Our intangible home

We bought a house.

Well, an apartment to be exact.

You wouldn’t believe how intangible this statement is, when buying a newly built, not yet ready apartment – in a city like Berlin.

“In a city like Berlin” because where I come from, buying a completely unbuilt apartment is what 99% of the population do. They have to decide 4 to 5 years in advance to buy, and they have to present their marriage certificate within 6 months of getting the key. This means many couples are under pressure to get a house without knowing for sure that they wanna marry.

In the western side of the world, it is probably more common to buy a house when you can see and touch it, and inspect it before buying.

“Intangible” because we did it the Singaporean way in Berlin. We found the real estate offer online, looked at broschures at the real estate agent, visited the neighbourhood, spoke to the architects, spoke to banks for mortgage offers, and said, ok I’ll buy whatever they’re trying to sell to me on paper.

So we’ve signed the papers and received our last paycheck that’s not given away for mortgage.

As the people say, shit just got real.

I don’t know why this is a much bigger deal than marrying actually. Perhaps it’s a definitive sign of staying in Berlin for a longer term, or that we are gonna start a family at some point hence this is so grownup, or that it’s just a huge load of money.

Thankfully it’s going to be ready in 1.5 years (and not 5), but… I think I’m going to believe it when I’m in the apartment.


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