Fiancé & I splitting reno costs 50:50. I can pay my 50 while he can’t. If I pay for the diff, both of us have $0 savings & I need to delay investment plans. Thinking of reno loan but wary of high interest rates. What should we do? - Seedly

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 22 May 2018

Fiancé & I splitting reno costs 50:50. I can pay my 50 while he can’t. If I pay for the diff, both of us have $0 savings & I need to delay investment plans. Thinking of reno loan but wary of high interest rates. What should we do?

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Siti Putri
Siti Putri

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Level 5. Genius
Answered on 23 May 2018

1) Reno loan should be the last item as typically 5% interest. Unless u are good and consistent in investing capable to make more than that.

2) o reduce the Reno amount decide on priority or not.

3) If I were u I won't focus on investing but just more savings to built up for the next couple years., Reno is one thing, still need $10K+ to buy appliances and fixtures like Aircon lights, washing machine, fridge etc. Plus once u start living will have costs like utilities and conservancy fees.

4) If I were to plan to live with someone perhaps I will use my extra 50% to cover for fiance. However will make a deal that he/ she transfer some amount back to me every month without interest lah. Alternatively, he/ she can also be the one to pay for monthly groceries, utilities etc once start living together till I recoup back my 50%.

5) Open a joint account and teach your fiance to save together a certain amount.

6) Everyone has strength and weakness, so it is up to couple to optimise the strengths and complement on the weakness.

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HC Tang
HC Tang
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 23 May 2018

1) Just do aircond. system 3 (3 BR with aircond) or 4 (3 BR and living room) cost about 3 to 4k, be sure to choose 4 tick and above. Because if you do aircond later after you move in, gonna be messy, dirtyand lots of hacking, wiring, trunking and existing furniture will obstruct.

2) Electric wiring - BTO is new does not need to do much wiring. Spend basic on lights and plugs.

3) Kitchen cabinet do the normal and need not spend too much on it. Normal budget about 8 to 15k.

4) Buy furniture from Taobao, since all the furniture you see either made in M'sia or APAC country, tao bao helps save a lot.

5) Draft a list by (a) Needs and (b) Wants. Send the (a) Needs list to family and friends and colleauges, they will be happy to share and buy you some useful furniture. Buy your (b) wants later one by one after your salary increases.

6) Get standard fixture and fittings packages from HDB (such as floor tiles or even Kitchen cabinet), may not be the best but will save a lot than outside contractor.

7) Buy some of the bed or furnishing using zero interest installment via credit cards, this will help you to pay gradually.

Finally, go hang out and read a lot at Renotalk forum, find all the sub contractor 1 by 1 doing different trades, husband be the main contractor coordinating all the sub con, this will save a bulk from using a main contractor who does nothing much.

Learn to real the floorplan, the quotations, and see how others quote so that you can specify items, materials, and know the costing in details so will not be con on materials or being chop on price/quote.

Be sure to always spot check the work of the sub con, they might sneak cheap stuff in sometimes.

In short, most Singapore stays in their BTO for 5 years (once MOP meet) and will be thinking of upgrading when income increases, thus don't need to spend so much $ on the first house. After all when you sell, the buyer don't pay you for the depreaciate values of your fixtures, fittings and your furniture. So do the basic and upgrade every 5 to 10 years.

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Gabriel Tham
Gabriel Tham
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Aug)

Level 8. Wizard
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Well....either lower the budget for the reno and make do with less and what you both can afford.

Or, delay the reno, save up more for it and then do the reno.

If both of you cannot pay for it, then its definitely out of your affordability zone. We all want the best but sometimes we just cannot afford it, so we have to make do with whatever resources available.

This principle goes for many other things in life. People want big houses, expensive car, rolexes, etc. But not everyone can afford. So how? Make do with what you have in life and to your own affordability.

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Cherie Julianne Tan
Cherie Julianne Tan

23 May 2018

I agree with this, should make do with whatever resources you have. Don't bust the bank trying to achieve something out of your threshold, it would only damage the marriage in the long run, totally not worth it! As long as both of you are happy together, I think that's all that matters! You should communicate your concerns with your other half, so that you will feel less alone on this!
Amos Goh
Amos Goh

23 May 2018

Agreed, spending what you can afford can never go wrong :)
Tee-Ming Chew
Tee-Ming Chew

()

Level 6. Master
Answered on 23 May 2018

I believe this is a question that will be faced by many couple.. Please allow me to share my view on this.

There are three possible way to resolve this:

  1. Reduce the renovation cost to a sum that both you and your Fiancé can afford. That being said, this means that you need to lower down your expectation on the renovation outcome as lower budget most likely will mean lesser stuffs you can do for the renovation.
  2. Pay the difference and have an agreement for him to return you back the sum. As you mentioned that you are planning to start investing, you should talk to your Fiancé about it so that he can understand that you need the money for other use in future.
  3. Pay and forget. Since you are starting a family together, one way to think about it is that you are actually investing for the future of the family's comfort (a better home means a happier family). That being said, you should really think if you're ok with this arrangement!

Again this is my perspective. Hope it helps!

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Aksel Yap
Aksel Yap

()

Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 23 May 2018

I'm gonna tackle this as a business problem. It depends on what skills you want to pick up.

1) Call subcontractors directly. That means getting flooring , painting , carpentry from guys who do those jobs. Not a renovation company. Renovation companies mark up by about 30-50%. Get good at negotiation and u can knock that 30-50% off. It also means you have to schedule and manage the whole project yourself. Congrats, you just started your own renovation company.

2) Start an Indiegogo or GoFundMe. There seem to be similar stuff here https://www.gofundme.com/wedding-honeymoon-fundraising/. Think of it as a giant wedding registry!

Offer incentives like picture taking with the house after renovation done or something. Congrats, you just became a social "influencer".

Those are just 2 ways to make the money you need. If you hustle, I'm sure u can think of more.

Too hard? Yea, stick with cutting down something or getting a loan. Those are really easy to do.

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2
Nicholas Chan
Nicholas Chan

()

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 06 Oct 2018

Either go for a smaller renovation package, or u pay 1st, monitor his spending & ask him to cut back his daily expenses to make up for it =p

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1
Yeap Ming Feng
Yeap Ming Feng

()

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 23 May 2018

I guess there is a few ways to tackle this issue, depending on the priority.

  1. If Investment is at the top of your priority, you are ok to scale down on renovation spending to a budget which is comfortable with both parties. One way around it is to do it in batches. Have the necessity renovation done up first and move on to the rest when both parties are able to afford it.
  2. If you still wish to carry on with the renovation in full, get the best renovation loan package. Of course, one needs to be confident that the investment returns can beat the interest rate. Find out here: https://www.99.co/blog/singapore/best-renovation-loan-singapore/

Having done an AMA with some of the experts in the field, most couple commit the mistake of spending way too much on renovation. While it seems tempting to do so at first, ultimately it is your love nest and probably your first property. But the key takeaway will be:

  • Having liquidity for rainy days is important.
  • Renovations can always be done when it is less taxing on the wallet or when enough savings. The design you want now, might be outdated by then and taste changes over time.

Work it out with your Fiance! You guys can do it! Cheers!!

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Kenneth Lou
Kenneth Lou

()

Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 23 May 2018

I think the simple answer to this is to delay your renovation and start to work with what you have.

Do not overspend and start getting into renovation debt. To most people and young couples, I believe that Renovation loan is often a want more than a need. It can go upwards of $20 to 40k for a medium level of renovation.

Try to save up first and plan accordingly before moving down that route :) Cheers!

Perhaps having a Joint Account (for one purpose) eg just a RENOVATION FUND could be useful? I would recommend using the CIMB FastSaver for this purpose: https://seedly.sg/reviews/savings-accounts/cimb-fast-saver

It has the best flat interest rate at 1% and even for me, I'm using it now with my fiancée for future housing downpayment and renovation costs! (set aside $X every month) so we both know that we are in on this together! Don't let all these money problems tie you down early on in your marraige life. It can be very strenous...

0 comments

1

Mm firstly have both of you already committed to the reno package? If yes there's nothing much you can do other than commit to the costs involved and see if you can get a balance transfer on your credit card or a loan from parents to make up for the difference. If both of you have not committed to the package, look around for cheaper quotes from reliable companies. Smrt feedback group on Facebook published a list of blacklisted reno companies so you may wanna take a look first and avoid them. Others here have suggested coordinating the reno project and looking for sub contractors individually. Worth a shot. Furniture wise, try looking at IKEA instead if customising. Will save some costs. Do the same for lighting and you'll save quite a bit as compared to walking down balestier with all the lighting shops. For aircon, fridge and washing machine, get the most efficient ones your budget can afford. These can be put on a credit card installment plan so it'll help stretch your cash flow. For investments. Best to set aside funds for emergencies first before starting on investing. Or perhaps allocate more funds towards savings while investing a smaller amount each month. Be careful not to overstretch yourself this way. All the best

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Dolce Goh
Dolce Goh

()

Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 06 Oct 2018

Never ever spend more than your means

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Good Day Every Day
Good Day Every Day
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Nov)

Level 6. Master
Answered on 24 Sep 2018

Do not take up a loan for renovation. Go for cheaper renovation packages from trustworthy renovation companies.

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Yong Kah Hwee
Yong Kah Hwee
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Feb)

Level 6. Master
Answered on 20 Sep 2018

lower the budget for the reno if possible. check out the interest rates for the loan. if you think you can beat the loan interest rates using your investments, then sure take the loan. if not, it'd be better to pay for the diff.

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Isabella Jo
Isabella Jo

()

Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 21 Jul 2018

Maybe lower your reno budget to a figure you are both comfortable with. I personally feel investment plan can wait, rather than you take reno loan with high interest rate.

My suggestion, as a couple work together on the budget. It may cause grudge in the long run if too much discussion on my money and your money.

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Stephanie Ng
Stephanie Ng

()

Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 13 Jun 2018

Hi,

A reno loan is definitely very very risky, we recently got a house, we had only air con, minimal wiring, wifi. Why not delay your renovation, and do something really basic? Furthermore, you might only stay for 5 years before moving out.

Also is the wedding coming? My friend took a slippery path and got both wedding and reno loan. Now she is paying back every month with very very high interest rate.

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Gabriel Tan Jun Wei
Gabriel Tan Jun Wei

()

Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 23 May 2018

Hi there!

I do not think it makes sense to wipe up all your savings and delay your investment plans just to renovate your house. What would happen would be that you would end up sitting your newly acquired sofa opening your iBanking app on your smartphone, feeling terrible with $0 in your bank account.

Since you can only afford half of what is initially planned, I highly suggest that you do a basic renovation for your house where all neccessities are met. The idea here is minimalism. Progressively, start adding the other desired stuff that was in the initial plans. In fact, maybe you feel that you do not even need to add those stuff that you have initally planned out, saving you half of the initial amount.

That money can be used to contribute to future expenses or invested for more returns.

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Steph Yeo
Steph Yeo

()

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 23 May 2018

We may be better able to help if you share the amount and the timeline you have, e.g how to raise $x in y months or yrs. I'm also curious why he agreed to the 50% when it seems to be beyond his reach.

But for now on top of existing suggestions, maybe you can consider doing your reno in phases to spread out the costs. Do what you and your partner consider to be necessities first.

All the best!

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