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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finally - Our House!

Somewhere in the ulu regions of Singapore a house was built in 1972. In it, a family prospered and grew up. The children bought new and beautiful homes of their own, and are now raising their own children away from the old house.

We bought their house.

It is a terribly old house but sits on a large-ish plot of land at the end of a quiet street. Yet, it is a mere 3 minutes walk away from a bustling square of shops, and a new mall. When we first saw it, the house was bathed in a glow of late afternoon sunshine. Well-kept and neat, the green grass on the lawn beckoned to me cheerfully. The wide and long drive way quelled all my claustrophobic fears and I felt decidedly positive about the property.

Inside, the furnishings had a dated charm with tiles from the 1980s and ventilation holes in the walls that must have been from the 1970s, before air-con became ubiquitious. The rooms had high ceilings and were cool, but too dark. Already, my mind was racing to take down walls, install glass panels and sliding doors. I had mentally grown creepers up trellises, constructed wooden decks, see-through roofs and bought rattan garden furniture. I redesigned the outdoor kitchen and built an al fresco dining area with a frangipani tree at one corner ... a mass of bamboo in another.

"What do you think?" asked The Husband in his quiet voice and neutral expression. The Husband always speaks in a flat voice, and his expressions always look neutral to strangers anyway. Me... I had to watch myself because my expressions are lively and my voice betrays every emotion in my heart. I refused to look at The Husband for I knew that if our eyes met, my eyes would blaze with excitement and betray how much... oh how much I desired the house.

Quietly, I said, "J'adore!".

We told the property agent nonchalantly that we would think about it and it was all I could do to stop my heart from twisting painfully in my chest when she said "Someone else has made an offer..." But well... The Husband had sternly reminded me to keep my expressivity to myself. So, I said nothing and walked to the car.

I could not sleep that night, praying all night long that the house would be mine. We made an offer the next day, and as luck would have it, the other offer came from a c0-broking agent. The property agent preferred our offer because in a main broking deal, she does not need to share her commission with another agent. So, to help herself, she helped us.

So we bought the house. It'll be months before I'll get around to renovating it... but meanwhile, it feels good to know that it's mine.

12 comments:

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Congrats dear... even though I liked your penthouse too! Will your plants be moving over too?

petunialee said...

I hope to move them all... not leave any behind. But some have grown so tall. Need to think about fitting them through the doorways and into the lift.

Leah said...

Congrats! I can feel your palpitations of excitement and see your dreams! I look forward to stories on plants, insects, toads and garden snakes! Perhaps I will read first of your stories of experiences with contractors...they are quite a breed!

petunialee said...

Leah - Oh yeah... I am deathly scared of contractors. That's why I always buy houses that require as little work as possible. This is going to take me out of my comfort zone by a whole lot! But yes... there'll be stories to tell indeed!

Leah said...

Eventually, you will work out a list of contractors who can be trusted to do their work well and you will need them over the years to help maintain the house. Hey, think about the grass under your bare feet, catching the most interesting insects for your boy (imagine a staghorn beetle or a bug nobody can identify) and more produce for the table...c'est la vie parfait!

petunialee said...

Yup... everyone at home is thrilled to bits. We spent last evening thinking up crazy names for the dog we'll get... We thought we'd call him/her Zohan/Sarsi/Pizza/BDawg/Budderball/Rosebud etc...

Blur Ting said...

Oh, I'm so happy for you! It is my dream to have a house with a yard too. And an outdoor kitchen with lots of space to grow herbs and things. So happy for you!! And I look forward to seeing your dog!

Rummi said...

So exciting! Old house sounds irresistably charming!

Does Boy knows that his kapor tree will soon get a chance to grow into a real tree? Maybe he'll get a little planting strip/plot for himself too;)

petunialee said...

Oh no he won't! No plot. No pot. Maternal instincts fly out the window when garden space beckons. He gets a dog. I get my garden. Voila!

petunialee said...

Blur Ting - thanks! But you... you... you... have a farm! Can't beat that.

Rummi said...

Oh... hmm... maybe u'll need Boy's permission to touch his superduperlovable dog in future... It's only fair!! :p

shamrock said...

I'm so excited for you Petunia!!!