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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The House-Hunting Series [iv] - New Home Sweet Home & House-Warming

Having walked you through the buying of home, selling of existing home, and setting up of home processes,  we have reached the exciting moment - The Big Move.

    With all our cartons ready at the HDB Flat, we awaited the guys from Prestige Movers (link here) to come. We have used them before, and liked their efficient service as well as reasonable rates, therefore it was a no-brainer that we engaged their services again. They would expertly wrap up delicate items such as large paintings, TV sets, and seal cabinets etc before loading them. They also provided cardboard boxes and Scotch tape for our packing needs before the moving day.

    To backtrack a little, this was not mentioned prior to our renovations. The moment we got the keys and opened up the door, this vital ritual was performed. We mixed some rice grains, sea salt, green beans and tea leaves together, and scattered them at all corners of the vacant home, while chanting briefly something like "be gone, ye spirits, for I am the rightful owner here."

    We also left Chinese fortune cake ("fa fao") and fruits at the stove - this is supposed to signify fortune and prosperity. Then in the middle of the entire house, we left 5 types of seeded fruits. The latter is supposed to bring about fertility and growth.

    We left these items in the house for 3 days before removing them.

    We opened up the door and rolled the Pineapple in. The common saying is, where the pineapple stops, it is the "fortune spot".  A colleague of mine rolled 8 oranges instead of pineapple because she claims pineapples has sharp edges -  therefore I suppose you can use oranges as alternatives too.

    There's also a sequence of who gets to enter the home first. If there are elderly, they should enter first, followed by the man of the house and then the woman of the house.

    Then we turned on the taps to let the water run for a short while. And turned on the stove to boil some water and some rice.  I cannot remember what these acts symbolise, but practicality prompted me to test the functionality of my gas stove and taps.

    Finally, enjoying a simple meal in the premises of the new home with family. My Mom and the Mother-in-law had followed us over to our new abode to witness the moving, so 4 of us enjoyed a simple lunch here.

    The rest of the day was spent waiting for furniture delivery, as well as delivery of our TV and Washer-Dryer, unpacking stuff, arranging and re-arranging stuff. This busy routine went on for days, a super tiring affair.

    Among the hectic-ness, we had to adjust to a fair bit of stuff in the new place as well. Such as the shift from the West to the East, familiarising ourselves with good places to buy dinner, where to get our groceries from, who our neighbours are, as well as sleeping and waking up in a new environment. New places and new furniture also come with their own smells, which we tried to get used to, as well.

    Without bamboo sticks to hang out our clothes to dry, we now had to make do with the washer's drying function very frequently. Also, the kitchen is a lot smaller, and it's an open concept linked to the living room, so we eliminated frying anything at all (pending our air-fryer to come in).

    The good thing is that I cultivated a routine where I would swim or visit the gym at least 3 times a week - something I never found time nor motivation to do in the past.

    Finally, time for friends to visit our new home! We set the house-warming on a Sunday, a week after we moved in. I believe the house-warming is a very important event as you invite people to "warm" up the home, with their energies and well wishes. It is believed to ward off all negative energies, and to "brighten" the home, something like that.

    Planning the house-warming meant booking of the function room, and sending of invites to our friends and colleagues. Then monitoring the RSVPs to see how many persons were actually turning up.  We were quite fortunate that most of the guests could make it, despite the fact that it was 2 weeks away from Chinese New Year.

    As for caterers, we had a few in mind (Stamford, Four Seasons, and Kitchen Language) - we settled on Stamford Catering (website here), selecting their Healthy Menu comprising sushi rolls, fried brown rice, fish, prawns, vegetables, etc, etc - a total of 11 courses including drinks and desserts.  The food and service were good - and I liked the CNY decor setup. We had about 55 guests and we catered for 45 pax but apparently there were way too much leftovers (think 6-7 boxes of food).

    The function room was a few blocks away from our block, so the Hubby and I took turns to bring different groups of friends up to visit our home. Thankfully our family members were around to help entertain the guests who arrived while we were upstairs conducting house tours.

    As for blessings - we were thankful to our friends and colleagues who showered us with gifts of wine, red packets, gift vouchers, etc. The market rate for Housewarming these days average at SGD$50.00, but of course there were those who gave more, and those who gave less. Like weddings, there is no fixed rules, and it all boils down to "from the heart"-  thankful for all of them taking the time to come by and share this joyous moment with us.

That pretty much sums up the House-Hunting series; we hope you find the tips useful.  I also wish to highlight that although I made recommendations to certain service providers in this series of blog posts, none of them were sponsored - all of them are honest reviews rendered for paid services by me and my Hubby. For more information, do feel free to drop me an email at cloverwish.leaf@gmail.com.

If you are looking to purchase your matrimonial home now, I wish you a fruitful and joyous hunt! For complimentary advice and consultation, you can also contact my trusted agent here at simonleow.swift@gmail.com. All the best! 👄



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