In 2008, I had my first round of house hunting, and once again is 2011, I started looking for a new place again.
At my grand age of 26, I had my beautiful baby boy, sold my first property and now, I have bought my second one.
Honestly, the decison to move from Telok Kurau to Pasir Ris wasn’t easy. We love our humble abode, love our vibrant neighbourhood and how convenient the place is. However, at this point of our lives, with Baby Ryan, something got to go. The thing is that Baby Ryan is left in my mother’s care on weekdays- this means that E and I have to travel from Telok Kurau to Pasir Ris and vice versa on a daily basis. If you factor in the terrible traffic conditions in the mornings and evenings, travelling takes up at least 60 minutes of each of our precious time which could be better utilised. Also, 1 hour of driving daily can be really draining. Next, if we moved nearer to my family, it means lesser driving and lesser petrol consumption. This will possibly lead to more savings- $50-$80 every month. All these money just adds up and maybe it adds up to a Gucci sling bag that I am eyeing. With the arrival of Baby Ryan, we realised that we needed more living space for our darling boy to grow up in.Telok Kurau home was suitable for DINKs lifestyle but was not really desirable when the baby came along. Lastly, E and I need all the family support that we can have right now. Living within 1 kilometre circumference of my family will help us infinitely.
In the last week of September, our place was sold in a week.
The family that came to our place for the first viewing offered the 1% cheque immediately.
It was rejected by me and there was a second offer again which I/we accepted very reluctantly.
Immediately after we accepted the cheque, I felt totally at a loss. I suppose the feeling of possibly not finding a home in the next few weeks is rather unpleasant.
Before we even started looking for houses, both of us agreed that we are open to the option of staying in a HDB flat. In fact, being able to buy a new HDB flat is the best case scenario. If the latter was unsuccessful, we will only consider buying freehold/999years projects.
The resale HDB flats are usually much older and the amount cash over valuation(COV) is just ridiculously high! Hence, it is not very worth the investment. 99 lease old condominium projects are also out of out spectrum because we do not really see value in them. Also, valuation for 99 year projects usually “suffer” the most in times of recession.
Round 1: Balance of Sale HDB flats
As much as we want to stay in a HDB flat, it seems like one of the most impossible things to happen, almost like pigs flying in the sky. We went to HDB Hub to seek for advice and the officer told us that our case was really weak and we should consider getting a resale HDB flat instead. 😦 There are simply too many restrictions. Seriously… Anyway, I am really unhappy with the system and I think it is really unfair how we cannot get a new HDB flat and can only look for a resale flat. I have so much things to complain about this issue but I suppose it might not be that appropriate to say it out here. Boo!
Round 2: Pasir Ris/Flora Road
E and I spent at least 4 Saturday afternoons going around Flora Road, checking out the various condominium units. We have shortlisted- Avila Gardens, Ballota Park and Edelweiss. Avila Gardens in actually one of my favourite among the Flora Road condominiums. In fact, there was one unit that I particularly liked because I felt that it has alot of potential. Well, apparently E did not share similar sentiments about that with me. So, there it goes.
Number of units viewed at Avila: 7
Number of units that I liked: 1. Veto-ed, because E was not too fond of old houses as they required too much renovation.
Ballota Park was also one of our choices. There was a particular Saturday that we spent viewing 7 units at Ballota. Man… seems like there are many units trying to cash out. Pricing wise, Ballota Park is pretty decent. However, I do not really like the fact that the condominium is built in a “valley”. This means, some of the houses are sort of like built under the road. Elevated road supposedly have very strong chi energy. Hmm… That aside, we are not fans of the green windows.
Number of units viewed at Ballota: 9
Number of units that we liked: 1. The unit was very well maintained, very windy and looks very homely. We were really close to deciding on it as we went there for a second viewing with our parents. Veto-ed, because we were not to sure if we wanted to live in Ballota Park.
Lastly, there was Edelweiss Park. The landscaping is beautiful, the environment is idyllic, with impressive water features, koi ponds, swimming pools and so on. However, I just feel that the unit we viewed was very inaccessible, especially with the super long drive-in. It also have the same problem as Ballota Gardens- the road was higher than the unit that we looked at.
Number of units viewed at Edelweiss: 1
Number of units that E liked: 1. Veto-ed because I just did not like how inaccessible the place is and how Changi Prison was a street away and I could actually “check-in” Changi Prison on Facebook.
Round 3: Pasir Ris/ Jalan Loyang Besar
We started our house- hunting at Ris Haven, thinking that we possibly could get a good deal since there was a developer sale that weekend. Before we went to check out the units, our expectations were really high. The news was that the developer really wanted to let go the 2,3 and 4 bedrooms penthouse units. Can you imagine! Penthouses! Gosh, we were so excited about it! When we got there, we were really disappointed with the layout of the place. E.g. the planter boxes are actually bigger than the master bedroom toilet and the kitchenette is really tiny…Why?
Well, the saving grace of everything is that the view is really fantabulous! Not pockets of seaview but a panoramic seaview(for the 4 bedroom penthouse)!
Number of units viewed at Ris Haven: 2
Number of units that we liked: 0.
Then, we also checked out JLB Residences. It is boutique development. The good points of that project would be that it is new, it is near to a public carpark, next to the beach and very near to my parents’ home. Anyway, we just found that that the townhouses next to JLB Residences are successful in their enbloc exericse. Each unit, apparently getting 1.75 million! So, this possibly mean that there might be redevelopment that heavy construction within the next 5 years. Not the peace and quiet that we are looking for.
Number of units viewed: 2
Number of units that E liked: 1, because it is really pretty, complete with very fancy renovations. Veto-ed because I did not like the price. (Yes, I am price sensitive) Plus, the unit does not have North-South orientation- meaning, it would be really warm to live there. After our Telok Kurau home experience(which also gets both the morning and afternoon sun), we realised that having a home that is windy and does not get the afternoon sun is of paramount importance.
Round 4: Changi Courts / Changi Green
We went there to have an idea what the developments around the planned Upper Changi MRT for the future downtown line would look like. Given the recent MRT announcements, the 10 year old projects there have all factored in the MRT factor, with PSFs approaching the 1k mark, even when there are very little amenities there in the present.
Number of units viewed: 3
Number of units we liked: 0. What is with the green windows? They are everywhere!
Round 5: Telok Kurau/Grandiflora
I was getting depressed about moving away from D15 and E suggested to view some 3 bedders around the area. The place we viewed was in the same lorong, meaning we would only move like 50m if we get it. As much as the condition was good and the development was newer, it would defeat the whole purpose of sellng our house in the first place to be near my parents.
Number of units viewed: 1
Number of units that we liked: 1. Veto-ed. Only D17/18 this time round.
Round 6: Pasir Ris/ Jalan Loyang Besar/ Bluwaters
Number of units viewed:2
Number of united that we liked: 1.
Here we are, back in Jalan Loyang Besar. By the fourth week, we were mentally and physically drained from the house hunting exercise. The Saturday classifieds only yielded a few units that we have not seen yet. Among which was an advert for a Bluwaters unit which was spotted by E. I contacted the agent and we met her in the evening. The agent was late but she definitely met us in style! She was a lady in her late 40s who drove a huge ass white Jaguar and was decked in designer’s from head to toe! The unit that she was selling was the second unit that we saw in Bluwaters.
Like JLB, Bluwaters is also a boutique sized condominium, slighter further away from my parents’ place and very near the beach. The place is 5 years old and it is very much like a resort which attracted both of us. The unit that we saw was owned by a family of 5, along with a maid. It is pretty well-maintained even though E and I decided to spruce up the balcony abit.
We went for a second viewing in 2 days along with my family. We made and offer which was accepted in 2 hours.
So, after 4 weeks, 27 house viewings and nights of Property Guru research, that marks the end of our house hunting.
Once again, in October, I found a new home.
Come January 2012, it will be home@Bluwaters.