6 weeks until arrival - gulp, and, help!

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kikapo
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6 weeks until arrival - gulp, and, help!

Post by kikapo » Sun, 03 Jun 2007 11:24 pm

Hello!
I've seen lots of topics similar to mine in various sections here, so apologize for the repeats. However, I'm extremely short on time so...hoping to get all answers from one post so I can just stay tuned to one location!

Short on time is thus: I work until the last week of June, and need to arrive around July 17-20...so YIKES it's not very long :shock:

We are a family of 4 (1 tween and 1 toddler) arriving mid-July from Thailand. My work will be near Orchard Rd. My husband is Mr. Mom, so we don't need a housekeeper. We have a small dog (coming later), a pug which is well-trained (outdoor, litterbox and kennel) so need to keep her in mind, as well.

I'm getting about 2000 housing/mo from my work, which also pays the deposit, and need a 3-BR place. I'd prefer something like a house or terrace house with a yard...and need furnishings as I'm selling the majority of mine off over here. If we find something unfurnished, would asking for it to get furnished be a major rent hike? Is Ikea really that good a deal for furnishings, or is there something local which might be better (I got all my cookware, linens, silverware, dishes and glassware at Bangkok's Chatuchak Market for about US$150, mostly because the silverware was a good set).

Where would be my best bets to look? We won't have a car, so need to be able to get around easily BUT my husband is NOT really keen on apartment life. He'll strap on the baby, or stroller the kid, but he gets a bit claustrophobic. However, we will do what we have to do for two years...as long as we're comfortable and have some space...

Since we're arriving about 10 days ahead of my work-start date, what would you recommend we do? I'm thinking day 1 just explore, then spend the next 5 days doing an intensive house hunt (we'll have some help). Is it unrealistic to expect to find a reasonable place within a week to week and a half?


I also need a quick handle on my start-up budget, as I'm pretty much lost at this point with all the deposits, fees, etc. I know pretty much for housing (3months at once, stamp fees ... let me know if there's something else!) I want to know for utilities, cable (my daughter is hooked on "Heroes" and I'm hooked on "Lost"; will that be StarHub?), telephone and what's the best mobile deal going around? (don't mind prepaid as long as their overseas cost is cheap).

Will our Thai mobile phones work there? I can't remember our system/GHz whatnot; all we know is it's "triband", but if someone has an idea of what's on there in Sing - if not the answer itself - that would help.


Also, if anyone has some info on shipping/posting/railway moving from Thailand to Sing, please do send it along! I'm going to put most of our stuff in storage and figure out the shipping once we've seen what we have in our new place (but within that crucial 6 months grace period for the break on import duties)

I really appreciate all your advice - thank you in advance!!

gremlink
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Post by gremlink » Wed, 13 Jun 2007 3:51 pm

It'd be tough to find anything but an apartment for $2K a month in or around orchard rd. In fact, it would be tough to find an apartment to accommodate all 4 people for $2K in or around orchard rd. If you're open to exploring, there are plenty of other types of housing outside of orchard rd and you can commute to work via the mass rapid transit or by bus or by taxi. with $1,600, you can get a nice 3 bedroom apartment at a housing development board estate - that's where most singaporeans live and perhaps you might want to sample that instead? no facilities - but the public swimming pools are close by or you could join a club (with swimming, tennis, karaoke, spa facilities for say $50 a month with a one time $1,600 subscription fee if you like) yes, if you arrive earlier and intensively go on a house hunt, you can get it done - but your rental budget is on the low side if you absolutely must live like an expat :). better to view them when you're here then to choose one over cyberspace. if you'd leave me your email, I can contact you directly with help. a decent starhub package would cost about $36 - $55 (good enuff for lost and heroes and oprah ) a home phone line would cost $25 for 3 months (basic with no frills like call-forwarding etc). utilities (with air-con on almost the entire day in two rooms) - about $180 per month. broadband - about $155 per month for unlimited use. mobile - about $26 per month for a basic package - with a 100 mins free calls and some free smses. welcome to singapore! (in advance)

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ukdesigner
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Post by ukdesigner » Wed, 13 Jun 2007 4:33 pm

I'm in a very similar boat as yourself but am arriving in 3 weeks. Double Gulp! :)

I intend to share a property rather than take a whole place on my own and my only concern was whether I could land and find a place within a week! I have been onto several sites including Expats classifieds and have been trying to make arrangements to view when I land.

My main concern has been about the broadband as my whole business relies on it. When people say wireless what sort of speed do they normally mean? I know this sounds stupid but how easy and quick is it to upgrade? I would like to go at least 10MB if poss as I use the net for phonecalls as much as surfing etc etc.

I'm sorry to hijack the OP's question but do rental agents also have rooms rather than whole condos and the like? And what is the norm... 1 months deposit & 1 month opfront plus agents commission? This does seem to vary as some ask for another month as their commission and others ask for half!!

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Moving to Singapore

Post by abliss1971 » Wed, 13 Jun 2007 6:53 pm

I arrived 5 weeks ago from UK. 3BR place costing me around $3500 on east coast but full condo with pool,gym,tennis, 2 mins to beach. I have a great agent for you, if interested. no point using more than 1 though, my experience is they are all showing same stuff.

Loads to do here. I think you'll be exploring for the next 5 years. Shopping is great, Sentosa beaches nice... well you'll see, its all good.
there is an Ikea here too. handy for your bits & bobs.

adie

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Wed, 13 Jun 2007 7:14 pm

ukdesigner wrote:My main concern has been about the broadband as my whole business relies on it. When people say wireless what sort of speed do they normally mean? I know this sounds stupid but how easy and quick is it to upgrade? I would like to go at least 10MB if poss as I use the net for phonecalls as much as surfing etc etc.
Quite frankly, it doesn't matter -- any broadband provider in Singapore offers blazing fast speed locally and sluggish speeds to the rest of the world. Them's the breaks for being on the opposite side of the world from Silicon Valley. :cry:
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

kikapo
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Post by kikapo » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 2:09 am

Thanks for the advice, folks! I AM open to the HDB flat situation - I've had some info on them, and I'm up to looking anywhere that might be a 30-minute commute from the Orchard Rd. area. Apparently, this puts me into most prime HDB areas...but, they are almost always close to transportation hubs, I've been told!

My experience in Asia (been here going on 12 years now) is that "local" areas tend to have more immediate amenities (if you can handle seeing your dinner slaughtered in front of you) as well as immediate neighbors. I'm fine with both, as long as I can escape inside a roomy enough flat, close the door, and just be with my family when I want.

I really appreciate the breakdown on monthly costs - this helpls me figure out my budget. (Granted, it does depress me a bit, but I've been able to weather some pretty lean months before!)

Harjit
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Post by Harjit » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 5:42 am

Hi

We are moving out there in a couple of months time from the UK as well as my husband has been offered a job. We have never been before but hope to come on an orientation visit in Nov. The east coast has been suggested as a good location for us to look for accommodation, we have 2 kids under the age of 3 so would ideally want a 3-4 bedroom place. Any suggestions re locations/agents would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 12:02 pm

Have you checked the hosts of this site?
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

Harjit
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Post by Harjit » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 8:42 pm

yes and other sites too and will be checking certain areas out when we come there to visit. However, it's always useful to have direct recommendations from people in similar situations re their experiences as this may help focus our search.

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