With buying a new flat comes a whole array of decision-making situations and soul-searching incidences.
I, on the heels of getting married, received the flat keys on 27 Feb. Five-months, 20 signatures, and 300K later, the flat was worth the wait. [Some thoughtful and kind friends have discussed how I could possibly pay up the 300K. The answer is simple – you’ll cross the bridge when you come to it]. Walking out of the HDB office with the 24 keys in my hand, I felt like a top-class Home-Owner. 110 square metres, all ours. It's bare, but heck, it's there.
Then you think about it and you realise people in Singapore pay a whole truckload of money for what is essentially empty space that is strategically lined with walls. It's not a plot of land, as anything directly above the ground floor is "in the air". Then there are walls to create rooms. And there you go, a piece of property to call your own.
It's undoubtedly the single most expensive purchase or investment for many middle-income Singaporeans. I think it's a way to root folks to the country, as one is literally tied to paying up the loan over the x number of years you'll be expecting to stay in the flat. It's definitely not a healthy way to root people though.
Having said all that, the feeling of owning a flat is satisfying and empowering, even. It's a huge-ass piece of thing that you are free to inject your own character to and do all that you ever wanted to do. Lights, paint colour, furniture, all your choice. You only have to consult your spouse [that pretty much also sums up married life]. But the choice has to be a good one - no one is going to have a fallback plan for you.
I pray that the renovation work will be done well. Everywhere I turn, I hear horror stories of interior decorators who screw up, botch up and screw up some more. But logically speaking, not all homes will be 100% perfect. If you want it to be, you have to pay several bombs. We went to Modern Living at Expo 2 days ago, where the different combinations and packages and freebies can drive you up the wall-paper in confusion. I felt so mentally tired after listening to only 2 designers! Man I'm weak. But we later realised that with all the similar packages and combinations, it all boils down to whether you can hit it off with the designer. Let's hope the dude we chose will do a great job.