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Relocating in August

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ATLDML
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Relocating in August

Postby ATLDML » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:51 am

Hi All -

Mrs. ATLDML and I are going to be moving to Singapore in August. We're extremely excited to begin this new adventure! We did a look-see visit a few weeks ago, and saw about 30 apartments. Unfortunately none that Mrs. ATLDML fell in love with, so the search continues. We are required to go through an Agent appointed by the company, but are searching on our own as well for places to suggest. In trying to follow the format given on the sticky, here's what we're looking for. Any advice is welcomed and appreciated!!

Priorities:
• Two people, both working in CBD/Raffles Place – No children, but ….
• An 80lb, 11 year old, sweet, sedentary yellow lab. He’s spry and in good health but past the stage of needing a big dog park to run around in. Just need relative proximity of some greenery where he can take care of business
• Looking for at least 2BRs+study or 3BR, over 1,500sqf
• Budget: Looking in the $5,500-7,000 range
• Will not have a car and therefore,
• Would prefer to be as close as possible to MRT (and preference to one with shopping (mainly grocery)) with F+B very nearby. We are relatively social so would like a little nightlife, or at the very least a bar where we could stop down for a pint after work.
• I’m about 2m tall, so will be carting along a lot of furniture for bigger people including a California King Bed and a rather large sofa and DR table. The bed is a deal breaker and has eliminated several complexes from consideration as the BRs couldn't accomodate. So need spacious rooms!
• We did most of our looking in the Dhoby Ghaut/Novena/Newton area, and East Coast (Western), but open to other areas.
• Preference to private lift to be more respectful of neighbors who may not like dogs.
• The Missus and I will both be traveling quite a bit for work. Based on the wealth of information here, it seems as though getting a helper is going to be more cost-effective than any dogsitter/part-time housekeeper combo we could come up with. Therefore a helper’s quarters is required.

Nice to Have:
• Typical Amenities for condos: Pool, Gym, BBQ etc. Would actually PREFER the ability to have a small BBQ on the deck/terrace if possible.
• Prefer newer over older, but as of our look-see visit, were having difficulty finding rooms large enough for our furniture in some of the newer complexes, so seeking advice on well-appointed larger properties that may have been remodeled.

Your current home and commute:
• Currently living in Raleigh in a rather large house, so we’ll be cutting the space by over half. We’re ok with the hustle and bustle of the city, but would like to limit construction noise if possible.
• Current Commute time is about 30-45mins. Would like to keep total door-to-door commute time in the 20-30mins range.

I hope that fairly well covers it. Very much appreciate any advice you can give.

We look forward to potentially meeting some of you down the road!

Cheers,
Dave

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:48 pm

Take a look at the Tribeca condo and the surrounding (ie. Zion, Kim Seng, Havelock Rds).

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JR8
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Re: Relocating in August

Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:51 pm

ATLDML wrote:Hi All -

Mrs. ATLDML and I are going to be moving to Singapore in August. We're extremely excited to begin this new adventure! We did a look-see visit a few weeks ago, and saw about 30 apartments. Unfortunately none that Mrs. ATLDML fell in love with, so the search continues.


Hi, and welcome to the forum!

Getting to the point...
If you've viewed 30 places and found nothing, then your requirements cannot be met. As a rule of thumb I'd say the limit is 10. (If you've really properly defined what you want and can afford, then you might only need to view maybe 5 places).

I think you need to figure out which of your criteria can give. You're not going to get it all, all those wish-list criteria, not on that budget. Plus your agent will be burned-out and considering you a 'time-waster'... they'll no longer care, they just want to take something, anything...

Start with things like...
Why 1500ft, for two people (in one bedroom)? Maybe start by halving that?
Forget about having a maid, and needing maids accommodation. You don't have a maid at home now do you? A weekly cleaner at say $50/3hrs takes care of most things.
They don't make bedrooms in modern buildings here for 2m tall people. I'm (a mere) 6'3" and I'm used to waking up with 6-12" of foot/leg hanging over the end of the bed. Our 'master bedroom' just has room, to rather awkwardly walk around 3 sides of the (Queen size?) bed... that's in a very modern well located BUT 'zone 2' condo... that's how it is here...
Why do you expect your commute to be shorter here, one of the more expensive cities in the world, than back home in Raleigh NC?


Try doing a property search (tabs above) on Districts 9/10/11/12 (they, roughly, are within your desired commute time), and you'll see that something has got to give.

HTH.

p.s. Expect Private Message's from super-friendly agents only toooo super-happy to help you. Maybe you might report any such messages to a Moderator, so said agents IDs can be zapped...

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 1:02 pm

Also be aware SGn agents quote Gross Floor Area - not habitable space.

So within GFA is included balconies, external air-con condenser ledges, inner structural raised sides in bedrooms/bathrooms.

You need to take maybe 20-25% off a quoted GFA in a modern building, to get what you (and I/we back home) would consider it's usable internal size.

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Postby Barnsley » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 1:31 pm

If you and your wife are out all day , your dog , which I dont think will enjoy the weather anyway , is gonna need some serious cool spots created in your new place.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 2:59 pm

Have you checked Lincoln Modern and Strata around Novena? Both are loft so there is high ceilings. I remember Lincoln Modern have fairly big bedrooms, but have not viewed Strata before.

I agree on the maid situation, unless you decided to stop walking your dog after relocating to Singapore. If you plan to continue to walk your dog yourself, a part time help should be sufficient. While it sounds good/cool to have a stay-in maid at home, more often than not, you end up having problems with them. I recall reading an article that about 50% of the maids don't stay beyond a year. The hassle of dealing with agents, looking for new maids, etc, can be quite exhausting. Bear in mind, most maids are without experience, and you may have to teach them the basics, including how to operate a washing machine.

Build a good relationship and trust with one, and whenever you are traveling, you can request for the help to come over to walk your dog daily, or even stay over. I know my part time help stays over at one of her client's place whenever they are traveling, so that she will feed and walk the dog in their absence.

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Postby ATLDML » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 8:52 pm

Thanks, all, for the suggestions. Will definitely look into those properties/areas suggested.

To respond to some of the comments/questions:

We HAVE seen some that meet the criteria, and in our budget, so we know they're out there. Just need to find something that 'speaks' to the Mrs....whatever that means.

The rationale behind the helper is that we're going to be traveling a LOT for work. The cost of a dog sitter for a week or more + part time housekeeper > cost of a helper. But appreciate the advice when it comes to them. Understand that live-ins come with their own quirks and issues and that is something we'll have to deal with. We plan to give it a go on our own the first several months, but want to have the space to accomodate one in the event we decide to go that route. We haven't really found it to be an issue when looking at apartments.

RE: Commute time. Singapore is much more populous than Raleigh, but Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill is much larger in square miles. It's fairly customary to have a long drive. Mine is probably average or below at 16 miles. We are however, within 2 miles of downtown Raleigh (office in the burbs), and like the convenience of being in-town. Thus our desire to be closer in.

Size: Unless we plan to buy all new furniture, or stand our sofa on one end :) we're going to need square footage. Additionally, we expect to have several visitors over our tenure here, and will need some dedicated work space as well.

Our main issue in our criteria has been BR size. When you're tall, yes, you deal with legs hanging off - but if you're at 6-12", I will be cut off at the knees! The agent suggested we look at some older properties that have much larger rooms. Hence my ask here was for places that may be a little older, but well-maintained and/or recently remodeled.

Again, thanks all for the advice!

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PNGMK
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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 9:33 pm

The problem with older places is that they may well be sold/demolished underneath you. IF you have the dosh I'd rent a Black and White old house. Very roomy and good for the dog.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:12 pm

People don't remodel here. Show me even one DIY store in this country phhh ... you know, a place with racks of cans of paint, brushes, etc. aimed at the guy on the street.

Doesn't exist. People here are leasehold, and there's a real sense of 'simple temporary occupation' - as opposed to 'as near as matters effective total ownership, and a right to remodel/alter/improve/extend'.


They wait for the freeholder, after 40 years, to force them to sell up ('en bloc'), after which a bigger place with even smaller units gets built in it's place, costing multiples as much....

@PNG. Isn't a B+W, say $10k++ ?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:53 pm

You can find 'em for around 6.5K but these are semi-detached and not stand-alone B&W bungalows.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:57 pm

Look forward to seeing what the OP seeks, and then, what he ends up with.

ATLDML
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Postby ATLDML » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:06 pm

The wife did see a couple of these early (while I was at work), but she wasn't sold on them, and our agent was convinced we could find a new place. Armed with much better information now, we may need to revisit - seeing a couple that look pretty nice (remodeled, even) with huge rooms. I guess we'll wait and see.... Thanks again all.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:42 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You can find 'em for around 6.5K but these are semi-detached and not stand-alone B&W bungalows.


This sounds like the best way to go... yard for the dog, private space, and although a lot of semi-D's are older, they are very livable.

My old place in Singapore (copy the entire link): https://www.google.com/maps/@1.330939,1 ... e0!6m1!1e1

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:07 am

ATLDML wrote:We are however, within 2 miles of downtown Raleigh (office in the burbs), and like the convenience of being in-town. Thus our desire to be closer in.


Which convenience(s) is that? One thing you'll find is that for simple 'conveniences' plenty of areas will meet all of your everyday needs with very close walk-able groceries, food, general/generic malls, etc (unlike the burbs in the US). Singapore doesn't have every much to do anyway, so if you need to go "into the city" on the weekend or an evening to do something, the 15-20 min cab ride or MRT ride doesn't hurt as much. You may have able to use that to expand yourselves out a bit father away. If you do decide to expand your searches out a bit, look at an area like Siglap/Upper East Coast (plenty to do within walking distance, expats like it) and it is right off the beach and Park Connectors (nature/walking trails connecting parks and beaches around the island). Great place to take the dog. They have a lot of older condos in the area (more space). Plus, you may be able to find a semi-detached house to rent in your price range.

The other area that may work is Upper Bukit Timah (they have a nice nature reserve for the dog). Apparently it is also well-located and convenient and has a lot of nice amenities. You can do a forum search for the term "ulu ulu" and find a recent thread where I was schooled in what a great area it is. Maybe worth you checking it out.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:38 am

I'm thinking you have to convince the missus to be less fussy. It's good to have standards and all but Singapore doesn't really have that much to offer by Western standards/preferences/price range.


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