W & I live in the North Eastern part of Singapore, in a newly-developed estate. When we decided to get hold of a flat back then, we were enticed by the modernity of the new estate and of course the slightly lower price.
Eighty percent of Singaporeans live in public housing.
As the needs of Singaporeans progress, the demand for better designed flats followed.
We love our full-length windows which have unanimously made our whole place look a lot brighter. The layouts of flats are generally similar to the designs of privately developed apartments.
Our estate is litter-free and residents are considerate in keeping the lifts clean. Common areas are bright and well-lit.
We have lived in this estate for five years. We take occasional strolls along the man-made waterway. We rarely buy groceries or shop at the well-sufficient mall as it is always packed with people. Sometimes, when we feel adventurous, we will walk to the train station. It takes around twenty minutes to get there. The journey brings us pass many blocks of flats.
The exterior looks slightly different from one cluster to the other, largely identified by their paint colours.
Amongst the government developed flats, there lies a few privately developed condominiums. They look a little distinct and you could easily tell from the fences around the development and many of them feature a huge balcony.
Gentrification of an old estate
A thirty-minute drive from our town leads us to an old estate filled with several post-war flats. The houses are three to four stories tall and often do not have an elevator. We like walking around the neighbourhood. Under my vague impression,
this estate came alive about fifteen years ago when cafes, restaurants and independent shops started sprouting out.
Round the neighbourhood, you will always be caught by pleasant surprises. Glancing up the residential units, you would be amazed by some well-decorated verandas which are mostly filled with pots of plants. Even the back alleys can offer an interesting experience too with stacks of spiral stairways and people taking a cigarette or two.
Units here exude charisma and breathe life. There is so much character and a balanced approach of the old and new.
While driving back after a nice stroll in the old estate, you cannot help but reflect on the stark contrast of the visual landscape.
You wonder where is the personality of my estate?
Post-war flats are economically unviable for us to purchase as they are limited in quantity, very expensive and are reaching their 99-year leasing. The 99-year leasing rule is something that Gen Y has to grapple with in Singapore. The common consensus among Singaporeans is to buy a new launch condominium. Why can't we live our lives?