Friday, December 30, 2011

Renting A Place

In Singapore, unless you are Singaporean, you are probably one of us NOT LIVING WITH OUR PARENTS. As this is a foreign land for us where family is tagged on close friends instead of blood relation, we do not inherit any land or apt for that matter for us to be able to be rent free.

Every couple of years the dilemma of “to move or not to move” came into the conversation. We used to be young couple who was attending every party and who hosted too many parties ourselves. But we did all these in our little condo in Orchard Road – the prime land of Singapore.

This is where everything is happening. And while most Singaporean would dress up to go to Orchard, as it is seen as the in place to be, this is actually our neighbourhood. Mind you, I’ve seen many condos in Orchard and they are tiny pigeon holes. We were lucky to get this as it has huge rooms and living space, it doesn’t make you claustrophobic

But of course that came with a slight pride. Well, as if!  We could proudly say we live in Orchard. But then we added one member of the family. To begin with, this place held furnitures from both mine & my husband's. On top of that we need all these extras for a tiny little thing (Our daughter). Who would have thought that a tiny baby would take so much room. Oh yes they do!  They control your sleeping time, your working time, your shower time, they take your room and your life and in return they would beam the most beautiful smile that you think everything will be just perfect!  Suckers! ;)

Since my daughter was born we compromised a lot on space. We need space for her cot, her bathtub, her stuff – that’s a whole cupboard full. And it didn’t help that on Christmas day she’s getting all the presents while us parents got one gift each. We are not sour grapes (no really) but we need to shift our things away to fit all these presents we get from relatives. Again, we are not complaining about the gifts! ;)

In short, we need more space. Recently we started on our house hunt. My husband decided to rent a house instead of an apt since that was how we were brought up and he wants our daughter to grow up the same. And not being cooped up in an apt. So we went house hunting. There was always something not right with the houses we saw. Some houses have such beautiful space but they have the weirdest renovation that got you thinking “what the hell were they thinking?”

We saw one at 39 Gilstead Brooks. I started to wonder why the developer would ever think this concept would work. It’s a cluster house. It was one of our consideration as we thought our daughter would love to play in the pool and my husband can use the gym. But when we looked through the house, that unit wasn’t the ONLY unit we looked through, we could see all our neighbours too. The proximity between the units were too close for comfort.

If I am standing on the balcony, I would be seen by my neighbours from the left, right and especially the front. The one in the front would think I’m trying to look at them, and therefore, I won’t use the balcony. All my rooms are facing the other room. Privacy is very important for us, we don’t see how we can live with the curtain drawn at all times.

We then visited one which is in the kingdom of far far away. It’s called Summer Garden. The concept is nice. And it’s a lot spaced out. You do not looked into someone’s window and your privacy is well taken care of. The pool looks beautiful and the area is very serene and quiet. Well, it’s good that we were visiting during the festive season, because we could tell from all the red banners on their doors that all of them would be celebrating Chinese New Year. Would we feel out of place being the only foreigner there?

This house has 6 rooms to boast and when you go to each room, except for the master bedroom, the rest of the rooms can just fit a super single bed. That doesn’t include the cupboards yet. So I’m just trying to imagine having guests and having to tell them that each spouse have to take separate room? ;) That doesn’t work.  Rooms and cupboards are very important for us as we have just too many things in this current apt. Somehow it seems to be the case of quantity than quality with Summer Garden. Yes I can tell people I have 6 bedrooms but they are tiny!

We also looked at a house in Figaro Garden. Love it!! I love the house, the serenity of the place, I love the outdoor area, I love almost everything about it. It’s very open and spacious. Our only issue is that the house doesn’t provide cupboards at all. The agent, Steven showed us around the house with an attitude suggesting that we may not even be able to afford this house. Little that he knows that we are paying more in Orchard for a smaller space. I didn’t like the way he showed us around. He also told us that we would need to buy our own cupboards as different people prefers different cupboards.

Well, my issue is, with the 6 bedrooms it has, what happens to it when we have to move to a smaller place next. Let’s say the owner decides not to rent anymore and we need to move out and could only get a 4 room house/apt – what are we going to do with the rest of the cupboards?  And my husband is a bit anal when it comes to furniture! He has to buy the best of the best!!!! Even for a rented place!!! The expenditure would just be too much.

So, as much as we love that place – we each silently planned in our heads what to put in each rooms, only to blurt it all out in the car when Steven was out of sight.

We finally chose one apartment in East Coast facing the sea. It has only 4 rooms but more than sufficient for us. This is an old building. So all the room and the living space are very spacious.

We've just settled in nicely now. Let's see if there is any reason to raise a bitching session soon. ;)

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