Why We Gave Up Our Duplex Condo With Stunning Views In Malaysia To Live In A Co-Sharing Space In SG

23 August 2023 | BY

This couple traded their sprawling 3,000sqft residence for a 65sqft bedroom in a shared apartment.

co sharing space singapore

With the scarcity of space and the diminishing size of HDB flats, stumbling upon an affordable and spacious home is a rare stroke of luck that most Singaporeans would be hesitant to relinquish.

For couples who prioritise space, the idea of trading a sprawling 3,000sqft residence for a compact co-sharing space might seem perplexing. That being said, could moving from a gorgeous duplex condo to a 1-room co-sharing space actually be an upgrade?

Elaine and her husband offer us a glimpse into their 2 living spaces, and share why they gave up their dreamy duplex condo in Malaysia to live in a co-sharing space in Singapore.

Duplex condo in Malaysia with stunning views

duplex residence in malaysia - moving into a cosharing space in singaporeThe couple’s expansive full duplex residence emulates the appearance of a landed house.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles

Having grown up in large landed properties in Malaysia, Elaine and her husband both regarded spaciousness as a top priority when searching for a home. In fact, they had agreed from the onset to only consider properties larger than 1,800sqft.

“When we found our Malaysia home, we were blown away because it isn’t easy to find a house of 3,000sqft that is near Petaling Jaya,” Elaine recounts. In addition to its spaciousness and ideal location, the couple’s duplex home was priced extremely affordably. “Most duplex homes we’ve seen are half duplexes. A full duplex at the price we got is extremely rare,” Elaine explains.


Dream home in PJ? 🥰 #fmco #fypmalaysia🇲🇾 #fyp #fypmalaysia #stayathome #lockdown #wfh #mco #discoverkl #discovermalaysia

♬ original sound – tinyscribbles – tinyscribbles

With a beautiful view overlooking a golf course and a picture-perfect sunset skyline, acquiring the duplex condo was a dream come true for the young couple. From relishing splendid sunset views each day to hosting parties and inviting friends over for board games, their new home became a canvas for cherished moments.

home interior - cosharing space in singaporeHome interior inspired by Singapore interior designer HouseOfChais.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles 

“We were saving money so we didn’t hire an interior designer. Instead, we self-designed our home based off @houseofchais Instagram and Pinterest, and then liaised with our contractor to bring our ideas to life,” Elaine tells us.

white kitchen and black bathroom - cosharing space in singaporeA glimpse into the kitchen and bathroom in Elaine’s Malaysia home.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles

With a monthly mortgage of RM4,300, the duplex condo was unquestionably a hidden gem that Elaine and her husband were fortunate enough to stumble upon.

Wanted to move to Singapore to explore more opportunities

While the couple was perfectly content with their life in Malaysia, they also wanted to take their 30s to explore other countries and opportunities.

“We felt like we were too comfortable, and we also wanted to take up new projects in a country we haven’t explored before,” Elaine shares, acknowledging that they were fortunate enough to secure job opportunities in Singapore, and citing the higher salary as another factor in their move.

gigantic bedroom in malaysia on the left, small bedroom in singapore on the right - Gigantic bedroom in their Malaysia home, compared to the compact room they rent in Singapore.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles

Nevertheless, it was difficult for the couple to sacrifice their expansive duplex condo for a smaller space. Not only was it a significant downsize, but their move to Singapore meant leaving behind family and friends.

Thankfully, the proximity of the two countries helped them feel less detached from their homeland. The couple also made sure to arrange frequent trips back and forth, maintaining a sense of belonging in Malaysia despite their geographical distance.

Decided to sign a short-term co-sharing agreement in Singapore

SGD1,650/month for 1 room at River Valley

fully-furnished co-sharing space in singaporeFully-furnished living area and dining area which are upkept by weekly cleaning services.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles 

Elaine and her husband decided to sign a short-term co-sharing agreement in Singapore, with an all-inclusive rate of SGD1,650 per month for a single room with utility bills and WiFi covered. “Cleanliness was the most important factor for us, and the whole space is very cosy and modern,” Elaine said, reflecting their emphasis on a comfortable living environment.

master bedroom with a queen size bedImage credit: @tinyscribbles

The couple’s 65sqft room came with a queen-size bed, small study table, and wardrobe – a simple yet functional arrangement. While undoubtedly much smaller than their large bedroom in Malaysia, the room still provided ample space for both Elaine and her husband’s needs.

kitchen and common bathroom cosharing space in singaporeA peek into the kitchen and common bathroom shared with 2 other housemates.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles

3-month agreement with co-sharing company The Assembly Place

swimming pool and gym and the assembly place - cosharing space in singaporeThe Assembly Place’s amenities – a swimming pool and gym.
Image credit: @tinyscribbles

The couple’s choice to sign a co-sharing lease with The Assembly Place (TAP) instead of renting from a landlord was driven by several reasons, with flexibility being the largest factor. “The minimum 3-month contract allows us to explore different places,” Elaine explains, “we can choose to extend the contract if needed, or explore another co-sharing space after the 3 months are up.”

She also underscores the convenience of Singapore’s public transport network, highlighting the advantage of staying 5 minutes from the nearest MRT – “unlike in Malaysia, where we would have to drive out, brave the traffic jam, and find parking,” she says.

Furthermore, TAP organised occasional community events – such as yoga, bouldering, and cocktail workshops – that helped the couple broaden their social circle in Singapore. Elaine also took advantage of the TAP’s partnership discounts on laundry, hair salons, and F&B.

However, despite all the benefits, Elaine acknowledges the cons of living in a co-sharing space. “It’s definitely different since we bought the house in Malaysia, whereas in Singapore we are just renting. We do miss the feeling of redecorating our own home to our liking and inviting friends over for dinner parties,” she explains.

Moving out of their duplex condo in Malaysia to live in a co-sharing space in Singapore

Ultimately, Elaine and her husband have no regrets about giving up their duplex condo in Malaysia to live in Singapore. Despite sacrificing their Malaysia home and having to deal with a higher cost of living, the couple’s love for Singapore remains unwavering – and they would gladly seize the chance to acquire a forever home in Singapore in the future.

For more perspective stories:

Cover image adapted from: @tinyscribbles

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

More In...