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What is it like for a young American family living in Woodlands?

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What is it like for a young American family living in Woodlands?

Post by jasonahmann » Wed, 21 Oct 2015 8:59 pm

My wife and three young kids will be moving to Singapore soon from Boston, with two kids attending SAS. We are considering living in Woodlands near the school, and are looking to spend approximately $15K SGD per month. We are also considering spending a bit more to live in a nicer place in Sentosa or Bukit Timah, but are leaning towards the ease of living next to the school for my wife and kids.

A couple questions:

1. Is there a strong American community right near SAS?

2. Are there many young kids in the neighborhood? It would be great if our kids (ages 2-7) could hang out with other kids in the neighborhood.

3. Is there a way to get groceries delivered?

4. Is SAS open after school hours for kids to use the fields, courts, etc?

Thanks for your advice.


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Re: What is it like for a young American family living in Woodlands?

Post by JR8 » Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:47 pm

[Please excuse me stumbling in with my blunt and half-informed impressions.... :)]

But first up, welcome to the forum! :)
With such a housing budget pretty much the whole of the island is your potential oyster. We produced a tool/FAQ to assist this necessary triangulation here ->

Most intnl. schools, and many local ones run shuttle buses across the island. So immediate proximity might be less of an issue than a new arrival imagines. To me, Woodlands is not a particularly nice place to live.... new town, soul-less, very local, a heck of a long way from home comforts if and when you want them. But of course close to SAS. So I'm sure there are condos there with plenty of families with children that attend that school. If the bread-winner works locally perhaps this works well (no idea), but I wouldn't wish it simply to give convenience for the children at the extent of the rest of the family living in a relatively distant back-water.

Sentosa. Again not somewhere I know hugely well, I've been 3-4-5 times. [Consider why so few times, not least that it's a bugger and $ to get to]. It's not that long ago it was effectively a prison island for political prisoners. What now, fla$$hy-trashy yacht clubs and theme parks, plus enclaves for regional tax-exiles. Woodlands is 'real', and perhaps too real for many expats. Sentosa is completely fake and at times verging on surreal. In some ways it's easier getting to BKK or KUL for a w/e, than being invited to Sentosa for an event.

So if you consider that that is probably why D10/Holland works more for many people in these circumstances. You have the school shuttle-buses. The proximity to downtown (work), 'people like us' down at the pool, groceries with western goods down at Orchard, etc. So that might be the default/core to consider, but you have to push out the boundary just a little beyond the D10 mecca and your budget will get exponentially more.

Many schools have after-hour activities, since many parents put in long hours. The school's website should elaborate.
I forget if the major grocers do home delivery. We'd sometimes see Cold Storage vans come to the condo, but I think the assumption is that coined-up expats will have domestic staff to do the shopping for them (and hence a question to consider for you). Otherwise on-line shopping seems (IME) very undeveloped in SG, I expect the critical mass of market size just isn't there.
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Re: What is it like for a young American family living in Woodlands?

Post by Addadude » Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:15 am

There is a sizeable American community in the Woodlands area because of the American School.Similarly their should be lots of kids for your children to interact with. The only issue with Woodlands would be your distance from work. I think it would be a great choice for your family. Sentosa Cove looks nice - superficially. Frankly it is every bit as packed as the rest of Singapore and not necessarily 'nicer'. Yes there are quite a few options for delivered groceries here. A few minutes on Google give you the info you need.
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