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Freshly baked Uni graduate (UK) moving to Singapore

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lloydosaurus
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Freshly baked Uni graduate (UK) moving to Singapore

Postby lloydosaurus » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 5:43 am

Hello all,

I'm moving to Singapore in 10 days to start my first post uni job/internship.

Although I'm looking forward to a new cultural experience, this is the first time I've lived outside of Europe and thus have a few questions which I hope someone has the time to answer.

They mainly focus around where to live: Essentially, I have to go budget, we're looking at max $500 (US $). I've done some reading into renting rooms and moving into a HDB room sounds like the most plausible option?
I don't quite understand what the HDB concept is, but it seems cheap and affordable.
Should I go through ./similar or an agent?

Another HDB related question which is baffling me is, what is meant when the room advertisement has the description "HDB common room share/rent" - does it mean there's a shared common room and kitchen between all flat members, or there is a spare bed in the common room? I've seen a few similar advertisements which were along the lines of "HDB utility room"...once again, what exactly is meant?

Lastly, which areas would you recommend on budget and getting to work in under an hour? (southern part of the city, near Raffles Palace, postcode: 069538)

A great thank you and appreciation to whoever is willing to answer this bombard of questions!

Lloyd

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 6:37 am

Hello,

If your budget in Singapore is $500 USD (~$620 SGD) a month, then you're definitely in for a new cultural experience! :lol:

HDB is the ubiquitous public housing, used by more than 80% of the people in Singapore. Essentially it is a typical apartment flat. At your budget that is pretty much your only option, renting a room in an HDB. Anything else will probably be a dorm room.

The HDB utility room is tiny, about the the size of two twin-sized beds next to each other So you can imagine how little space you'll have in addition to the bed.

My suggestion is just to keep looking on Craigslist. Get as close to an MRT station as possible. You work at Raffles Place not Palace. Use http://gothere.sg to get time estimates on your commute.

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Postby Barnsley » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 9:23 am

If you are moving in 10 days dont you have something sorted already?

The company you are moving to work.for, are they not helping you at all.

As ZZZ said.... at that budget you are in the lucky draw for getting a decent place to live.

Make sure you look at a few places.

Do you know anyone in Singapore?
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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 9:36 am

And yes, "shared common room" means that they have a bed in the main room/living room/whatever you want to call it. Dorm style.

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Postby bro75 » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:58 pm

Common rooms are the rooms in the flat without its own toilet/bathroom. A master bedroom has its own toilet/bathroom. A utility room is a very small room used mainly for storage that some enterprising landlord changed into a bedroom. At 500SGD, it will be tough to rent a room by yourself, but not impossible. Look for flats along the Green and Red MRT lines.

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Postby Addadude » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 1:29 pm

bro75 has it right.

"Common room" refers to the bedrooms which don't have bathrooms attached. Those that do are called "master bedrooms". The main living room area - where the central TV and sofa are located - in a HDB flat is always referred to as the "hall".

When you see HDB flats advertised for rent, they are usually listed as "3-room", "4-room" etc. Generally speaking, a 3-room flat means 2 bedrooms plus the "hall", 4-room means 3 bedrooms plus the "hall". A bit confusingly, a 5-room flat means 3 bedrooms plus a "hall" large enough to have separate sitting and dining areas. All of these types of flats will have two toilets/shower rooms. One attached to the "master bedroom" and the other situated off the kitchen (usually referred to as the "common bathroom". The "utility room" in these flats will be a tiny windowless room that has no business being rented out as a bedroom.

$500 should be able to get you a common room in a flat fairly far out from the CBD. Thankfully, beacause Singapore is so small, even the lengthiest commutes are usually less than 1 hour.

Be warned that you will be expected to pay at least a month or two depost as well. So budget for a $1500 payment upfront.
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Postby lloydosaurus » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 2:42 pm

Thanks for all the infos :)

Yes sadly my budget is that low, though having spent 4 years at Uni I'm well used to places which aren't the classiest.

I don't mind sharing facilities so a master bedroom is not a problem, as this is a 6 month placement to start with I don't mind not having the greatest living conditions.

Which websites would you recommend me looking a room. Is there anyone other than . and Craigslist? Is it worth going through a professional agent?

Just to clarify as two different options were stated, renting a "common room" means, your own bedroom with shared facilities, not a bed in the main living area?
Last edited by lloydosaurus on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby taxico » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 2:53 pm

since you're on a budget, if you do use an agent, be upfront when you first contact him/her that you are unable and do not with to pay a commission.

many will still be willing to find you a room as they will probably get paid by the land lord.

you will eventually find the rules of the room/flat to gradually get more and more restrictive. so make sure you get all the stuff you want to do approved on paper before handing any money over. (eg, you will be cooking 3min noodles everyday, you wish to use the washing machine twice a week, etc etc)

common room is almost always an actual bed room (windows, door, etc)

google for other sites. this forum is operated by a real estate agency, so they have listings too....
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Postby beppi » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 5:18 pm

http://www...com.sg (easyrommmate[dot]com[dot]sg)
Get a paid membership, otherwise the site is basically useless!

Forget about the utility rooms - they are illegal to rent out.
"Shared" means two or more people to a room - think twice if you really want that.
At your budget, it will be very basic, shared minimalist bath, no cooking, no privacy - and very far from your workplace. Be willing to compromise!
In any case: View the place and meet the owner, other inhabitants before you commit!

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Postby lloydosaurus » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 6:12 pm

What's the lowest budget I have to commit to if I want to be able to cook? Having some hobs should be enough.

Thanks for all the info everyone, I appreciate the local knowledge and not having to find this all out once I've arrived and started doing viewings.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 6:16 pm

There is no pricetag attached to cooking as such - it depends on the landlord.
But experience shows that almost all sublet arrangements (and those are the cheaper ones) do not allow cooking.
I would suggest you budget at least S$800/month to get something more reasonable. If you want aircon and bathroom, it'll be S$200-400 more.

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Postby aster » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 6:39 pm

Dude, how on Earth did you commit to coming here on a budget that only allows $500 for accommodation?

You are gonna end up living gangsta-style like from "da hood" minus the guns and the dope, but possibly with hookers around if you end up along the Geylang stretch. :)

Forget cooking, if it's just for yourself you aren't going to be saving money imo unless you are into those dry ramen packets where your culinary skills will be limited to pouring hot water into a plastic bowl and covering it for 3 minutes.

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Postby lloydosaurus » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 7:26 pm

:D I just committed to it, in hindsight it seems a bit rash obviously, I could've picked more lucrative positions in Europe but I just fancied coming out here. Pretty naive but best make the most of it now eh!

Really? Groceries that expensive in Singapore?
I've found wherever I've lived (admittedly only in Europe), it's always been cheaper and a lot healthier to buy groceries and cook for myself than to eat out cheaply - and tastes a lot better too sometimes.

So you would generally recommend save some living costs on not having a kitchen and using the money instead on buying local takeouts?

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Postby lloydosaurus » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 8:00 pm

Whilst on the point of ghettos. What areas and neighbourhoods should I really avoid? Seeing as there will probably be a fair few low budget offers in those areas.

Regards

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 07 Aug 2014 8:17 pm

There is no place that is unsafe in Singapore as long as you maintain your own decorum. You can go home, knee-walking, commode hugging drunk at 4:30 am alone with out any problems. However, having said that, if you go looking for trouble, you can find it, but you will pay dearly for it as if you do manage to rile somebody up, you can be sure you will have to deal with a dozen of them at some point during the evening. so common sense is important and belligerence is something best left at Heathrow. I've been here over 3 decades and used to be a rather hard drinker & night owl (usually from 7 pm to around 5:3;0 am). It's rare today, though, but I've come through unscathed and usually traveled alone.


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