In most Asian countries, living with your parents until you reach adulthood is not uncommon, and Singaporeans are no exception. Wei Han, 39, used to be one of those people. However, in 2021, he decided it was time to move out and purchase his own flat, giving him a sense of independence and freedom.
“I had been studying/living in Australia for almost a decade when I came back to Singapore in 2016 and moved back in with my parents. After five years, I decided that I wanted to have a place of my own,” Wei Han said. However, he knew he wanted to stay in Bedok so he could still be near his parents’ house and easily pop by any time.
Aside from being near his parents and taking advantage of the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG), Wei Han wanted a spacious flat. He used PropertyGuru’s search and filter function to help him find the ideal home.
“I wanted at least a 3-bedroom flat, and PropertyGuru helped me to narrow down my options based on the setup and budget,” Wei Han explained.
He needed at least three bedrooms; one for himself, one for his parents, and one to function as a guest room/home office.
“It Felt Like A Sign I Should Get This Unit”
In his search, Wei Han viewed approximately six flats, including his current one. However, he noted that most of the newer flats have embraced the open-space concept, with no separation of the living and kitchen areas.
This was a big no-no for Wei Han as he cooks often, and didn’t want the smells from the kitchen wafting into the living/bedroom space; having an enclosed kitchen area easily took care of that issue.
Moreover, he opted to view older flats since he already had the intention to redo the place.
“I don’t want to live in someone else’s space. I want the place to reflect what I am comfortable with,” Wei Han remarked. He added that choosing an older flat would also be more affordable, and the chances of having a closed kitchen would be much higher.
As he viewed houses during a pandemic, most owners wanted to play it safe by allowing only two people to enter a house at the same time, there were instances where his agent needed to step out so he could view the unit with his mother. He came close to purchasing a 4-room flat but ultimately got outbid. “It shows you how competitive the housing market was, and still is to this day,” Wei Han remembered.
Finally, he purchased a different 4-room flat built in 1976. The flat ticked all his boxes; it is only three bus stops from his parents’ house and has the number of bedrooms and layout he wished for.
Additionally, the unit is well-ventilated; a breeze can be felt if the windows are open even a tiny bit. “It helps me save on electricity bills,” Wei Han laughed.
Moreover, the unit was located on the seventh floor, the same floor number Wei Han’s parents live on. “Yes, we lived in different buildings, but living on the same floor, the seventh, felt like a sign I should get this unit.”
Although he maintained the layout of the flat, he renovated the place to his liking, sprucing up the flooring, paint, furniture, and windows. He ensured that there would be enough space for his ever-growing library of books, a fitting hobby for someone with a PhD in botany and mycology. This space would also accommodate his day job as a polytechnic lecturer.
“The previous owner had a vibrant colour scheme of orange and green, whereas I preferred a more toned-down and muted colour of grey and beige. I also ensured I have enough space and shelves to store my books and collectables,” Wei Han said.
East Side, Best Side
As Wei Han has lived in Bedok all his life, he did not see himself moving elsewhere. “I know this area very well and so did not see the need to move into a new area ” The area also has a sense of quiet and tranquillity; as he puts it, “It is not as noisy or fast-paced as the city centre, which is nice.”
He considers his flat his forever home and is unlikely to move out.
“I have prepared a room for my parents, so if they reach the stage of being too old to live on their own, they can stay with me. I took my time choosing the right unit and revamping it based on my taste because I hope to stay here indefinitely. Perhaps I may do some minor renovations here and there if my life circumstances change down the line, but that is still years ahead. I am happy with the living space I have created,” Wei Han shared.
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