Wanted a HDB, ended with a Condo. The troubles of getting a place in 2021.
I can see my unit in this picture! Guess which one.
The Start of a Headache (HDB SBF)
It all began when Glen and I decided to apply for a Sales of Balance Flats for fun...without thinking we would actually get a queue number. None of us stayed near Kallang/Whampoa, but we selected that area since... we didn't give it much thought. A month later we got a queue number of 42, with 17 units available.
Many nice units available, those at Towner Crest, Kallang Residences, St George Tower etc. We did all our research and listed out the units we wanted in order. But on the day of our appointment, we were left with our last choice. Level 5 Carpark View at Jalan Tentaram. A ridiculously out of the way area, 800m from MRT. To drive there, you got to enter the CTE, then exit, then enter the CTE again and then exit to get there. And somehow the community vibe there reminded me of the people in The Truman Show. It is cheap though, 400k when the market price now is at 700k for a similar unit at the same development. Glen and I previously agreed that we would still take that unit. So he was quite disappointed after I got cold feet when I was holding the pen at HDB hub, about to sign the house. I didn't want to get married in 3 months just because of a house I didn't like. I doubted my decision for the next few days, it felt like getting kicked in the gut. But then what's done is done.
So I thought, it is just back to square one, apply again next time and see my luck. However, Glen dropped a bomb on me. He has to be registered as an employee in one of the start-ups he invested in, after he successfully raised a series A round for them. Therefore, we only had 2 months to find a resale HDB before our grants go from 120k to 20k.
All Time High Resale Prices (4Room flats at decent locations >900k)
We went all around the country viewing units but there was nothing suitable. In a far far away place in Telok Blangah, 800m from the nearest MRT, with forests and absolutely nothing around the area.... 900k was the asking price. The average COV at this time is 30k! Developments closer to MRTs in areas such as Toa Payoh or Kallang are above 1 mil. This is crazy for HDBs. If I'm buying a 5 year old resale unit at 30k above market rate, I would already be thanking the gods if I could sell it at the same price another 5 years later after my MOP period. There would be new and more attractive units than mine and I would probably lose money if I try to sell it. The only money I will be making is from the grants, and I still have to be married in 3 months.
I guess its fine if you are planning to stay in it forever, but if its for investments wise, I think that would be a really bad idea. So after 3 weeks of road-tripping, from one show unit to another, I gave up. 3 Days after, I bought a condo at The Antares.
The Antares Condo
It took Glen and I two days of consideration before we decided to go for it. It was the only development that will TOP at a suitable time (Dec 2022), relatively cheap with good investment potential and it's so close to the MRT! Spent a lot more, but the upside is a lot better. Not forced to be married, and would definitely make more than the HDB resale grant amount. Oh and I really love the sheltered pool, even though I can't swim. But I will learn how to! The area is kind of quiet for now, so the residents at Antares literally have a private MRT (Matter MRT). Hopefully when the plot of land nearby gets sold, the housing price for Antares would increase too. By then, it would be time to hunt for a new place. There's only about 280 units at Antares, so there won't be an over supply when I try to sell in future. So the stars aligned for this!
We also rushed the purchase because the units were getting sold quickly. We had to secure the unit fast so with the help of my agents, we got it done within the day. We bought a 3 bedroom unit, which has plenty of space for Miu Miu and Teddy to run around, a nice balcony view for them to bark and scare random passerby. Excited to get my keys and plan my renovations!
A while back I posted on my IG story that I'll be helping out at a tech company for a bit. As my last day approaches, it is also about time I reflect on my last 6 months there. *Anyway I'm not going to mention the company name incase SEO picks it up.... it would be awkward if my ex-colleagues find out I run my own gem business. I went in as fresh-grad, since I'm still kind of in the fresh grad age.
My rational: I wanted to build my own B2B gemstone trading platform, so what's a better way to learn than to work in a tech company doing just that?
So I worked at a Platform Building Company in their partnerships division. My friend, the CEO was nice enough to carve out some sort of position. In the first few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit in with meetings with the MNCs and manage a few others later on. Also I got to learn a little on tech, financing, modelling here and there when my friend took the time to teach me. I'm thankful, really.
In return I did a lot of their designing stuff on top of the Partnerships work. I think that's when things started to get a little side-tracked. To be honest, I never had any interest in marketing, nor did I have any experience, but its okay, he's my friend - I'll just learn and get it done somehow for him.
I started from being their only marketing person, to then the marketing team, to then a marketing-branding agency. A lonely one man show.
In a nutshell, the company decided to try out marketing agency work - and who else to do it? I was then made to do commercial negotiations alone with clients, proposals, do the design work, and then implement it. IT WAS CRAZY. Imagine zero experience, create a proposal out of nowhere (google templates to be exact + common sense). Okay, so somehow the deal was signed with the first client, but the launch of FB sales campaign was in 3 days!
Fml, 3 days to create artwork and then learn how to implement, track the ads, targeting and all. With the help of my friend Ryan, I managed to get through it. Somehow with a stroke of luck, the ROI was quite unexpectedly crazy. Contract value was close to 5 figures just for that month. Ridiculous. I thank the gods were looking out for me throughout.
So it was a successful first month, and I secured contract for the following 2 months - even did a whole branding guide. I wish I could post just a bit of my work here - the highlight was creating a super suggestive ad that actually passed FB sexual content guidelines. It was so kink that the competing Marketing Agency told the client to take it down incase the account got banned... but nah, it passed and sales that month went even higher.
The client broke through their Lazada sales ceiling. For the longest time the client had disproportionate sales on Shopee because their prices there were much lower + much more marketing dollars spent there. In a matter of only 1 month, their Lazada sales went from negligible to a significant percentage of their Shopee sales despite the pricing handicap.
Anyway, so yes, after 3 months, I'm actually well equipped as a Full-stack Marketing & Branded Agency.
Lol. I'm actually really proud of my work. The client actually decided to replace their long-time agency and give their whole 50k monthly budget with 6 months contract. Long-time agency; a proper marketing agency with more than 100 skilled staff and decade worth of experience. That scared the shit out of me. Like yay, thanks for the recognition, but nooooooo. But I had to leave the company. Good timing perhaps? Because of personal reasons, I had to leave the company. So I never had to do the commercial negotiation for the 6 months contract. Thank god. My greatest worry was pricing it wrongly and over promising for the company side, ineffective budget allocation for the client side. There's so much things that can be done with that amount. Also, I never dared to ask how's it going now, because I don't want to be involved in it since I'm still serving my 2 months notice.
I have actually never told anyone in detail this part of my work, other than my bro that was involved in helping me solve my work problems. Also because my friend is starting her own Marketing Agency. I don't want my experiences to overshadow the times when she share with me her achievements.
Some thoughts of my time there....
I think my greatest regret was not being able to fully learn the tech due to the lack of time. Given the circumstances of how I had to leave and how I was so preoccupied with the marketing aspect, its just difficult yet awkward to bring it up. I wanted a nice title for my Linkedin (if I ever have one), my friend as a CTO for my future marketplace, to learn tech at the very least. That's how I thought it would go. It's really quite a torn in my flesh on how things turned out. I felt quite lost for a while actually, and quite bumped. But I guess I learnt enough to continue my own learnings through other methods independently. Who knows, maybe other arrangements will be made? We are still friends and that's the most important thing.
I recently had my Tarot readings done by EventuallyTarot and it was one of the most eye-opening experiences. Prior to this, I had readings done by friends but never really paid too much attention to it, nor was I was never a strong believer in it. But with a stoke of fate, Genevieve was at my office for an event I held for Moltenore. She did a reading for me and I would say this gave me a lot of confidence to pursue a new business.
I eventually sought her out for 3 more readings and the consistency in messaging was quite a shocker for me. AND my friends appeared in the cards, right at the exact point and position in my life! Look at my readings to believe it! Since then, I have a also brought my close friends to her and the experience gave them a new perspective towards how they want to live their lives.
Over the time periods, here are my readings with Genevieve.
1st Reading: 20th January 2021 | New Year's Projection
Top card: I'm on the right path, follow my North Star.
At that point in time of my life (20th Jan), I was very unsure if I should jump into Social Entrepreneurship. This card came in so timely! A this confidence booster was the final thing that tip me over the fence - to invest my time building Mootix.
Bottom Left: Things to let go on - Toxic Relationships
To those who knew what happened, you would understand what this card meant. Last year I had to cut off a huge part of my friends from my life.. Never regretted, and its time I finally let go of everything. I'm glad to have true friends in my life now!
Bottom Right: Work hard and you'll have a fulfilling outcome
I don't think this card needs much explanation! A very rosy picture with many rewards to look forward to.
2nd Reading: 18th February | Career and its Relationships
Top Card: You have good support from people around you.
This is exactly true! That is literally me trying to rush Moltenore's IG before the Muse Magazine feature gets published. My friends Ryan & Kim have been taking those wonderful photos for me. Super thankful to them, yet shocking this came out!
Left Top: Potential - Endless, Limitless
A bright sunny picture depicting a light traveler exploring the world. He can go anywhere he wants and do anything he likes.
Left Middle: Challenges - Someone around me needs to buck up!
The card depicts a boy holding a sword. While he has the potential to be a knight, as of now he is still a boy and needs improvement. HAHA I don't think I need to say more about this.
Left Bottom: Outcomes - Happy ending with money, family and fulfillment.
Right Top: Current - Balancing Relationships that involve money.
This accurately depicts my time hanging out with the society ladies at events.
Right Middle: Challenges - Guarding Information
So true too. Although it bothers me to keep private information to people I have since regard as friends, like this card depicts - the Priestess in its rightly place guards the temple. I have the right to hold these secrets and I shouldn't feel bad about it. The time to reveal will come in 5 years time.
Right Bottom: Outcomes - Money will come to me
Like the hand from god, money will naturally come my way without having to deliberately seek for it. Just follow my North Star and all will be good.
Final Bottom: Overall Outcomes - Be patient in harvesting
At the age of 25, there's still so much to look forward to! So this is a good reminder to let the fruits of my labor grow and ripen.
3rd Reading: 18th February 2021 | Love Relationships
This reading is regarding my private love life so I won't post it here. But something interesting is that no pentacles showed up! Lol, my love is not based on money.
4th Reading: 18th February 2021 | Overall Inner-self
Top Left: Commitments - Balancing between two commitments that relates to money.
Interestingly, I just took a full time job in my friend's company as his right hand woman! I got it 1 week before I did this reading! Funny how it came up. Now its about managing Moltenore and my work at SourceSage.
Bottom Left: Protect my investments
Building up my career path, at the same time I have to protect it.
Top Right: Outcomes - Bright and rosy!
It's the same card in the same position as my second reading! It's amazing how consistent this is!
Bottom Right: Celebrate clashes with friends
I don't really know what this suggest, but maybe it means that I should cherish the moments of debating with my co-founders in the ventures we do.
This reading marks the beginning of many new ventures! Now that Moltenore is stable...I'm rushing my timeline for the rest...
While balancing my work at SourceSage that starts tomorrow,
I've got Mootix to do - launching in End March
And starting of JewelMatch in September
So many more projects, but so little time and life left of me. But the excitement keeps me going. I love how all these events showed up on my Tarot readings, Genevieve is incredibly accurate! And my time with her is always so eye-opening, I leave with new perspectives each time. If you're interesting in getting a reading done, contact Genevieve here!