Pet owner shares unique home-buying journey to avoid HDB's 'one dog only' rule

PHOTO: JZ, 99.co

For most Singaporean couples looking to purchase their first home, BTO flats are undoubtedly the most popular choice.

However, for 28-year-old animal lover JZ and her fiance, that was simply not an option as HDB only allows one dog in each home.

Instead of having to make the impossible choice of picking between her Shiba Inu or his Golden Retriever, they opted to buy private property and live together as one big, happy family in their pet-friendly home.

JZ's Shiba Inu
JZ’s Shiba Inu. PHOTO: JZ

One of the biggest challenges for the couple was to find a private property within their budget that had at least three rooms, as they intended to dedicate one room for their pets. 

Eventually, they decided to purchase an 890 sq ft, two-bedroom + one study resale condo in Pasir Ris.

On top of the greater affordability due to the unit being located in the city fringes, they chose a home in Pasir Ris as both of them grew up in the East.

JZ said, "Between finding a budget-friendly condo in the far west, north or east, it's a no brainer that we'd go with Pasir Ris!"

Pasir Ris condo
The couple’s sunny Pasir Ris condo with lush greenery outside their balcony. PHOTO: JZ

JZ felt the location was ideal for her and her fiance as Pasir Ris park was close-by, which meant it would be convenient for them to take their pets on long, leisurely strolls.

She added that one drawback of their home was the distance to the MRT station, which would be a 15-minute walk. However, she maintained a positive attitude about it.

"While that isn't the nearest to us, it's fine as we both love walking! Being able to walk to the MRT is good enough."

99.co spoke with JZ as she talked about her experience purchasing her first home. More importantly, we wanted to know if she had any advice for millennials who were just setting out on their very own home-buying journey.

What stage of the property purchasing process are you at now?

We have just completed the renovation and will be moving in shortly next month (January 2022) after our wedding.

What would you say are some of the unique characteristics of your home?

We love the open concept of our home. To connect the study room and living room, we decided to hack off a bedroom. The pet's room wall is also made of glass.

This way, if ever they're in there, we can see what they're doing. We like this idea as it feels like our pets and we are connected and never separated.

Pasir Ris condo
The couple hacked off a bedroom to connect the study and living room. They've also implemented a glass wall so they can see each other. PHOTO: JZ

Are there any specific steps you took to make your home more pet-friendly?

We selected vinyl tiles that were scratch-proof and kept our furniture minimal for easy cleaning.

Our furnishings that were from Carousell were also bought with our pets in mind - we looked for items that were easy to clean, such as a waterproof faux leather sofa.

How has your renovation experience been?

My home renovation process was smooth and pleasant thanks to my interior designer (Joe from Arche Interior), who has similar tastes and understands our needs.

Right from the start, when we pitched to IDs, we mentioned we are pet owners, and the home needs to be pet-proof and pet-friendly. We also shared our preferred style so that IDs who vibe with us can get back with the relevant solutions.

I would recommend everyone to share their needs and style preferences to their IDs or renovators and see who vibes with you best before committing!

What insights have you gained throughout the experience in researching and buying this property?

My home-buying journey was super smooth, thanks to my fabulous agent and seller. I think I was really lucky! Truth be told, the first unit I viewed with my agent was also the unit I decided to get.

My friends and family would freak out and ask me to hold off the decision and wait. But I would say while it may be good to seek the advice and opinions of your parents, ultimately what's most important is how you feel and that it meets your needs and falls within your budget.

Friends and family may have many opinions and they are neither right nor wrong as everyone has their own preferences. Seek them out, weigh out the pros and cons, but in the end, you have to make your own decision.

I would say my biggest learnings actually came after we got the place. As millennials who were overly reliant on our parents to solve the different problems at home, we were lost when we needed to find home service providers but did not know where to look.

But in true millennial fashion, we ended up using Carousell to get those when we saw they had a home service category.

What are your hopes and dreams in the next step in your home-buying/living journey?

Looking forward to getting married and moving together in our little pawmily haven!

Do you have any advice for our readers who are making their next step towards buying a similar property in Singapore?

Do your research, and get a good agent if you're lost. They can advise you at every step of the journey!

This article was first published in 99.

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