Before I arrived, I had already been scouring countless property listings. By nature, I’ve always been somewhat of a homebody, so being comfortable in the space I lived in was a priority, and as such, the idea of a serviced apartment didn’t appeal to me. My skepticism towards service apartments was further reinforced when reaching out to one I was denied a viewing before booking and committing to it. 

I came across a listing for a ‘co-living space’

Eventually, during a late-night peruse, I came across a listing for a ‘co-living space,’ I’m sure you can guess what happened next! Some emails were exchanged and then the all-important viewing. I arrived at Casa Mia Newton Edge early, of course, and filled with nerves. Student-living to condo-living are polar opposites – being greeted by a security guard for the first time is strange, especially when the last place you lived in before was down an alley lined with bins. The finish, cleanliness, and amenities of the property aside, what really sold me on the property was Casa Mia’s team. The interaction between an agent and potential tenant is often very transactional; each has an ulterior motive. They were cheerful, inviting, and warm. The care they took in speaking with me about my worries in creating a life in Singapore as well as concerns I had regarding passing my probation period AND the then mere whispers of Covid-19, honestly speaks volumes about the company's ethos. With Casa Mia, there is a sincerity that I think when money is concerned is rare.  

After an extended stay in a hotel, due to some complications with my employment pass, I was filled with excitement at moving into a place with a kitchen and not living out a suitcase anymore! 

The reality of life soon takes over

Like with most relationships, after the initial stages, that je ne sais quoi dwindles, and the reality of life soon takes over; there’s servicing, cleaning days to manage, and inevitably things to fix. About a month into my stay, I managed to snap my window handle (not rip of but snap). I remember my concerns over sending a text asking for it could be repaired. I was filled with the all too familiar feeling you’d get as a child at having to tell your parents you had broken something expensive some distant relative had either gifted them or brought back from a holiday. However, when you inhabit somewhere, there is certain wear and tear that comes with simply residing somewhere no matter how careful or clean you are, and Casa Mia understands this. Throw a lockdown into the mix, a bout of chickenpox, and a hospitalisation, this mentality becomes all the more important. 

A sense of community for the unknown

Moving to the other side of the world is never easy, you leave behind so many priceless comforts and familiarities as well as a sense of community for the unknown. Combine this with a new workplace, a pandemic, and everything else that has come with navigating a new city and I honestly feel so lucky to have stumbled upon Casa Mia as I took my first steps into Singapore. 

Lear more

Ready to learn more about coliving in Singapore? Check out Why Coliving: More Than Just Rooms for Rent

Christina at the Newtown foodcentre with the housemates

Christina is a teacher in Singapore, specialising in phonics for young learners. She moved here in 2020.

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