I have to pen this down before i'm once again swayed by facebook statuses, instagram pictures or stunning artists' impressions.
Bear with me, this will be very long.
It's the whole talk about our Singapore Build-To-Order houses (BTO) among friends, families and colleagues. Locations, pricings, room sizes and floorplans.
Almost every other day, i see friends as young as 21-22 years old, army boys straight out of army or couples still studying talk or post about their successful bids for a BTO. Because by the time their house is ready in 4 years, they expect themselves to be successfully settled down.
To be honest, Tim and i just had that very conversation about our future, about settling down. And prior to our conversation, i had met up with friends who were telling me the benefits of getting a BTO instead of jumping straight into a resale flat like i had originally planned.
While walking to the bus-stop, we came to the conclusion that okay, we were going for the BTOs just like everyone else and if anything comes up in the next 2 years about a great location that we both liked, nice interiors and within our budget, we would bid for it. And then i looked at him and said to him that since we were on this topic of buying a house together, was he in the same headspace as me?
I tend to ramble on and on and push for what i want but never once did i consider if he wanted to eventually settle down with me. He was still young and had his whole life ahead of him and it hadn't crossed my mind that in the 2 years that we were gonna try to get our house, this was something that he actually wanted and not be pushed into. Not everyone was going to be ready to buy a house and settle down at such a young age. But my other half, being the amazing guy he is, took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said "Of course i want to settle down with you"
So I went home, all smiles and I started going through locations and budgets in my head and then all of a sudden.
*pardon the terrible english*
It's quite simple really.
I realized that i wanted my other half to be ready to start a new life with me and not be coerced into starting a new life because of a deadline set by HDB. Sometimes when i ask someone when they are getting married, they reply me "Oh, xxxx year because that's when my house will be ready and i need my marriage certificate by then." or "I'll decide when i get my house"
i'm all o.O
Just my two cents worth, but i feel that a house shouldn't be a main deciding factor for you on marriage. A lot of couples i know jumped into getting the house first without making sure that they're truly committed to the relationship and sometimes, the worst case scenarios play out and regret sets in. Because of the whole 4 years timeline of building their house, everyone just naturally assumes that by then they'll be mentally and financially ready to settle down and start a new family with their current other half.
I say 4 years is a long time. Time for things to change, tempers to flare, voices to raise and ultimately, the fairytale ending that you set out for each other to not work out. And it's really a 50/50 chance on whether you end up with the one true love of your life in your dream house or end up forfeiting the place or worse still, stay together with each other just for the house.
(HDB rules that if you have won a successful bid for a BTO but later choose to forgo it, you'll lose future bidding chances for a year as well as pay back the money taken out of your CPF)
I'm not saying that this situation wouldn't happen to an engaged couple. The chances are still there but in my own opinion, i think it poses a lower risk because the engagement process itself would have required a lot of serious FUTURE thinking from both sides.
For some, i know that the "will you buy a HDB with me" is our Singaporean statement for proposing to each other but it doesn't befit me. Trust me, I am not judging those that have gone through the BTO before marriage process because each and every couple has their own way of thinking in the relationship. And i don't disagree with that.
All i am saying is that in my relationship, i rather wait for my other half to be ready and willing to step into that next stage with me at his own time, his own pace before we figure out the whole buying a house situation. Also because splashing out half a million dollars on a 4 room flat is an incredibly painful way to die. And yes, we did take into consideration that it takes about 4 years to build
So to sum it all, in our relationship, we have come to the conclusion that in the next few years, we will NOT be bidding for a BTO even if a truly awesome one comes along until the day that Tim decides, in the wise words of Beyonce,
"if he likes it then he shoulda put a ring on it~"
Once we are set on each other, we will then hop on the BTO train to our new lives.