0326Singapore real estate, waterfront Costa Rhu condos educational stories for asiahomes.com realtors. Excerpts from "The Internet Realtors, Singapore", sponsored by  AsiaHomes Internet.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? Minor repairs of $500.

Costa Rhu living area: Sea and green grass views The breezes of the crystal green Kallang River lifted the curtains of the living area. A freshness of unpolluted air mingled with traces of salt water. The door of the living area near the private lift was slammed shut by the strong breezes.  You don't need air conditioning in this Costa Rhu apartment.  

Bay windows to romance the stars? Click to see bigger image.
You can sit on the bay windows where you will romance under the starlight and fall in love once again as the waves swish the shores outside your master bedroom window.   Especially if your spouse is a sentimentalist. Click the two thumbnails to see bigger images.

The prospective tenants were a young Asian couple. The husband had said that I had not responded to his email earlier and now he telephoned to say he wanted a waterfront Costa Rhu Condo 3-bedroom at the maximum rent of $4,500.  He wanted to see the units in the evening.  

I do not know what happened to his email but I would respond as my business is from the Internet.  Would next morning be all right? Yes, he said. 

The next morning, I had only one waterfront condo for him. Another agent said she had one "waterfront" but he had already seen it the previous evening.  It was facing the pool and well, you could say, it was water facing.

The unit was asking $5,000.  Real waterfront.  The previous rental was $5,500.   The husband knew that there were no waterfront Costa Rhu renting at $4,500 and below.  Rents had shot up for such units as demand exceeded supply in March 2001.   Would he accept $5,000?  He had to go to Australia on the same day.

Expatriate husbands are usually busy and will not be bothered with realtors.  They usually contact you only when they fall in love with the condo and he was persistent in negotiations.  It was good we had emails. I put in a good faith deposit first to secure the apartment and his company wired the money to me later.

I emailed that the Landlord would accept the Letter of Offer for $4,800 if he could start the tenancy earlier or pay $100 more and start 2 weeks later. He chose the first option.

Then the Landlord wanted $500 as "minor repairs" and would not paint the whole apartment. The prospective Tenant could say no and get back his good faith deposit.   $500 was not the industry's practice but would he want the condo or not? 

It could be possible that the Landlord was not keen on the nationality of the prospective tenant or had a similar offer. What was the prospective Tenant's decision? I had told him that "minor repairs" would seldom exceed $500 as this was a 3-year old condo, relatively new. In any case, I had specified for him that minor repairs refer to the changing of light bulbs and plumbing chokes.  Of course, it could repair to repair of   door knobs not working well. It was a wide definition and if you were sticky about it, you would take back your good faith deposit.  However, you would not escape the "minor repairs" clause of other landlords.   

I brought an airline captain to see the condo. His wife simply fell in love with the wide open spaces and the sparkling waters of the Kallang River. He offered $5,000 with a few conditions inclusive of a "one month's notice to terminate the lease anytime".   Should I bring up this offer to the Landlord's agent? After all, I had a bird in hand. Was it worth two in the bush?

But there was no guarantee of closing until the tenancy agreement is signed or at least until all 3 months' rent had been paid for a two-year lease. There was never a sure to close thing when you have been in real estate for some years. 

I informed the Landlord's agent of the second offer. He brushed it off as not worth considering since the prospective Tenant could go off just by giving "one month's notice".  In any case, the airline captain later withdrew his offer till he passed certain examinations.

The three months' rent were paid but the tenancy agreement would be signed a few days' later. 

The Landlord's agent was worried about "illegal tenants" as the Landlord would be given a mandatory 6 months' jail for renting to illegals. He called from  Bangkok to enquire. 

Not only Landlords are being affected. "There was one agent who was jailed for abetment of renting the apartment to illegal tenants," I told him.

"I would be jailed first."  The tenancy agreement was emailed and would be approved by the head office.  A signed copy would be faxed and then couriered to me. This would take time. 

This was a corporate lease, a start up opening an office in the prestigious Suntec City and had the Trade Development Board's approval to start its business.  The documents including the employment pass would take another two weeks to arrive. The explanation pacified him.  Who wants to go to jail?

Tips for new www.asiahomes.com Realtors

The internet brings in business to you but to a few hundred competitors as well. Not so many in Singapore though. Much depends on whether you view email query on housing as a chore or as an opportunity.

Time is of the essence in choice rental properties as in any other transactions. If the prospective Tenant had waited for his employment pass to be approved, he would be left with no waterfront Costa Rhu condo as demand exceed supply considerably.  He was decisive and he knew his wife would be happy with an additional $300 from his pocket to secure this waterfront condo, it was worth the trouble.  

You Got Tenant, Condo Owner?

Looking for Tenants is like winning a war.
You need to know where your enemies can be found.

You need to advertise in www.asiahomes.com
where prospects interested in Singapore properties
are likely to be found.

Why not place an affordable internet ad
to contact prospects direct and save you
a few thousand dollars in agency commission?
Telephone +65 9668 6468, E-mail judy@asiahomes.com

Last updated:
25 Mar 2001


Viewing on Saturday March 24, 2001

9.15 am.
Meet at Four Seasons Hotel.

9.30 am
Gympkana Road. Black and white bungalow. Pool possible.  4+1 2,600 sq. ft built in, 14,000 sq. ft land.  $15,000 unfurnished. You get your own appliances.  It was possible to get the Landlord to put in an inground pool.

One storey. 3-bedrooms on one side and 1 on other side. Garage can be used as a maid's room? Snow white ceramic tiled floors.  Quiet and has lots of greenery.

10.15 am
Chatsworth Road bungalow with inground pool. 6+1 4,500 sq. ft built in. 15,110 sq. ft land. $15,000. Greenish marble flooring. Huge rooms. Manicured garden but the wife did not like the flat roof type architecture.
Huge roof terrace to entertain guests.  Excellent location near Tanglin Mall and downtown.

10.30 am
Swettenham Road bungalow with large inground pool. 5,400 sq. ft built in, 12,000 sq. ft land. 4+1 $13,000.  Cul de sac. Terrazzo-flooring and older bathrooms. Prestigious neighbourhood and lots of privacy.

Update:  The wife liked the following but these were taken.

Kingsmead Road California-like bungalow with the best sandstone marbles and tiles. Newer,  with a beautiful resort inground pool at the centre of the house.   Not much of a garden.  $17,000 offer given.  No long bath tubs.

Newton bungalow, newer,  4+1 with inground pool $15,000 tenanted last week, despite a massive new construction school project not far away.  Worth $18,000 rent if not for the construction.

Whitehouse Road, fully renovated with black granite flooring,  4+1 bungalow with big above ground pool closing at $16,500.  Cul de sac, prestigious neighbourhood, lots of space and greenery.  This was the dream house of any Caucasian wife.  Worth $18,000 rent if the Landlord wanted to wait.

The above four bungalows are available for rent as at March 16, 2001.  
For more information on the rental bungalows or to make appointments for a  FREE house-hunting for expats relocating to Singapore, email Judy Quek, tel: +65 9668 6468.

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