Celebrating Friendships and Shared Living in Singapore this Valentine’s Day


February 14, 2024

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What do you think when you hear about the occasion ‘Valentine’s Day’? For many, it conjures images of couples exchanging gifts and indulging in romantic gestures, prompting some to reflect on their own personal relationships. You are not alone in this contemplation. According to the Marriage and Parenthood Survey done in 2021, Singaporeans harbour such aspirations to get married yet many navigate the complexities of finding a partner.

Amid aspirations to move out of their parents’ homes, many Singaporeans face a conundrum: “How do I find a house when I can’t even find someone to buy with?”  Fortunately, the power of friendship can come to play. In modern times, Valentine’s Day has evolved beyond its romantic roots to embrace platonic relationships as well. Did you know that the day before Valentine’s marks the global celebration of friendships?

This article will cover all you need to know about shared living with friends and offer insights into this alternate living arrangement. We will uncover the benefits of living with friends, provide practical tips for finding compatible housemates, and discuss strategies for fostering a harmonious living environment. Whether you are single, coupled up, or simply seeking a new adventure, join us as we explore the world of shared living and the bonds of friendship that make it possible.

Why Live With Friends?

In an era where housing affordability and social connection are increasingly on the minds of Singaporeans, co-living offers a compelling solution for those interested in independent living. Typical co-living spaces allow residents to experience living with strangers with shared common spaces and facilities. Check out Rashmi’s article where she examines the advantages and disadvantages of co-living spaces in Singapore

For those who prefer more privacy and personalisation, shared living with friends may be an alternative you want to consider. Here are some benefits of shared living with friends:

1. Flexibility

Firstly, shared living provides the flexibility to choose living arrangements based on existing relationships and preferences. Whether it is customising living spaces or hosting others, living with friends offers greater flexibility and convenience in shaping the living experience to suit individual needs and preferences.

2. Personal Compatibility

Unlike living in a co-living space, living with friends means having the autonomy to choose housemates. Given the pre-existing relationships, having housemates with similar lifestyles, preferences and habits can create an environment where everyone can live in harmony.

3. Enhanced Support Network

Lastly, staying in close proximity with friends means having that built-in support who can offer emotional support and encouragement whenever necessary. Growing up is never easy but having someone going through life can offer solace and create a supportive and nurturing living environment. From celebrating milestones to going through the ups and downs, living with friends can foster deeper relationships you would not get elsewhere.

Convinced to take the next step? Now it is time to make things happen.

How to Make Living With Friends a Reality?

Aside from finding potential housemates, another dilemma would be finding a suitable accommodation. Key decisions regarding the budget and period of stay will guide whether to rent or purchase and the type of accommodation to seek out. 

Renting in Singapore

In Singapore, rental durations are a minimum of six months and three months for HDB and private properties respectively. HDB also permits a maximum of two to three years depending on the nationalities of the tenants. Generally, the maximum number of tenants in a property is six with the expectation of one and two room HDB flats which can accommodate a maximum of 4 tenants.

Regarding rental prices, HDB provides rental statistics and services to find out more about HDB rentals in each town. As with the purchase of houses, expect higher rentals in more central areas such as Queenstown and Bishan. For private properties, exploring property portals will help provide a gauge on the market prices.

Purchasing in Singapore

For those considering to purchase a property together, it is possible to purchase a HDB as a core nucleus of up to three other singles. Purchasing a HDB flat has stringent eligibility criteria, including an age requirement of 35 years and at least two Singapore Citizens as applicants, making it a lengthy process.

Purchasing private property may be less stringent than a HDB flat but it brings an added layer of discussion with potential housemates about budget since private property is typically higher than HDB flats. There is definitely more variety and access to different amenities with a private home but it comes with a price tag.

If you are contemplating between renting and purchasing a property, check out my previous article where we explore the nuances of both choices.

Overall, although sharing the cost of a property may lead to potential fruition when the property is inevitably sold, deciding what type of co-ownership will set a precedence on financing the property. Each type of co-ownership also bears different consequences in a situation where a co-owner passes on. For joint tenancy, co-owners will be jointly assessed for the loan and are able to use both their CPF to service the mortgage. On the other hand, for tenancy-in-common, only the owner’s income will be assessed for the loan and only the owner’s CPF can be used.

For maximised personal space, dual-key condominium units and landed properties is the way to go if it fits your budget. Interested to know what a dual-key unit is like? George brings you along a PLB Signature Home Tour of a 4 bedder dual-key unit in Forestville. With a asking quantum of $1.65 million, a 30-year loan would need a $5,500 monthly mortgage to service the loan.

Navigating Challenges in a Shared Space

While shared living with friends can offer numerous benefits, it is essential to acknowledge that it is not without its challenges. Conflict is inevitable while living in close proximity with others. From disagreements over household chores to differences in lifestyle preferences, navigating these potential pitfalls requires open communication and compromise. Discovering the quirks and habits of one another will be part of the journey. 

Most importantly, setting boundaries beforehand can help preserve the friendship and achieve personal and social balance. It becomes evident that the journey from planning to actually staying together can be filled with challenges and uncertainties. By establishing expectations and remembering the motivation behind the shared space, housemates can create a wholesome environment. This ensures everyone feels comfortable and valued.

Final Thoughts

All in all, living with friends offers flexibility, personal compatibility and an enhanced support system. There are many aspects to consider aside from who to stay with. From the mode of ownership to the property and co-ownership arrangements, it is crucial to make a collective decision. 

After the acquisition of a living space, the next challenge will be acknowledging conflicts and setting appropriate boundaries to maintain a wholesome environment. Despite the challenges, a shared living space with friends presents the opportunity for personal growth and strengthened relationships.

By considering the benefits, challenges, and practical considerations outlined in this article, individuals can make informed decisions about embarking on this shared living journey.

As we extend the spirit of Valentine’s Day to celebrate all forms of relationships, including friendships, let us embrace the opportunities for growth and companionship that shared living offers. Whether you are considering purchasing your first property together or exploring rental options, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to grow independently yet together at the same time.

This journey may appear daunting and unfamiliar, but remember that you are not alone. If you find yourself in need of guidance or assistance along your housing journey, our team of experienced consultants is here to offer support and expertise

Till next time!

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