Family Needs advice on choosing a neighborhood

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Seattle Lady
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Family Needs advice on choosing a neighborhood

Post by Seattle Lady » Thu, 03 May 2007 7:43 pm

Hi, Our family is moving to Singapore this Summer. Our children, ages 5 & 7, will be going to SAS in Woodland. My husband's job is on the other side of the island around district 7 (Little India). We need to find a house / bungalow-type somewhere between district 25 and district 7; so that our children don't have a long bus ride to school and my husband does not have too long of a commute. Can anyone recommend any neighborhoods for our family? :)

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maddiesmom
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Post by maddiesmom » Thu, 03 May 2007 9:53 pm

Our family is ALSO moving over this summer (July) with 2 kids (5yr old boy and 8 yr old girl) and they will ALSO be going to SAS in the Fall!! :) We are moving from the Boston, MA area.

My hubby will be working in the Science Park area--don't really know what part of Singapore that is in, I know it is South West of the Orchard area???

I am also interested to hear what advice all of you may have for areas to look to live. I am finding it very difficult to search for apartment/house/bungalo/etc online when I am not sure how long the kids will have to sit on the bus, hubby driving to work, etc. I think I would rather live in the city area versus the Woodlands. We are coming for a househunting trip in 2 weeks...

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joop
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Post by joop » Thu, 03 May 2007 10:59 pm

Hi Seattle Lady and maddiesmom,

For recommendations on where to live and which condos would best suit your families, you can contact our Leasing Department at (65) 61000300 or email: enquiry@singaporeexpats.com with your requirements and our Consultants would be able to assist you.
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Post by Grim Reaper » Thu, 03 May 2007 11:29 pm

I would assume you can do better than that, Joop... :?

It would look much better on you if you follow your own rules: advertising in the advertissements section.
Time will come....

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 03 May 2007 11:31 pm

I believe that's called "Privilege of Ownership" wouldn't you think?
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by rubysg » Fri, 04 May 2007 11:12 pm

Hi Seattle Lady, Little India is quite near to Orchard Road, which is the shopping belt .. approximately 5 minutes drive or 10 minutes via underground MRT (tube/metro). Little India has a MRT station but is a different line from the Woodlands station. condo (private) apartments (which usually have facilities such as swimming pool, gym, playground, parking) near there would be in the Mckenzie, Bukit Timah or Newton area but rentals should be very expensive now.

Hi Maddiesmom, Science Park area is in the central west of Singapore, quite a happening place now as there are a number of new developments nearby such as a biomedical research etc. Condo (private) apartments near there would be in the Dover or Clementi area. Nearest amenities (food centre, banks, supermarket) should be Clementi or Ghim Moh.

SAS is in Woodlands which is in the north of Singapore ... suburb area but with a great shopping mall within Woodlands called Causeway Point. As most International Schools contracts private bus operators to provide school bus transport for a fee to ply along certain routes, it will be good to stay within such routes so that you kids need not spend too much time travelling. You can go to SAS websites to take a look at the destination point of the bus routes http://www.sas.edu.sg/bus/index.html

You should consider various points before deciding where to stay, such as whether you are used to staying in the suburb as Woodlands is quite far away from town, about 35 mins drive (with no traffic jam). You can try Bukit Timah Area, Woodlands or Clementi area. But currently, rentals in Singapore has went up by quite a bit as the property market is red hot now.

Another point is whether you drive so that you can pick up groceries easily or is mobile. Otherwise, it's ideal to stay near some amenities, like food centre, supermarket, etc. as it may be quite difficult to catch a cab during peak hours unless you are willing to pay an extra S$5+ to call for a cab.

You may also rent a Serviced Apartment which is definitely more costly or HDB flats (no amenities) but less pricey.

Honestly, Singapore is tiny compared to other countries. To Singaporeans, having to travel an hour to a destination is a very big issue but to most expats I have met, it is nothing compared to their home country where they may take hours to reach their working place. Public transport includes very clean MRT, buses which are mostly aircon and cabs.

Hope the above is of help to you. :)

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Post by rubysg » Sat, 05 May 2007 5:28 pm

Hope my above post is helpful.
Last edited by rubysg on Sat, 05 May 2007 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by maddiesmom » Sun, 06 May 2007 7:40 am

THANK YOU!! You post was really helpful --we will be coming to Singapore in a week and your reply helped me give more information to our Relocation Realtor that will be showing us around.

Nervous about coming over...leaving kids with in-laws....what to pack to wear??....good resteraunts to eat at while there??.....what places will realtor take us to???..... list goes on and on.

Thank you again for your helpful advice and recommendations!

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Post by wk » Sun, 06 May 2007 11:56 am

Hi Seattle Lady & maddiesmom:

We had 2 kids going to SAS & lived in Woodlands as well as in the Orchard Road area when we were in Singapore (we left last Dec). Our kids are older (Middle & High school) so I may be coming from a different perspective.

Living in Woodlands with younger kids:
Pros- walkable to school. Lots of other SAS kids in the neighborhood, as well as parents. If you are active in the PTA or volunteering in school - very convenient.
Cons- far from the city. If you are a member of the American club, or you like going to museums, shopping, good restaurants, can be quite a commute if you don't have a car. With a car, shouldn't be much of an issue, as the expressways will get you into town within 30 to 45 minutes (depending on time of day). With younger kids, I would suggest having a car of your own for the sake of convenience.

Living downtown:
Pros- close to restaurants, shopping (refer above). Less of a commute for your husbands.
Cons - kids will probably need to take a bus to school which means a one-way trip of 30 to 45 minutes depending on where you live (you will need to check with the bus company for more exact estimates). A bit more of a hassle if they are in after-school activities as you will need to figure out transportation for them especially if they are younger.

Woodlands is in the extreme northern part of Singapore. There are wet markets & a couple of decent supermarkets there. Causeway Point is OK, & has its own movie theatres but can get pretty crowded on weekends.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more info. I am sure your kids will love SAS. Our kids still miss it!

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Post by rubysg » Sun, 06 May 2007 8:49 pm

Any piece of useful information if your are intending to drive in Singapore - click on the following link for legal requirements for foreigners who wish to drive in Singapore.

http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg/ ... ersion.htm

Don't worry, Singapore has loads of different types of food for different nationalities ... Indian, American, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Italian, Chinese food etc. ... maybe not exactly the same as what you have but hopefully quite close to home. People here loves food and just ask any expat or locals for recommendation about the type of food you wish to eat and buy, there will definitely be someone who will be more than willing to provide some information.

The weather is a bit hot now, but do have an umbrella which may come in handy when it rains at times.

The only gripe here is that the free tv may not have as many programs to watch but you can subscribe to cable (by Starhub) to view more channels, especially sports programs if you are into sports. For IT products, eg computers, peripherals, etc. do check up the prices first at a few shops before buying as there are still stories of some shops overcharging tourists. But if you purchase it from huge store like this place called Challenger, you should be fine.

Have a pleasant stay here!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 May 2007 9:33 pm

Actually, it's is cavet emptor or buyer beware when shopping anywhere except for the major shopping centres. Electronics should only be purchased from reputable dealers. The "stories" are not "stories" but "Facts". One only has to go the the CASE site to see what I am talking about.

Have a look at my link in my signature. It's non-profit and benefits noone but has a pretty good array of links which you may or may not find useful.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Leela » Tue, 08 May 2007 3:58 pm

If your children's school is in Woodlands and your husband's office in Little India you could look for a condo in the Bishan/Ang Mo Kio area, which is half way to both places. Rents are much lower there than around Orchard and if you get an apartment close to the MRT you can be in Little India in 20 minutes. There are good parks, shopping malls and cinemas in Bishan and it doesn't take long to get to the South if you want to go to Orchard or to any of the restaurants and bars in the City. Bishan park is excellent for cycling and rollerblading, or just to go for a walk. Ang Mo Kio has a brand new shopping mall next to a new bus interchange, and they are just opposite the MRT station. The community centre there is also really good and offers all kinds of activities.

If your school is in Woodlands and your work around Dover/Buona Vista, then the condos along the West side of Bukit Timah or Dunearn roads would be a good option. There are several buses that will take you from there to Clementi, Buona Vista and Woodlands, apart from going into the City.

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