I have been getting mixed signals from the man above regarding our house hunt these past months, i guess it boiled down to me “wanting” a condo that is nice and shiny and me “needing” a simple HDB flat that fulfills our main priorities of:
-getting something bigger to house all of us
-big enough to allow parents to also bunk-in should hard times fall on us
-somewhere near Je-in’s future school, preferably walking distance
L has always been cool about either which way we go and I appreciate her ability to detach from this world.
One day while driving, i was asking in prayer for a sign on what His will is. At that moment, a car with plates 3XX zoomed past me and caught my eye. I kept it in mind as the block numbers in the area were 3XX.
A week later, a propertyguru email alert which i had set up, came in with an available unit for sale in Blk 3XX. I called up and popped in to view it just with Je-in, as L had a CGS session that Sunday.
As I got out of the lift with the agent, i was struck with the sight of the Crucifix on the door! A strong sign indeed. It was a pleasant and quiet unit at the corner of the estate just next to a hill on one side and facing some lecture theaters from a junior college on the other. Its 1600 sq ft in size which is almost double what we’d be getting had we gone to a private apartment.
The following week, L came along. She liked it and we made an offer. After two days of back and forth on the pricing, we got the deal. I was pretty worried about the financing as the recent rules and property cooling measures encircled us with a lot of restrictions and I have to pay off an existing loan. I was worried about the actual valuation as it would impact the COV (cash over valuation) aspect of the price.
The next day I mentioned this to the banker and he immediately called his partner valuers and they gave us a really high estimate. Which is what we needed, so that we can take a bigger bank loan. It felt like a miracle! It was 100K more than the estimates we sourced online etc
But the verdict is not out yet as the actual valuers would be doing the report within this coming week. Also, doubts kept coming in about whether we needed to pay ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty) but we got it confirmed that we didn’t have to. So the financial doubt was slowly working its way out after some rounds of clarifications with law firms, bankers and agents. The new rulings have indeed made buying property a complicated task unless you don’t have any in your name.
That same morning, my banking SMS alert came in with money being deposited from the conclusion of V’s previous land banking investments, which took me more than two years to chase down. It was a deal gone wrong, and was complicated to resolve because I actually had to get a title deed in Canada amended to allow me to exit the investment. It wasn’t a big sum but anything would be helpful in our current situation. God is indeed providing signs and giving me comfort.
This Good Friday, as Jesus lay dying on the cross and said the words “It is accomplished”. I’ve reflected on the whole journey and offer this episode up as my Lenten sacrifice for 2014. Mum has been on the sidelines praying, and i think she’s quietly happy that we chose the HDB.
Well we’ll still have to go through the paperwork and if nothing else crops up as a showstopper, we’ve found our new home!