Help us find a place to live!

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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cobey61
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Help us find a place to live!

Post by cobey61 » Mon, 30 Nov 2015 7:11 am

Hi All

Moving to Singapore soon with my girlfriend (soon to be fiancé - shhhh, don't tell) and we are looking for a place to rent. Grateful for any help and suggestions!!!

Priorities:
- Budget (approx range) 4,000 - 4,500
- Workplace/s (don't name names, just approx neighbourhood) CBD (Raffles Place)
- Size and/or type of property that you are seeking (#bedrooms, on-site facilities etc) Small 2-bedroom or large 1-bedroom apartment; preferably in a reasonably modern building with gym, pool
- Will you have a car here? No
- Proximity to transport required. MRT-subway/buses/the airport/Malay border post (if so, which one). Strong priority for 20-minute (or less) commute to work - whether by MRT or bus
- Will you have any accompanying children needing to attend school? If so, age/s? No
- 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? Preference for being reasonably close to the "action" (e.g. restaurants, bars, shops, hawker markets). It would also be nice to have a park nearby (can be a small park).
- Access to any specific sport, social, and recreation facilities? We like to go jogging and walking on weekends, but we don't mind travelling a little bit to get there.
- Are you considering bringing any pets. If so what kind, and will they require outdoor access and/or exercise? No
- Are you considering bringing any parents/in-laws etc? Do they have specific needs (for example difficulty climbing stairs?) No

Many thanks everyone!!!

Singapore Property Search

 

BBCWatcher
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Re: Help us find a place to live!

Post by BBCWatcher » Mon, 30 Nov 2015 8:58 am

You have many options with those parameters.

Southbank, at the end of North Bridge Road near Lavender MRT, is one example. At this instant there's an 82 square meter (large) one bedroom listed for S$3200/month, and the two bedroom apartments routinely list for S$4500 at this point in time. (I'd pick the large one bedroom in that case and conserve your budget.) You're three stops away from Raffles Place MRT (9 minutes aboard the train according to Google; I'd say 10 at rush hour), the Kallang River area is quite nice (with a great path for jogging along the river), and the immediate area has all the services you'd need, including a FairPrice supermarket just north of the MRT station. Arab Street is close by, too. Citylights is another example, on Jellicoe Road. I see a couple ~82 square meter two bedrooms listed there for S$4000 at this instant.

There are occasionally some nice HDB units that pop up on the rental market in the same area just north and adjacent to the MRT station, near Citylights. One of them I spotted a while ago even had a dishwasher (a rarity in Singapore). They would violate your gym/pool requirement, but I would still ask to take a look at a couple for reference. You'll be astounded at how much that gym and pool adds to the monthly rent, and then you can consider whether you'll just buy those particular amenities separately, at a fitness club near your office for example. Or just get a bigger sized HDB apartment to house your own private gym. ;)

Tanjong Pagar, one stop to the west of Raffles Place MRT, is another possible area but probably a couple hundred more per month on average. You might stretch your budget there, but I don't think you'd break it if you shop around a bit. Tiong Bahru gets a bit more affordable, and that's a really interesting area with some nice markets. Tiong Bahru is also 3 stops away from Raffles Place MRT on the East-West line.

You could go as far north as Novena MRT and maintain that 20 minute commute, but for some reason the rents in that direction seem to be a bit higher. Maybe it's the proximity to Orchard Road.

Downtown Line Phase 2 is opening at the end of this year (2015), and there's a station called Downtown on that line that's very close to the CBD. (Hence the name.) If your office is near the Downtown MRT station then you could take a look at that line, particularly something near Rochor MRT station (4 stops away). However, there aren't too many apartments near the new Rochor MRT station. I remember looking in that general area, and I wasn't able to find much, but you can try.

Don't forget to look at the bus lines. If you've got a short bus ride, that still works very well.

cobey61
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Re: Help us find a place to live!

Post by cobey61 » Mon, 30 Nov 2015 9:44 am

Hi BBCWatcher, thanks very much for your suggestions! That is really helpful.

I am still pretty ignorant about Singapore (have visited a couple of times but don't know it well; reading as much as I can). Tiong Bahru was on my short-list already, so it's good to get a specific recommendation for there. I will have more of a look into Soutbank as well.

Your suggestions make sense! My preference is to save money and opt for a 1-bedroom (with a fold-out sofa if we want to have short-term visitors), rather than paying all that extra money for a 2-bedroom. And I hadn't realised that the gym/pool amenities could end up costing more than if you opted for a building without them and then separately took out a gym membership! Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Help us find a place to live!

Post by BBCWatcher » Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:36 am

In Tiong Bahru, near the MRT station, there are many apartments listed in Central Green. Since it's a 20 year old complex I'd probably pay slightly above that complex's typical rates in order to get a nicer, well maintained, renovated unit, but even so it's well within your budget. There are HDB units ("Tiong Bahru Court," 18 to 23, Jalan Membina) perhaps even a few steps closer to the station. You could take a look at some of those units, too, although at this instant I don't see many rental units listed among that specific group of HDB buildings.

I like that neighborhood. There's a FairPrice supermarket in Tiong Bahru Plaza, and you're rather close to the excellent Tiong Bahru wet market, the original Tiong Bahru Bakery location, Fassler, and Foodie Market Place (as you walk toward Outram Park), as examples.

Back over near Lavender MRT station, the HDB buildings nearest the station include 813 to 815 Jellicoe Road ("Lavender Gardens"), although among those buildings I'd probably avoid facing Kallang Road. 816 Jellicoe looks quite good since it has a bit of setback while still being very close to the station. 809 and 811 French Road, and 69 Jellicoe, also look pretty good, but I'm not sure how many HDB units they have. All of these are near the Jalan Besar Swimming Complex. That complex charges no higher than a S$1.70 admission fee.

The private/gym/pool premium for a one to two bedroom apartment is roughly S$1000/month, and that's being a bit conservative I'd say. The local property market, for whatever reason(s), awards a significant rental premium for those particular attributes. I don't value those particular amenities as much as that, but obviously the overall market disagrees with my personal preferences. For reference/as an example, a membership in California Fitness (any single location, including their Raffles branch) costs S$105.93 per month all-in (online price), and then your neighborhood pool is S$1.70 per weekend/holiday visit. True, these facilities are not downstairs (or upstairs) in the same building, but they're better facilities in terms of the equipment. "It depends," really.

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