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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:19 am

Girl_Next_Door wrote:It is really expensive to get drunk in Singapore.


Singapore is the perfect location to cure alcoholism.

One look at the price tag and your craving for alcohol is subdued!

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:33 am

JR8 wrote:
There's another NTUC, an NTUC Finest IIRC hidden away in a mall right next to the Marriot/Orchard.
'SCOTTS SQUARE, #B1-03 to 07 and #B1-10, Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209'

Quite unexpected as the ground floor is all high-end Euro designer goods. A quiet mall in general. Downstairs even quieter!

We spent a few nights in the Marriot and would pop by that shop to stock up the room fridge.


That's a NTUC finest. I actually find the products approximately the same price as Cold Storage, though sometimes, you can find unexpected things there, like pearl onions. Of course, those stuff cost $10/bag.

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Postby Primrose Hill » Mon, 22 Sep 2014 4:19 pm

I do the 3steps to grocery shopping here too. Pretty much like when I lived in London.
So, for basic stuff- water, vitamin water, laundry detergent, canned tomatoes, some breakfast cereal and cleaning material, I just just the plain vanilla Fairprice NTUC.
For fresh fish, I use a combo of Cold Storage/Market Place at Tanglin/Jelita, yoghurts. I found a decent Kelong guy that delivers but not much variety which is ashame really. Then Giant at Vivo do decent fish.
I never remember to go to wet market for fresh meat and fish, must be conditioning.
The green grocer and fruit mongers at HV wet market is pretty good and its cheaper than Cold Storage.
For baking goods and the ingredients for baking stuff, the shop at Chip Bee Gardens is awesome.
I also stock up on the dry stuff whenever there are sale or great discounts whether on redmart or ntuc. Wine Connections is ok price wise. Cold Storage do wine sales which is ok and Marks too, those buy 3 and get 39free etc

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 22 Sep 2014 9:32 pm

Primrose Hill wrote: Cold Storage do wine sales which is ok and Marks too, those buy 3 and get 39free etc


Who else would do such an offer but those hard-boozing Brits :wink: :lol: :o

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condo hunting again

Postby Usmom » Tue, 23 Sep 2014 8:45 pm

Saw about 8 units today and 2 we loved but they were asking 4K above our budget. So about 19K. They were both empty. Would it be out of the realm of possibilities that they would accept 4K less?
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 23 Sep 2014 8:53 pm

Your agent should be advising you, since you are paying them!

But par for the course they don't here.

Get in there and offer $4k less. Or even less, who knows. Meanwhile keep on with the search.

As a long-time landlord (back home there are times you're squeezed in a corner and have a void, and you'll seriously entertain offers.

Nothing lost trying vs a stranger... your agent should be banging out the direction on this, otherwise what are they doing?

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Re: condo hunting again

Postby x9200 » Tue, 23 Sep 2014 9:11 pm

Usmom wrote:Saw about 8 units today and 2 we loved but they were asking 4K above our budget. So about 19K. They were both empty. Would it be out of the realm of possibilities that they would accept 4K less?

Possible - yes, likely - no. If you like it that much negotiate it down by ~2k and pay the excess from your own pocket.

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Postby Usmom » Wed, 24 Sep 2014 5:16 pm

Yeah, offering 4k less didn't work. lol. but we tried. Anyways, there was another unit that we liked and it is just slightly above our budget, so agent is sending offer to owner. Let's see what happens.... :shock:
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Re: malls and cellphone plans

Postby maneo » Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:52 pm

Usmom wrote:Went back to a grocery store to buy some items we missed getting the first time. This time we went to cold storage and holy cow the prices were just a little shocking. A small bottle of laundry detergent was $19.10 but it was a brand I recognized. I was expecting 2 to 3 times the price we could get it in the U.S. but 6+ times the price? and then my alcohol loving husband telling me that some of the wines he could get for $3 in u.s. were selling for $30. but again, cold storage had lots of brands we recognized. We bought a few items and it was $30 total, just some cheese and pasta.

Yes, the imported brands are very expensive.
Your brand loyalty will be challenged here.
I personally don't think the price difference vs. the local brands is worth the difference.

We do most of our shopping at NTUC Fairprice, with occasional forays to the Bukit Timah branch when we know we'll spend over $150 (the threshold for free delivery). I prefer Sheng Shiong, but we have since moved so this is no longer convenient.
Sheng Siong is basically a combo local "department store" and wet market with aircon.

Usually stop by Jason's to see what items they have on sale.
Can frequently find things at half off when they don't move fast enough.
Only way to get cheese at a reasonable price.

You can find the various store locations online & can use Google Maps to plan how to get around.

By the way, NTUC is coming out with a warehouse store, but it will be out in Jurong (must be the cheaper land).
This will be interesting, given that most apartments really don't have much storage.

There is no such thing as a cheap drunk in SG and there's no 2-buck Chuck.
The grocery stores do have occasional sales.
Also watch for wine shows in mall foyers (e.g. VivoCity).
You can get special discounts buying in quantity at these.

Make use of any travel out of SG to buy at the Duty Free shop when you return (however, going to Malaysia doesn't work).
If you have friends coming in, see if they can buy their allotment at the Duty Free shop for you. Some specialty items may need to be purchased at a Duty Free shop on the last leg before SG (e.g. Black Dog Whisky in Dubai, Smirnoff Green Apple Vodka in Bangkok, etc.).

Usmom wrote: We went to plaza singapora and it was so crowded and so was the mrt at douby ghout. It was like sardines in can. Also, I've noticed that lots of people/strangers have no problem standing right next to you or even brushing by you. I guess differences in personal space. It seemed like everyone was at the mall, what else is there to do? We went to the mall maybe once or twice a year if that in the states.

The diameter of the personal space circle is smaller here, until you make eye contact.

Best time to go to malls is in the morning, especially on the weekends.
Unless you really like people watching, best to avoid the malls (and going out in general) in the afternoons and evenings.

Usmom wrote: Now the next mission is to get me on a phone plan. Husband has a company cellphone, but the family plan that singtel offers the company employees for their family is really bad. We are thinking of just going with a sim card plan with star hub. The minutes are low but every minute I go over is just 5 cents. I will only need phone to get some data while away from home internet and to make calls to doctors, husband, etc.. We are buying international calling cards to call the states when needed. We are also using facetime with those who have it. Any suggestions for our phone situation?

I use Skype for long calls outside of SG.
Also use 018 (Starhub) for calls of shorter duration.
Have also just downloaded Viber, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Usmom wrote:Lastly, is it just me or am I wrong that most singtel/star hub employees don't know much about the plans they offer? We had to tell them that yes your website says this and that, and still some of them kept saying no until we showed them in their own company's website or pamphlet, then they were like ok. Anything other than the simple plan they've sold over and over and they seemed lost.

Yes, there seems to be high turnover of the counter staff.
There are some knowledgeable ones usually on duty.
You just need to force the person helping you to go get them when they don't know about the latest promotion.

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rent

Postby Usmom » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 4:02 pm

Thanks for the feedback.
agent just notified us that landlord agrees to our offer but wanted to inform us that there is a repair deductible of $200 and we have to service the aircon ourselves. Is this common?
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Re: rent

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 4:15 pm

Usmom wrote:Thanks for the feedback.
agent just notified us that landlord agrees to our offer but wanted to inform us that there is a repair deductible of $200 and we have to service the aircon ourselves. Is this common?


it is usually the norm for the tenant to service the air con, usually this amounts to approx. 300$ a month. in case of minor repairs, the tenant is expected to bear the costs limited to 150$ and anything beyond this amount will be borne by the landlord.
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Re: rent

Postby JR8 » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 5:09 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:
Usmom wrote:Thanks for the feedback.
agent just notified us that landlord agrees to our offer but wanted to inform us that there is a repair deductible of $200 and we have to service the aircon ourselves. Is this common?


it is usually the norm for the tenant to service the air con, usually this amounts to approx. 300$ a month. in case of minor repairs, the tenant is expected to bear the costs limited to 150$ and anything beyond this amount will be borne by the landlord.


What costs $300/mo? [!?] For air-con service we pay $430pa for 1/4ly service of 5 internal 'fancoils' and two external 'condensers'. Even then it still grates on me since we don't use it anyway.

$200 deductible on repairs on a place is par for the course; ours is $150. The intention is that is hinders tenants who might otherwise be calling in contractors for everything and anything like a tripped lighting circuit fuse, or a light fitting that has 'ceased functioning' [aka blown lightbulb], and so on. You end up DIYing quite a lot of stuff. The landlord somewhat shoots himself in the foot as the tenant is encouraged to live with a problem (during which time it might get worse), DIY it, or hide the matter on their departure.

Make sure that your check in inventory is well done. You want every damaged drawer hinge, and that children's crayon on the back of the bathroom door all noted down. Oh and roller-chair caster grooves on teak veneer floors, that's a common one IME!... all three we had this most recent move, off the top of my head, amongst other things...

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Re: rent

Postby JR8 » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 5:30 pm

Usmom wrote:Thanks for the feedback.
agent just notified us that landlord agrees to our offer but wanted to inform us that there is a repair deductible of $200 and we have to service the aircon ourselves. Is this common?


p.s. Congratulations! Nice to have that lined up (if not signed and sealed) in time for the weekend. It goes without saying that you want to read the contract carefully and at your leisure before signing anything... Ok, I said it it, but that's because remarkably some tenants do not read their contracts until some dispute arises, when they pop up here asking 'What does xyz mean, and can I really be held to it?'

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rental contract

Postby Usmom » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 9:44 pm

whoa! $300/month for ac main. that's scary. Anyways hopefully we can find someone for less. Never heard of this being done in the u.s. so is it like someone comes to clean each of your ac units in house and outside once every 3 months? Could you clean it yourself? I'm guessing there are 5 units in the place as each bedroom should have one and then one for living area and then one for outside? Guess I'll ask agent as I didn't count units.

Also, read the contract draft and applied the tenancy rights link above for things we want our agent to address in contract. The link was very helpful. Luckily the contract didn't state anything too strange.
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curtains

Postby Usmom » Fri, 26 Sep 2014 9:48 pm

oh the other thing I was surprised about was dry cleaning the curtains. That's a lot of curtains cause every room has them and then the living area too and they are huge!! and what if they are in great shape and super clean? Another thing I have not seen in u.s. rental agreements.
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