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A touch of the wild in Punggol

Mr Wang Shunli, 33, and his wife, Mrs Wang Xuelin, 34, succeeded in buying a unit in 2011, and moved into their new home in October 2014.
Mr Wang Shunli, 33, and his wife, Mrs Wang Xuelin, 34, succeeded in buying a unit in 2011, and moved into their new home in October 2014.PHOTO: HDB

Inspired by their honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr and Mrs Wang Shunli decided to go for a safari theme when renovating their new four-room flat

SINGAPORE - Mr Wang Shunli, 33, and his wife, Mrs Wang Xuelin, 34, were over the moon when they finally stepped into their new Build-to-Order (BTO) flat in 2014.

They had their hearts set  on a home in Punggol town. Not only would it be near her family, there were also many upcoming developments to look forward to.

They succeeded in buying a unit in 2011, and moved into their new home in October 2014.

Why did you choose to buy a BTO flat? Did you consider other options?

Mr Wang: Compared to buying a resale flat or an executive condominium, a BTO unit seemed to be the most practical option for us financially.

Our BTO unit was affordable, and we planned our finances to ensure that we could comfortably service the mortgage.

What was your first impression of your new flat?

Mrs Wang: I found it quite spacious compared with the three-room flat that I used to live in with my family in Ang Mo Kio. I was so glad to finally have a place that we could call our own.

What was the inspiration for your home décor?

Mr Wang: We had our honeymoon in Cape Town, and were so inspired by the wildlife we experienced that we chose a safari theme for our renovation. Our interior designer helped with the design of our wooden feature wall and even accompanied us on our shopping trip to get our lights and bed.

Mrs Wang: We did some research online and I downloaded the Houzz mobile app for design inspiration. We kept a lookout for safari-themed home décor items on our trips overseas, such as at  the Chatuchak market in Bangkok.

Some of our décor items, such as our wall painting and figurines, came from Cape Town, while the wooden stool was from Malaysia and the leopard print carpet was from the Geylang Serai market.

Other items, such as our placemats, vase, and wallpaper were purchased online.

What did you do to turn the flat into your own space?

Mrs Wang: We converted one room into our walk-in wardrobe. I love shopping and it has always been my dream to have one. We also installed a floor-to-ceiling shoe cabinet in the living room.

Mr Wang: I keep my small watch collection and watch winder in our bedroom. We also have a photo board where we put up photos of our holidays. We  will add to the collection with each trip.

What was your most extravagant purchase?

Mr Wang: Our king-sized bed, which cost over $2,000 and the renovation to our kitchen, which cost about $3,000.

  • About the flat

  • Location : Sumang Link, Punggol
  • Flat price : $309,300
  • Flat size : 92 sq m
  • Renovation cost : $19,000
  • Loan period : 30 years
  • Monthly mortgage : $1,100 entirely from CPF
  • Median resale price for a four-room flat in Punggol (1Q2016): $435,000
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What do you like most about living in your flat?

Mrs Wang: I like the close-knit community. Many of our neighbours are newly-weds and around the same age. We got to know them through the Facebook group set up for the estate. We help each other to buy takeaway food and even organise pot luck sessions at one of our homes during festive occasions.

What I like most about the surrounding environment  and neighbourhood is…

Mrs Wang: The Punggol Waterway Park, MRT station, shopping mall and SAFRA are within walking distance. There is also a supermarket and a few kopitiams in the area. There weren’t many shops or facilities open when we first moved in, but now we do not even need to step out of Punggol. The park is great for walks and to spend quality time together.

Mr Wang: It’s quite convenient and I can get to most places by car in under 30 minutes.

I would advise new BTO home buyers to…

Mr Wang: Have a theme in mind for your renovation, decide on a budget and work within it. Tell yourself that it is the maximum amount you will spend on renovation and avoid taking  a “first home” or YOLO  (you only live once) attitude to justify overspending!