Neighborhood ideas, please?

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russch
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Neighborhood ideas, please?

Post by russch » Sun, 14 Sep 2014 10:49 pm

Hi Everyone --

Coming to town in a few weeks for work and to check out Singapore as a possible relo opportunity. My wife would and I would like to check out some neighborhoods while I'm here.

About me: Base salary somewhere in the vicinity of 120-130K SGD, plus a pretty decent commission paid monthly. Married. No kids, car, or critters. We wouldn't plan to move much stuff with us except computers and an odd piece of furniture or two. Will be be working on Orchard, near Patterson Rd & ION Orchard. Don't know what Cost of Living / housing adjustment would look like, so hard to say exact $$ range we can afford. Let's say under 5.5K SGD/MO?

Should we move, we'd probably look for a 1-2 BR (second BR acting as office). We're city dwellers now, used to relatively small footprints - our current home is < 1,000 SFT now.

Lifestyle:
  • Looking for a max 45 minute commute. Lower is better
    Prefer bohemian-ish areas to "flashy-cashy" neighborhoods
    Love older / renovated / historical spaces vs. new construction - the "conservation" homes I've seen online look great, for example.
    Don't need high-end pools & healthclubs
    Like availability to "local" (vs corporate) coffee places , shops, food
    Quiet is good. Detached (even very small) house even better.
    No afraid of walk-ups, lack of luxe amenities. Big expat presence not a big thing
    Must have access to high-speed & reliable internet.
Can anyone give me an idea of some areas of town we might want to investigate? An idea of "how far out" each one would be from Orchard via MRT / bus would also be really awesome.

Thanks much!

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Re: Neighborhood ideas, please?

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:14 am

Your generalities (commute time, 2 bedroom, and budget) cover 80% of Singapore, so don't worry about that.

Your list of particulars screams Tiong Bahru, Outram Park, Tanjong Pagar area(s) (They're all roughly adjacent). It's the closest Singapore has to "bohemian" and has a number of small cafe/non-corporate coffee shop type places. Of course, any successful small shop in Singapore eventually turns corporate and starts to open multiple locations. See Forty Hands.

Another area you should look at is Joo Chiat, just off the main strip. There are a number of converted and renovated shop houses that I suspect you'll really like. Your budget should just get you into one. It has lots and lots of small food places that are quite good to eat at. Not many fancy small cafe's but there is one maybe 2km away that is one of the best in SG. While the area itself near Joo Chiat is nicer, it's a bit farther for your commute (still well within 45 minutes, but 2 trains not one) and caters more towards the younger local nightlife crowd. That means instead of trendy bars filled with ex-pats and hipsters, you have more karaoke and 'Asian' bars. 'Asian' bars means lots of working girls. If you're of the small subset who would be offended by that, then don't walk around late at night down the main strip. (Or half the areas of Singapore really).

  • Prefer bohemian-ish areas to "flashy-cashy" neighborhoods
    Love older / renovated / historical spaces vs. new construction - the "conservation" homes I've seen online look great, for example.
    Don't need high-end pools & healthclubs
    Like availability to "local" (vs corporate) coffee places , shops, food
    Quiet is good. Detached (even very small) house even better.
    No afraid of walk-ups, lack of luxe amenities. Big expat presence not a big thing
    Must have access to high-speed & reliable internet.


russch wrote:Hi Everyone --

Coming to town in a few weeks for work and to check out Singapore as a possible relo opportunity. My wife would and I would like to check out some neighborhoods while I'm here.

About me: Base salary somewhere in the vicinity of 120-130K SGD, plus a pretty decent commission paid monthly. Married. No kids, car, or critters. We wouldn't plan to move much stuff with us except computers and an odd piece of furniture or two. Will be be working on Orchard, near Patterson Rd & ION Orchard. Don't know what Cost of Living / housing adjustment would look like, so hard to say exact $$ range we can afford. Let's say under 5.5K SGD/MO?

Should we move, we'd probably look for a 1-2 BR (second BR acting as office). We're city dwellers now, used to relatively small footprints - our current home is < 1,000 SFT now.

Lifestyle:
  • Looking for a max 45 minute commute. Lower is better
    Prefer bohemian-ish areas to "flashy-cashy" neighborhoods
    Love older / renovated / historical spaces vs. new construction - the "conservation" homes I've seen online look great, for example.
    Don't need high-end pools & healthclubs
    Like availability to "local" (vs corporate) coffee places , shops, food
    Quiet is good. Detached (even very small) house even better.
    No afraid of walk-ups, lack of luxe amenities. Big expat presence not a big thing
    Must have access to high-speed & reliable internet.
Can anyone give me an idea of some areas of town we might want to investigate? An idea of "how far out" each one would be from Orchard via MRT / bus would also be really awesome.

Thanks much!

russch
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Post by russch » Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:22 pm

Thanks much. Checking out the areas you mentioned yielded many apartments of the type that we'd like. Joo Chiat looks like it right on the edge of "reasonable commute time" to Orchard, but the area itself looks wonderful.

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 2:11 am

russch wrote:Thanks much. Checking out the areas you mentioned yielded many apartments of the type that we'd like. Joo Chiat looks like it right on the edge of "reasonable commute time" to Orchard, but the area itself looks wonderful.
If you don't mind a 10-15 minute walk at the Joo Chiat end of the commute, then you can walk to Paya Lebar MRT station. That should get you to Orchard in about 45-50 minutes including that walk. But check http://gothere.sg as I'm just guessing based on previous experiences.

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Post by local lad » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:00 am

Another area you can explore is Norfolk/Cambridge/Carlisle rd area. There is a swimming pool named Farrer Park swimming pool. Farrer park tennis centre is open to public and there is a wet market cum hawker centre, Pek Kio Food and Market centre. It is about 1/2 bus stop away from United Square whereby you can walk to Novena MRT station,which , is along the Orchard line. So I assume it should be under 45 mins to get to where you want to go from home to work.

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Post by uscate » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:26 am

I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….but that's just me….I'd agree that Joo Chiat would be a great place to check out if you're keen for shop house living. There are some beautiful homes in this area, and if you don't need amenities like a pool, etc., this would be a really fun place to live, I think.

Enjoy your time in Singapore!!

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Post by the lynx » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:48 am

uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….but that's just me….I'd agree that Joo Chiat would be a great place to check out if you're keen for shop house living. There are some beautiful homes in this area, and if you don't need amenities like a pool, etc., this would be a really fun place to live, I think.

Enjoy your time in Singapore!!
To add to uscate's input about shop house living, you can check out Farrer Park area, especially around Petain Road (City Square Mall area).

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:52 pm

the lynx wrote:
uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….but that's just me….I'd agree that Joo Chiat would be a great place to check out if you're keen for shop house living. There are some beautiful homes in this area, and if you don't need amenities like a pool, etc., this would be a really fun place to live, I think.

Enjoy your time in Singapore!!
To add to uscate's input about shop house living, you can check out Farrer Park area, especially around Petain Road (City Square Mall area).
Isn't that the Ladyboy version of Geylang? One of Singapore's best (western style) coffee shops is not far from there though, right across from Jalan Besar stadium:
http://www.cshhcoffee.com/

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:54 pm

uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….
Well, that's most of Singapore. Most hipster neighborhoods (anywhere really) feel like that to me though. I just suggested it as it is one of the locations with a critical mass of hipster-ish establishments. Which does mean good coffee, something the OP specifically asked for.

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Post by hotandhumid » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 2:51 pm

Joo Chiat sounds like a good suggestion. However, bear in mind that transportation is slightly more challenging especially with East Coast Road being all cramped and jammed (2 lanes, either way).

A possible compromise to Joo Chiat is the Amber area. It is just past East Coast Road with a clear way to the Orchard/city (20-30 minutes bus). Plus, it is just a block or two away from Joo Chiat. Way more convenient, and a pleasant living environment too.

Other than that, with that budget, you could try your luck renting a smallish apartment (<1000 sqft) around the Orchard area. If you up your budget (not sure by how much), consider the conservation plots behind CentrePoint along the main Orchard Road (think it's called Emerald Hill Road). Fantastic physical environment, low-rise (2-3 storeys), pubs and bistros etc.... reminds me a little of the residentials just off Sloan Square in London (sigh....)
Lets air-condition the entire island please

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Post by ecureilx » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:37 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
the lynx wrote:
uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….but that's just me….I'd agree that Joo Chiat would be a great place to check out if you're keen for shop house living. There are some beautiful homes in this area, and if you don't need amenities like a pool, etc., this would be a really fun place to live, I think.

Enjoy your time in Singapore!!
To add to uscate's input about shop house living, you can check out Farrer Park area, especially around Petain Road (City Square Mall area).
Isn't that the Ladyboy version of Geylang? One of Singapore's best (western style) coffee shops is not far from there though, right across from Jalan Besar stadium:
http://www.cshhcoffee.com/
from what I know, the Petain / Flanders Square has been progressively cleaned up .. i.e. the LBs are being pushed out ...

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:53 pm

hotandhumid wrote:Other than that, with that budget, you could try your luck renting a smallish apartment (<1000 sqft) around the Orchard area. If you up your budget (not sure by how much), consider the conservation plots behind CentrePoint along the main Orchard Road (think it's called Emerald Hill Road). Fantastic physical environment, low-rise (2-3 storeys), pubs and bistros etc.... reminds me a little of the residentials just off Sloan Square in London (sigh....)
An Emerald Hill/Cuppage shophouse is going to be circa $12k/mo.+ and noisy!

Re: London
Example: Holbein Mews.
http://media.rightmove.co.uk/17k/16023/ ... 20x414.jpg

Ground floor for horses + carriage
Upper floor for storage (you can see the elevated door for hoisting in straw and feed), and groom's quarters. Undoubtedly very pretty, but they are cramped (An affluent household might have their house, their garden behind, and the mews at the end with separate street access. And the mews would invariably have no rear windows at all - 'Sir' wouldn't want the groom overlooking the rear of his house would he? ... )

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Post by hotandhumid » Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:12 am

[quote="JR8"]
An Emerald Hill/Cuppage shophouse is going to be circa $12k/mo.+ and noisy!
[/quote]

Gee... didn't realise that it was that high.
Well, I suppose I was right anyway that you needed a higher budget for that :)
Lets air-condition the entire island please

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Post by Tanuki » Sat, 20 Sep 2014 9:42 am

zzm9980 wrote:
uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….
Well, that's most of Singapore. Most hipster neighborhoods (anywhere really) feel like that to me though. I just suggested it as it is one of the locations with a critical mass of hipster-ish establishments. Which does mean good coffee, something the OP specifically asked for.
I'd agree that TB is trying to sell itself as more of a hipster locale. The coffee is fantastic, but we buy the local type from the market (roasted in margarine) and make it at home with coconut cream. Woo Hoo!

As for getting to Orchard, it's amazingly easy to get there going up Zion Road on one of several busses. I can go up to Wheelock, pick up my company mail at the office, and be back home in 40 minutes. Overall it's pretty good here, though the older HDB section at Beo Crescent does tend to be rather messy. It's not the squeaky clean Singapore that tourists see at the Marina, etc.

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Post by PNGMK » Sat, 20 Sep 2014 12:45 pm

Tanuki wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
uscate wrote:I honestly never got the "Bohemian" reputation of Tiong Bahru….I guess it just seems like it tries too hard to be cool….
Well, that's most of Singapore. Most hipster neighborhoods (anywhere really) feel like that to me though. I just suggested it as it is one of the locations with a critical mass of hipster-ish establishments. Which does mean good coffee, something the OP specifically asked for.
I'd agree that TB is trying to sell itself as more of a hipster locale. The coffee is fantastic, but we buy the local type from the market (roasted in margarine) and make it at home with coconut cream. Woo Hoo!

As for getting to Orchard, it's amazingly easy to get there going up Zion Road on one of several busses. I can go up to Wheelock, pick up my company mail at the office, and be back home in 40 minutes. Overall it's pretty good here, though the older HDB section at Beo Crescent does tend to be rather messy. It's not the squeaky clean Singapore that tourists see at the Marina, etc.
Who/rents out those Art Deco buildings along TB road? HDB?

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