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Another Where Should I live Thread...

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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Ric Flair
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Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by Ric Flair » Sun, 31 May 2015 1:27 pm

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to the board and hope you don't mind answering my questions, your input would be really helpful while I weigh up a job offer I have just received in Singapore. I have lots of questions but will separate them into different threads to keep it organised. Salary on offer is probably in the $6.5k-$7.5k SGD per month range if it helps (I will be sole earner).

Priorities:
- Budget: Probably not much more than $3k SGD
- Workplace: Alexandra Road (D03)
- Ideally would want a 2 bedroom place and minimum 750 SQF. We have an 18 month old kid so having something in the area to keep him occupied would be a bonus. I realise on our budget it is probably going to be a HDB (which is fine) but would prefer if it was a more modern one or at least in good condition. Preference is also for Fully Furnished.
- No Car.
- I hate long commutes so walking distance to work or max 20min commute on public transport is preferred.
- 18 month old child – not attending school for a few years yet so not bothered about schooling aspects.
- Everything will be 'out of pocket'

Nice to have:
- Walking distance to restaurants / bars / play area for the child would be a bonus

Your current home and commute:
- We have been living in Beijing CBD for the last 3 years, so city dwelling is no issue (if anything it is probably preferred).
- Currently live in a 100 SQM 2 Bed modern apartment in the CBD.
- Currently a 20min walk away from the office.

One last thing, I read on a different thread that rental prices are currently quite low in Singapore and I should negotiate hard on the price. So for example, if a place is advertised at around $3k per month I should be looking to knock $200-$300 a month off that? Is my understanding correct?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Singapore Property Search

 

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JR8
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Re: Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by JR8 » Sun, 31 May 2015 3:04 pm

Hi RicFlair,

Yeah, it’s probably a good idea splitting down your question list and adding them into the appropriate sub-topics, not least as it makes it easier to reply in smaller chunks.

That’s not an area of the island I never very well, but I’ll offer up my 2C worth :)

The districts to the north of D3 get veeery $ very quickly, so for starters best to exclude them. If you look to the east then you’re heading ‘downtown’ and prices will rise that way too. So as a starting point I did a search on D3, and D5 which is immediately to it’s west. Go here, click the ‘Location’ box drop-down arrow and it brings up a district map, then pick the districts from the map shown–> http://property.singaporeexpats.com/1/property-listings – If that doesn’t work on your IT, go here and try it –> http://property.singaporeexpats.com/

I used a max budget of $3.2k, selected 2 bedrooms, Min 750ft, and ‘Any’ property type. Just to get some feel for what’s out there. That returned 82 properties. Quite a lot of landlords/agents here hold their cards very close to their chest and list a place as ‘Price on Ask’. It’s a typically local thing, I can’t explain. Perhaps they want to gauge your budget before suggesting a price. Anyway, if you then sort those 82 hits by ‘Price (Higher to Lower)’, that takes the POA’s out of the way for now, and gives you an instant idea of what possibilities are in your budget. Excluding the POAs it brings up 20 matches, all of which are in condos, so I think you can get some comfort from that that you’re ‘in the zone’ with those criteria and budget.

Then look at Google Maps –>There are a couple of parks down that way Kent Ridge Park, and Hort Park. And it’s just a short trip to the Botanic Gardens (and park), heading north, they are very nice.

Fully furnished has it’s pro’s and cons. Some places are furnished with.... er, old junk, and that get’s depressing pretty quickly. Quite a lot of incoming expats here shop for furnishings at say IKEA and Courts. If you pick items carefully there is decent stuff to be had. And in that area you’d probably be in walking distance to IKEA!

Restaurants/bars, I can’t say specifically. I’m sure there are some local-style things around there, probably hawker stalls, or a hawker centre and they will have food and beer. Queensway Shopping Centre is likely to have some restaurants (Google it to see a directory of current tenants). ‘Stand-alone bars’ as such, tend to clustered in zoned ‘Entertainment districts’, rather than distributed all around like pubs and bars in the west are. So for example, where I live in central/north I’m unaware of any pub or stand-alone bar within a couple of miles, and I have to go downtown for that experience.

Quite a number of expats seem to be leaving it seems, due to tightening visa rules etc, so I suspect rents are pretty negotiable right now. Will you be engaging an agent? If so they will know what rent is reasonable, and how hard to negotiate it.
Once you've got a short-list of candidate buildings, you can go to URA.gov.sg and see the listings of places that have recently let in those buildings. I have found that ammunition helpful when negotiating.

p.s. Welcome to the forum!
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by rarkins » Sun, 31 May 2015 9:35 pm

Alexandra Road itself is pretty long - about one hour to walk from end to end. So given that you are interested in a short commute - including possibly even walking - it would help if you can narrow down which end or section of Alexandra Road.

Reminder: It's always suggested not to provide any identifying into about yourself or employer though, I just mean general area or pick a different company on Google Maps that's nearby.

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Re: Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by maneo » Tue, 02 Jun 2015 4:33 am

JR8 wrote:Restaurants/bars, I can’t say specifically. I’m sure there are some local-style things around there, probably hawker stalls, or a hawker centre and they will have food and beer. Queensway Shopping Centre is likely to have some restaurants (Google it to see a directory of current tenants).
The area around Queensway Shopping Centre, where Alexandra Rd., Jln Bukit Merah & Queensway meet, has many places to eat & shop - there's also Anchorpoint, Alexandra Village Food Centre & IKEA.
Further down Alexandra Rd., near Telok Blangah is Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC).
Lots of bus routes along all these roads.

On Alexandra in the other direction is a pre-school at the SingPost (not far from Henderson Rd.).
Further on leads to Tiong Bahru, with Tiong Bahru Plaza, Valley point SC and (a little further on) Great World City. There's lots to explore.

Interesting trend in where expats are choosing to live:
http://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/newsreale ... ?ocid=iehp

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Ric Flair
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Re: Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by Ric Flair » Thu, 04 Jun 2015 5:27 pm

Thanks for all your replies so far guys, I appreciate it.

Just to clarify a bit more, my work will be on the south section of Alexandra Road near the west coast highway if this helps to narrow down suggestions?

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Re: Another Where Should I live Thread...

Post by the lynx » Thu, 04 Jun 2015 5:57 pm

You can try the HDBs near Telok Belangah MRT station. You only need short bus ride to that part of Alexandre Road or just train ride one station away. Not sure what the condo rental trend right now but you can try several condos within one or two km radius.

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