House-hunting couple shares key selling points that sealed the deal when they viewed a 5-room Belvia DBSS flat at Bedok Reservoir

When Shauna (27) and Rainer, her naval officer husband (31), decided to look for their matrimonial home more than two years ago, they did not realise how challenging getting a flat near the central regions would be.

“We initially wanted to stay in a more central location like Redhill or Telok Blangah because of proximity to town (and hope that it would hold its value in time),” Shauna said, “but for the price range that we were looking at, the flats were either older developments or on lower levels, which were not what we had in mind.”

Living area transformed
The couple saw what was initially a blank slate with an arresting view. They then went with a coastal chic decor to bring home the chill vibes atmosphere reminiscent of Bedok and Katong into their home. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)

The couple also contemplated going to a private condominium; many have shared that it was a far better investment. However, the funds required to make the downpayment were beyond what they could afford at the time.

Also, Shauna was on a career path to becoming a doctor, so they made compromises during their search.

“I had only worked for about a year, so based on our finances, HDB was our only choice,” she said. “Of course, cost-wise, a BTO would have been best! But we were looking to move in soon, so waiting for a BTO was not aligned with our timeline, so we went ahead for a resale flat instead.”

Finding a less-centralised HDB resale apartment with a view

When considering the HDB options, with such a wide variety nowadays, the couple shared that it was quite difficult to choose.

They were initially drawn to the idea of HDB maisonettes, and even HDB landed homes – which had huge potential for design exploration.

“But a major drawback is that these were often in older blocks and thus making it tricky to sell in the future! Furthermore, renovation costs for older flats also tended to be higher based on our research, so we gave up that idea.”

Interior shot
Their kitchen island countertop came with a terrazzo top and fluted stand design. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)
Showcase display
The countertop area and display showcase have become the couple’s most inspired spots. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)

The search for a home eventually saw the couple venturing to places nearer to their workplaces in the East.

Initially, they were quite hesitant. One flat they viewed was a fairly new unit with a nice modern exterior, but it seemed small, with a small dining and living space.

“However, one thing that struck me was how the previous owners had knocked down one wall and combined a bedroom and the living room to form a larger living area. That transformed the space – we were able to envision how we could potentially live there and make it our home. The previous owners had two children, which gave us even more confidence that we could do the same for our family planning.

“Another big plus is the balcony that offers views of the reservoir – that really sealed the deal for us!”

The full-length balcony spans the apartment’s living and dining space. According to Shauna, finding such a large balcony in public housing is not easy.

Fresh blooms on dining table
A number of furniture, lighting and accessories were purchased from the Danish brand Fritz Hansen. The couple wanted to invest in long-lasting furniture that not only complements the interiors but can be transported to their next home in the future. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)

“We also liked the “chill vibe” in Bedok. Being near Katong – we knew we were close to good food! There’s a small shopping complex opposite, with a food centre, two grocery stores, a great Japanese Soba restaurant, fast food options, ice cream stores and cafes. Easy walking access to the reservoir is also another plus point.”

Fast-forward two years later, Shauna and Rainer (and their Shiba Spitz mix dog, Tofu) have nothing but praise for their 1,100-sqft DBSS HDB resale flat in Belvia at Bedok Reservoir Crescent. For the 5-room unit, they paid S$810k (S$736 psf).

Mirroring the Bedok mood with a chic coastal decor

When it came to renovations, Rainer and Shaunna knew exactly what they wanted.

They hired an ID to look into the practical aspects like measurements, carpentry, finding the right contractors and coordination.

“I think because my husband and I are perfectionists, we set pretty high standards. We felt it was necessary for us to take an active role during the renovation process to amend mistakes and pick up on the finer details.”

Shauna admitted that if she and her husband could have afforded more time outside their busy schedules, they would have considered hiring a contractor instead of an ID.


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A post shared by Rainer & Shauna (@belleofbelvia)

Though they didn’t have a theme, they wanted mostly white and neutral colours at home. It eventually evolved to bleached wood and cream tones, giving a chic coastal vibe – “reminiscent of homes in Australia or Malibu”.

The couple then topped off the vibey renovation with long-lasting furniture to complement the assembly.

Slice of Bali in their bedroom
Being avid holidayers who love Bali, Rainer and Shauna added a cosy rattan lounge chair on their beloved balcony outside their master bedroom. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)

Future upgrades and advice

“I would say we are constantly making plans for our future, and it is getting increasingly expensive to own private property in Singapore, which is hopefully our next step.

“So I guess it’s a little nerve-racking to think about future upgrades and the possibility that it may not even happen. There will be a lot more to consider! So it would be the next, big step for us.”

Shauna advised first-time homebuyers not to get too fixated on initial thoughts and design ideas when viewing your potential homes.

“Go for a few viewings first to see if there are other variables to consider. You may end up with a totally different location or style that you fall in love with (like Bedok and Katong for us!)

“Everyone has different priorities, so do not blindly follow your peers in the same life stage as you. Figure out what you or your partner want as you go along – the people who actually stay in the home should love it!”

We’re sure Tofu would agree as well!

Balcony decor functional
With the balcony taking centre stage most of the time, Rainer and Shauna spent considerable thought into mixing and matching different decor so that they could relax and chill while enjoying their million-dollar view of the reservoir. (Image courtesy of Rainer and Shauna)

Analysis: Belvia, the DBSS project overlooking Bedok Reservoir

The 488-unit project itself was completed in 2014 and entered the resale market in 2019. Since then, the average psf price for 5-room flats has appreciated by 3.97%.

In the latest transaction, a 1,130-sqft 5-room flat on the 1-3 floor range was sold for S$850k (S$752 psf) in October 2022.

The most expensive 5-room flat sold to date is a 1,130-sqft unit on the 7-9th floor range in May 2022. It exchanged hands for S$920k (S$814 psf).

Belvia - overall and 5-room comparison analysisFor the entire project in general, the average psf price has risen by 11.30% since 2019. The lowest-priced apartment sold to date is a 721-sqft 3-room unit in June 2021, which exchanged hands for S$420k (S$582 psf).

In actual psf terms, the highest went to a 936-sqft 4-room unit sold in August 2020 for S$835.47 psf. The lowest went to another 936-sqft 4-room, sold in November 2019 for S$539.53 psf.

Have you bought any apartments recently? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.

If you found this article helpful, check out After 4-year BTO queue number drought, 20-something couple gave up and went private instead and From being single to raising a family: 32-year-old exec shares her home-buying condo journey from Serangoon Gardens to Lentor Modern.

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