(Does everyone here begin each post with that :P)
My first post here and I thought to write about the #househunting process and a little on the #renovations too.
Mine was pretty straightforward. I used propertyguru's filter quite extensively, and shortlisted listings to view. Most of it was based on location and PSF costs. I found the website very easy to handle it was on the website that I found my new home! Does anyone else have any other website to recommend? I love looking at property listings; it is my hobby. :p
We took about 3 weeks to find the new home and viewed only once before offering. A few things we really liked about the new place was that it had a whole stretch of windows from the living to dining area, and a big kitchen. There was also no wastage of space in the form of outdoor rooftop space.
I was not too bothered about whether it was a brand new property or a old unit, and in the end I bought a very old property in super original condition. Usually this means the price is much lower than new launches, and it allowed me to renovate more extensively as well.
Another thing I needed to have was that it be freehold, because my husband and I sell and move quite frequently. A freehold property would give us a more likely chance at making some profit in a few years, especially since we seem to end up buying quite old property for the space. For property that we buy to rent out, we don't really need it to be freehold, but such property would then have to be near amenities and facilities.
For home owners who do not want to do too much renovation, I suppose the condition of the property would matter. It would be huge cost savings though, if you do not need to renovate. The renovation and furnishing for my duplex is upwards of $200,000 so far (mainly because I have a lot of carpentry work and had to redo all electricity lines) and I've heard that minimally, ID firms now charge at least $80k for designing and renovating.
Actually, for most of the properties I bought over the past few years (5 in the past 15 years), I've always gutted them out quite entirely. We wondered if we should get an ID this round because we've never had one before, but this time, I engaged an ID because the duplex I bought had a lot of odd corners, and unfortunately, pillars in all corners of the house. I couldn't quite imagine how to design around these spots, and thus I got my trusty and reliable carpenter Mr See (you will see his name a lot in my posts) to recommend an ID that he could work with. He recommended Florence, and so far, it has been a really smooth and wonderful experience.
I loved that she got 3D visuals for us to help see the unit better after rounds of discussions.
3D visual of walk-in area
We worked closely to come up with theme and design of the place. I took screenshots of home designs I liked and it kinda determined that I liked grey, concrete and some wood. After that, we planned how the space would be used, what would be knocked down and then she gave us the 3D renderings a week later.
She incorporated our deco and furniture into the 3D renderings as well! With the 3D renderings, we were better able to visualise the designs and we later made some changes to the design too. Florence also gave a very detailed timeline of work to be done and the quality of work given so far has been above expectations. She has also followed the timeline closely and we really appreciate this about her.
For most of the property we have had, we did not use an ID because our style is quite straightforward: hack everything! Queen of Hacking Everything Haha. In the house I will be moving out of, we hacked 6 rooms into 4. It's just us two at home (with three dogs) so we actually prefer more spacious rooms.
In this new place, we have hacked away two rooms to make more space as well.
It is nice to not have to oversee everything like before, because now I not only have Mr See, but Florence as well to do the nitty gritty.
Basically me standing in front of fan and doing nothing.
We are nearly at the end of our 6 week renovation process now, and I can't wait to move in next week!
Here's a sneak pic of the work done, a pic from Week 1 of Renos,Week 6 and last Wed! Will compile and post again once we are completely done, which hopefully will be in a week.
Can't wait to move in. :)