How this couple ended up in their Nordic-inspired dream home, Lifestyle News
When 33-year-old Singaporean âNellieâ and her partner decided to settle down and buy a new home together, he knew it would propel their relationship into the next phase of their lives. However, the circumstances he found himself in didn’t seem helpful at first.
After working for 17 years in the maritime industry (her partner worked in it for 7 years), Nellie sold a private property in her name at the end of 2020, so they could afford and move into their new home as a couple.
Nellie and her partner document their new home on IG
Can’t wait and request a BTO
Unfortunately, since Nellie had just given up private property, he had to wait at least 30 months before he could apply for a BTO apartment. It is part of HDB Conditions of eligibility.
Beyond the 30 months, there is a four to five year wait for the BTO flat to be ready (and only if they are successful in their application). Nellie and her partner weren’t ready to last that long. They were also wary of potential completion delays due to Covid-19.
So they started looking for a house instead for a resale property.
âMy partner and I have looked at many projects, from DBSS (Design, Build & Sell Scheme) resale to Executive Condominiums (EC) – those that have completed their minimum occupancy period (MOP).
âTo our surprise, the prices asked by sellers left us speechless. The amount of COV (Cash over Valuation) we had to cough up made us step back and rethink.
Have the right expectations and the right balance
Initially, Nellie and her partner had high expectations.
They wanted a place on a high floor, with a clear view with good facilities and a great neighborhood vibe. However, these came with a hefty price tag, so they relaxed their expectations.
In the end, Nellie and her partner struck the right balance in a resale condo they saw. While that meant shelling out more money compared to a resale HDB apartment, it offered a greater variety of facilities, privacy, and security.
With the help of their agent, they selected a 1,001 square foot 3-bedroom apartment in La Fiesta. Completed in 2016, this is a 99-year leasehold condominium across from Compass One Mall, with Sengkang MRT just a separate airlift.
At $ 1,249 psf, the apartment fit their budget and they were delighted that it was relatively new and well maintained – an important criterion on their hunt.
With the apartment, Nellie and her partner agreed that they wouldn’t want to compromise on space. They merged the living room, kitchen and dining room into one large space – a fluid common space – instead of having traditional, compartmentalized areas.
âWe saw the potential of the space when we first visited the development. Another plus point was the cleanliness of the grounds. We liked the maturity of the surrounding neighborhood, which still retains quite young qualities in some ways. The profitability of the development was another consideration that helped us cement our decision.
The agent played the role of mediator
During the process of visiting and selecting the house, Nellie and her partner had disagreements as they did not always agree on everything.
“This is when your agent plays a crucial role,” he said. “He has to be a friend to both of you, understand the situation and really do his homework to give you the best selections for both of you.”
Today, Nellie and her partner happily reside in their fully furnished apartment at La Fiesta, sipping wine.
Not only that, Nellie is most proud of his kitchen, as he and his partner made the bold decision to hack the existing condo cabinets and walls that separated the kitchen and living room. Instead of upper cabinets, they went with shelves.
He’s also proud of their master bathroom, where they ditched the previous design for a new look using natural stone and a low-key wood accent.
Tips for Home Buyers
Tips for Home Buyers
Having sold private property and bought a resale condo, Nellie’s advice to homebuyers like him is to find âunderstanding and compromiseâ – especially when buying with a partner.
âPeople often have very high expectations of their first home together and therefore miss a lot of good units (due to different checklists and priorities). This is what I personally learned during my trip. In addition, there were many areas to consider. Bank loans, renovation, moving in time, purchase of furniture and appliances.
âThese are things you have to be prepared for and discuss with your partners when looking for accommodation.
âMake sure you find a good agent; this is a decisive situation. You can find a good home yourself, but there are professionals who can tell you the potential of the property, for example if you are paying too much for the place. In addition, they help in the price negotiation process and ensure a smooth transfer, especially with a resale unit with a previous owner.
For Nellie and her partner, the next dream is to one day acquire a second property and rent one. For now, they are happy with their new home and hope their sharing will help other homeowners make the right choices.
This article first appeared in 99.co.