SINGAPORE - Enamoured of the prospect of living in an old estate, newlyweds Marc and Cheryl Grange moved into their matrimonial home in Joo Chiat last year.
They snapped up their walk-up apartment unit, just under 1,000 sq ft, at "a good deal" of about $750,000. "There were cockroaches and dirt around, and our current balcony was a toilet," said Mrs Grange, 26, a corporate communications manager.
Their unit used to be rented out to foreign workers and sprucing it up had set them back by about $90,000. A small price to pay, they say, for their dream home in a "vibrant neighbourhood with a community vibe".
"It has to be a good balance. If you have too many old shops, it makes the estate feel very depressing," said Mrs Grange.
"But if there are too many new shops, then it feels too much like a young kid on the block, not old enough to find its own identity."
Said Mr Grange, 33, who is the head of product management in an electronics company: "When we were sourcing for an apartment, I got very disillusioned looking at condominiums because they're all the same, like they were clones."
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.