"I ensured that our homes in Jalan Kayu and Woodlands are paid off, so that these assets are protected for my three children."
Rashida is unique when it comes to shifting houses in Singapore. She has lived in many different estates and can adapt almost anywhere. “My father was actually a property agent. I don’t mind staying anywhere because my father is the kind of person who gets up one fine morning and says, ‘I want to move to a new house, so let’s move!’”
This adaptability has served the 41-year-old homemaker well, as she and her husband, Salimi, a 47-year-old service technician, are living in their third home.
After their marriage in 2005, the couple bought their first home; a four-room resale flat at Bedok Reservoir View. At first, they were excited because the flat was on the ground floor, which was unique. But the novelty soon wore off as they had to deal with the unpleasant fact that the dumpsters were located just outside of their unit.
So five years later, they were ready to move and opted for a new BTO flat in Jalan Kayu. At that time, they were only thinking of having one child, so they downgraded to a three-room flat.
“When we got the flat, I was shocked because it was so small!” Rashida laughed.
Salimi agreed, “We couldn’t bring any of our existing furniture over to the new house because they were too bulky for our home. It was unimaginable.”
The signs that the home was too small became more apparent as their family grew. Soon, they had to look for another home.
“I told him I wanted to shift again. He was like, ‘Again?’ I said yes. We had three kids at that time and the children’s room was too small, so we needed more space.”
Creating Special Spaces
Salimi consented and the search was on. Rashida enlisted her agent Amin Mak, who helped with each of her property searches. She gave him her criteria; a home with good vibes, that has enough room for her family, and is close to her mother’s home in Marsiling.
Both Rashida and Amin browsed through PropertyGuru to look for homes and would share the links with each other. Amin found a flat in Woodlands that was convenient with lots of amenities, but Rashida hated it. “The house was so terrible, you know?”
However, at Amin’s continued persuasion, she eventually gave in and bought the flat. The first thing the couple did was to hack everything bare. It was then that she saw the potential of the house and found out her husband’s secret.
Turns out that her husband is also a DIY master. He worked on the flat himself every day after work, with the help of a contractor. Little by little, the place took shape and is now exactly what they need.
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For instance, they installed a partition to divide the three-room flat into four. This allowed the children to have their own space, and Salimi even has his own hobby room for his extensive RC (Remote Control) collection.
Rashida’s frequent house hunts have always kept the family’s best interests in mind. Be it her most recent move to give the kids their own rooms, or her decision to pay off her earlier homes.
"We depend entirely on Salimi’s single income. I ensured that our homes in Jalan Kayu and Woodlands are paid off, so that these assets are protected for my three children."
Their new flat is also close to Rashida’s mother’s home, and near to several amenities. There are a few shopping choices, a wet market, and Rashida has no trouble finding Muslim-friendly food for her family.
“It’s very convenient here. I can go anywhere to find food and the kids’ school is also quite near, the proximity to the MRT station is also helpful.”
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