Buying Our Resale Flat

HELLLOOOOO I’m back from a work trip! (Edit: I’ve been back for a few days already, but I took a few days to complete this post hahaha) Which ended on a bad note due to a horrible flight delay of 4 hours. We were kept waiting at the boarding gate for 4 hours with zero updates as to when we can expect to board.

SQ Y U LIDDIS???

By the time we boarded, it was our original landing time. What a terrible end to my non existent weekend.

I always feel so grumpy and unrested whenever I don’t get my weekends. Weekends are so important for me when it comes to recharging my mental battery. Although from now on, weekends are mostly going to be spent on settling the wedding, and the house.

SPEAKING OF THE HOUSE.

I’m here to share about my house purchasing process! Been getting quite a few questions on it and since it happened within the blink of an eye, I thought it would be nice to document the process down since I would likely to forget all about it in due course. I have also tested ZL’s reaction on if I can share about our house and how much I can share, and he said to just share whatever I want so – YAY.

I still think it’s nothing short of a miracle that we’ve landed this unit which is ideal for both ZL and I. It’s definitely one of my major highlights of year 2019 for sure!

If you’re here to learn all about the tedious administrative process of buying a flat though, you’re at the wrong website. Hahaha. I’m the worst person when it comes to paperwork and admin tasks. I. JUST. CANNOT. Luckily for me, I have a very meticulous fiancé who likes to be very thorough and find out every piece of possible information before he puts the pen to the paper and sign his name away. This is why they say opposites attract, amirite? Hehe.

OKAY ANYWAY. I’m just here to share about the story, not teach you the how to go about buying a flat. Any tips I have may also not be legit given how lucky we were in chancing upon this unit. Now that we have gotten this out of the way, let’s begin!

Like what my title says, we bought a resale flat! Some time last year, we applied ONCE for a sale of balance flats exercise, but our number was dismal and from then on I secretly gave up all hope on SBF hahaha. Ain’t nobody got time to wait for BTO and the upcoming rounds of SBF.

ZL prefers BTO/SBF because he loves the idea of a completely brand new house. But I prefer having the freedom to decide on the exact area/unit I want, and also, when I want it. BTOs are out of the question because they take so long to build (I would be mid 30s by then OMG) and we didn’t do it the conventional SG way – BTO before proposal.

So that leaves us with SBF and resale flats.

We actually have very different preferences and priorities when it came to housing choices, LOL. So much so that I made ZL create an excel spreadsheet which is formulated to take into account both parties preferences and auto calculate which flat we have viewed to be the optimal choice for both of us. HAHAHA. He spent close to an hour formulating and fine-tuning it but joke’s on us, we didn’t even get to use it eventually!

Other than our preferences and priorities, our decision making styles are also vastly different. He prefers to look around, do his research and be 100% sure of his choice before committing. I’m the kind who goes by instinct and gut feeling and is likely to commit to something on impulse if I really like it. We predicted that I would be able to set my eyes on a choice I like within the first 3 to 4 flats that we view, but he would need 20 flats. So we set aside a timeline of 6 months for this purchase. LOL.

SURPRISE!

We only took 2 flat viewings and 2 weeks to find THE ONE. Without engaging a property agent to facilitate the buy.

So here’s what we did to get started.

We shortlisted a couple of areas that we would like to live in, went to SRX website to filter and see whether these areas have projects which are 10 years old and below. Property guru seems to have more choices but they do not have the function for us to filter flats by age, whereas SRX has that function. Since flat age is an important criteria for ZL, we started with trawling the SRX website.

Taking flat age into consideration, we pared down our area selection to just one area in the East. This area also fits into my criteria of amenities, since there are multiple malls nearby within walking distance. HAHA. I remembered there being 5-6 pretty decent choices which caught our eyes and on that day we started shortlisting, we contacted the selling agents for viewings. Fast game.

Out of the 5-6 agents we contacted on our first try, only 1 was more responsive (the rest of the flats were pending/on hold already I think) and fixed a viewing with us the weekend after.

On 26 May 2019

Taking photos are a good way to document life. Camera roll shows the exact date we went for our first viewing!

Viewing aside, it was a pretty confusing appointment because the selling agent brought another agent along, and he told us to follow the other agent downstairs after the viewing. The other agent started doing calculations for us and in the calculations I spotted this item called “Agent Service Fee”.

Afterwards, we managed to figure out that the selling agent probably wanted to push the other agent to become our buying agent since we had none. I found that to be pretty dishonest though, since the other agent did not tell us upfront that he would be representing us in the transaction. But anyway, that flat had a really small kitchen which does not appeal to my inner domestic goddess (HAHAHA). The overall floor space was also small, because it was a DBSS, not a regular HDB unit.

ZL liked the look and feel of DBSS units, but I didn’t. So we compromised. No DBSS for us. Hahaha. I kid. So anyway, that was the only unit we managed to view that weekend since no other agents got back to us.

Went home and continued looking at listings on SRX and we shortlisted a few other units in that same area, but this time round from a HDB project! Only very slightly further away from the MRT. Still acceptable!

Second weekend of house viewing. I really love the greenery in this estate.

This happened a few days after we viewed the DBSS, on 5 June, a PH. We also only managed to secure 1 unit for viewing. This particular unit exceeded our budget range by quite a bit. But since all the other units did not get back to me, I thought we could just view it with no commitments and take the chance to check out the estate.

We liked the size of this unit we saw. The owners were really friendly and chill people. It’s really new and only just hit MOP. No morning sun/evening sun. Mid-high floor corner unit with quiet neighbours. It was near the MRT, a mostly sheltered 5-6 mins walk. We could utilise the proximity grant. Interior wise, They had no built in carpentry save for the kitchen (YAY LESS HACKING). The kitchen realises my domestic goddess dreams. The living area is huge because of a hacked bedroom. It felt just about right.

Everything was great, in a nutshell, except the listed price.

But I think lady luck was smiling at us because at the end of viewing, the agent told us that on that the owners have decided to lower their asking price by $30k.

WHICH FELT A LOT CLOSER TO WHAT WE BUDGETED FOR.

I ended the viewing feeling oddly optimistic about this unit but I secretly thought that ZL might not want to go straight for it since like I mentioned, he likes to look around and be certain of his options. But surprisingly, he was on the same page as me for this house!

Really love the look of the house, so vintage and quirky.

So we went for a second viewing on 8 June and decided to do the OTP on 10 June. Even as I’m typing it out right now, it feels surreal.

Because the timeline was shortened from 6 months to 2 weeks. Because we both liked the house so much. Because in the end, we managed to bargain it down to a really good price.

Paperwork almost killed us but it was worth all the effort and the angst. WE BOUGHT OUR VERY FIRST HOME!

Key collection is happening during end October so right now, we’re embarking on the very exciting (and somewhat daunting) journey of looking for a suitable ID/contractor.

The kitchen is where I’m most excited about!

Guess I’ll be having more to share soon, once renovation officially starts!

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