Singapore BTO Blog

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2016 is coming to an end. Soon we will be ushering in 2017. Have you guys thought about what you've done in 2016?

For today's post, as per last year's, I'm going to "throwback" major events (good and bad) in my life in 2016! Here are my 4 Major Things That Happened To Me in 2016!

1. Had such a nasty renovation nightmare.

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For those who know, we had such a huge reno nightmare that dragged over 17 weeks. Lesson learnt: Some friends can't be trusted. Especially if they tell you that they don't need to have your quotation in full details. We trusted a supposed friend who basically was a bastard thru and thru. Lies were spun. But because we didn't want to be calculative and asked for everything to be in details (like he told us can trust him with his quotation that did not have measurements), we really had to pay a huge price. Basically trusting him means we have no evidence to prove what he said. After everything, we found out how a few other friends were also screwed over. Oh well, huge lesson learnt!

Karma will bite the asshole in the ass. By the way, quality renovation my ass. Our shower screen shattered in less than 6 months, show cabinet laminate bubbled, painting cracked. If you do need a recommendation for a nightmare renovation with bad quality, let me know. I can point you in the right direction. Terrible Killer Hawrible experience indeed.

2. Finally moved into #nadskaihome after Chinese New Year.

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After all the nonsense, we finally moved in after Chinese New Year. We only managed to keep the place clean and well, Pinterest worthy till Aidan was born. After baby, the place is a huge nightmare. OH MY TIAN.

We love having a place of our own. Cooking, watching movies, enjoying time together. While Punggol does need time getting used to, I have begun to love this ulu place. Only wished that my bff was staying closer to me so that I could see her as often as we were staying at our parents' place!

3. Got sucked into the cult of Tula and Ju Ju Be.

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Being a mother opens up a huge world of shopping. Babywearing and diaper bags are like my life now. It's crazy. Mad crazy. It's easy to get so addicted coupled with the fact that I'm such a huge Tokidoki lover in the first place, I'm totally suckered. Needless to say, had to drag a few good friends down with me. Hurhur.

4. Never knew that I had so much love to give.

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While having a gremlin child was never in my plans, I guess it's different once it's yours. (Gosh, I sound so hypocritical). It's more forgivable when it's yours I guess? HAHAHA. I love watching Aidan grow. I gape in wonder at his milestones. I smile and coo when he does the silliest things. My heart feels like it's going to burst whenever I wake up to his smiles. Needless to say, I worry too. I guess like my gynae mentioned, you'll never stop worrying as a parent.

That's the 4 Major Things That Happened to Me in 2016. How was yours? I'm looking forward to 2016! Hope FINALLY we can get our home ready!

I would love to thank everyone for being supportive of www.nadnut.com. You've followed my journey from the frivolous camwhoring days to getting engaged to losing weight to planning for my wedding to my honeymoon exploits to getting pregnant to giving birth and now having Aidan! I have never regretted blogging as I loved sharing my experiences. It's more of a Nadia's Lifestyle Blog rather than a Singapore Lifestyle Blog. LOL.

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

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[Featured Advertorial]

As some of you readers may know, Skai and I became home-owners last year. It has been great owning a little cosy place of our own.

As I received some comments and queries previously, I'll like to share my 3 reasons on why I chose my BTO.

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1. Budget

When Skai and I got engaged, our first thought was where we were going to stay. We had made plans to hold our wedding dinner in a few years’ time. As most couples would know, wedding banquets are not the most affordable thing ever. We felt that we could not afford to hold a banquet and a honeymoon and afford a house, all at the same time.

We then decided that applying for a build-to-order or BTO flat would make the most sense for us financially. This would give us ample time to save up for the renovation and furnishing for our dream home.

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We had only started working for a few years back then and we did not have much savings nor CPF at that time. It was a sound financial decision to stick to choosing an affordable home. Also, if one does their sums wisely (which we definitely did), you'll not have to fork out any cash. We made sure of that when we chose our BTO.

2. Size

We wanted to make sure that we would pay zero cash when we bought our first home. As much as we wanted to clear our loan as fast as possible, we also did not want to fork out any cash monthly for the monthly instalments. We wanted to free our funds so that in the event of a rainy day, we would have some savings set aside.

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BTO flats can go as low as:
- 2-room Flexi BTO flats from as low as $4,000
- 3-room BTO flats from as low as $100,000
- 4-room BTO flats from as low as $200,000
- 5-room BTO flats from as low as $330,000

With this consideration, we decided to opt for a 4-room flat instead of a 5-room flat. They actually both have 3 bedrooms! Opting for a slightly cozier size also helps to manage the overall cost of my flat. And in the event that we really need more space, we can always upgrade to a bigger flat in future when our finances improves. But for our current needs of a family of 3, a 4-room flat is perfect!

Another reason why you may want to consider a 4-room or smaller flat in a non-mature estate is because you will then qualify for the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). The household income ceiling for the SHG has been raised to $8,500 last year, so most young couples can enjoy it.

This means that together with the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG), first time buyer can get housing grants of up to $80,000 for BTO flats! This will really help you save quite a bit of money. Sadly, we did not get to enjoy any housing grants back then as our combined income exceeded the income ceiling 5 years ago. But this will not stop me from sharing the news with you.

So for example, if you and your spouse (-to-be) are earning a combined monthly income of $4,000 and want to buy a 4-room flat in a non-mature estate, you will qualify for grants of $55,000. Be sure to read up about the available grants here so you can use them wisely for your home!

If we could buy a flat now, we would be eligible for grants! This would have made our home even more affordable!

I am really glad that we decided to make a prudent choice. Being a new mother adds up to quite some costs with the pregnancy and birth. Despite paying cash mainly for our renovation and furnishings, we are still able to cope and are comfortable with the expenditure.

3. Location

Skai was pretty adamant on choosing a non-mature estate. During the time that we were deciding between which BTO project to apply for, Punggol and Sengkang had the most choices and launches. They were also priced much lower than the mature estates like Toa Payoh.

Both Skai and I have lived in mature estates previously. He in Toa Payoh and I in Bedok. While mature estates do offer convenience with adequate amenities, I do feel that they are rather stagnant. Not to diss mature estate lovers, but it's pretty much 'set in stone' with the facilities, buildings and amenities.

For us, we wanted to stay in a non-mature estate because of the people around us. Many homeowners in non-mature estates are new couples or new families. It would be nice to grow and be with like-minded people. After getting my house, two of my other girlfriends also got their BTOs in Punggol! We were very excited about this news and we talked about hanging out often at each other's places!

Also, as a new mother, I love how baby-friendly Punggol is! I've found and made new friends and we love going for gatherings together with our babies.

After looking at the locations and studying the master plans of both Punggol and Sengkang, we decided to buy a home in Punggol. With the plans to develop Punggol, we felt that it had the potential to grow to be the next Tampines, if not more, in a few years time.

And we were right! While we were waiting for our BTO, there were announcements of the Punggol Safra and Waterway Point to be built. And we were super lucky, after getting our keys, both of these areas are now ready. We love visiting Waterway Point. It's extremely HUGE and is super baby friendly!

Not to mention the picturesque Punggol Waterway Park. We can always go for a stroll along the waterway on weekends, and stop by the cafes for a cake or ice cream, or both!

There are also other upcoming developments, which I can’t wait to take my friends and family to! There will be a stadium, swimming pool and a creative cluster coming up.

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These attractive amenities were all located fairly close to my BTO. Plus the LRT is just 5 minutes away which is extremely convenient for me!

We also chose a premium BTO which gave us a very good view. Friends are always amazed that a BTO could enjoy such an unblocked view.

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These are my 3 reasons to why we chose our BTO. Both Skai and I feel that BTOs can be affordable if you make prudent choices. Coupled with the assistance and grants available, owning a place of your own at an affordable price can be a reality.

I hope that you've enjoyed reading this piece!

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

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My curtains and blinds from Alto Fabric garnered lots of praises from friends. I previously casually blogged about it however there were queries via my social platforms and emails asking who I used. I had contacted Damien from Alto Fabric thru Facebook. He had supplied curtains and blinds to my ex-colleague Christine and she raved about him. Good recommendation Chris!

Here are some pics of the curtains and blinds!

...continue reading

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[Review]

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I installed an automated laundry system from Steigen. I promised to write a detailed post on the system as most of my friends were rather interested in it.

Just to recap, some reasons to why I chose an automated laundry system.

  • The manual pulley system provided by HDB was cumbersome and troublesome to use.
  • We did not have the space to install a dryer.

Some other reasons are:

  • In the long run, we'll save more money than using a dryer. An electric dryer can be costly as the energy consumption can be extremely high. Also, with Singapore's climate, save for a few months during the monsoon season, we usually have hot temperatures that is sufficient enough to dry our clothes in good time.
  • It's less tiring to use. The manual system requires much effort. You'll need to pull, release the cord in certain angles. Heck, with a newborn now, I don't even have time for myself these days. To have to deal with the hassle of the pulley and cord system, would definitely make me lose my patience.
  • With the automated system, all I have to do is press a button. Extremely convenient with the least effort, time, money and steps needed. I love the remote controlled system. Less effort indeed!
  • The system also has a safety mechanism where it lowers at a steady speed. If it encounters an obstruction, the system will halt immediately. Aside from that, the material is made out of strong aluminium which can withstand heavy weight.
  • I love that the poles are retractable, I can lengthen and shorten the poles according to my needs e.g. When I dry bedsheets, I lengthen the poles. For lesser laundry, I can shorten the poles and use less space!
  • In-built LED lighting. Instead of installing a light, I utilised my existing lighting point for the system.

While there are other automated laundry systems with other features such as UV lights and/or fans, I found it unnecessary.

We took some pictures during the installation which was a breeze.

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Measuring the area needed.

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Some prep work before installation.

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Installation in progress. I love how sleek it looks!

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My ex-colleague's husband showing us how it works.

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The installed automated laundry system by Steigen

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Bringing the poles down

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With the LED light on

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Bringing the extended poles down

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Actual usage!

I'm extremely pleased with Steigen and have been promoting this to my friends! As mentioned, my ex-colleague's husband handles this and has kindly offered a discount to my readers! Show some support to them please!

For more info about Steigen, check out:

Steigen
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SteigenSingapore
Websitewww.steigen.com.sg

Steigen showroom:
140 Paya Lebar Road,
#06-19 AZ@Paya Lebar,
Singapore 409015

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 10am to 6pm
Sat & Sun: 12pm to 6pm
Contact number: 88186588 / 86993219

Discount code:
Quote "NADNUT" in the voucher code to enjoy a $50 discount for the laundry system

Do check out my other entries on #nadskaihome (aka our Punggol BTO) here:

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.

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As some of you guys may know, I had a lot of setbacks with my renovation. It was a very unhappy working experience. I know some of you guys have been asking for updates but I've been really busy settling into my new role as a mother (honestly, am functioning with very very very little sleep these days) and I've been neglecting this space of mine. Am also trying to recuperate from the c-section during my confinement.

Not to worry, I will definitely share some tips on the renovation process and the mistakes I faced.

I also will be sharing pictures of my home! Unfortunately, some of the renovation items are not performing well. My contractor promised good quality items however things such as the shower kerb has been leaking many times despite the repairs. Tsk.

Aside from the renovation shit, I was very pleased to have worked with good vendors. Thank god!

While searching for a replacement for the HDB's laundry rack, I found out my ex-colleague's husband is working for Steigen, a laundry drying rack system.

Why did I wanted to change my brand new laundry rack from HDB?

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It's so troublesome to use it! The manual pulley system is cumbersome and tiring to use. You'll need to pull and release the cord in a certain angle and I've already heard from some friends that their system has jammed in less than a year.

Also, as I was quite far along in my pregnancy with backaches and all, Skai wanted to take some extra load off my hands.

Of course, there are other options such as an electric dryer but after evaluating the space and considering other constraints, Skai and I felt that an electronic laundry drying rack system was the best option for us.

I spoke to my ex-colleague's husband and he demo-ed Steigen to us. We were sold! He installed the system and we were very pleased with it!

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I'll share more info and pictures in another entry soon!

For more info about Steigen, check out:

Steigen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteigenSingapore
Website: www.steigen.com.sg

Steigen showroom:
140 Paya Lebar Road,
#06-19 AZ@Paya Lebar,
Singapore 409015

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 10am to 6pm
Sat & Sun: 12pm to 6pm
Contact number: 88186588 / 86993219

Discount code:
Quote "NADNUT" in the voucher code to enjoy a $50 discount for the laundry system

Do check out my other entries on #nadskaihome (aka our Punggol BTO) here:

Thanks for reading nadnut.com - Singapore Lifestyle Blog! Do follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagramDayre and Snapchat (nick: @nadnutdotcom) to get quicker updates of my life! For advertorials, media invitations or sponsored reviews, please contact me here.