The ongoing pandemic and the Circuit Breaker restrictions in 2020-2021 made many reflect on and assess their living situations. Married couple, Sayon and Jharna, was one of them. Working from home made them realise that their rented two-bedroom apartment in Holland Village had poor lighting conditions, an essential component for those who work from home.
“Since we spent the days during weekdays at workplaces and weekends mostly outside, we never realised the poor lighting of the unit,” explains Jharna.
Another trigger for the move was the fact that there were multiple ongoing renovations adjacent to their unit. “That created a lot of disturbance during work hours as we were all working from home then,” Sayon reminisces.
The Search for the One
In December 2020, they decided to go house-hunting on PropertyGuru for the second time. They were first introduced by Jharna’s employer when they moved to Singapore from India in 2018.
“PropertyGuru has a very friendly user interface. It’s very easy to navigate, and it helps me filter anything based on my needs, so it’s a no-brainer to use the portal again,” Jharna quips. Sayon admits to trying other portals, but the experience is not as good, “I can’t even remember the name, but it lags compared to PropertyGuru.”
Jharna and Sayon didn’t have a long checklist for their new home. They knew they wanted a high-rise unit with natural light and a sizable balcony. "We love to entertain, so having a big balcony where we can eat with our friends and enjoy the Singapore skyline is crucial," says Sayon.
Jharna adds that having a central location with accessibility is also a must. "We wanted to prepare once offices start to open up, so being near a bus stop or MRT line is essential."
After seeing approximately five flats, they decided to rent a two-bedroom flat in Spottiswoode Suites. While their current flat is smaller than their previous one, Sayon acquiesced to Jharna’s preference as he believes in the motto, "Happy wife, happy life."
They’re willing to make the sacrifice due to the high-rise unit, city view of Singapore, and accessibility. Living on a high floor has given Jharna and Sayon what they wanted most, ample lighting and a sense of quiet.
"We live on the 34th floor, so there is much natural lighting and little noise, and we can enjoy the city view from our balcony,” Jharna grins.
Although they didn’t do much renovation, they did replace most of their old existing furniture.
"The furniture was quite old, so we decided to go to IKEA and build most of our furniture ourselves. It’s a good bonding experience. However, not everything’s perfect; one of our YouTube viewers pointed out that we built our bed the wrong way, so we had to start over," they laughed.
Enjoying Life in Spottiswoode Suites
One of the benefits of living in Tanjong Pagar is that there are endless options to fulfil their cravings at any time of day. "There are many eateries in the area of various cuisines, ranging from Japanese and Indian to Chinese and Malay. You can pick anything with ease here. We’re definitely spoiled," they say in agreement.
Being in Tanjong Pagar also means that they have easy access to go around Singapore, a crucial part as offices are starting to open up.
"The bus stop is within walking distance. If I miss the bus, I can get on a taxi and arrive at my office within 10 minutes, so it’s accessible here. It’s easy to get anywhere. It’s also quite near Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown, more food options and shopping," grins Jharna.
The couple is not planning to move anytime soon (they signed their lease until 2023 and are open to extending it).
"We made such an effort to make this place like home by building our own furniture; the only one that wasn’t is the couch. Moreover, a good landlord is hard to come by. Ours is not nosy; we trust each other," remarks Sayon.
However, Sayon and Jharna realise that the small space means that they’ll probably move once a baby comes into the picture.
"Yes, we’ll move if a baby is here, but I’ve been accepted to an Executive MBA Programme, so my focus will be on finishing my studies for the next one to two years, and after that’s done, maybe we can start thinking about having kids and deal with the hassle of moving again," smiles Jharna.
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