Denne Residence:  The journey of buying our lovenest
Friday, August 13, 2010
I believe most of my regular readers here have read about my disappointment of not able to purchase Cityview more than 2 years back. It's not like we are not issued a queue number. Infact I think we can easily pick the best unit we wanted.
But at that time we are unable to get the blessing from the adults partially due to the fact that 600k for a HDB with the size slightly over 100sqm is quite insane. (But look at the market now?! 600k is really nothing comparing to the COV that resale owners are asking for these days.)
After getting married (rom-ed) for almost 3 years already, I really feel something was missing in this marriage... a place we call our Home. Afterall staying at the in-laws's doesn't mean I have the right to decorate the house the way I wanted. Plus the housechore workload sometimes drives me crazy.
I have always wondered how our own home will really look like. Having to stay in HK for 2 years, living in 2 different apartment, I roughly have an idea what kind of house I am looking for. We need SPACE. Especially me who have hell lotsa toy collection.
Me think that we are kinda spoilt after staying in the 2nd HK apartment due to it's facilities and amenities nearby. But afterall it's a condo and the developer of the condo is one of the top notch in Hong Kong. Our apartment was just 5-7 mins walk to the Mall & MTR stations. Our unit was just a stone throw away (like literally?!) from the famous Tai Kok Tsui where food can be easily available.
But now that we are talking about buying a place of our own where large sum of money is required, we decided that we should go for HDB instead of private when we are still eligible.
After discussing about when is the right time to buy our own place, we coincidently met an agent during a gathering at the Husband's ex colleagues's place @ Kim Tian.
This agent knock on the door asking for more information regarding the neighbours next door. Turn out that her client bought a unit opposite the ex colleagues and she was trying to find out if there have been loan shark activities nearby. She passed us her name card and left us a pretty deep impression for being meticulous and going an extra mile for her client.
A week later we decided to give her, Sally the agent a call and she popped by our place for a discussion. 1 thing we like about her is that she is pretty systematic. She printed out alot of handouts with different budget base on our salary and also researched on past transaction of the area we are interested in.
Our initial target was Eunos, Kembangan, Bedok, Tampines, Tiong Bahru and Bendemeer. Eunos, Kembangan & Bedok is because it's near to the in laws. Tampines because the agent highly recommended the area. Tiong Bahru is because we like the environment in Kim Tian and Bendemeer is of course because it's near my parents. But after much discussion, its either some areas are too expensive or not exactly a pleasant area for young couple with expanding family. We changed our target again. This time we specifically asked to view flats in Serangoon.
I have always liked Serangoon (Central, no North pls) because I find the area peaceful and family friendly. Plus the upcoming NEX Mall is a bonus!
[24th July 2010]
Met Sally @ the void deck of one of the unit we planning to view. We are supposed to view 4 units on that day.
[1st unit - 5 room flat]
Located on the lift landing top floor. It's a door to door unit. Reccess area can be bought over if interested. The view is blocked for all windows but pretty windy due to it's height. My mum didn't like it because she says that top floor will feel warm and noisy due to the water tank. But my dad had a great time chatting with the male owner. Apparently they bought a unit in Cityview therefore selling their current flat. NEXT!
[2nd unit - 5 room flat]
Located 1 floor below the lift landing iirc. It's another door to door unit. Pretty good condition and seems like owner spent quite abit on reno before. Sister and her bf also interested in the unit. Plus point of the flat is that it's just directly opposite NEX Mall. Just across the road! Was thinking of KIV but Mum (again!) saw something suspicious on the Altar which I won't go into details too. Dad said that the house gave him a creepy and uncomfty feeling. Okay... >< NEXT!
[3rd unit - 4 room flat]
The windiest unit we viewed that day but also the one with the oddest shape. Not interested at all. NEXT!
[4th unit - 4 room flat]
AIYOOOOO... Although their asking price is low, it looks exactly like those you saw on TV, family asking for donation kind of unit. Don't have good feelings of the unit too...
We were pretty disappointed because we thought we will see something that gives us a MUST buy feel. The Husband and I are pretty implusive when it comes to buying things but it also not easily to find something that we really like. And if we do, we will try to find ways to get it.
After viewing the 4th unit, Sally told us that she arranged for her next client to view an EM (Executive Maisonette) @ Serangoon Ave 2. Since I didn't really have any idea how an EM really looks like, we agree to go take a peek at the unit. Who knows that we will fall in love with it almost immediately...
Among all the units we viewed that day, the void deck of the EM block is the cleanest and most peaceful. There is a bus stop (with bus 133!!) right under the block. NEX Mall (& Serangoon MRT station) is about 5-7 minutes walk away. The unit is located on the 8th floor. Living room view is the open field of Nanyang Junior College and also some far away condo views. Very beautiful at night!
On the 1st floor, there is a open balcony, a small study room, pretty decent size kitchen, 2 living rooms and a small storeroom under the stairways.
On the 2nd floor, there is a masterbed room (with attached toilet), 2 guests room and 1 common toilet. A total of 3 toilets!
What I like most about the house is it's not surrounded by other flats therefore the good view and strong wind. Never in my whole life I will dream about staying in an EM. But after viewing this unit, I couldn't stop thinking about how perfect it will be as our 1st home!
We got Sally to calculate the amount we need to pay if we are interested in the unit. As the valuation report is not out yet, we are unsure if it's advisable to offer base on the valuation report from the neighbours. Who knows it may be lower?!
Everyone love the house despite how original condition it is in. To be honest no matter where we buy, we will prefer to overhaul the house instead. And so that night, I couldn't sleep because I love the house sooooo much and I am worried that someone might have offered and got the house 1st.
The next day, the Husband and I went back to the block at night to look around the neighbour hood. We walk from the block to NEX Mall and was very amazed by how close they are to each other. (Not throw stone away but still near la!) But half way while walking from from NEX Mall to our car, it suddenly started to rain, no, POURRRR without warning! It was fun holding each other's hands and running for our lives under the rain. :P So romantic!
After the weekends, we or rather I had a hard time concentrating at work because I couldn't keep my mind off the unit. We have been pestering Sally and wanna know if the unit is sold already or not. Part of me wanna view more units but I know it's not easy to find a place that you know you will be god damn happy staying in it.
[30th July 2010]
Viewed an EM @ Lengkong Tiga. The area is SOOOOOOOO quiet. Too quiet for comfort. Plus their asking is so high! >< Perhaps it's because the area is surrounded by private houses. My mind is still filled with the Serangoon unit.
[31st July 2010]
Came the next Saturday, we had a 2nd viewing of the house.
We were surprise that the valuation price came out lower than what we expected. It should be a good news to us but in the end we were shocked that the seller set their cov at $80k! No matter how much we love the flat, $80k is tooooo much for a unit with sucha original condition. We forsee that renovation will cost us a bomb so we are trying to save up for reno cost. We offered a price we are comfortable with and left the owners to consider the deal.
At night, Sally called and say that our offer is too little as someone offered the same amount as us and was rejected flat by the seller. We thought thru hard that night and increased our budget to something slightly higher.
[1st August 2010]
We went back to the house the next day and try to negotiate the COV with the seller. They were pretty stringent about the price and were expecting us to top up a 10K above our offered price. But anything above our offered price we find it hard to fork out. I was on the verge of giving up and bursting into tear when Sally told us that maybe we should just meet half way by offering them additonal 1k to close the deal. So I told the Husband, if this still doesn't work, we will just give up.
We were sitted in the dinning area while the sellers are discussing in the corridor with the agents. After a good 5 minutes, Sally walked in...
And she said the seller is willing to close the offer! Not with the additional 1k! They are willing to close at our offer price! I was sooooo happy that I almost teared! :`) I am not sure how our agent convinced the seller but I am more than thankful for her effort! Maybe the sellers can tell how much I love their house! :P
Signed the documents, gave them a cheque of 1k as deposit, booked the unit! Woohoo!
At that time, our HLE have yet to be approved so were still thinking if we should get bank loan instead. We seek advise from my FIL who have been working in the bank for all his life (hahaha!), he suggest that we should go for bank loan for it's low rates now. But I was struggling with the decision because I am not a risk taker.. thou the interest is pretty attractive now(1.88% for 2 years) no one will know what is gonna happen 2 years down the road. Then again, I am no expert when it comes to loan so we decided to go ahead with bank loan.
For the past few days, I have been busy gathering all important documents, contact the bankers, submitting the documents and finally getting an approval from UOB. UOB have amazing service! We sent in our application in the day and gets an approval at night! We took time off and popby HDB HUB yesterday to sign the bank loan documents @ the UOB office. There are sooooo many documents to sign that my signature went haywire. -_-
I can't wait for the 1st appointment to come in mid September! Thou I know we will only be able to get the keys by end of the year (the seller request to extend their stay for another 2 months), I can't wait to finalise the purchase and call this place as our own! ^^
Picture courtesy from http://www.h88.com.sg
Sorry for the verbal diarrhea. And pardon me for any typo! :P