Where should I consider living?

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mayz945
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Where should I consider living?

Post by mayz945 » Mon, 09 Feb 2015 11:22 pm

Hi - hope I followed the template correctly.

My fiancée and I are both in our mid-20's, American, and have lived in London for the last 3 years. In 2 weeks, we are moving to Singapore and will have 30 days to find permanent housing. As 30 days isn't much (and I'll be travelling for work part of that time), I'd like to make the search as efficient as possible and was hoping to narrow down the neighbourhoods to browse prior to arriving. Please let me know if there are any areas you would recommend and I will add them to our list. Thank you for any and all input!

Priorities:
- your budget – Up to $4000/month
- your workplace: 8 Marina View Singapore – looking for a max 30 minute commute
- the size and/or type of property that you are seeking: 2 bedroom (1 larger master and a smaller study)
- will you have a car here? No car
- proximity to transport required: Need to be within 10 min walk of MRT
- will you have any accompanying children needing to attend school? No kids, just the 2 of us
- will your employer being funding any fees; or will you, 'out of pocket'? Out of pocket

Nice to have:
- will you need to be able to say walk to the local shops, a library, your doctor, a market, and so on?
Would like to be in an area near some shops, cafes, markets. Hawker centers would be nice too.
- access to any specific sport, social, and recreation facilities? Would like to either be in a condo with a pool of at least 25m or in a flat near a pool/gym center.
- are you considering bringing any pets. If so what kind, and will they require outdoor access and/or exercise? No pets
- are you considering bringing any parents/in-laws etc? Do they have specific needs (for example difficulty climbing stairs?) No
- A balcony with a nice view would be nice to have

Your current home and commute:
- are you already a city dweller? i.e. Are you used to city-centre hustle and bustle, or would you hope for a bit more peace and quiet? Would prefer a mix. I don’t want to hear any traffic noise in my flat, but don’t mind being close to the city, especially as I don' like long commutes.
- what is the size and type (apartment, house+garden etc) of your current home? 2 bedroom 70sqmt/700sqft
- what are any current commute times like? 25-30min


Thanks in advance for any advice.

Singapore Property Search

 

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 9:27 am

I have seen your posting about Dakota area, so here are my views (I also work in Asia Sq)
- The nearest train stations are Downtown, Marina Bay & Raffles Place MRT (in order).
- For your age, I would think Robertson Quay would be an interesting place for you. However, the closest train station is Clarke Quay and quite a hike (especially with the humidity). Nonetheless, there are a few buses that you can take. Taxi to/fro work will not burn a hole in the pocket as well.
- On the circle line (the one that brings you to Downtown station), Bugis and Chinatown will have some possible options for you to stay. Telok Ayer has 1 condo nearby, which is Emerald Gardens. This is a much older place and with some bargaining, you might be able to find a place that fit into your $4K budget. Its also on Club Street which has a number of waterholes & restaurants. However, its fairly deserted on weekends as it is within the CBD area.
- Personally, I stay at Novena. There is direct train to Marina Bay and there is also a direct bus that goes to a building (One Raffles Quay). Usually, we take cabs to work. It is a fairly popular area among expats and has restaurants around. However, do bear in mind that some condos are near the expressway, and most condos do not have sound proofing.
- Most mid-sized to larger condos has gym and pool, so that shouldn't be tricky.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:08 am

Impossible to narrow down. Your criteria meets half of the island.

Come visit Singapore, spend the weekend touring some areas. Go to Novena, Holland Village, Bugis, Tanjong Pagar, Tiong Bahru, EastCoast/Joo Chiat, Marina Bay area, City Square area, etc. Just spend an hour or two in each general area to get a sense if you like it.

Then, come back here and post saying "I liked the following areas, and here is my critera" and we can give you useful advice.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by JR8 » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 4:41 pm

Large pools are considered a big luxury, since land is so expensive. So you don't find too many of them in the mid-range sector. And I think it's fair to suggest that the closer in you get to town, the more land is worth and the rarer pools are.

IME a direct journey via what ever mode often saves a lot of time versus having to change bus, MRT etc. So maybe that suggests trying being a touch further out, but with a direct route, might get you that pool?

Have a look on the red MRT line, heading north-east from Orchard MRT.
Newton (District 11 I think), Novena (D11 or 12), Toa Payoh (D12), Braddell (D20), Bishan (D20). That progression goes from very urban/noisy to something more 'suburban' though far calmer, still very built up, though that said Bishan has a huge park.

Newton to Marina Bay (direct) = 6 stops/11mins
Bishan to MB (direct) = 10 stops/19 mins
http://www.smrt.com.sg/Trains/NetworkMap.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I believe just about all of your needs could be met along a good part of the above sub-zone. The further out you go, the more space and amenities you'll be able to get. So have a look at it and see what you think (via a condo search above). The suggestions can develop further if you think the above might work for you ...

Good luck and welcome to the forum!
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by rarkins » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 5:21 pm

Check out these condos: City Square Residences, Gilstead Two, Kerrisdale, Waterbank At Dakota, Woodsville 28, and The Metropolitan.

Each of these satisfy your criteria (to my knowledge):
<= $4000/month
>= 700 sqft 2 bedroom apartments
Lap pool and gym
Maximum ~10 minutes walk to MRT and grocery stores

This is not an exhaustive list, but instead a list of ones that usually have a good quantity of matching apartments being leased, i.e. you'll have a good chance of finding a few available at any time.

As @JR8 mentioned, having a lap pool is a bit of a "luxury", so if you downgraded your requirement to just a regular pool, you'd find a few more available (including closer), such as Burlington Square, The Plaza and The Bencoolen.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by mayz945 » Sat, 14 Feb 2015 6:50 am

Thank you all for the advice. I've been looking into some of those areas and I realize there seem to be a lot of options matching my description (which is good!).

Looking around, I also found Caribbean at Keppel Bay (next to the newer Reflections at Keppel Bay). Although slightly more expensive, it seems to match most of what I am after - close to work, quiet, close to grocery store and MRT, etc. Only thing is I don't know much about the area. Can anyone tell me what is around there? Is it pretty dead? Cafes, Hawker Centers?

Thank you

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by rarkins » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 3:38 pm

Caribbean - and Reflections - are really excellent. I didn't include Caribbean in my list as it's not too common to find them renting for $4000 or less. But, 2 years ago there were basically none at that price and now happens every month or two, so who knows - it's a renter's market so expect a few more. FYI only a small fraction have balconies.

The area may be great or not-so-great depending on your interests. For one, it's one of only a few places in Singapore to offer truly "on the water" living, and that alone is really nice (including sea breeze). To the west you have a lovely sea walk, right around to Labrador Park/nature area. To the east, you have Harbourfront/Vivocity adjoining malls. Vivocity is one of the better malls in Singapore so you'll want to like it because that's about all that's around!

On the plus side for you, Caribbean and Reflections are huge so there's a lot of people around and hence a lively atmosphere. Potentially on the negative side for you, they are mostly 3+ bedroom apartments and much more families than couples.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by the lynx » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 4:06 pm

Forget about Reflections and Carribean. The rental will never meet your requirement (definitely above $4000 per month). Both estates are very big and you will find yourself walking an additional 10 minutes to get through that gate, and then another 5-10 minutes to either Harbourfront station (from Carribean's side) or Telok Blangah station (from Reflections' side). Getting a bus to work at Marina is convenient though.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by mayz945 » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 5:35 pm

Thanks, but to be honest I may be able to stretch my budget to $4500 if I can find the perfect place with maybe a nice view. The thing I am most curious about is the location. It's definitely convenient for work as well as being only 2-3 stops from city centre, but does that area have much going on in the evenings and on weekends?

Thanks

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 7:34 pm

Singapore isn't London, NYC or Tokyo. :-k :-|
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by mayz945 » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 8:56 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Singapore isn't London, NYC or Tokyo. :-k :-|
Thanks, but what does that mean? I assume it still has areas with more cafes, shops, hawkers, while others have fewer around.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by rarkins » Tue, 17 Feb 2015 4:07 am

The definition of "much going on" is rather opinion-based, but I'd say for most people the Keppel Bay condos wouldn't satisfy it. At an evening, your only options would be socialising within the condo or walking to Vivocity mall. Vivocity is actually quite good (including outdoor restaurants facing the water) but regardless, technically your only social outlet within walking distance is still a mall.

If you're considering a $4500 budget, that opens up some other options, such as The Sail at Marina Bay which is perhaps just 10 minutes walk to work (saves 100+ hours a year compared to a 30 minute commute). Although, some people also have a rather negative opinion on the Marina Bay area at night too!

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 17 Feb 2015 9:41 am

I have viewed several units in the Reflections, when we were looking for properties. We viewed about 3-4 villa blocks units within Reflections itself:
- The finishing is fantastic. The kitchan is largely hidden by the shelves, providing a minimalist feel.
- We didn't view the tower blocks as we wanted balconies. Units on the villa blocks have balcony but the living rooms are terribly small. In our opinions, you can have a small 2-seaters plus a tiny dining table for 2/4. The balconies are huge and can accomodate a dining table. However, with the humidity, its not practical to be having dinner on the balcony on a daily basis.
- The bedrooms are too tiny.
- Like most modern condos, the washing machine is integrated into the kitchan. The upside is, there is a dish washer integrated into the kitchan as well (which is not common in many condos).
- For us, we struggle with the fact that there is no yard. We do laundry often and we don't always clear the load immediately. We don't like the idea of hanging our laundry in the balcony and we do not want to waste a bedroom for laundry purpose either.
- The units we viewed are quite far from the entrance. Its a good 10 mins walk to the entrance, and the nearest bus-stop (via the backgate) is also a good 10 mins walk. The entire estate is huge, so getting from point A to point B, can be tiring or frustrating, if time is not on your side.
- Harbourfront MRT is not exactly near. Its about 20 mins walk.
- Personally, I am not a fan of Harbourfront mrt. Its way too crowded on weekends.
- There are many commercial franchises in Harbourfront, but there isn't any nice smaller restaurants that the husband can go for a simple but tasty meal.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 17 Feb 2015 9:43 am

rarkins wrote:The definition of "much going on" is rather opinion-based, but I'd say for most people the Keppel Bay condos wouldn't satisfy it. At an evening, your only options would be socialising within the condo or walking to Vivocity mall. Vivocity is actually quite good (including outdoor restaurants facing the water) but regardless, technically your only social outlet within walking distance is still a mall.

If you're considering a $4500 budget, that opens up some other options, such as The Sail at Marina Bay which is perhaps just 10 minutes walk to work (saves 100+ hours a year compared to a 30 minute commute). Although, some people also have a rather negative opinion on the Marina Bay area at night too!
My boss is staying in Sail temporarily (they offer short term lease) and he hates the lack of sound proofing within the estate. In the evening, he can hear everyone walking outside his apartment and his neighbors. Something to think about.

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Re: Where should I consider living?

Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:12 am

If you want "a lot going on" look at the East Coast for casual stuff, eateries, cafes, pubs, convenient 'normal' shopping. If "a lot going on" means more bars and clubs, look in River Valley CBD. Those places are closer at least.

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