you did not take these steps

This is a true story of a Singaporean family who were planning to retire, using their property. To their horror, instead of being able to retire comfortably, they realized they had a negative sale of



Mr and Mrs Raj were born in the baby boomer era. They were a simple family, and the goal was to provide for the family and give their children the best lives and education they could. 

Their first matrimonial home was a cozy 3-room HDB flat in Bedok South.

As they progressed in their career and their children were growing up fast, they started to have a desire for a higher quality of life and more space. 

So in 1997, they moved into a 5-Room Resale HDB Flat in Tampines. Everyone had their own room; it was a dream come true for the family. 

Fast forward 23 years to 2020, Mr and Mrs Raj are now in their 60s and 70s. Their children have grown up and started their own families. This is when Mr and Mrs Raj felt that it was time for them to  enjoy their retirement. 

Cash out from their property, downsize and travel the world.

The first thing they wanted to do was to cash-out, right-size and move into a smaller flat since they no longer need such a big space and upkeeping the place has become a chore for them.

An analysis of their financial numbers returned some shocking results.

 They purchased the flat for $418,000 in October 1997, and the eventual selling price was $550,000 in 2020. 

There was an outstanding mortgage with HDB of $105,000 in 2020. 

The combined CPF Principal plus Accrued Interest used for the property is $757,000

Finances From Sale of HDB Bedok

In the case of Mr and Mrs Raj, the sale proceeds of $445,000 are not enough to fully cover the total CPF refund of $757,000 after paying off the $105,000 outstanding loan. 

It also meant they would be getting Zero Cash from selling their property.

As a result, there is a negative sale of $314,000.


For negative sales cases, the sellers are not required to make up the aount in cash provided the property is sold at market or over the market valuation. 


Thankfully, Mr and. Mrs Raj’s flat transacted at prevailing market valuation, and they did not have to make up the $312,000 difference in cash. 


How did the couple incur such a significant loss and end up in a zero cash proceed scenario?


  • Holding on to a property for too long
  • Paying high HDB loan rates compared to Bank Loan
  • Using CPF to pay off the property and having a long tenure and not paying attention to the accrued interest incurred


Holding on to a Property for too long


Properties go through a 3-stage life cycle: Growth, Stagnation and Decline. The 5-Room Flat they owned is reaching 40 years old and headed towards the Decline stage due to its decaying lease. 


Paying high HDB loan rates compared to Bank Loan


HDB Loan being cheaper than bank loan is one of the biggest myths Singaporeans blindly believe. For the past ten years, bank loan for HDB has been hovering from 1% to 2.3%, while the HDB loan interest rate is at 2.6%. The amount of extra interest paid over the years easily stacks up. 


Using CPF to pay off the property and having a long tenure


Using CPF to pay for our property is usually the default mode of servicing a housing loan. It reduces our monthly out-of-pocket cash expenditure, and frees up cash to spend on other things. 

However, there is an accrued interest cost, whereby any amount you use from CPF has to be returned with accrued interest to ensure you will have sufficient for your retirement account.

So the more CPF you use today for your property, the fewer cash proceeds you will cash out when you sell your property. 

Avoid the mistakes this couple made in investing in property in Singapore wrongly.

What can you do to avoid making the same painful mistake?

Did you know? Interest rates were at all time low for the last decade!

(1) Review your interest rates frequently.

You can do so through our Affiliate Mortgage Broker or consult your mortgage banker. Compare rates and packages between banks before making a decision.

Or check in with us first, as we have the latest rates, so we can give you a quick overview.

BONUS TIP: If possible, check if it makes more sense to pay for your property in cash, or even to shorten the loan tenure.


Did you know that every property goes through 3 different stages? Growth, Stagnation and Decline?

(2) Check Your Property Value

Just like how we do regular check up for ourselves, remember to do a Health Check for your property to understand if its numbers are still working hard for you or is it slowly bleeding you dry.

You definitely want to avoid the mistake Mr & Mrs Raj made.


It’s never too early or too late to plan ahead.

Strategizing when to sell your property takes foresight and careful advanced planning. Many people do not plan ahead to decide on what they wish to achieve in real estate.

We work with all our clients on a. long-term basis so that their game plan, be it 5 years or 25 years are set up properly.

Have a chat with us to see how we can help you focus and strategise your next 2 to 3 moves, depending on your risk appetite and preferred lifestyle.


With over 12 years experience in supporting our clients to progress in their properties, moving alongside the changes in the rules and regulations in the real estate market, we take pride in focusing on our client’s Wealth Protection. As a result, we have many clients who repeatedly seek us out for help.






After Financial Planning is done, Strong Marketing Strategy is executed to ensure optimal results in minimum time. 




Our team looks at your property to review how it can be positioned better in the market, to stand out from the crowd and be the center of attention on the Runway.




Professionally done photos from our in-house media team.


Check out some of the HDB videos we created for our clients.


Staging & Styling a Home for Sale


Virtual Tour Of Our Client’s Place


I’ll never forget the smiles on my clients’ faces when their property is sold at a NEW ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH and we move them to the next home in their long-term plan! How did we do it consistently?

Our team strongly believes that every one deserves a home of their dreams, and one that can be a financial vehicle for their retirement. We also believe that every home has it’s own story, its strengths and it’s appeal. We specialize in bringing out the best in your property, marketing it in a professional and creative manner, to reach your specific target audience.

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