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Sunday, March 27, 2022

This is Home, Truly

This article was first published at Hipvan here.

Our contractor escaped.

The nightmare that every new house owner feared the most landed on us. Nevertheless, we were still grateful that he was literally contactless during the last few stages of our home renovation.

Oh, before I move on, my name is Thomas, a 30-year-old home-grown boy. Together with my beautiful wife, Lydia, we got ourselves one of the biggest investments of our lifetime – a 5-room HDB (113 sqm) located at Punggol. I once told myself I will never move to Punggol. Prior to moving, we reside at Beach Road, where we could walk to our favourite hangouts such as Suntec and Marina Bay Sands, so Punggol is considerably further (but again, how big is Singapore?).

Getting our nest

Considering the long waiting times for BTOs nowadays, we decided to opt for a resale flat. Psst, they offer huge grants for resale flats now. We visited a few places at Seng Kang and Punggol, before choosing this flat. It was brimming with laughter, children running around, and the whole family was really amiable towards us. Without thinking much, we told the property agent, this is it and we dealt at $620K (down from the original $638K), which to be honest was still more than our budget.

The great thing was that, it is already well-furnished with the previous renovations, so we get to saved huge ka-chings on renovation. We had in mind what we wanted. A warm, cosy, Scandi-mix-modern feel to our house. We made a renovation list, which roughly reads:

1. Refurbish living room wall.

2. Retile two toilets.

3. Paint entire house.

4. Laminate headboard in master bedroom.

With that, we approached three interior design companies in Singapore, which quoted us close to $20K. Our budget was $10K, which includes $2K to buy furnishings, such as fluted panels, toilet accessories, etc. So, through a business contact, we got to know Mr. A (to remain his integrity, I will not name him), a freelance contractor. He could do it within our budget and we were delighted. Long story short, manpower was short, he did not pay his workers, did not do the final checks, resulting in our renovation being 90% completed. Thank God I was smart enough to withhold the final payment, which was later utilised to fix his errors.

So, here’s a useful advice: Make the last payment after completion and checks are done!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Second Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital Fees (Feb 2022)

And...we were pregnant again.

Before I move on, if you are reading this, most likely you are already pregnant and planning where to give birth to your little one, so here's the heartiest congratulations from me! Being the father of two children now, I can tell you that parenting is the hardest, longest, heart-wrenching, emotional and physical lesson that you will ever partake. But, but, but, it is also the noblest and reaps the best rewards.
Choosing Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) is pretty much a no-brainer for us, since myself and my first born, Olivia, are delivered here. Both by the same gynae, Dr. W. K. Tan. As compared to other private hospitals, TMC is considered pretty affordable. But as always, child delivery (not to even mention child bearing) is not cheap, so it is good to plan your finances beforehand.

If you have not, I would love to invite you to check out my experience on TMC in November 2018 for my firstborn. This post has since garnered more than 1 million views.

Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital fees (Nov 2018)

Our gynae
Instead of Dr. W. K. Tan, we opted for another gynae, Dr. Benjamin Tham, this time round. No, no, it's not because Dr. Tan is not good, in fact, she's amazing. Dr. Benjamin was introduced to us by our friends, and thought why not? Yes, Benjamin is obviously a male, so make sure you (or your partner) is alright with it beforehand. To be honest, this didn't bothered us much. Throughout our consultations and even the delivery, Dr. Benjamin was amazing. He was humorous all the way and gave us really useful advice such as using an Epi-no to reduce vaginal tearing.