Less than 2 months to go!

[Remus]

Hello! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

It’s less than 2 months to the wedding and, at this point, I’m a little unsure of what to do.

Yes, we have a list of things to do but, somehow, it doesn’t translate very well into actionable activities. I really have to learn to use lists better.

Currently working on producing a wedding video using photos from our past and our close-to-present alongside 2 songs. One of my groomsmen has very kindly offered to help us with this really daunting task.

The first song is, honestly, a rather ‘lucky find’. I was looking through entire lists of songs and finally found La Festin (The Feast) from the movie Ratatouille.

The second song is a bit of a favourite of mine – Ever, Ever After from the movie Enchanted. Are you sensing a theme here?

Looking through photos of my younger self, I wonder where all the time had gone. I recall snippets of my past life and the thoughts that I used to have. They all seem so long ago yet so recent, it’s hard to describe adequately.

But looking towards the past won’t be very productive unless I look towards the future as well. And I envision an incredible wealth of experience and adventure coming up.

It may be a stressful time, this preparation phase, but it will culminate in an exciting beginning of a wonderful journey together, ahead.

 

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It’s our HDB appointment tomorrow!

[Jasmine]

I’m getting the documents ready for our appointment with HDB and noticed the dates of the various documents. The HLE is dated 12 October, the OTP is dated 15 November, and our appointment letter is dated 25 November.

With so much going on (wedding plans, festive holidays, work, and starting our own side businesses), the whole process of hunting and securing a resale flat seems like such a long time ago.

I remember it being quite intense. We started looking in early Oct and saw five houses over the following three weekends. On the fourth weekend, we went to view the sixth house which eventually became the one we decided to purchase. There was quite a bit of deliberation and a lot of emotion all the way until we paid the deposit and applied for an appointment date with HDB.

God has provided and guided us thus far. He knows best and I will trust Him.

Hello 2017

[Jasmine]

Last year, R and I each used a word of the year to guide our direction. Mine was Step out. Yes I know it’s two words, but can you blame me when the English language doesn’t have a word that encapsulates this meaning? (If you know of an English word that does, please let me know!)

This year, Remus came across a system of organising your life according to financial, health, family, spiritual, personal development, and business. The point is to set three habits and three goals in each area for the new year. It sounds simple and it is, but sitting down to actually set 18 habits and 18 goals was tough. But I did it!

Like last year for word of the year, we did goal-setting together at Killiney on 31 December before we headed to Watchnight service. This might just become an annual tradition for us.

Buying a resale HDB flat

[Jasmine]

We embarked on our hunt for a resale flat about six weeks ago and found ourselves utterly confused with the procedure. Finding a house we like seemed simple enough. There are so many on PropertyGuru! It was the financial calculations that got us. It came to a point where we contemplated engaging the service of a property agent just so that we could be spared the pain of figuring it all out on our own.

But I guess our stubborn natures could not be moved. After spending countless nights poring over HDB’s website, repeatedly asking different people the same questions about CPF limits and housing loans, and arguing between ourselves, we finally got it.

Yes, we got it. And it’s actually quite straightforward.

Now that we got it, it’s hard to explain what made us so confused in the first place. The procedure seemed complicated probably because of the restrictions put in place by HDB and CPF to ensure that home buyers have enough funds to “protect their future”. With many factors to consider, I guess we didn’t know where to start.

I’m sure that there are many others out there who are like us, first-time home buyers looking for a resale HDB unit without engaging the service of a property agent. (We know your struggle and your pain. Oh, the pain.) Or are we the only ones? :/

Anyway, what we did know was that we needed to figure out the maximum amount that we were willing (or could afford) to pay, so we started from there. After much research and distillation, these are the 7 components that first-time buyers need to consider:

1. The 5k deposit to the seller

2. First-timer housing grant, if eligible

3. Additional housing grant (AHG), if applicable

4. Special housing grant (SHG), if applicable

5. Proximity grant, if applicable

6. Money in the CPF Ordinary Account

7. Housing loan amount we’re eligible for, whether HDB loan or bank loan

All these 7 components together make up the purchase price of the flat, or rather the amount we can offer the seller without coughing up extra cash. If the agreed purchase price ends up being higher than this amount, we will have to either pay cash or take up a bank loan which is said to offer a higher loan amount than HDB’s.

Taking a bank loan is really tempting actually, because of the low interest rates and supposed higher loan amount. But we read about the two types of loans (fixed rate and floating rate) and decided that neither seemed that attractive after all so it was back to HDB housing loan for us.

Engagement party

[Jasmine]

It has been about a month since we had our engagement party. I should get down to selecting photos, editing them and sending them out to our families and friends.

One question that we constantly got when we invited people to our engagement party was:

What is the party for?

Talk about being too serious! But I understand, no one I know has thrown an engagement party or has been to one. Neither have we. We just thought it might be fun to order Indian food, invite our friends around to eat, and formally announce we’re engaged (instead of on Facebook). It will also be the perfect opportunity to introduce our respective families to each other.

We kept the guestlist under 40 so that we don’t get too stressed out. It was mainly our immediate families and closest friends. We actually also wanted to use the time to talk to people about the wedding but that didn’t happen in the end. It’s no biggie, at least the parents on both sides have finally met! We will meet our friends in smaller groups to talk about the wedding.

I’m thinking that I’d like to post more regularly so that we have something to look back upon after the wedding. Writing also helps me to slow down and reflect, and that’s a good thing amidst the myriad of things to plan and do.

Getting started on wedding plans

[Jasmine]

A week ago, we realised that it’s about six more months to our agreed-upon wedding date and we haven’t done much. We didn’t even have the church venue booked for that date. It’s terrible, we spend more time catching virtual creatures on Pokemon Go than plan our wedding.

So R talked to church and I organised a 6-month wedding planner.

And we’re proud to say our agreed-upon date is now confirmed! (Officially by the church, confirm plus chop.) We now have a venue to hold the wedding ceremony.