First, as I write this in the UK, my house contents are being packed up for our move to Singapore. We land in Singapore on the 27th December to spend probably around 2 years in Singapore.
search started in July this year with no real idea what was available or what it cost - or the benefits of one over the other.
We did have the help of a relocation company and property search company in Singapore - in the first instance this helped us realise that the condo
/apartment route was the best way to go with two girls aged 11 and 8. Why, well:-
1) Almost all the condos
we saw had a pool, gym, play area, club room or area & most of the time it was obvious children were around (although we viewed during the day when they were at school). Anyone who has had children know how to spot the "debris" field......
2) If you do not want to have a car, the most likely property around an MRT station is a condo
3) Landed house are attractive, but handly ever have any land.
I then found this website, which is an invaluable source of information for someone new to Singapore, and in particular the property available. It even has "jokes" on some of the other forums......
I'm nothing to do with Singapore Expats property search service (honest) but imagine the guys who provide the information behind some of the property details in this website know a lot about available property in Singapore. I'm sure they would be able to help you should you want to ask them offline and in depth.
You should read all the guidelines about the types of property available, some of the write-ups of the "best condos" and descriptions of the areas you are looking for. This will get you started.
I offer the following observations/recommendations based on our searches. For us, since our kids are going to Tanglin and I will be working in Jurong, the obvious (inevitable!) locations was around Holland Village towards Orchard etc. If your kids are going to the American School in Woodlands then some of these locations may not be immediately attractive. I'm afraid I have no comments on the properties nearer Woodlands.
The good news is that with a budget of S$10K+ you should be able to get a simply lovely place, with 4 bedrooms and lots of space. What follows is my own personal observations, based on sometimes only 10 mins in the property and surroundings so, I offer no warranty, and apologise to anyone currently in those properties I have treated unfairly!
In general older places have bigger rooms with higher ceilings. Properties over 10 years old are not necessarily shabby, it just depends on how well they have been maintained. Many units in older places we saw were being renovated to a very high standard. Grounds (pool etc.) in older places are usually larger than newer ones.
For the price you outline, you will be looking at penthouse size apartments in older complexes and larger apartments to penthouses in newer places.
You can use the Singapore Expats "RENT/LEASE" buttons on the main page and put the development name in the "Project" space and it will show you what is available at what price in that project. Note that some condos have very similar names so you really need to know what you are looking for sometimes. Again, I'm sure the nice people on the forum will be able to help.
So, here's our observations, going from our favourites downwards...
1) Olina Lodge
Lovely grounds, older condo, quiet - down a cul-de-sac. Penthouse was obsolutely stunning, lovely black/white floor and big balconies in almost every room. Penthouse available in July not available when we had to finally choose (early November).
2) Wing on Life Gardens
Lovely grounds again. Great sense of space. Public areas well maintained and clean. Condo (4 bed) very spacious and bright, lovely views from higher stories. Balconies in most rooms but not very deep. Lots of storage space
Nearer the American School than most. Lovely large rooms with great greenery and simply awesome lobby area. Very well maintained. Only problem is that some apartments face the PIE (Pan-Island Expressway). When we viewed (11.00am) and with windows open the noise was intrusuve. However we do come from a small rural village in the middle of England so maybe it was just us.
4) Balmoral (BLK 14/16 in the Sing Expats listing).
Large rooms well laid out. Public spaces nice, but needs a lot renovation (painting etc.) as looks shabby. Lovely breeze through large windows. Good balconies and kitchen. Great views over Singapore city.
Some lovely apartments and ground floor flats. Some of them have wonderful Minstrel galleries. Grounds nice with good swimming pool. Newer development. Probably would have gone for something here had it not been for the price. In your league though.
6) Fontana Heights
The same comments as Wing on Life. Only problem is there is a condo being demolished and re-built outside you living-room door. This is going to generate a lot of noise for a few months, but building stops outside normal working hours.
We have the viewing sheets for about another 20 condos which we saw but a lot of them we dismissed. The nice thing is for the money you have you will be able to pick some very nice places, and won't have to search around on the cheaper (and more plentiful) end of the market.
I would hope that you have a company showing you around Singapore before you make your decision to move or selection of property. Since you are going to be stuck with what you have chosen for some time, you really ought to spend some time, and maybe some of your own money, finding out what is available through a professional search.
I'm happy to give you more information on our discoveries should you need it.