a new chapter

joy and nelson kwan


A HDB flat at Yishun Avenue 6. Nelson moved into the flat with his wife last year and documented the process of building the home from start to finish.

owning a home

Home is not a house, it is whoever you are with. Home is where the family can find shelter in. It's a place where the family can get together and be there for one another.

This new house represents a new phase of life. This is our first home because we paid for it. From now on, we are responsible and there is a loan we have to pay. Living with our parents, we did not have to take on responsibilities such as paying utility bills and maintaining the house. Sharing a home with them also meant that we did not have much privacy as a married couple. Even though I like to cook, I was restricted because the kitchen is my mum's territory. As a result, we could not impose on them our lifestyles.

"Home is not a house, it is whoever you are with."

Journey Home

Memories of this house started the moment we went for balloting and looking for design ideas. It was really exciting each step of the way and I looked forward to every update. When we got the house, we were in disbelief. It was very surreal and yet there weren't any fireworks because there was still so much work to be done.

We will use our home to engage in more activities that we like to do as a family. We love to have friends over and are very sociable people so we will definitely be engaging in more potluck sessions and steamboats.

In fact I documented the entire process of building this home. I think it stems from the longing of having my own house and to see the house being built up from just a flat plot of land. It's something very exciting to me. Receiving the very first set of keys for the home was such a surreal experience in itself too, I couldn't believe it! But then came the anti-climax because there was still so much renovation to be done. I remember it as a day with a lot of administrative papers to sign and payments to be made. There was also a mad rush to check for defects and go to the town council to make necessary arrangements for renovations. It was quite exciting to see the water tap being turned on - suddenly I had water!