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May 05, 2021

Buying Property For Own Stay Versus Buying For Rental: Factors To Consider

Buying property for own stay versus buying for rental: Factors to consider

By PropNex research and editorial

Is that kitchen a tad small for your liking or perhaps you would prefer a tennis court in the condo development. Well, guess what, if you are not buying the unit for own stay but rather to rent it out, these issues should not matter so much – because you are not going to be living there.

That is not to say you should not choose an investment property with care, far from it. What is important to note is that there are different considerations in assessing a property, depending on whether you are buying it with the intention to live there or to generate rental income.

Buying a property is a huge commitment and there are many factors to evaluate before taking the plunge, including your housing needs and financial circumstances. For the purpose of this article, we will look at some key differences in the way you review a property depending on whether it is for own stay or for rental.


For own stay, you may not necessarily need to be near the central business district (CBD) or busy commercial areas. You might want to think about being in a place that is near to your parents’ home, or near to certain schools for your kids, or within walking distance to amenities/malls where you can do regular grocery shopping, and have access to cheaper food options. Being near to an MRT station would also offer convenience for daily commute as well.

If it is an investment property – i.e. for rental - you will probably need to think about who you want to lease the unit to? Are you looking at an expatriate family with school going kids or young professionals - couples or singles working in the city? This exercise would help you narrow down the locations and make a shortlist of suitable properties. For example, an expat family with young kids may appreciate being near an international school, while working professionals may want a place closer to the CBD and the city, where entertainment options are more plentiful. In addition, proximity to an MRT station is an added advantage, and units that are very near to MRT stations also tend to enjoy a higher rental yield.

Unit size

For own stay, you may need to have a larger apartment, depending on your family size. It also hinges on whether you intend to have your parents move in with you at some stage, whether you plan on having more kids in the future, or perhaps you will need a spare room for a domestic helper. With remote working on the rise, would you need a study area/work space to work more comfortably from home? If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are that you will require a mid-sized to larger apartment.

And if you love a spacious kitchen because you frequently whip up a meal for friends and family, then go ahead and look for that in a property that you will be living in.

Meanwhile, when buying a property for investment, many people tend to opt for the smaller units as they are seen to be easier to rent or sell in the future. Again, this depends on whether you intend to rent it to a family or a couple/single person. A lot of investors also go for smaller units – studios and one-bedders – because they are more affordable, at a quantum of under $1 million (depending on location).

Range of condo facilities

Living in a condo development with ample facilities can be a lot of fun – you can hit the gym, swim laps and yes, challenge your friends to a game of tennis. If you have children, you may want to look at whether the development is kid-friendly, such as having a large playground or enough space for them to run around safely. In contrast, if you do not swim or do not particularly enjoy tennis, then a smaller, boutique condo project may suit your needs more (and it may be easier on your pocket if this lowers the monthly maintenance fee).

For rental, however, some tenants may prefer condo developments with plenty of facilities, including swimming pool, jacuzzi, large BBQ area, zen gardens, pet compound, and so on.


It goes without saying that your home should reflect who you are, your taste and preferences, even your quirks. Hence, it is not unusual for you to put more effort and money into renovating your new home. If you are buying a property to be rented out, you may not want to devote as much resources to renovate the unit or furnish it with a lot of items – assuming the unit is in a decent liveable condition - as the tenants may have their own preferences.

These are some basic guidelines on assessing a property based on your buying objective. Naturally, there are a wide range of considerations when it comes to property acquisition and you may speak to any of our PropNex salespersons for a more comprehensive review of your needs and available buying opportunities.

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