"Before" pictures of my home

Here are pictures of my new place as at time of purchase. Looking at the pictures, I realised what a good camera can do to my pictures: the place looks significantly better in the pictures than in reality.

I took these pictures during the final inspection of the property before handing over of the keys. I avoided touching the place because it was too dirty and yucky! My sister said she couldn't even bring herself to take pictures.

Floor plan

View from outside main door

View of living room, inside looking out.

I love that the main door faces a lush green hill! My dad said we can put a bird trap there! (It was 8pm so you can't see the trees in the picture)

Turning counter-clockwise, the storeroom is left of the door, followed by my bedroom in which the (lousy) agent is standing, the master bedroom, then the entrance to the kitchen (not in this photo).
Home Renovation

Here is a close-up picture of the storeroom. The first owner must have used it as a prayer room because the walls are tiled. It's going to cost us extra to get rid of these tiles and cement+plaster the wall.

This is going to be my bedroom. The window opens out to the corridor and a view of the hill (same view as from the main door).
My room

My sister's room

Did you notice that the skirting (between the floor and the walls) is of a different colour from the floor tiles? They use the kitchen tiles for the skirting. I wonder what possessed them to do that.

Here's the 25-year-old kitchen cabinet. We're getting rid of it. Cabinets that old should be taken down lest they insist on coming down on their own. The first owners were Indian - they usually cook oily and strong-smelling food. My sister and I dared not open them to look for "hidden treasure".

Ironically, regardless of the age of the cabinets, valuators value the property at a higher price if there are cabinets AND renovation contractors charge extra for removing the cabinets - so we pay double for things that we don't need. [Read: Do "experts" really know what they are doing?]

Besides having to pay twice for this piece of junk, there are 2 stories about this cabinet:

1. A well-intentioned person suggested we maintain but refurbish the cabinets with new doors and not renovate the kitchen. Thank goodness my sister decided to go with my suggestion of removing them otherwise I'll have to tip-toe through the kitchen every time I go to the bathroom.

2. The previous owner did not remove the standing stove. When we asked him to remove it, the agent, Mr. Alex Goh, said that the oven was part of the cabinet fixture. We said it was not supposed to be there. "You're going to remove the cabinet?" the agent asked. Duh! The agent was just being lazy. If my sister agreed to dispose the stove on her own, he won't need to meet her again the next day to pass her the keys but give them to her immediately. My sister insisted that it gets removed because she didn't want to surprise the contractor with furniture removal. We have an extremely tight schedule and for the renovation price she was paying, it won't be nice to make the contractor go through additional trouble to remove the item. The previous owner agreed to remove it. In fact, while my sister and I were taking measurements of the rooms, he and the agent carried the oven out together. Make them work! Looks like people do think out of the box when it's going to save them the trouble of meeting again the next day. [Read: Laziness - mother of all innovation]

Kitchen - view from living room


I had no choice but to touch the bathroom door because I had to go in to look behind the door to ascertain the space. Looks terrible, doesn't it? Like all old apartments, the bathrooms are the most terrible parts of it. I'm really excited about the bathroom though! The transformation will be drastic!

Common Bathroom

Renovation starts today (1 September)!

More to come:
Why we selected this apartment


daniel.tgk said...

Guess you will be giving it a major make over ya? Need help?

David said...


A most interesting post, if somewhat uncontroversial.

Good luck on the renovations.
Here in the States several websites allow reviews of contractors to be posted so people investingating a specific type of contractor, in your case a kitchen remodeler, one can evaluate if a contractor is realiable among other means of ranking contractors. Some home supply super-stores offer the services of licensed contractors with specific guarantees, that usually include a refund policy if the work not acceptable.

I realize that SG's housing market is different than that in the states.

I look forward to this continuing adventure.


There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.

-- G. K. Chesterton

Anonymous said...

Where is the bomb shelter? Every HDB is supposed to have one.

Does the lift has a sign saying "Lift is alarmed with urine detector" ? Is it armed with CCTV?

Does the lift stop on your floor. In some HDB the lift only stop on alternate floor!

Your unit has tiled floor! A disadvantage when people are very active in bed and you can hear the rhymic bonk-bonk-bonk due to noise amplication of the tiles!

Yu-Kym said...

Daniel, yes, it will be a major makeover that will take about a month to complete.

David, the majority of contractors here are crooks LOL. Almost every home owner gets cheated - it's just a matter of how bad and whether they realise that they got cheated.

Anon, this is a old apartment. Old ones don't have bomb shelters / panic room. The lift doesn't stop at my level but there will be a lift upgrading program so the lift will stop on every level eventually. We'll be using laminate flooring in the rooms - not that I care about what other people can hear. There isn't any apartment beside mine on the side of the bedroom. Anyway, there are noisier things in a neighbourhood than the sounds of people having sex.

Anonymous said...

No no doing reno during Hungry Ghost month ! The house is dirty enough dont invite the other "dirty" things in your home !

Yu-Kym said...

That's religious belief or superstition which I don't observe/practice.

Anonymous said...

There is a strange water tap fixed at a peculiar level next to the WC toilet bowl which we seldom find in 'normal' tolets.

When you mention that the previous people living in there were Indians, I realised the reason that strange tap is there.

Indians don't use toilet paper, they use a flexible host connected to such a tap to wash their arse "after the job is done"!

In Oz, an Indian was told to get a new job elsewhere after he insisted to use the above technique to clean his behind instead of using toilet paper!

Another Indian declared himself to be a "Natural Human Recycling Machine" when he discovered a beef vindoloo meal after disgestion and excreted tasted as good as the real thing. So he simply recollected the excretion in a bowl and re-ingested it! Wow, he said he can survive for a week on just buying or making only 1 vindoloo meal and saved whole lot of money!

Yu-Kym said...

Malays also use water. Just because Caucasians use toilet paper doesn't mean it's more hygiene. If it's so hygienic, why don't we forgo a shower and use toilet paper to wipe ourselves?

David said...


Well the shower does most effectively remove organic from our skin, dirt, sweat.

Toilet paper is not a deep cleaning.
Many westerners, (Caucasians) use wet wipes since bidet type facilities are uncommon in North America.


Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both.

-- Tryon Edwards

Anonymous said...

We should popularise the culture to wash our behinds with water aftering doing the poo to Westerners as they are so so unfamiliar this!

Yu-Kym said...

David, a bidet is definitely cleaner. But out of habit, I would use toilet paper first then the bidet.

Anon, much cleaner but I think it's messy for use in public toilets.

The Bimbo said...

WHOA your house looks like mine when I first bought it.. We spent $25k overhauling the 5 room flat... what's your budget? :)