It didn't come dirt-cheap but it was within our budget (though I seem to recall my mother having thought that we paid too much for it). I have no recollection of the negotiation process, just that at some point must have been a phone call, I think, to tell us it was ours, and then we came to the flat to sign the paperwork with the existing owner. I remember subsequently going to HDB offices at Bukit Merah and the housing agent navigating us through the bureaucracy's byzantine requirements. At the end of it, he opened the boot of his car and gave us a watermelon.
Yesterday, I got word that we had sold the flat. We had been involved in a little back-and-forth with the potential buyers for the past couple of weeks, but our agent (not the watermelon guy) finally got us the price we wanted.
The news came via SMS, as all news does these days, and I didn't know how to react. There was glee that we'd made a fair (though not obscene) profit on it; there was relief that I wouldn't have to show the place to strangers anymore; there was shock that this really had happened, we'd sold a flat, the flat --- and then there was that moment they tell you about in books, when sadness wells up and hits you because this really is goodbye.
Despite everything that happened here, it was a good home. It was the first place I ever owned --- I remember signing on the dotted line for a loan amount bigger than my mind could comprehend --- and it was the place we owned together. I wish it hadn't stopped being a home for the reason that it did, but ...
I have very few photographs of the place. I wonder if I should take any.