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Bases We’ve Built – Alvin Koh | Ep. 5

How we helped Alvin sell his home in 1 month
and upgrade from a HDB to a condo with no cash out of pocket

Services We Provided:

  • Property Management
  • Property Marketing
  • Property timeline and financial planning

Previously Living in:

4 Room HDB at Punggol Waterway Brooks

Upgraded to:

3 Bedroom Condo at Serangoon


  • Upgraded to a Condo with no downpayment
  • Unlocked cash from the sales proceeds of their HDB flat
  • Ensured a Safety Net of 1.5 Years through the sale of their unit

The Origin

“In this journey, we really had full trust and faith in Home Base…This was due to the fact that they displayed to me the fact that they actually put the client’s interest first. – Alvin Koh”

When Alvin and his wife first bought their 4-room HDB BTO flat in Punggol, they had no thoughts about upgrading. However, they were curious to learn more about property and, after meeting up for a short consultation with Home Base, decided to consider the possibility of upgrading to a condo.

In contrast to most Singaporeans, their decision was actually partly driven by the COVID-19 measures that were in place—they wanted to provide their son with ways to keep active and engaged when he couldn’t go out. The couple eventually settled on a 3-bedroom condominium unit located in Serangoon.

What they wanted What we help achieved

An improved lifestyle for their family,

especially for their son

A 3-bedroom condominium unit in Serangoon with plenty of facilities and amenities.
To remain close to their relatives’ homes in Serangoon A buffer of at least 1.5 years
To have a safe buffer for their payments Cash unlocked from the sales proceeds of their HDB flat

Establishing The Base - Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

Alvin and his family were very comfortable living in their 4-room HDB BTO flat in Punggol Drive when they first met Home Base. They had invested a large sum of money into renovating the place to their desires and maintained it impeccably. With the low mortgage payments each month, it seemed as if they were set for the long term.

However, Alvin was still a little curious about the property market. He met up with Home Base for a brief consultation to find out what a person in his current financial condition could do through property.

After undertaking the affordability and risk assessment, it was found that Alvin and his wife’s combined income were actually more than enough to upgrade to a condominium. In addition, their HDB Flat had appreciated well and could be cashed out for a good amount due to its great condition and nearby amenities.

Despite worries of the economic downturn due to COVID-19, Alvin and his wife were actually motivated by the idea of providing their son with more options to occupy his time and engage his interest. This was just after Phase 1 had ended and it appeared that the current restrictions on going out may remain for longer than expected.

After careful analysis, Home Base presented Alvin and his wife with several scenarios, including a worst-case scenario detailing the options that they would still have as well as the risk that they would undertake. Assured that there would still be enough buffer should their income suffer a reduction during the next 1.5 years, the couple decided to go ahead with their upgrade.

*Both husband and wife undertook the Asset Progression Analysis to assess their affordability and risk level.*

The B.A.S.E Strategy

1. Calculating their Budget

With a low mortgage repayment, years of having a steady income, and good saving habits, Alvin and his wife had set aside a good amount of cash and CPF monies. After factoring all the additional costs of upgrading, we arrived at a budget that was within the range for a good-sized unit in a private condominium. The couple’s joint income could also stably and comfortably pay for the monthly mortgage payments and condo maintenance fees.

As this was during a period of economic downturn, Home Base decided to minimize the risk as much as possible, drawing up multiple scenarios. The plan was to sell the house within 6 months and obtain cash proceeds that would completely cover the down payment of their next home after deducting the remaining mortgage loan, CPF accrued interest, and other fees.

2. Assessing their Options

With one son, Alvin and his wife did not need a lot of space. However, they desired a condominium with a wide range of facilities to entertain their child as well as improve their lifestyle. As working from home was becoming the norm, it was also more convenient to have a study room to use for zoom calls and/or other confidential meetings.

On location, the two upgraders decided to move to Serangoon where they had family nearby. This was also influenced by the fact that their son will be schooling in the area and would not need to travel too far.

After learning more about property investment from Home Base, the couple decided to put a larger sum of savings into their new property so that they could cash out and earn the appreciated amount in the future. 

With these requirements in place, Home Base decided on:

  1. Resale condominium units
  2. New launch projects

2. Making the Best Selection

In the end, a new launch development set to TOP in 2021 was selected. It was well within the couple’s budget, had an impressive list of facilities and nearby amenities, as well as a good market projection for its possible paper profits. Compared to a resale unit, it boasted brand new facilities, longer tenure and greater growth potential.

Located in Serangoon Gardens, it fulfilled the couple’s requirement of being near both their son’s school as well as their relatives’ homes. On top of that, the close TOP date meant that the couple would be able to move in within a much shorter period of time than expected.

Home Base Reviews - Parc Clematis Nearby
Outside View of Skysuites@Anson Img 7

4. Ensure Leftover Liquidity

For Alvin and his wife, Home Base ensured a buffer of at least 1.5 years regardless of scenario. Having selected a condominium with a down payment that was unlikely to exceed the sales proceeds, we also reduced the need for cash out of pocket.

Through a series of carefully planned marketing efforts, Home Base was able to sell the HDB flat within 1 month at a higher than expected offer.

The Result

Through our efforts, Alvin and his family were able to…

  • Upgrade from an HDB to a private condo with zero down payment out of pocket
  • Unlock spare cash for savings and investments
  • Ensure a buffer of 1.5 years for their monthly payments
  • Improve their lifestyle with the condo facilities

“In this journey, we really had full trust and faith in Home Base…This was due to the fact that they displayed to me the fact that they actually put the client’s interest first.”

What's Next?

The whole family is excited to receive their keys next year and is more than ready to move into their new home. Their son looks forward to enjoying the wide variety of facilities and amenities, while his parents plan to arrange a get-together once the government has further relaxed the restrictions on meet-ups.

Click on the video below to check out our interview with Alvin.

Click to watch the Home Tour video of their unit.

We believe that every dream home can become a reality with a solid foundation. If you are interested in upgrading your property portfolio, feel free to touch base with us.

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