My New House

Finally bought a place two weeks ago. It is a 3 room HDB flat in Bishan. It is a bad time to buy a house. The property market is hot like never before. The last time was 1996. Yeah, it is about right. The 10 year cycle is coming by again.

Well, after looking at about 10 properties in different parts of the island, we finally decided to settle on Bishan. It is 7 mins walk to Bishan MRT, faces a small hill park and about 20 year old. However, the owner gave it a full overhaul about 2 years ago and even appeared on a design magazine. It is a white-based contemporary theme. My interior design sense estimated they could have spent 20 000 on the renovation. If I don’t want I don’t have to renovate at all, just move in with my toothbrush and suitcase. That’s how complete it is. One of the owner is a doctor and some how that gives me the added physic logical assurance that it is clean and sterile, haha.

They asked a premium above cash value and it which would have exhaust our savings, but compared to the conditions and asking prices of other properties that we saw, my gut feel told me it was worth the money in this market.

I am not an expert, but I think it helps that I am in the construction industry. The fact that I found a place whose design I can accept is as good as finding a needle in a haystack. The fact that it is in Bishan made it even better. I have been monitoring Bishan market for a few weeks. On weekdays, there are less than 4 advertisements; on weekends there are less than 10. People who live in Bishan are happy where they are. They are not selling. The fact that I found a 3 room in Bishan made it even rarer. (There are not many 3 rooms in Bishan) The fact that it overlooks my alma mater where I had many good memories made it even sweeter. And I am glad it is on the 5th floor of a 9 storey block and not on the 2nd or 3rd floor. I am so sick of insects crawling into my parents home on the 3rd floor.

My urban planning sense also kicked in as I did planning checks with the authorities to make sure that the park in front of my house is really a park and not a temporary green planted area where future development will take place. Ha ha. The plot ratio has not been maxed out, which means there is potential for future development.

The owners are quite a loving couple with a 4 yr old kid. The reason why they are moving is because they are moving to a condominium. I feel that it is important to find out why people are selling their house, because it can set the tone for negotiation and pull things in your favor. Well in anyways; knowing that the sprit of the house is one of love and life gives me a good feeling than one which is being sold because of a death or dispute. It also helps to know from the agent that they are not looking to make a quick buck.

Of course no property is perfect, but it is what I can find within a limited time in this market. And I am glad to find it now than later, because property prices are increasing by the day. I suppose a 3 room flat is good enough for us at the moment, smaller surface area to clean. I don’t wanna spend my weekends cleaning the house.

I had a look at a map of the island. Bishan is right smack in the center of Singapore island. I know it does not mean anything to anyone because the Central of Singapore is actually down south, but still it feels good to me that my new house is the epicenter of Singapore, which means it is not too far from anywhere.

Bishan is a successful example of how good town planning can lead to high property prices. 20 years ago it was a cemetery ground. From an architect/ urban planner point of view, the secrets to its success are:
Complete concealment of any signs of burial grounds. Plant a few good schools (RI, catholic high, etc). Lots of green buffers and a huge park (Bishan park). Notice that most flats are set back from the roads using green and the void decks concealed by mounds, raised above road or sunken from road level. This creates sense of privacy for the flats. Bishan will be one of the future interchanges for Circle Line. The residential blocks are of differing heights. Units are better designed than the old towns.

I am so thankful to all my friends and family and God who gave us good advice in our search, even the agents who are ever so helpful. Also the description of Bishan is from my point of view and does not discriminate against other areas.


Victor said…
Congratulations on getting a home that you like. So glad to see you blogging again too.
soul said…
Thanks victor. I went through a stressful time. Read yur blog about the mum whose boy was killed and my heart goes out to her that nobody was there to lend a listening hear.

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