Some of you may know this. We conceptualized DREA when we first starting looking for our own place 3 years ago. We were excited, our friends were excited too. Our parents were, as expected, less excited as they felt they would see less of us.
Everyone had their own share of “tips”
“You should buy something with a good rental yield, even if you are occupying it. That makes more financial sense.”
“Don’t over stretch yourself, find something that is within your budget. You wouldn’t want your monthly installments to impact your lifestyle”
“Accessibility has improved and Singapore is a lot more connected now. There’s no real need to pay for the premium ‘central’ districts because travel time is what really matters”
“You need to think ahead, find something near a good school”
They were all valid and we listened. At the same time, we knew that it was a personal decision and we came to our own conclusions as to what was most important to us. We didn’t want to stretch ourselves financially, so our budget was something between S$1.2m – 1.5m.
We wanted a place which was within walking distance to supermarkets so we could get our groceries done. And since our office was at Dhoby Ghaut, we wanted a place which was within 10-15mins drive. We were less fussed about which district it was or whether it was near a train station.
You might have your own list. So, start by listing down what’s most important to you and use that to find the right home.
We then started searching for the right home for us. Back then, PropertyGuru was by default the only online source for properties. There are a lot more options today and we thought we would talk through how you can make use of some of these portals to get more out of it.
We still use PropertyGuru today. Infact, we like the idea of having a broad range of options to look at. It can be rather engaging too. Most of the agents in the market list with PropertyGuru and use it as a primary channel so there’s basically nothing you can’t find. The only pain point is that agents sometimes do not list a price against their listing but that’s a small issue. I typically set a minimum price when searching for homes on PropertyGuru. This way, it’s easy to get a sense of the range of prices.
PropertyGuru’s map search function is also worth checking out. They had this for a while now. The benefit of doing a map search is that you get to see ongoing constructions such as an upcoming mall, train station etc.
99.co has a large inventory of listings too though smaller than PropertyGuru. Key selling point for 99.co is its user interface and map search. Like PropertyGuru, you can set parameters such as price, size, budget etc. Also, 99.co does not insert paid featured listings but sorts all listings based on relevance. A useful feature is the in-app messaging system. This allows you to keep all communication with agents neatly sorted.
We thought it would be useful to highlight how DREA has approached the user experience for home search and exploration rather differently. DREA allows you to search and explore homes in 3 different ways:
1. Explore on-the-go
Find yourself in a great neighbourhood? Flip out your mobile phone with location services turned on and DREA will show you a selection of units for sale that are in your vicinity. Or showflats nearby. You can preset these options, or allow DREA to better understand your preferences over time. Try it now at DREA.sg on mobile
It gets quite tricky when there are too many filter parameters. To make it easier, we built in natural language search capabilities onto our web and tablet site. Try typing something like “Freehold 3 bedroom for sale under 1.2m with yield of >3%”. And of course, it’s harder to find something available if the options are too narrowly defined.
Read more about our Natural Language Search Processing Capabilities here or watch our Lead Actor, Mark, use our Natural Language Search here in this Fathers Day Video
DREA allows you to search for homes based on a few new and unique parameters such as homes near supermarket, foodcourt, or estimated rental yield of individual units. If you typically drive to work, you can also search for homes based on drive time to ~800 different office locations. Try searching for homes on DREA.sg
Here’s a fun fact: Guess where we eventually found the right home? It was PropertyGuru given the breadth of listings they have. But it was DREA that gave us the comfort that we were making the right decision.
Next up, we hope to share with you about how one can go about evaluating location. As the saying goes, its location, location, location for real estate. Sign up for our mailing list so we can keep you in the loop when we do our next post.
We hope you enjoyed the post. This is part 2 of our guide on 7 things to consider before buying a Condo.