After being in a relationship for seven years, Sabrina and John finally decided to have a place of their own. They previously lived with their parents on different sides of Singapore; Sabrina lived in the North (Ang Mo Kio), and John lived in the West (Bukit Batok). Naturally, one of the criteria for their new place was to have a central location in the middle.
"A 20 to 30 minute travel time was required when we wanted to visit one another, so we knew that having a central location for our new place was a must. This time, we literally and metaphorically had to meet in the middle," Sabrina said.
They did consider purchasing a BTO flat. However, when they heard of the delays and long estimated completion time, they opted to embrace the resale route instead.
"While living with one’s family is a popular option [while waiting for a BTO flat] among our friends, we knew that we wanted to have our own home before getting married, so we chose the resale route after realising that the prices are not going down anytime soon. We have been together for quite a while, so waiting for a BTO flat did not make sense to us," John explained.
A Fuss-free Deal
Aside from the location, having enough living space was crucial for the couple.
"In one instance, we visited a 3-room flat in the Northeast but realised that it was not ideal for us," John said.
Sabrina added that since they did not intend to drive, access to the convenience of public transportation would be a non-negotiable criterion.
"When we were looking for a flat, accessibility was our main priority since we do not drive. However, we realised that the closer it is to the MRT station, the more expensive the flat would be. The same principle applies with regard to size. "
Sabrina and John utilised PropertyGuru to find the ideal home.
"The search and filter function helped us whittle down our choices based on our budget, size, and location. Not to mention, its price insights tab, which helped us to have a ‘guesstimate’ on how much money was required," Sabrina explained.
After contacting multiple agents and viewing 10 potential flats, the price and responsiveness of the seller and agent were what sold their current flat for them.
"There’s nothing extraordinary about the flat itself, but the seller was agreeable and did not ask us to pay Cash Over Valuation (COV). She did not haggle," Sabrina remembered.
The couple intended to renovate the entire flat anyway, so the humble interior did not matter to them.
A Family Of Three?
Sabrina and John renovated the house by hacking down most of the walls, especially the kitchen and the study, to make a larger living space.
"The previous owner had a closed kitchen setup and a study, so we chose to hack down the walls to make it more of an open space. We rarely do heavy cooking anyway, so there will be no strong odour."
The couple also has plans to grow their family soon. The current three-bedroom setup is more than enough space for them to welcome a bundle of joy if they choose to do so in the near future.
"The current workspace will certainly be converted to a baby’s room when the time comes," John said with a grin.
Regardless of their situation, Sabrina and John are committed to staying in this home for a long time.
"We forked out a substantial amount of money to make this flat our home, so I think that we would like to see the value of the place appreciate before considering a move. But that’s still years down the line; as they say, no one can predict what the future holds," Sabrina mused.
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