Recently arrived - frantically looking for apartment

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Kiwi tuu
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Recently arrived - frantically looking for apartment

Post by Kiwi tuu » Sun, 15 Apr 2007 7:54 pm

Since arriving in Singapore a week ago, I have been scouting areas and looking for an apartment to rent for myself, husband and 2 kids (2 and 9). They will join me in another 2 months time. I am staying in Serviced Apartment until first week of May, by which time I have to find a new place to lease for the family.
Budget is $3,000 - $3,500. Need at least 3 bed, but prefer 3+1 as husband will be working from home. Work close to Somerset MRT and daughter will be going to school close to work at Chatsworth. Do not want to travel more than 30 mins between work and home.
Oh, and would prefer a ground floor apartment where possible to allow for 2 year old to wander in and out without worrying about him drowning! Husband also hates heights. Husband would also prefer lifestyle of being close to parks or beach as he does not want to feel cooped up.
Any comments on living at Bayshore Park, The Bayshore and travel to city from there? Notice there are buses to Raffles and also to Bedok MRT depending on which one you live in.
Have looked at Summit which is a bit closer to town. Great apartment, mediocre facilities.
Agent wants to show me The Waterina. Any comments on the location? Heard it is close to red light district - is it true and does it impact on safety? Seems to be a beautiful apartment from website and possibly could get more space for my money there.
Have looked at Grandeur8, Rio Vista and Kovan Melody in different directions. All of them great condos and very new. Towards the top of my budget. Grandeur8 in particular very easy for commute, but the dearest of them all (of course) and also lacks the possibility for kids to take bikes out like Rio Vista.
Any comments or advice from anyone out there to help narrow down my choices?
By the way, anyone else there still waiting for their families to join them who would like to share their experiences and swap information? Either recently gone through the same search as me or going through it at the moment?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Singapore Property Search

 

pauljc0854
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Post by pauljc0854 » Mon, 16 Apr 2007 3:50 pm

Bayshore is a high density condo. Apartments on ground floor with a patio are usually small. Go for interior space that is larger. Most units are smallish so if you need space for the family it may not be too ideal. Remember that having great facilities should not be the priority as you are not going to spend too much time using them. More important to have a good condition apartment that is clean and spacious. Go for one that is a regular square or rectangle shape...every inch count towards comfort and usable space. East Coast is wonderful for families and the proximity to beach and east coast recreational park is good.

Many expats make the mistake of trying to congregate in certain condos or areas and then find that they have to pay quite high rental for small apartments. Those are "expat traps" and you will get trapped if you do not break out from the mould. The summit is a good choice to consider and bus stops are just outside. Its also on the small hill. Rental is reasonable between $3700 to $4200 for a 1700 sq ft.

I have also found that it is a waste of time to view too many places. There will never be THE PERFECT apartment. Remember you will be here for only 2 to 3 years, so select one that meet most (60/70%) of your criteria. Narrow down and select and if all seems fine discuss with the landlord. Most of them are quite OK if you are sincere. Had a friend from London and she viewed 65 apartments over 2 and half weeks and eventually decided on a few earlier ones but those were gone and the agent "resigned". It seemed that the agent spread news about her and no agents wanted to take her case. She ended up staying in the Service Apartment and had to top up the rental with her own money. So be fair to the agents as they earn just a month commission for a two year rental term. In the UK tenants usually have to pay an additional service fee to the agent.

So, for affordable rental with space, go to "non expat traps" and make friends with the locals as your posting has given you the opportunity to learn other people's culture etc. I made firm friends with locals and had a great stay in Singapore.

Enjoy your hunt! :cool:

damyantig
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Re: Recently arrived - frantically looking for apartment

Post by damyantig » Mon, 16 Apr 2007 4:27 pm

Kiwi tuu wrote:Any comments on living at Bayshore Park, The Bayshore and travel to city from there? Notice there are buses to Raffles and also to Bedok MRT depending on which one you live in.
Have looked at Summit which is a bit closer to town. Great apartment, mediocre facilities.
Any comments or advice from anyone out there to help narrow down my choices?
I went through the same drill as you, just six months back. I live in Bayshore park now, and can tell you that it is very convenient other than the lifts. The Bayshore Park condo is old, and the lifts need repair. :( So if you are asked to shell out a good amount of rent, discuss the lift situation. It can be tricky because the Bayshore lifts stop working almost on a daily basis. If you want to stay closer to the ground, maybe will not be a problem for you, though I can tell you that the groundfloor houses here are not so great...... :?

Moroever the travel time from Bayshore to Somerset becomes almost an hour what with changing from shuttle bus and then changing trains at City hall. So something a little less way out may be ideal for you. :)

Kiwi tuu
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What about Grandeur8?

Post by Kiwi tuu » Mon, 16 Apr 2007 4:55 pm

Anyone able to give feedback about living here? Time to commute to Somerset MRT, convenience, etc? How much would be reasonable for a 3+1 here?

Kiwi tuu
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Post by Kiwi tuu » Mon, 16 Apr 2007 10:00 pm

Pauljc, you sound so sensible! I agree with your commonsense approach as I can see myself already going into a spin after just a few days viewing. Thank you.

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HunBunny80
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Post by HunBunny80 » Tue, 17 Apr 2007 4:09 pm

Kiwi tuu, I want you to know you are not the only one. I will be leaving for Singapore tomorrow evening for 10 days frantic viewings prior to coming back to UK. Husband already there staying in hotel.
We have discussed about different locations before deciding to settle for East Coast.
Our budget is $3500 for 3 bedrooms but it is proving quite a challenge.
I have arranged for agents to show me several apartments on Thursday, Sat and Sunday.
The Bayshore is one development we were looking at. Husband went for a walk this morning and realised it is quite remote so private transportation might be needed. I'm not sure how you feel about this.
Geylang isn't as bad as it looks to be honest. The red light district is pretty safe :)

Kiwi tuu
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Post by Kiwi tuu » Tue, 17 Apr 2007 8:00 pm

Hi hunbunny! I am signing something tomorrow. Still tossing up between Grandeur8 and Waterina. Basically happy with either, but daughter's school and price will be deciding factor. Chatsworth East campus easier with Waterina, but Grandeur8 easier for my own commute. Chatworth in Orchard also has waiting list whilst East has easy availability.
Each apartment has a different feel and this is where personal taste and preference comes in. Did look at East Coast, but honestly, apartments in price range were more dated and could not get the ground floor husband is insisting on. Personally also not keen on the travel although lots of people do it - again personal preference. I feel I can take bus to beach for day if so inclined - more important to get immediate environment we're happy with. Husband will after all spend quite a bit of time there.

Listened to jcpaul and narrowed it down to these two as both fulfill most criteria for us. Let me know if you would like to contact me when you are here...

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Post by HunBunny80 » Wed, 18 Apr 2007 2:05 pm

I have to say Grandeur8 does look fantastic.....and on the red line to Orchard :o good for shopping....hheheh

I wish I have seen that. Mind if I ask how much is the 3 bedrooms?

It looks light and airy, big grounds and good facilities.

I lived there until I was 7 so I do have fond memories.

If you want to catch up over the weekends give me a call.

I'll PM you my number......Good luck!

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Post by SouthKiwi » Wed, 18 Apr 2007 6:48 pm

I agree with above - i spent two trips looking at over 30 developments and here I am (in NZ) with a pile of brochures! At end of day - focus on location and look at a few options close to key criteria i.e. school, office, MRT . . . move a few inches on the map and you’re in different territory and all is potentially compromised.

For me, proximity to Airport and schools – so East Coast district 14, 15 for me.

Sound advice I had from friend – choose wisely, you don’t want to have to move again !

Kiwi tuu
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Post by Kiwi tuu » Wed, 18 Apr 2007 10:26 pm

Grandeur 8 would have been my first choice too if my daughter's school was close to work as I initially thought it would be. I am pretty sure $3,500 will be possible and possibly even a bit less. Happy to share advice. Realised too late by being so open on this forum I was probably helping to push up the prices of locations with a lot of people viewing this making enquiries for the same apartments and allowing the agents to talk up the prices what with all the interested parties! We should draw up a schedule amongst each other to just keep a steady flow for the viewings and not put in offers for the same apartments!

Seriously though - work, school and transport. Make that decision first and after that the rest falls into place as long as you can manage to keep the heart out of it long enough. Once location nailed down, you will find something. Similar to buying property - the deal of the century comes around once a week! (sorry if infringing any copyright by quoting)

My saga should end now - thanks to all who have helped with great advice and moral support. I have not signed a deal yet, but pretty comfortable now as to what I am looking for and approximate location.

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HunBunny80
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Post by HunBunny80 » Fri, 20 Apr 2007 5:27 am

Read your contract very carefully!!! They are not standard and varies a great deal. Terms can be twicked to your advantage.....I would be happy to share some suggestions offered to me. PM me your email and I will send them to you :)

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Re: Recently arrived - frantically looking for apartment

Post by Grim Reaper » Fri, 20 Apr 2007 8:42 am

Kiwi tuu wrote:Budget is $3,000 - $3,500. Need at least 3 bed, but prefer 3+1 as husband will be working from home. Work close to Somerset MRT and daughter will be going to school close to work at Chatsworth. Do not want to travel more than 30 mins between work and home.
Oh, and would prefer a ground floor apartment where possible to allow for 2 year old to wander in and out without worrying about him drowning! Husband also hates heights. Husband would also prefer lifestyle of being close to parks or beach as he does not want to feel cooped up.
Why look at tiny appartments and not have a view at private houses?

With your budget, a nice bungalow is within reach as well. East coast has plenty of them. The space is often more than double that of a condo.
Time will come....

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