Michal, 31, and Sarah, 30, first met during their university days in Europe. Michal comes from Poland, and Sarah is Singaporean. After graduation in 2015, Michal decided to join Sarah in Singapore and has been here ever since.
"I’ve been here for the past eight years; as they say, the heart knows no boundaries when it comes to love," Michal said with a laugh.
As fresh graduates, they lived with Sarah’s parents for two months before finding their own place, which was quite an experience for Michal.
"It is the norm in Europe to live on your own once you graduate and officially become an adult. But in Singapore, it is common to stay with your parents until adulthood, which was a surprise to me."
However, Sarah quickly chimed in, "We knew it was not a long-term plan as we were used to living on our own in the UK."
After securing their first jobs, they decided to rent a unit in Tanjong Pagar, near Michal’s workplace. Later, they moved to Pasir Ris and Telok Kurau. But once they decided to make their union official, it was time to purchase a place instead of renting.
"It makes more economic sense to have a place to call our own, where we can do whatever we want without the landlord’s approval," Michal said.
Postponing the Wedding and House-hunting
Like any other wedding that was supposed to happen during the pandemic, their plans to have a destination wedding in Santorini, Greece, in mid-2020 were halted.
"We eventually decided to elope in May and rented a boat and got married out at the open sea. There were just the two of us, the crew and the pastor. It was nice to enjoy such a private moment," Sarah said.
That said, with borders reopened and the resumption of leisure travel, the couple will finally be celebrating their union with their family in Santorini in late 2022.
Away From The Hustle and Bustle
After a year since the height of COVID-19, Sarah and Michal started looking for a home to purchase in August 2021. In their search, they knew they wanted to have a place in Punggol.
"During our time in Pasir Ris, we used to cycle to Punggol frequently. We realised that we love the greenery and sense of tranquillity, we already knew we wanted to stay in this area," Sarah shared.
They used PropertyGuru to narrow down their search and shortlist potential units. In particular, Michal found the alert feature the most helpful, as he could be updated on the newest properties that fit their criteria.
“The alert feature certainly came in handy to let us know the latest listings,” Michal said.
They viewed approximately 10 units before setting their heart on their current 5-room flat.
“The other units had more lavish renovations, which impacted the price. Meanwhile, this unit was more ‘bare’ and simple,” Sarah explained.
They ultimately decided to hack down the walls of the master bedroom to make a larger living room, transforming the original unit from a three-bedroom setup to a two-bedder.
“After all, naturally we spend more of our free time in the living room. This combined with the idea of more space for us to host guests made us lean towards a larger living space,’ she reiterated.
Aside from hacking down the walls, they also changed the tiles and paintings to their liking. They sourced most of their ratan furniture overseas, mostly from Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Thailand. As Michal puts it, "We were inspired by some of the modern coastal elements and put our own twist on it."
All They Need is Punggol
Their unit is within walking distance to the Oasis Terraces mall and within cycling distance away from the bigger Waterway Point mall, which has everything they need from entertainment to eateries.
“It is quite convenient,” Sarah quipped. Aside from the mall, living in Punggol has allowed them to fulfil their hobby of cycling almost daily.
"Another must-have is direct access to the cycling track alongside the canal which is surrounded by greenery. One could go through the whole weekend here without seeing a single car," Michal said.
Sarah also added that it is near Coney Island, an outdoor destination ideal for those who want a different scenery surrounded by water.
As of now, they are pretty happy with their living space and are not moving anytime soon.
“We made such an effort to make this place our own and reflect our personalities, even to the extent of importing several pieces of furniture. It’s safe to say that we would stay here for several years before ever considering moving again,” Sarah said with a smile.
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