Where should we live?

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perfectdark
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Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Mon, 11 May 2015 10:28 pm

Hi,

My girlfriend and I are relocating to Singapore from the UK in June, so yet another 'moving to Singapore' thread I'm afraid... I'd really appreciate your collective wisdom.

Priorities

- Budget: $3.5-4.5k - we could probably stretch to $5k for the right place but would rather keep it the right side of $4k if possible!

- Commuting to: North Bridge Road/City Hall MRT

- Size and Type: Ideally a modern two bed condo with a gym, pool and tennis court.

- Location: Still undecided about where we stand in the cost vs. location debate, though I suppose cost will always win out to a certain extent... Whilst we would appreciate the convenience and familiarity of an expat cluster in a central location, we are quite open to living a bit further out in an 'up-and-coming' area or more residential location, particularly if it means we can afford a nicer apartment, or it gives us a better quality of life at the weekends.

- Proximity to transport required: Like most others, to be close to an MRT. Again though, willing to be flexible (happy to take a bus to work) if there are alternative options. My commute in the UK is currently 50 mins each way (when the trains are working...) so anything would be an improvement, but it'd be nice to cap the journey at 30 mins each way if possible.

- Children/Schools/Cars: None of the above.

- Nice to have (but not essential): Somewhere quite green and leafy, being able to walk to local shops, some decent bars and restaurants.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Singapore Property Search

 

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 May 2015 12:02 am

You should have no trouble with this (IME).

For your ref:
Our current place might be considered Zone-2 but in one of the suburban planned 'new towns', so with lots of amenities re: transport and shopping, libraries, doctors etc.
The local MRT to City Hall is under 20 mins, and if you include the slow amble from home to the MRT, under 30mins all in.
3-bed, new condo, pools, gym, tennis etc.
That is within your 3.5-4.5 budget, so your proposition sounds fine to me, and no real need for any real compromises anywhere.
I'm coy re: publishing location, but on the North/South line, between Orchard MRT and Ang Mo Kio MRT stations.

One thing to note though is re: bars/restaurants - especially the 'bars' bit :) This is typically reserved for what might me termed 'entertainment districts'. They tend to cluster around the Quays (Boat, [west >] Clarke, [>] Robertson). Those areas are all very$ and very very urban. Another is Holland Village, which is VV$. Fun to visit now and again, but I wouldn't wouldn't to live in/near either.

Another option for you might be Joo Chiat part way up the east coast. Plenty of F+B, and I expect it's in your budget. It has a bit of an erm... funkier villagey vibe to it. I can't comment on transit times though. Others know this area way better than I do.

p.s. Be aware you might now start receiving spam Private Messages from letting agents. Perhaps you might find out now if your employer will be engaging the services of one for you, so that you're fore-armed on this matter.

Oh and... if you wouldn't mind mentioning the town/city in which you currently work in the UK, this would help gauge what might work for you here. For example if your current commute is from suburbia into City/central London that's one scenario, whereas if it's from some sleepy village into say a shire city then that would be quite another. Hope that makes sense!

Last afterthought: Your girlfriend, what visa status will she be on?
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Tue, 12 May 2015 12:18 am

JR8 wrote:You should have no trouble with this (IME).

For your ref:
Our current place might be considered Zone-2 but in one of the suburban planned 'new towns', so with lots of amenities re: transport and shopping, libraries, doctors etc.
The local MRT to City Hall is under 20 mins, and if you include the slow amble from home to the MRT, under 30mins all in.
3-bed, new condo, pools, gym, tennis etc.
That is within your 3.5-4.5 budget, so your proposition sounds fine to me, and no real need for any real compromises anywhere.
I'm coy re: publishing location, but on the North/South line, between Orchard MRT and Ang Mo Kio MRT stations.

One thing to note though is re: bars/restaurants - especially the 'bars' bit :) This is typically reserved for what might me termed 'entertainment districts'. They tend to cluster around the Quays (Boat, [west >] Clarke, [>] Robertson). Those areas are all very$ and very very urban. Another is Holland Village, which is VV$. Fun to visit now and again, but I wouldn't wouldn't to live in/near either.

Another option for you might be Joo Chiat part way up the east coast. Plenty of F+B, and I expect it's in your budget. It has a bit of an erm... funkier villagey vibe to it. I can't comment on transit times though. Others know this area way better than I do.

p.s. Be aware you might now start receiving spam Private Messages from letting agents. Perhaps you might find out now if your employer will be engaging the services of one for you, so that you're fore-armed on this matter.

Oh and... if you wouldn't mind mentioning the town/city in which you currently work in the UK, this would help gauge what might work for you here. For example if your current commute is from suburbia into City/central London that's one scenario, whereas if it's from some sleepy village into say a shire city then that would be quite another. Hope that makes sense!

Last afterthought: Your girlfriend, what visa status will she be on?
Thanks JR8 - very helpful! Your point about bars is well noted, it was more a 'nice to have' but certainly not essential. I currently live in the suburban commuter belt, so that is what I am used to. I also lived in London for five years so have experienced that kind of lifestyle too. If I'm honest, we chose to move out of London precisely because we wanted a bit more of a relaxed lifestyle and a larger place to play with. A few people have mentioned East Coast to me - it sounds like it would be a good option for outdoorsy type activities at the weekend - so I'd be keen to know good options for modern condos in that area. By the time my girlfriend moves out permanently we will be married, so it will be a dependent's pass. Thankfully we already have an agent lined up so no spam please!

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 May 2015 12:42 am

Ok, so what we have would be a decent match for what you want, just FYI/reference point.

Joo Chiat area might be too. It's a place I've visited only. So I'm not much help on details... but I enjoy the lower-key, lower-rise vibe there.
Outdoorsy lifestyle. Many of us find it's so damned hot here we spend less time outdoors than we expected we might.

Also don't limit your options yet. I can't comment on West Coast or such like, as it's not an area I know at all well. As car ownership is limited here and $, and people work long hours, you tend to find you fall into an overall 'zone of operation'. i.e. Work at A, live at B, and typically go out at defined/known areas C, D + E. ...Well, that's my experience :) You have a big advantage working so centrally, accessible from all directions.

Great news re: the both the agent, and the future DP/status of your GF, that's going to make life a whole lot easier for you!

p.s. btw welcome to the forum :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by Primrose Hill » Tue, 12 May 2015 10:47 am

I agree with JR8. I am a Londoner and where we lived in London is sort of where we live now in SG. I like the convienence of having those dreaded coffee shops nearby, the supermarkets and MRT/buses. But that's us. Different strokes and all that.

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by the lynx » Tue, 12 May 2015 11:17 am

Plenty of lovely condos at East Coast area. And pubs too, around Joo Chiat, Siglap, Bedok and Katong area. And the wonderful Park Connector Network (PCN) for your running, jogging, skating etc among the greens.

West Coast is one of those "roads less traveled". We still have those PCN but not as extensive (if you're thinking about the kilometres you can get). Less offerings in the pub scene compared to East Coast but definitely lots of small homey condos. You're probably looking at either West Coast, Pasir Panjang, Holland Village, Ulu Pandan or Rochester (with exception to Pasir Panjang, all of them are too far from City Hall). Bukit Timah might be a little too expensive.

I'd recommend sticking to East Coast for your City Hall commute unless you're looking at Harbourfront area instead (west - near Sentosa Island, no nice pub though).

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Tue, 12 May 2015 3:46 pm

Thanks all. It sounds like it'd be a good idea to do a bit of exploring in East Coast, West Coast and the area north of Orchard on the North-South Line. What is Bukit Timah like...? I'm assuming leafy and full of large expat houses, hence the price?

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 12 May 2015 4:09 pm

west coast generally quieter than east coast. I live in the west coast area. But it has its fair share of attractions, botanic gardens, there is the grandstand and if you are into things like five a side football, go karting, cricket there are options for you there. however commute to city hall is not very convenient from this side unless you pick a spot close to the green line.
places to consider, dover, buona vista, holland village, queenstown etc
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Re: Where should we live?

Post by JR8 » Tue, 12 May 2015 4:54 pm

It's interesting, both Lynx and RAJM suggest checking out HV (Holland Village).

Historically that's been rather 'off-radar' due to it previously having no MRT, but now of course it's up and running with a Circle Line station. Previously we visited mainly for the F+B scene, but always had to get taxis to and from.

Perhaps HV itself is N/NW enough of the Holland/Tanglin etc area that even with an MRT it remains a candidate. If so, definitely one to consider.

p.s. Bukit Timah is like no.1 primo real-estate. Maybe like the Bishop's Avenue end of Hampstead, or Hampstead Garden Suburb in London. When ever we drive through BT, I sit gawping out the window at the FO huge mansions, hehe... use Google street-view to do the lengths of Evans and Stevens Roads and you'll see what I mean.
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Re: Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Tue, 12 May 2015 5:14 pm

Thanks very much guys. Sounds like BT is probably off my radar then...! Can anyone suggest good condos on the East Coast or particular MRTs that I should be focusing on in that area - is it just Joo Chiat, Siglap, Bedok and Katong as Lynx says?

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 12 May 2015 10:07 pm

I lived in Watten Estates, just off Bukit Timah and Adam Farrer Road. While it is true that there are some VERY pricey detached and semi-detached homes in the area, it is also true that there are some steals to be had if you are willing to live in an older home. I lived in a great place, a 2 story semi-D, about 2100 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, lanai/patio on three sides... almost never ate inside, plenty of room for a BBQ, a place to keep the motorcycle.

I paid S$4200 per month for this property... and there were others of similar type and cost in the area. The catch is that almost all of them change hands by word of mouth... we got our place when our friends who lived there moved to Seoul... in turn, when we moved, expats we met at the end of the block knew friends looking for a place like ours.

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Tue, 12 May 2015 11:40 pm

Sounds great Strong Eagle, if only I could find a place like that!

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Wed, 13 May 2015 9:42 am

Here is what I did, I took a map and drew a circle of radius approximately 6-8 km around my point of work.
I noted down MRT stations, bus routes,places of interest, department stores etc.
made a list of properties that fell in my budget in that circle and began to scout around.
My circle eventually expanded to 10k in the end, but that was ok since I loved the area and the apartment.
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Re: Where should we live?

Post by Primrose Hill » Wed, 13 May 2015 10:55 am

Watten Estates is one of them along BTR, its old but the insides are huge even the houses have pool, squash court and the grounds are maintained well.
Look into Gallop XXX (sorry can't remember what's called), Spanish Villas, Holland Hill, Sommerville Estates. Bus no 75 route drops you off at Fullerton. Or walk to Farrer Rd MRT or HV MRT.

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by perfectdark » Wed, 13 May 2015 5:55 pm

Thanks Primrose - will check those ones out :)

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