"I’m very thankful for my agent’s advice because I didn’t know older homes have CPF restrictions."
If you ask Cecilia the favourite thing about her home, she is quick to answer. “My favourite place is actually on this sofa,” she laughs, “It’s where I eat, watch TV and fall asleep sometimes.”
A moment later she’ll tell you that the kitchen, or the feature wall, or her tatami style bed is also her favourite. It’s hard to decide when everything is custom made to your wishes!
Aesthetically, Cecilia wanted her place to look nice and pleasing to the eye so that when she comes home, she can feel happy and just chill. When she found her HDB flat in Bukit Panjang she went about searching for ideas online, adapting them to her lifestyle, or working out her own inspiration.
Like her favourite feature wall! “It’s actually all pieces of wood that the carpenter glued together, piece by piece. I looked at quite a lot of designs, but ideas like these just suddenly pop into my head.”
The feature wall leads to another favourite spot, the kitchen. As she loves to cook and prepare food for her friends when they come over, Cecilia made sure the kitchen had ample space for everything, “A lot of cooking utensils, everything I need and everything that I don’t need.”
Storage space is a matter of great importance to the self-confessed shopaholic: “I love to shop. So, I needed a lot of space for storage beside the storeroom. That’s why I created a platform bed, where I can shove everything inside. The best part is that space in the platform bed is actually utilised.”
Destined to call a house a home
Cecilia loves her neighbourhood in Bukit Panjang. “It’s actually very clean. The neighbours are really nice and very helpful. There are a lot of supermarkets around and they’re open for 24 hours.”
In fact, she feels like she was fated to live here, especially after the last-minute drama of her house-hunting journey.
Cecilia had actually found a different property in Telok Blangah and was ready to make a purchase. The night before she was due to hand over the cheque to secure the property, she got a phone call from her good friend, Amin Mak, an ERA agent who uses the PropertyGuru platform.
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At the nick of time, Amin warned her about the flat being older and having restrictions on how much of her CPF she could use to pay for it. “I’m very thankful for that advice, because I had no knowledge that houses that have less than 60 years of lease have certain restrictions. He advised me against buying it. I put a hard stop to it.”
All’s well that ends well
After the close call, Amin helped Cecilia find her dream home. And he continued to provide good advice, like helping Cecilia negotiate the down payment. For Amin, that’s just part of being an experienced agent. “A lot of agents don’t know, but I’ve been doing this for ten years.”
Cecilia is grateful. “He advised me on how I can actually play around with the money in my pocket,” she said.
And who knows, Amin and Cecilia may have another house-hunting journey in their future, as Cecilia might be ready to upgrade “in three years’ time.”
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