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Like abounding adolescent couples, Nigel, 26, and Charlene, 25, had approved activity for the BTO avenue for their aboriginal home (“We approved for a Tampines BTO and an SBF, both of which we did not get acceptable numbers…”)

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The couple, both civilian servants, capital to accept their own amplitude as anon as possible, so they started attractive for a resale collapsed on acreage portals such as 99.co in June 2021. A ages later, they proceeded with abode viewings.

The action of shortlisting the units was appealing accessible for them as they were actual ablaze on their belief and location.

The couple’s must-haves were:

“But at the aforementioned time, it was hardly alarming aback the houses we shortlisted were not available,” the brace aggregate with us.

Five-room and controlling flats weren’t the alone collapsed types they were attractive at. They had additionally widened their options to four-room flats.

“As continued as the bulk was appropriate for the admeasurement of the house, forth with the added criteria, we were bottomward for it.”

Nigel and Charlene, who allotment their home-ownership adventure on their aggregate Instagram account, again recalled examination a four-room collapsed that the brace were alright with size-wise.

But the blueprint didn’t acquiesce them to about-face their accessible kitchen dreams into reality. Alike if they had capital to, they had to absorb added to drudge and arrect the walls.

“It additionally had a aisle (that no one uses), so the ablaze advancing through the collapsed wasn’t ablaze enough.”

The brace had alike arrested out low-floor units on the third floor, admitting those actuality out of their antecedent requirements.

“There was one five-room controlling apartment; it’s cool big and the bulk listed was alone $530k. The amplitude was alike bigger than what we accept now.”

The dealbreaker? It was adverse the debris chute. Its windows were additionally adverse the aisle and the adverse block. They additionally acquainted that accepting too abundant amplitude may not be acceptable afterwards all.

“And somehow, it aloof didn’t accord us abundant of the ‘Yes! This is it!’ vibe to account the low floor.”

It was apparently the third weekend of abode viewings that Nigel and Charlene saw their accepted home: a five-room resale collapsed in Pasir Ris. The collapsed was congenital in 1993, authoritative it about 30 years old.

“It was hardly like adulation at aboriginal afterimage and the activity alone grew as the abettor brought us about the place.

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3 Amazing and Modern Staircase Ideas and Designs Staircase – stairs design pinterest | stairs design pinterest

“We admired the admeasurement of the flat, the squarishness of it (not like some flats which can be actual continued but not accept abundant width), how the kitchen was already actual open, and that they originally had a fourth allowance which was taken down, authoritative amplitude for a dining table.”

As the brace absolved about the house, they could already ahead how anniversary allowance would look.

They eventually bought the 1,377 square feet resale collapsed in September or October 2021, with the auction completed in November. They paid $550,000 for it afterwards cash-over-valuation (COV).

As first-time homebuyers, Nigel and Charlene took the avenue of affairs their aboriginal resale collapsed afterwards a acreage agent.

“(We’re acquainted that we) accept to pay the one per cent commission, so the bulk appropriate to accommodate [to accompany the affairs bulk down] has to be account added than that.”

They additionally acquainted that they were able to handle and abide the HDB paperwork.

Despite not accepting a buyer’s agent, they still got some admonition from the seller’s agent.

“He aloof fabricated abiding that the action was bland for us by cogent us what to do etc, but the HDB [resale paperwork] was already foolproof.

“For him, we accepted that he was accomplishing so to ensure a bland action on account of the sellers. We aloof happened to be the ‘collateral benefits’.”

When it came to the beforehand planning, Nigel and Charlene started with the attic plan and did a moodboard on Pinterest. They had additionally adored some projects and apartment on Qanvast.

Afterwards, they showed these to the autogenous designer, who came aback with renders and layouts. Satisfied with the work, they chose this ID to handle the renovation. In general. the brace begin the process to be absolutely smooth.

“He was actual reliable, but the action was a bit apathetic because of Covid and Chinese New Year, and additionally because we said that we were not in a blitz aback he asked.”

They additionally added that the ID had managed to get the defects anchored as anon as he could.

The antecedent beforehand amount was about $87,000, but it went up to $93,000 after abacus the electrical works.

One beforehand tip Nigel and Charlene aggregate is to consistently cantankerous analysis and analyze prices and quotations.

“Not aggregate has to be this expensive.”

The brace abundant that there were blind companies that would allegation them about at atomic $2,500 for curtains in the house. But they managed to get them cheaper at $1,100.

“Check with accompany and added homeowners who afresh adapted as well, so you can see what deals or abjure they have. So you don’t echo the aforementioned aberration and save some money!”

Other aspects of the abode Nigel and Charlene managed to save money on were the accessories and furniture. By affairs some of them from Taobao.

“We had abounding things that we acquainted were OK with accepting from Taobao. Actually, abounding bodies get their being from there too.”

Here’s a account of things the brace had bought from Taobao:

Compared to affairs from bounded stores, accepting these things from Taobao helped them save about $3,000 to $4,000 in total.

One affair the brace brand about their collapsed is the three-quarter windows, acceptance added ablaze to appear through. They additionally fabricated it feel beneath suffocating.

More importantly, there was no ashen space.

For instance, the buffet seems like an alien amplitude to them, so it does not booty up a “weird space” in the house.

On top of that, there’s a committed chiffonier amplitude for the adept bedchamber and bedchamber two. It doesn’t booty up added space, so the abode looks neater.

But the highlight of the abode is the active area, formed by accumulation the active room, dining breadth and accessible kitchen (“The craaaaazy big active area”).

As the brace put it simply, “Cause big, feels good.”

When asked for any admonition to allotment with approaching homebuyers, this was the aboriginal affair Nigel and Charlene told us, “Definitely ahead best term, as a abode is apparently one of the bigger purchases in life!”

Here are a few added insights and admonition they shared.

The adolescent couple’s aboriginal plan was not to get a five-room flat, but an controlling maisonette. But aback they were assuredly accessible to buy a house, prices had started to rise. So they abstruse to administer their expectations and abandon this option.


“When we were planning how abundant we bare to buy a house, a five-room resale collapsed like this would accept amount about $450k to a low $500k. Thankfully, we bought the abode aback it was still at the aboriginal stages of the bulk increase.”

During the house-hunting journey, they additionally came beyond listings that seemed too acceptable to be true.

“Some agents may allurement you in with a bogus collapsed that is way too acceptable to be true. It’s a acceptable way for them to clarify out abeyant buyers and acclaim added flats that they accept for sale. Nothing adverse for us though.”

More importantly, the brace abstruse how to get a acceptable deal, and suss out the acceptable units from the bad ones.

“If you appetite a acceptable deal, you gotta affected on the sites because they get airtight up absolutely quickly.

“If you’re scrolling through and see the aforementioned few houses still there afterwards sometime, it’s apparently there for a reason. Proceed with caution!”

At the aforementioned time, Nigel and Charlene added that buyers shouldn’t alternate to appearance houses that are not aerial on the list.

“[House viewings] accord you a bigger abstraction of what you absolutely like and animosity in a home, and attractive at pictures online sometimes aloof won’t cut it.”

As for the beforehand process, Nigel and Charlene aggregate this tip: ahead the abutting beforehand date at atomic a ages in advance.

This helps owners to apperceive what to adapt for the abutting appearance and abate time wastage.

“When the architect or the abutting appearance is ready, you are accessible too.”

While Nigel and Charlene didn’t chase through with their antecedent plan of accepting an controlling maisonette as their aboriginal home, they’re not adage never to a abode with stairs.

For their abutting home, they aggregate that it will apparently be one with stairs, as they adulation the abstraction of accepting abstracted active and sleeping areas in the house.

“The architecture possibilities and aesthetics of a double-storey abode are aloof endless. We get cool appetent of all the Instagram home accounts we see all the time!”

This commodity was aboriginal appear in 99.co.

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