Mr Josh Lim, 32, and his wife Mrs Chloe Lim, 28, knew from the start that they wanted their new home to be in Punggol as their parents and close friends live in the area.
The self-employed couple, who work together in the automotive industry, planned ahead and got their four-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flat at Waterway Terraces at Punggol Walk, on their second application in June 2013.
Since moving in last month, they have transformed the flat into a cosy and comfortable space.
About the flat
- Location : Punggol Walk
- Flat price : $357,100, after $25,000 CPF housing grants
- Flat size : 92 sq m
- Renovation cost : $50,000
- Loan period : 30 years
- Monthly mortgage : $1,300 entirely from CPF
- Median resale price for a four-room flat in Punggol (1Q2016): $435,000
- Visit My Nice Home Gallery at HDB Hub (Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 5pm) or visit mynicehome.sg for ideas to turn your flat into your nice home.
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Why did you choose to buy a BTO flat? Did you consider other options?
Mr Lim: We didn’t consider other options; BTO was our choice from the start. We had initially wanted a five-room BTO flat at this project, but didn’t get it on our first try.
As our hearts were set on Waterway Terraces, we went for a four-room unit under the Sale of Balance Flats exercise on our second attempt, as there were not many five-room units left.
Mrs Lim: We were fortunate that our CPF could cover the monthly instalments, so we did not have to fork out cash. This helped to ease our financial burden.
What I like most about the surrounding environment and neighbourhood is…
Mrs Lim: The scenery and amenities nearby are fantastic! Our flat faces the water and we get a good view. The special design of the project, with its balcony and beautiful scenery, makes it feel like a condo. One of the things we like best is that we do not see into our neighbours’ unit from our windows, which gives us a greater sense of privacy.
Mr Lim: The nearby Waterway Point mall has many eateries and a cinema. There are also two supermarkets, a clinic, a childcare centre and coffeeshops around. It’s really convenient.
What steps did you take to turn the flat into your own space?
Mrs Lim: We hacked the wall between two rooms and converted the space into our bedroom. We then set up a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom.
For the décor, we used neutral colours that are easy on the eye as we felt they would give a cosy feel.
The current trend is the Scandinavian and industrial style, but we didn’t want that because our work requires us to be in car workshops six days a week, so we want our home to be a cosy space where we could relax in comfort.
Our entire living room was wall-papered in a warm taupe with matching furniture — a light grey sofa filled with down feathers, a black marble table and a marble feature wall. We chose marble as it is durable and easy to clean.
We plan to put up some paintings and pictures to add colour to our walls.
What personal touches have you added to your home?
Mr Lim: We installed a marble feature wall in our living room. I play games on my PlayStation 4, so I bought a Bose sound system for about $2,800. It enhances the game-playing experience.
Mrs Lim: We plan to put up a dartboard as we enjoy playing darts. We used a different wallpaper in our bedroom — I chose one with a textured look, like an oil painting. I am interested in baking and bought an oven to motivate myself to start baking!
What do you like most about living in a BTO unit?
Mrs Lim: The Facebook group for the estate is quite useful and most people are really helpful in answering questions and organising bulk purchases. Our neighbours organise monthly gatherings — we haven’t gone to any, but we plan to.
I would advise new BTO home buyers to…
Mr Lim: Do your homework before starting your renovation.
Mrs Lim: Manage your finances. If you want to settle down together, apply early for your flat and save up for the renovation.