After Turning Down a BTO Flat and Going for 10+ Viewings, This Couple Found the Home That Was Meant to Be

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
After Turning Down a BTO Flat and Going for 10+ Viewings, This Couple Found the Home That Was Meant to Be
Some things in life are predestined. Take 29-year-old newlyweds Nurafiqah and Ridhwan. They first met in their polytechnic’s ‘dikir barat’ group when they were both 17, but only reconnected and eventually married almost 10 years later.
“We did our own thing for almost 10 years and then came back into each other’s lives; it was fate,” said Nurafiqah.
When it was time for the couple to buy their own home, fate played a similar hand in their very first property-purchasing journey. After considering various options in different parts of Singapore, they found their forever home in Tampines, the very place where their search began.

Part One: Not Settling for Less

The couple was keen on staying in Tampines or Pasir Ris, close to where they grew up.
They balloted for, and actually got a BTO flat in the Tampines North area. But they turned down the offer as the flat was on a lower level. Ridhwan wanted a house on a mid to high floor because in his parents’ home, insects from the tree outside his window often flew into his room and he had enough of that!
The couple was also concerned about the unit’s size. They wanted a home with a large enough space to host big groups of people. They would rather invite their friends over than meet in nearby shopping centres.
So, the couple decided they would look for a resale flat instead.

Part Two: A Wild Goose Chase for the Ideal Resale Flat

The couple began house hunting in May 2021, browsing listings on PropertyGuru. Using the search and filter functions, they were able to easily shortlist houses and contact the agents. Yet, finding a flat that suited both of them was tough. The couple saw over 10 houses in neighbourhoods such as Pasir Ris, Tampines, and Simei.
When the pair couldn’t attend the viewings in person, they took advantage of the function of virtual viewings on the PropertyGuru website.
“You could view parts of the house in 3D and take a 360-degree tour of the place, which was really helpful,” said Ridhwan.
They almost settled for a place in Punggol as Ridhwan liked the spacious flats in the area. But Nurafiqah preferred their original location choice.
“I grew up with my parents my whole life so I want to remain close to them. My workplace is also very close to my parents’ home. Most of our friends and family also live around Pasir Ris and Tampines. So, to move out of that area was a bit daunting for me,” said Nurafiqah.
After turning down a BTO flat and looking at 10-odd resale units in various neighbourhoods, it got to a point where Ridhwan was checking for new listings every other hour at work.
But just as they were about to give up, they spotted the listing of their forever home. And as fate would have it, this flat was in Tampines North, right where their search began.

Part Three: All Roads Lead Back to Tampines

“Our block actually faces the BTO flats we were applying for!” said Nurafiqah. Their 5-room, sixth-floor flat is within a four-kilometre radius of their parents’ homes, which qualified them for the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG).
The couple purchased their flat in September 2021 and planned to move in after they got married in December 2021. But renovation delays pushed back their timeline and they only moved into their home in April 2022.
Entering the home, the elaborate HDB balcony setup immediately grabs your attention. Sunlight streams in through the open windows and reflects off of a large mirror surrounded by house plants.
“Our balcony area is right in front of our main door. It’s a really nice Outfit of the Day (OOTD) spot for anyone who comes over and takes a picture,” said Nurafiqah.
The house itself has a ‘farmhouse-earthy but minimalist’ design style. It’s split to incorporate both Nurafiqah’s (farmhouse-earthy) and Ridhwan’s (minimalist) creative inputs.
Nurafiqah’s influence can be seen in the common spaces like the living room, the dining areas and the kitchen, while Ridhwan’s preferences are reflected in the rooms.
And together, they created an inviting space they call home.
“We wanted the house we bought to be our forever home, a house we could raise our children in. So, this is where we plan to stay for the rest of our lives.”
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