Property

5 Properties You Could Get For the Price of a 5 Room Flat

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Ryan Ong

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Country sizes aren’t equal, so property isn’t equal. And that got me thinking: If you were to uproot and leave, where could a Singaporean afford to stay? The answer: Almost anywhere, and like a damn king. As it turns out, all that money we spend on a glorified sardine can of a flat could buy you small wonders elsewhere. Check out the alternatives:

Quick Note on Property Prices

This list uses the current exchange rate (April 2013) when figuring prices. Also, the given prices don’t take into account extra taxes or stamp duties. Like Singapore, some countries may impose extra costs on foreign buyers.

Most of the prices were listed as “negotiable”. They’re probably a little cheaper than what you see here.

 

Cost of a BTO, Five Room Flat

The average cost of a BTO, five room flat ranges from $310,000 to $380,000.

Most of that price difference is based on location (higher in mature estates, cheaper in non-mature estates). Common floor sizes are up to 112 square meters, with these features.

But let’s look at what the same amount of money could buy you, somewhere else:

 

1. A One Acre Home in Arizona, USA

 

Arizona house
And since I moved here, my only problem is that I need search parties when guests wander off.

This house in Arizona has four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms (I have no idea, that’s what the brochure says), and it’s about 268.6 square meters. That size refers to the house itself, not the whole land plot.

There’s even a den, separate from the house. It’s big enough to be a fifth bedroom. It might also explain why, if you get murdered in Arizona, your corpse won’t be found for months .

The asking price? About SGD $356,500.

Here’s a few more angles:

Frontage
Actually, that’s moat’s a sewage leak. Our landscaper’s just very good at improvising.

 

Kitchen Island
What every drinking counter needs: Plenty of dodge space for when the next guy pukes.

 

Living room with fireplace
Trust me, after two weeks in Arizona, even staring at the fireplace is huge entertainment.

2. The Old Parsonage Bed & Breakfast, in Maitland, Canada

Old Parsonage House
Make sure grandpa gets a floor plan when he visits. Last time he was lost for a week.

That place looks big enough to be an inn. Maybe because it actually is. The Old Parsonage is actually an artists’ retreat, as well as a Bed & Breakfast (But it’s up for sale).

It’s got five bedrooms, two baths, and an eat-in kitchen with a wood burning stove. That’s one of those ovens, the sort you could probably cook a dead mammoth in. Floor space is about 337 square meters (the house), and the plot itself is 1,636 square meters.

Asking price: About $342,800

Some other shots:

Antique stairwell
And if you hear something singing on that stairwell at night, don’t look. It’ll probably eat you.

 

Very packed antique kitchen
Why are we eating in a furniture warehouse?

 

Bedroom
Not only is it a great view, it’s your fire escape. Make sure the athletic one stays here.

3. Cotes-d’Armor, in Brittany, France

French cottage
Westerners: Live in open country with no parking lot issues. Build garage anyway.

Maybe city life doesn’t suit you. Maybe you want a nice quiet cottage somewhere, where a passing MRT train won’t rattle your skull at 11 pm. Well, France is a nice option. Baguettes, berets, and a house like Cotes-d’Armor.

This two (potentially three) bedroom stone cottage is on a land plot of 2,950 square meters. I don’t know the floor space of the house itself, but let me repeat that: A land plot of 2,950 square meters. I think that hidden base in the GI Joe movie would fit in there.

The asking price is about $207,561, which is way cheaper than a five room flat. And the cottage isn’t bad looking as is:

Outside den
Pro: This den is included. Con: A small community of vagrants could live there for a year before you notice.

 

Flowery bedroom
I’ve seen fewer flower patterns in a Botany course.

 

Living room with fireplace
Apparently, watching fires is more entertaining than Jersey Shore. In at least two countries now.

4. Three Bedroom Landed Property in Western Australia

Aussie house
Protip: Don’t put a bullseye next to a big ass window.

I have fond memories of Western Australia. School here was great, apart from that one guy who was a real killjoy (They called him “the teacher”).

And for the price of a five room, you could get landed property here. This is a typical three bedroom house, with a yard big enough to herd elephants in. Floor space (for the house in the picture) is 790 square meters, at a price of $324,370.

That’s assuming a fairly central location. Uh, central by Australian standards. This is a country where a hike to Tibet might be the distance of your house to the nearest 7-11. Some other shots:

Back of Aussie House
Again with the damn garage. Why would you build one when you can park an aircraft carrier in that driveway?

 

Kitchen
“Yeah there’s a fire, but take your time. With the size of the kitchen, it’ll take an hour to get to me.”

5. Taman Iskandar, in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Let’s cover the perennial favourite: Malaysia. This house is 325 square meters (looks bigger to me, but that’s what the listing says), and priced at about $341,500. We’ve discussed Malaysian property elsewhere.

Taman Iskandar
“Notice the high walls and gate. We were going for that “Prison for repeat offenders” look.”

Here’s an interior shot:

Living Room
“And here, we were going for the ‘someone stepped on a box of crayons’ look.” (Nah seriously, it’s nice and spacious).

Bonus Feature: What You Can Get for the Price of a Sentosa Cove Property

Let’s take a Sentosa Cove property like the famous Lakeshore View.

780 square meters of prime land, and the cardiac arrest-inducing price of about $28 million. What exactly could that money get you, in overseas property?

Try this one:

A Nuclear Proof Submarine Base in Norway

Submarine base
We never have a problem with neighbours. Neighbouring *countries*, that is.

This Cold War era submarine base is 15,000 square meters. I don’t know how much rent you can collect from two battalions of tenants, but it’s probably enough to cover the mortgage. Or buy Sudan.

tunnel
Although it is a bitch when you need to use the loo at night.

 

Helicopter Pad
“Guys, I can’t make the party. I’ll be sweeping my front yard. For about three years.”

The price of this submarine base? About SGD $21.6 million. Hmm. Land scarce or not, maybe we need to think about our property price index.

Image Credits:
Buy Property in Arizona, rightmoveoverseas, Legget, realestate.com.au, iProperty, Izismile

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Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.