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99-year leasehold landed properties: How to maximise its resale value and exit profitably

Perhaps you're the proud owner of a 99-year-old leasehold landed property, pondering your grand exit strategy. Or maybe you're on the hunt for one, but you're treading cautiously, fearing it might not stand much of a chance in the resale market. Whichever side of the fence you're on, this episode's got your name written all over it.

Here’s the thing: Most 99-year leasehold landed properties in Singapore are like the plain vanilla ice cream of the real estate world. Three stories, four or five bedrooms, and a Jack and Jill bathroom on the second floor – it's like they all went to the same architecture school. The question arises: Is this the endgame? Is there a way to jazz it up and make some profit in the future?

Well, we come bearing good news: There is a way! But your property will need a little glow-up during the renovation phase, and it’s not just about aesthetics (you have your interior designers for that). Rather, it’s about capital preservation; ensuring you don't just spend but also invest in your property's future value.

1. Build a lift

As Raama pointed out, S$2,500,000 might secure you a small freehold landed property, but the plot would be so compact that fitting a lift would be nearly impossible. This is where 99-year leasehold landed properties shine, offering ample space of up to 1,800 sqft.

From our experience, the majority of today's buyers actively seek out landed properties with the possibility of installing a lift. Even if a property doesn't currently have a lift, the key question is whether it allows for one to be added.

In my personal view, having a lift is almost a necessity if your floor plan permits it. Why, you ask? Landed homes are often chosen for multigenerational living, which may involve accommodating two sets of elderly parents, given our country's ageing population.

According to Jackie, who generously shared his rebuilding journey on our channel, platform lifts, which are more cost-effective than traditional lifts with shafts, are available in a wide range of styles and sizes today. They resemble the wheelchair-friendly facilities found in shopping malls, but with an added touch of luxury, especially when encased in glass.

Compared to lifts with shafts, the installation of platform lifts is more straightforward and budget-friendly, as there's no need for a lift pit. However, you'll still require a licence to operate it, meaning you'll need to engage qualified professionals to handle the necessary submissions and obtain the required permissions.

The cost of a platform lift for a two-and-a-half-story landed property typically ranges from S$65,000 to S$70,000, covering the lift car and its installation. It's worth noting that if it needs to span from the basement to the attic, you should be prepared for a higher investment.

2. Build sustainability features

Let's face it – solar panels aren't anything new. However, the tech behind them has taken a quantum leap recently and is now more accessible than ever.

With SP services going private, we're witnessing the rise of solar-savvy landed property owners who can even sell their surplus energy back to the grid. And guess what? The younger generation of landed property buyers is all aboard the solar panel train.

Speaking of sustainability features, some landed homeowners are also looking to install charging points for electric vehicles. I personally know folks who've installed solar panels to power their EV charging stations, all in the name of future-proofing.

Admittedly, the EV market isn't exactly booming right now, but you can't deny its buzz. So, even if you don't own an EV today, or even in the next year, if you want to "future-proof" your home, you've got to bake the right ingredients into your electrical plan from the get-go. Those charging points won't set up shop with a simple "plug and play" approach.

3. Increase your build-up space

As previously mentioned, 99-year leasehold landed properties often follow a familiar blueprint. More often than not, there's a soaring ceiling that creates a dramatic space between the living room and the second floor, usually with a landing that looks down upon the living room. It may give a sense of spaciousness, but it's essentially an "unused void." To give your landed property's resale value a boost, why not consider transforming that void into functional space? Bring in the QP (Qualified Person) and PE (Professional Engineer) to work their magic and convert that "void" into an extra room (subject to approvals, of course). Not only can an additional room make or break a deal, but it can also be a source of passive income if you decide to rent it out.

Source Now, we get it; this might sound like an expensive undertaking. But fear not, there are clever ways to keep your costs in check. For instance, if you're planning to add another bathroom, align it with existing bathrooms on different floors so that the sewage lines sync up.

This is a level of flexibility you won't find in the world of condominiums, where the price hike between a three and four-bedroom unit can be astronomical. In comparison, carving out an extra bedroom within your 99-year leasehold landed home is arguably a better bang for your buck.

Giving your leasehold landed property an edge

Now, circling back to the undeniable reality that 99-year leasehold landed properties tend to march to a similar beat, these enhancements can work wonders for your home's future marketability. Besides, investments like solar panels might just pay for themselves, and you can relish their benefits during your ownership as well.

Even if you're not prepared to embark on rebuilding, there's no harm in starting small. For instance, instead of splurging S$10,000 on a walk-in wardrobe that your potential buyer might not appreciate, you could be better off investing in quality materials, such as timeless marble, which will endure the test of time.

Interested in more proactive moves to unlock the value of your landed home or elevate your landed property's resale value? Feel free to get in touch with me, Harvey Chia, at 9199 9141.


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