“Ashlyn, my agent, even helped to arrange a viewing at another unit upstairs through her contacts, which was an extra mile she went.”
“While I was working in Dubai, I was already searching up Singapore apartments online,” says Hari Rajmohan. “In fact, I even visited Singapore on four separate occasions and took time out to view the various apartments.”
When it comes to property searching, Hari, who is coy about his real age, likes to have his bases covered. After 18 months in Dubai for a work posting, Hari eventually returned to Singapore and, after another year of living in a rented condominium, finally settled into his home on East Coast Road.
Falling in love with Singapore
Hari had moved from India to Singapore to study Computer Engineering at Nanyang Technological University several years ago. His first experience of living in the Lion City was in a university dorm, where he endeared himself to local culture. From hanging out with fellow students to enjoying local food, Hari cherishes his formative years in the university.
After graduation, Hari rented an apartment in Marine Parade with his closest university friends, and enjoyed the vibes of staying together.
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Hari and his mates chose to stay in the east side of Singapore, far from their alma mater, because they wanted a new environment. Plus, Hari worked in Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) and travelled often, so proximity to his office and the airport was equally important to him.
“It was fun staying together with my university mates,” Hari chuckles. “When we came home from work, we would hang out a lot, especially on the Xbox.”
Hari’s penchant for new environments prompted him to accept an overseas job posting in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And the Middle East was where he was truly on his own for the first time. “It was my first time living by myself,” Hari recalls. “I became more mature, and that made me independent.”
While living and working in Dubai, Hari thought of getting an apartment in Singapore for investment because of the country’s stability, and began regularly searching for suitable properties on PropertyGuru. Hari admits that evaluating his choices wasn’t easy because he could not view the homes in the flesh.
That said, Hari felt that physically inspecting a property was vital to making the right decision. So, while on work trips back in Singapore, he took time out to view the homes he liked that he had found via PropertyGuru. And the more properties he viewed, the more he longed to return!
A ‘homecoming’ and a change of priority
When Hari’s company finally arranged for him to move back to Singapore, he was thrilled and rented an apartment in Tanjong Pagar. During his return, Hari entertained the idea of settling down in Singapore, instead of merely buying a property here for investment.
Looking to rent a home near the city? Find homes for rent in Tanjong Pagar / Chinatown on PropertyGuru.
“My university days in Singapore were my formative years, and I maintained a good social circle here,” Hari explains. “At least half of my good friends are based in Singapore, and I increasingly considered this place home. Buying a house here was an extension down that path.”
While looking through properties, Hari saw the listing of his current Moda condominium along East Coast Road and arranged a viewing promptly. It was then he met realtor Ashlyn Peh, who was representing the homeowner.
“Ashlyn was wonderful. She was very fair in sharing the positives and negatives for me to evaluate the place,” Hari recounts. “Ashlyn, my agent, even helped to arrange a viewing at another unit upstairs through her contacts, which was an extra mile she went.”
Because it was Hari’s first time purchasing a place in Singapore, Ashlyn went above and beyond to make sure that everything went smoothly – from negotiating a price Hari was happy with to handling the smallest details in the paperwork.
As Hari’s rental place in Tanjong Pagar was coming quickly to an end, Ashlyn also helped to negotiate a shorter completion time so that Hari could get his Moda condominium keys earlier to shift his belongings.
“I work long hours,” Hari says. “Ashlyn’s consistent aid was a tremendous help to me.”
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East is where the heart is
Coming back to the east felt natural to Hari, because he’s used to the buzzing restaurants and bars, as well as families with children that frequent Katong precinct, where his condo is located. Besides having an old-world charm thanks to the shophouses in the district, Hari also likes that the immediate vicinity has a variety of shopping options such as i12 Katong and Parkway Parade.
“My ideal home is somewhere I can wind down and that’s conducive for work,” Hari beams. Indeed, in his 650 square feet 2-bedroom apartment, Hari’s favourite place is his study.
Because of the nature of his work, Hari spends a lot of time in his study while at home, where he does his work from. “I like to face the wall while doing work,” Hari explains. “It keeps me focused. And when I need to relax and think, I can look out to the open view to my left.”
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The unblocked view, one of the highlights of the unit, is also visible from his living room, and it’s one of the main reasons that led him to purchase this apartment.
Even after the deal was closed, Ashlyn continues to assist Hari whenever he has questions, and both of them catch up over meals every now and then.
“If anyone is looking to purchase their first home, I would not hesitate to recommend Ashlyn!”
Now that Hari is settled comfortably in an apartment he calls home, he doesn’t have immediate plans for property investment – at least not for the next few years. For now, he’s content with enjoying his time frequenting the bars and restaurants at his doorstep!
Ashlyn Peh is a Marketing Director at ERA Realty Network Pte Ltd.