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Budget Advice

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Liam555
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Budget Advice

Postby Liam555 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 2:07 pm

Hi all,

I am in the process of instituting a budget with my fiancee (Singaporean local), which will involving finding suitable accommodation etc upon my relocation to Singapore from Australia later this year (it was supposed to be at the end of last year but was unfortunately postponed due to business needs).

We are a relatively young couple (turning 26 and 23 this year respectively) and will have a combined income of 10k pre-tax.

I am seeking advice from the more seasoned expats on how much of our income should realistically be allocated to housing (rent initially as we don't yet have 20% deposit), utilities etc.

Sorry if this is a bit vague. Any advice that can be offered would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Liam

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 3:34 pm

Have you ever lived in Singapore before? If so, you might have an idea of what type of accommodation you're looking for: a landed house, private condo, HDB, something else? Prices vary widely.

What part of Singapore do you want to live? Near your office, in the city center, out of the city center, near the beach, etc? Living near an MRT station might be a bit more pricey, but more convenient if you don't have a car.

If you haven't lived in Singapore before, maybe your fiancé can give you some suggestions. That brings up another question. Has your Singaporean fiancé been living in Australia? If so -- and if she's lived in Australia more than she's lived in Singapore -- she might not be much of a help if she's been gone a while. You might want to see if your company will pay for a Service Apartment for a month while you two look around for places to live.

Maybe some more seasoned expats have better ideas.

Liam555
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Postby Liam555 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 4:25 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Have you ever lived in Singapore before? If so, you might have an idea of what type of accommodation you're looking for: a landed house, private condo, HDB, something else? Prices vary widely.

What part of Singapore do you want to live? Near your office, in the city center, out of the city center, near the beach, etc? Living near an MRT station might be a bit more pricey, but more convenient if you don't have a car.

If you haven't lived in Singapore before, maybe your fiancé can give you some suggestions. That brings up another question. Has your Singaporean fiancé been living in Australia? If so -- and if she's lived in Australia more than she's lived in Singapore -- she might not be much of a help if she's been gone a while. You might want to see if your company will pay for a Service Apartment for a month while you two look around for places to live.

Maybe some more seasoned expats have better ideas.


Thanks for your reply!

My fiance was previously living in Australia (studying) but repatriated to Singapore in December. As she has always lived with her family, she isn't very aware of the cost of living etc.

I have not lived in Singapore before but have visited numerous times. I would like to live in the east around Simei if possible.

I wouldn't expect that we would be able to afford anything more than a small 1 bedroom condo. If our combined pre-tax income is 10k, I would think that spending anything more than 3k on rent would be unsustainable. Living near to an MRT would be essential, as I would not be able to afford a car.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks again,

Liam

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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 5:06 pm

You don't want to spend more than 3k. But as you're both very young and want to save for a deposit and possibly like going out then you could consider a master room in a shared condo. You'd be more like 1.5k.

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Postby Tanuki » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 5:39 pm

Liam555 wrote:I wouldn't expect that we would be able to afford anything more than a small 1 bedroom condo. If our combined pre-tax income is 10k, I would think that spending anything more than 3k on rent would be unsustainable. Living near to an MRT would be essential, as I would not be able to afford a car.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks again,

Liam

My wife and I live on less that that monthly and pay 3.5K for rent. She's an awesome cook and the groceries are pretty reasonable on the whole. We go out (non-hawker) about once a week or so. It would be no problem to save over 2K per month except our kids overseas are still not quite self-sustaining.

Be very aware of what you like to do when it comes to a place to live. We started out wanting to live out on the east coast, then settled into Tiong Bahru (got a good deal on a large condo unit) and it was the best choice we could've made. Also look at bus routes not just MRT. We are 10 minutes from the MRT and never use it because the bus is closer/easier/faster to where we go.

Good luck!

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Postby Liam555 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 7:04 pm

Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice and encouragement.

I hadn't considered the possibility of renting out a master bedroom in a shared condo. It sounds like a great idea to me, but might be hard to sell to the other half :(

Glad to hear that 3k isn't an unreasonable figure

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 8:00 pm

~3.5k can get you a decent 2+1 or even 3+1 condo apartment but not in any prime area (but also not necessary the most remote and deserted part of the island).

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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 8:38 pm

I'd just point out 1.5k a month saved is holidays, clothes and nights out.

Liam555
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Postby Liam555 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 8:53 pm

Hannieroo wrote:I'd just point out 1.5k a month saved is holidays, clothes and nights out.


Sorry I misinterpreted your first post.

I am hoping to be able to save at least 2k per month between us after paying for rent and all expenses. Neither of us goes out drinking etc (for budget reasons.. I would love to otherwise), but we do go out for dinner.

It seems this might not be realistic if we spend 3k or so on rent?

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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 9:00 pm

No, you read it correctly. A master room is cheaper leaving you with more savings or more expendable income.

Liam555
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Postby Liam555 » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 9:03 pm

Hannieroo wrote:No, you read it correctly. A master room is cheaper leaving you with more savings or more expendable income.


Oh right, you were referring to where the $1.5k difference could be allocated.

I am certainly all for this idea. Best to save as much as possible..

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Postby Tanuki » Sat, 01 Mar 2014 10:44 pm

Liam555 wrote:I am certainly all for this idea. Best to save as much as possible..

Don't forget you're in the prime of life and you'll be in Singapore. Enjoy today also! :o

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 02 Mar 2014 1:25 am

That's my thinking. You have a very small window where you gave adulthood and freedom.

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Postby amarettoSour » Mon, 03 Mar 2014 3:13 am

I find getting a 2+1 is more expensive than 3+1 sometimes... It's been 2 years since i looked for a place though, so maybe that has changed.

Also if you have not lived in singapore, master bedrooms here tend to be smaller than other country standard (I only have experience with US) and i personally would not want to share since i need some personal space as well as closet space.

I can offer my experience though. I live in an older condo (built in 1995) but very close to orchard / killiney rd and we pay $4200 for a 3+1. My sister lives in my room and i live in the other, and we have a friend living on the third room. The combined rent of my sister and i adds up to $2850 (she took the master bedroom and i live in the smallest bedroom out of the 3), so if you dont mind flatmates then that's one way to live centrally for less money without compromising space for you and fiancee. A 2+1 in our area would cost $3.5k and above.

In my experience finding a flatmate hasnt been difficult via craigslist, . or even facebook.

Possibly worth noting is that monthly utilities is another $80-90 per person and maid service is $35 per person.


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