Farewell Uncle Pete...

By The Folks @PropTalk - November 28, 2010 2 Comments

You may wonder what this has got to do with the Singapore private property scene, but do bear with us for the moment.

Uncle Pete was a family friend of ours. My dad used to work under him while he was GM for a foregin-based insurance company.

I remembered the Chinese New Year visits to his home in the Sembawang area when I was a teen. The piece of land that his bungalow stood on was so huge that you can easily park 8 cars in his front porch. Uncle Pete also used to hold big parties in his garden.

However, Uncle Pete's fortune began to turn with the 1997-98 financial crisis. During the property bull runs prior to 1997, he has accumulated several residential properties for investment purpose at what was considered then "market prices". As the financial crisis unfolded, all of these properties had gone "underwater" and his financial resources became severely overstretched.

With the banks on his back calling back loans given the drastic reduction in valuations on his investment properties, Uncle Pete was forced to dispose of all his properties at loss and also had to sell his bungalow to pay off the balance of his bank loans. His misery was compounded by several miscalculated career moves.

Uncle Pete was a pale shadow of himself thereafter. He lost his high-flying job and was unable to find a similiar position given his age (despite his experience and status within the industry). The last I have heard, he was working as an insurance agent and living in a 3-room HDB flat. His health also begun to fail on him.

Uncle Pete passed away last evening due to his protracted illness. May he rests in peace!

And given the subtle indications that we may be turning the corner from this red hot property market, Uncle Pete's story is probably another timely reminder that we should buy within our means...



2 comments to ''Farewell Uncle Pete..."

  1. sorry to hear that,
    a timely reminder for all of us

  2. Sorry to hear about your Uncle Pete. I'm sure you must have had fond memories of him...
    To see his downfall like that must be painful yet serves as a good warning to all of us.

    Thanks for the story. Always need to buy within our means.