Why Your HDB So Chio?

By December 18, 2019Current, Local Life

TL;DR – Really HDB meh?

This is the pilot issue of “Why Your HDB So Chio?”

To commemorate the pilot issue of this series, I tried looking for a pilot’s HDB (Housing Development Board, more commonly referred to as our flats in Singapore.) but I failed. Instead, I found a HDB flat that belongs to two ex-Cabin Crew. That works too right? (Depending on the response, the pilot issue might also be the final issue. :x)

To many individuals, our HDB might just be a roof over the head or even a future investment (Yes, your HDB belongs to you although it is on a 99-year lease. You CAN sell and earn a profit after all right?) but not Louis and Vera.

This young couple put in much effort to make sure that their HDB is more than just another HDB.

Q: First thing first, what theme or style is this?

A: It is kind of English – French country inspired, I also love details & prints. And most of the time, it is very much “Yup this just feels so right, let’s do it” – especially the panels of mismatched wallpapers in our bedroom! But if you need a name for the theme or style, I don’t think I know.

Q: What do you mean by “don’t know”? Then how did you tell your Interior Designer (ID) what you wanted? Or was this just something that they proposed?

A: We didn’t hire an ID, hehehe!

Our home decor is my design, I drew sketches of what I had in mind & sent photos I found online to my carpenter. He was able to easily visualise what I had in mind, so everything was a breeze with my carpenter’s help. My husband was happy to leave it to me as long as it is not impractical.

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To all husbands out there, leave the home decision to your wives, use your time for more important decisions like money, politics, country! laughs (Editor’s note: Gentlemen out there, please learn from him. Thanks.)

Q: Did you guys have any worries or concerns while trying to get this place?

A: The only concern we had was actually not being able to get the place. We really wanted it a lot – maybe we wanted the house more than each other! laughs

Initially I was worried about money as well but I was so relieved to find out later that my CPF could offset the down payment. It’s good to know that I had that part saved through CPF without really planning my finances around it since I started work in my 20s!

Q: How long did you guys have to wait before getting this HDB flat? And how many times did you have to ballot?

A: We were very lucky. We got it at our 1st ballot and the wait was four years.

Q: So why this location?

A: It is very near town, it is just a 2-minute walk away from the MRT station, less than 15 minutes’ drive to work, and near my parents’ new place.

Also, I used to grow up in the Kovan area, so being in this location is not too far from where I used to grow up and being able to visit old “makan” friends is easy too!

Q: Did you hear about the new Enhanced CPF housing grant which has a higher income ceiling?

A: Yes! Although we missed that train now but I guess it is inevitable. It is like being the last person to buy that limited edition bag and tomorrow is Black Friday. Limited edition bag or discount… Sekali they say limited edition bag no BF discount leh? Point is, we didn’t want to wait further for our own nest and we also didn’t know if there would be such improvement on the grant, so that’s that.

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On the bright side, now that there is new Enhanced CPF housing grant, it shows that our government is always improving and trying to fulfil the needs of the people as well as making adjustments to economic growth. So I guess more people are going to benefit with this higher income ceiling.

“The best thing about staying together – wife’s home cooked meals” Louis, 2019

Q: Cool cool, enough of the grant talk. Tell us, what is the best thing about staying together as a couple?

A:  (Louis) My wife loves to cook and experiment new dishes, so it is very much a blessing!


Q: How well do you know your neighbours?

A: There are three units on our level. There is an elderly couple as well as another young couple beside us. We know some of their names when they introduced themselves but that’s about it.

I guess we could have made more effort but we work long hours and get home late. We are not people who go all out to make friends but they seem like nice people. 

Q: You guys have a FB group for the neighbourhood that you are active in?

A: There is, but we are not active, we usually just read the updates.

“An old man committed suicide shortly after we moved in!”

Q: Are you worried about the 99-year lease?

A: Not really..I am more worried about being alive at 99 years old.

Q: Probably a sensitive question and at the same time the one that everyone really wants to know how much did you spend on the renovation?

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A: Around $45,000 in total for everything – carpentry, furniture, tiling, hacking of walls etc, curtains, electronics… yes including electronics!


Q: Any intention to sell the flat and move out anytime soon? I’m sure our readers will be interested since it is so pretty!

A: Highly unlikely. We really love our place, location, and all the memories we have at this place.

Q: Memories? Tell us something interesting! Anything interesting happened in this new area?

A: The whole process? How we waited anxiously to get the place till getting it and decorating it.

Oh… and we heard an old man committed suicide in the neighbourhood shortly after we moved in.

Q: Last question before we end this, WHY YOUR HDB SO CHIO?

A: Because my hubby and I took the effort to design and “build” it ourselves rather than throwing money for someone to do it, so no matter the outcome, we will love it. It is all about the love! #Cheesy



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Smith Leong

Author Smith Leong

Social Media Trainer @ NTUC | Youth Mentor | Labour Champion | Photographer | Content Creator |

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