House Hunting, International: the Dean's move to Singapore

A few awesome people who watch HGTV as much as I do asked if I was going to be on the show House Hunters International.  "Don't you worry", I told them, "I sent them an email."  Which is true.  As soon as I knew for sure that we were relocating to Singapore, I sent HGTV an email.  I never did hear back from them though.  And you guys, you remember how incredibly stressed out I was before we left?  Well, I think it's probably a really good thing that they never contacted me.  I was move-zilla.  I'm sorry guys.  I must have been terrible to be around the last two months.  I'm a lot less stressed now, promise.  

This is NOT one of our choices.  This is our temporary housing.  It's a Service Apartment hotel.  It's called Orchard Park Suites and it's right downtown Singapore.  We love the three bedrooms, kitchen, breakfast every weekday, housekeeping, and overall amenities.  But, it just isn't home.  I will be so happy to have OUR own space and our STUFF.  By the time we leave here, I will have been sleeping in a strange bed and living out of suit cases for almost two and a half months!  My Mother-In-Law was right when she said I was taking my most important things with me; my family. However, it will be so nice to have our own things again.  

Anyway, our second weekend in Singapore, we set out on our house hunt.  Colin had already been to see some properties on his initial trip out here and he had a good idea of what our budget could afford.  And let me just write about this ONE TIME.  Everything in Singapore is Ex.  Pen.  Sive!  Especially housing!  and cars, and food, and well... you get the point.  

So, yeah, we set out to look for an apartment, or condo... whatever.  Anyway, I'd been looking at properties online at this website: for quite some time.  And I've learned one very important lesson, do not judge a property by it's pictures.  Because reality, was not as good as what we saw. 

We went house hunting on two different trips, three actually.  Colin went once by himslef, we went once together as a family, and then I went again with Ryan.   

So, The first place we saw was a tiny little apartment in a really nice complex.  They call them condos here.  It was very clean, modern, new, and nice.  But TINY!  I mean, the kitchen was so small having two people inside would have been too many.  There wasn't a single cabinet big enough to put a plate inside of.  It was just TOO small.  

The second place we saw was... nicer.  Kind of.  The facilities were a lot older.  The pool and playground area looked kind of old to me but the kids thought it was great.  The second we walked into the second house, Colin thought it was THE ONE.  I was so disappointed.  It was so run down and very old looking inside.  The hard wood floors were really worn out, the bathroom was old and ugly, the kitchen was BIG, that was for sure, but it was in pretty bad shape.  I felt so bad that I didn't like it.  I just couldn't believe that THIS MUCH MONEY was only going to get us THIS kind of place to live in.  There was an awning out on the terrace and it was sagging with water and mildew.  I asked the agent about it and more than once he just king of brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal.  I thought it was a big deal and that they should have cared enough to do something about it.  We walked around for quite a while and I kept trying to imagine what we could do with the space.  

As we left with our agent, we started talking about which one would work for us.  We agreed that the first one was nice, but that it had to be thrown out because it was just too small for us.  The second one we thought we could make work.  So we called them up and told them we were interested.  But as we got closer, they asked for a deposit and I put the breaks on.  I just couldn't agree to it.. yet.  

That weekend we had a really hard time.  It was really hard for us because we felt like our budget should be affording us more and we were so frustrated with the situation that we felt like giving up and going home.  But we prayed a lot and worked through our emotions together until by Monday and Tuesday we had optimism that everything would work out just fine.  

I spent the whole weekend looking at places online and trying to find something good.  I emailed our agent with about 12 different properties and asked him to set up some more showings that week.  He finally got back to me and said that we'd go out on Thursday.  Colin and I decided that it would be okay if I went without him and just choose the one I thought was best.  

Ryan and I met him on Thursday and when we got in the car I was both shocked, and devastated when he told me we'd be going to see two more properties in the SAME complexes.  I couldn't believe it.  I had sent him so many listings and he was taking us back to see the same stuff.  But, as soon as I had those thoughts and feelings, they went away.  I don't know why (well, yes I do) but all of the sudden, they were gone.  I wasn't anxious or nervous; I was calm and optimistic.  Turns out, I loved them both and I called the second (third) trip, much more successful.  

This is the first place.  It is new, nice, modern, and has tiny little apartments.  

 This is the master bedroom.  It does have enough room for a queen sized bed.  It does not have enough room for a dresser.  

 Family room, dining room.  Ryan is walking into the kitchen.  This kitchen was a little bigger.  It had some decent cabinet space.  

This apartment had four bedrooms which were all VERY small.  Colin and I would have probably ended up putting all of the dressers in one bedroom, our bed and the kids beds in their rooms, and then getting rid of some of the furniture that we bought so we could squeeze into this apartment.  

This is the second place.  It is older, but the  unit we saw this time was in so much better shape.  It was large, the biggest one we saw in all our visits, and has a really nice floor plan.  The kitchen and hardwood are in really good shape and I fell in love almost immediately.  It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large kitchen (totally rare here) a terrace, actually three outdoor spaces and is furnished but since we brought our own furniture, they're taking everything we don't want out.  Obviously, we went with apartment number four and I think we're going to be really happy here.  We ended up with three extra beds, sleeping for 5 so everyone book your tickets and come visit!  We move in October 4th.  Contact me if you want the new address.  

 Junior Master


 Dining and Living
 a built-in thingy that I think we'll love
 downstairs bedrooms 


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