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Looking for a good family friendly area

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MRSP
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Looking for a good family friendly area

Post by MRSP » Tue, 10 Jul 2007 11:55 pm

Looking to move to Singapore and wondering where would be a good area to raise a toddler (19 months). Here's what I currently know!

- Looking for preferably a condo
- My Wife and Toddler will use public transport
- Would like a condo within walking distance to MRT, supermarket, shopping, park, kiddo activities, daycare, etc
- I will have co vehicle that I will drive to work in Tuas area.

I do not know my budget right now, unfortunately. Will have that info soon.

Any ideas?

Leone Fabre
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Post by Leone Fabre » Mon, 23 Jul 2007 11:56 am

I have been here 6 mths now and the main thing to know before signing up for alease is that you have other expats close by as well as close to shopping and MRT.

I thought by moving to the west coast where it is a lot cheaper, moved into a great condo with all the facilities and next to an MRT, that it would be OK and we would meet others ina similar situation.....but this has not happened.

Yes, we are close to averything and the condo is cheap compared to other areas (3+ bedroom for $3500pm) but the 'locals' just do not want to know us at all......they have this weird idea that we have come here to get the big bucks and take away the jobs from them!!!!

...and here is me 6 mths back thinking it would be a great idea to live in the Heartlands and be amongst the 'locals', shop local and live local be part of the community etc and make the most of the time that we have to spend here...... but it is nothing like that at all.

So before signing up be aware of WHERE you are living as you will have to be there for at least 2 years (as per lease!).

I was told nearly 12 mths back by an expat that lives here that we would be best to live nearby all the others, but I did not listen thinking along the lines that if I wanted to be close to the Australians/Americans etc then I may as well stay home....

We find the 'locals' have no interest in getting to know us, yet we are very easy going and friendly and smile and say hi to everyone......but we get laughed at and comments are made about our "expat package"!!!

hah ...... we are not on any expat package... we are paid and work under a local contract, but they still believe we are taking the jobs away from them. :-))

Sorry for rambling on, but it is always better to be aware of some of the problems too....... so if you meet other expats via this forum, check where they are living too....

cheers, leone
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Jul 2007 6:50 pm

It might be your attitude. You seem to wear it like a cloak.
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 jpatokal » Mon, 23 Jul 2007 9:07 pm

Leone Fabre wrote:IYes, we are close to averything and the condo is cheap compared to other areas (3+ bedroom for $3500pm) but the 'locals' just do not want to know us at all......they have this weird idea that we have come here to get the big bucks and take away the jobs from them!!!!

...and here is me 6 mths back thinking it would be a great idea to live in the Heartlands and be amongst the 'locals', shop local and live local be part of the community etc and make the most of the time that we have to spend here...... but it is nothing like that at all.
If you're paying $3500pm for a condo, you are not "living local". There are quite a few families in Singapore where both parents work and their combined earnings are less than that.
We find the 'locals' have no interest in getting to know us, yet we are very easy going and friendly and smile and say hi to everyone......but we get laughed at and comments are made about our "expat package"!!!
You are expats. Here today, gone tomorrow. Why would they be interested in getting to know you?
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Post by MRSP » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 1:26 am

Leone,

Thanks for your response, although I'm not sure how exactly to interpret it. Also, you never mentioned exactly where you live (or at least the MRT you are close too).

I certainly don't want to move to a country where my family is treated rudely and poorly on a daily basis. On the other hand, I CAN see why locals aren't interested in interacting with expats--- the whole here today, gone tomorrow thing that jpatokal mentioned. Maybe you need to try to put yourself in their (the locals) shoes, maybe try to truly understand why they are being rude to you. If people are rude, just come back with courtesy! You never know, it might rub off!

I don't know if we will be moving to Singapore yet--- we are still evaluating everything. My job looks to be challenging and enjoyable. Pay looks to be good-- but one of the things that is most enticing to us (and scaring us also!) is the adventure. I have a wife and 18 month old. Just found out we are pregnant again also! We are caucaisians living in TX, and we love the idea of rasing our kids in more of a "melting pot" type of atmosphere.

I DO want to make sure that my wife and kids can get around and enjoy the new experience as much as possible (during the day while I am at work), and I certainly expect they will run into rude people at some point along the way.

Singapore seems like a wonderful place, and I'd love to hear some about any "good" experieces you've had (I'm sure there's some!!!!)

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Post by Leone Fabre » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 9:26 am

I certainly don't want to move to a country where my family is treated rudely and poorly on a daily basis. On the other hand, I CAN see why locals aren't interested in interacting with expats--- the whole here today, gone tomorrow thing that jpatokal mentioned. Maybe you need to try to put yourself in their (the locals) shoes, maybe try to truly understand why they are being rude to you. If people are rude, just come back with courtesy! You never know, it might rub off!

--------------------

Have been in 'the locals' shoes many times in area's where I have lived for longer periods of time and I do understand what you are saying....... and I agree 'here today / gone tomorrow".

but my original comment on where to live still stands:

So before signing up be aware of WHERE you are living as you will have to be there for at least 2 years (as per lease!).

I was told nearly 12 mths back by an expat that lives here that we would be best to live nearby all the others, but I did not listen thinking along the lines that if I wanted to be close to the English/Australians/Americans etc then I may as well stay home....


If you live around Orchard Rd or anywhere closer into the city area is by far much better for you as a family. There are plenty of expats close by and your wife can get to meet people very quickly.....this will be important. We live in a condo with over 300 apartments and only 3 have Westerners, up until recently there were 4 but one suffered severe depression and had to return to the US.

We do not and cannot afford to have a car so we have to rely on public transport which really is the best in the world, so quick, cheap and convenient......even if it is overcrowded at times!!!

You are lucky to be able to have a co car...... that is an extra bonus for you, this will allow you to get out and about at weekends too. At home we had two cars - and all the freedom that gives you - so it was a shock to the system to suddenly not have any at all...... but you do get used to it IF you are close to the MRT of Bus terminal. Which like I said is quick, cheap and convenient!

So, yes, it is important (more so as a family) to be aware of where you are going to live.

-------------------------------
I don't know if we will be moving to Singapore yet--- we are still evaluating everything. My job looks to be challenging and enjoyable. Pay looks to be good-- but one of the things that is most enticing to us (and scaring us also!) is the adventure. I have a wife and 18 month old. Just found out we are pregnant again also! We are caucaisians living in TX, and we love the idea of rasing our kids in more of a "melting pot" type of atmosphere.

-------------------------
BIG decisions for you and your family ...... as it was for us and others too. If your job is challenging and enjoyable then that is great, for you and the family, if the pay is good that is a bonus and even better. :-)

If your wife is pregnant I believe that the hospitals etc here are excellent. Not being in that situation I have no idea, can only go by what others have told me and one of the women (from Texas) recently gave birth and was more than happy with the care she was given. Though she is returning home next month as it is getting too expensive here (rent wise) for them as a family unit.

------------------------------
I DO want to make sure that my wife and kids can get around and enjoy the new experience as much as possible (during the day while I am at work), and I certainly expect they will run into rude people at some point along the way.

--------------------------
It IS a great experience for anyone to live elsewhere at sometime during their life....... this is probably my 11th big move by now!

---------------------------
Singapore seems like a wonderful place, and I'd love to hear some about any "good" experieces you've had (I'm sure there's some!!!!)[/quote]

-------------------------
There are always good points and experiences in everyday...... I call them "my encounters" and I record each and everyone of them so when I have a 'bad hair day' I go back and read them. (my worst bad hair day was when I recently lost my hair due to chemo!!!)

Lots of people will give you advice regarding the move and you can take it or leave it....... but if you gather ALL the knowledge - good or bad - then you can weigh it all up and make your own decisions as a family. For you, you have to know that you are going to enjoy the challenge of a new job which will give you the global experience, but it still is a joint decision.

what ever you decide - This life is not a rehearsal for the next one. Enjoy it NOW !!!

Leone
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Post by La grande boucle » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 11:31 am

Leone Fabre wrote:We live in a condo with over 300 apartments and only 3 have Westerners, up until recently there were 4 but one suffered severe depression and had to return to the US.

Leone
Orchard area, condo with 300 appartments, of which only 3 occupied by westerners?

Like JP said, impossible.

Leone Fabre
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Post by Leone Fabre » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 12:01 pm

Thanks for your response, although I'm not sure how exactly to interpret it. Also, you never mentioned exactly where you live (or at least the MRT you are close too).

Sorry MRSP, I didn't answer your question!!!

We live on the west coast near Jurong East and Bukit Batok. What the locals here call The Heartlands. Probably 35 - 40 mins (via SMRT) from Somerset or City Hall.

Leone
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Post by La grande boucle » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 1:52 pm

My mistake Leone, you did mention before the area you live in.

But still, so little foreigners in your condo? That is really hard to imagine.

As JP said, hardly a few Singaporeans one find in that class of condos.

More than 80% of all Singaporeans live in HDB.

Leone Fabre
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Post by Leone Fabre » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 4:35 pm

Not a problem at all........ I replied to MRSP and saw yours come in as I was about to upload, figured it would then apply to you both!

Have checked and have been told there are 2 European couples, 2 Australian and 2 from the US..... rest are Chinese Singaporeans and a few Indian families. Though one moved out last week as their rent went from $2800.00 pm to $5000.00pm.

I asked one person today why they live out here and was told that her husband works at Jurong Island and it is convenient for him and his work. She takes the train into the city once a week to walk around the stores on Orchard.

Have heard the 80% figure for HBD etc....... but it does not seem to apply here. Maybe because the rents (in the past) have been a lot lower than elsewhere and in some cases, affordable.

We have signed out 2 years lease at $3500 pm but already the unit next to us has gone up to $4800 pm. We would not be able to afford anything above $3500 when our lease expires...... as with most others in the same predicament, it is a concern.

The 3 bedroom unit on the top floor was going for $6200.00 about 6 mths ago......... but rumour has it now up to $7200.00, though not verified.

Each area is vastly different to the next and have realised that in the past 6 mths ......... but was told (by an expat of 11 years here in Singapre) not to live so far out, but to stay close in where the other expats live as they will be our support network and family whilst here.

My big mistake was not listening to them and thinking I knew better. This is why I suggest to people to be very careful before signing the lease and to be sure of where they want to live. Since being here I have heard of heartache and depression due to the family not being entirely happy of the choice of abode or its location.

This has nothing to do with Singapore itself, it just means the family that is in the process of deciding to move needs to be sure of their homework and the final decision of which area to live in.

Some expats have rec'd a lot of help from relocation companies or their work HR department, but some of us do not (or did not) have that luxury and so need to do the homework well in advance themselves.

I like the apartment and the condo environment where I live, but with hindsight, I think I may have considered the "city side of Jurong East SMRT", maybe Clementi, Commonwealth or Dover etc...... somewhere where I would be able to have more contact with people. I like the convenience of being close to the MRT (station) shopping and very close for work ( 10 mins), but you still need social interaction which I (and others out here) find difficult.

cheers, leone
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Post by jpatokal » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 8:42 pm

La grande boucle wrote:Orchard area, condo with 300 appartments, of which only 3 occupied by westerners?

Like JP said, impossible.
Huh? I didn't say anything like that.
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Novena?

Post by MRSP » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 1:14 am

The area which seems very appealing (at least from online research) is around the Novena MRT. Darn expensive for housing but you have malls, MRT, lots of child care options, good hospital to have a baby (Thomson).

Anyone have any opinions? I take it from the condo rental rates that this area is pretty darn popular.

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Post by La grande boucle » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 10:02 am

jpatokal wrote:
La grande boucle wrote:Orchard area, condo with 300 appartments, of which only 3 occupied by westerners?

Like JP said, impossible.
Huh? I didn't say anything like that.
No no... I thought OP did say so JP....

Already clarified.

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Re: Looking for a good family friendly area

Post by skyevo » Thu, 26 Jul 2007 3:04 am

MRSP wrote:Looking to move to Singapore and wondering where would be a good area to raise a toddler (19 months). Here's what I currently know!

- Looking for preferably a condo
- My Wife and Toddler will use public transport
- Would like a condo within walking distance to MRT, supermarket, shopping, park, kiddo activities, daycare, etc
- I will have co vehicle that I will drive to work in Tuas area.

I do not know my budget right now, unfortunately. Will have that info soon.

Any ideas?
need your budget so as to wrk it out for you.

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Re: Novena?

Post by r1njk » Thu, 26 Jul 2007 11:19 am

MRSP wrote:The area which seems very appealing (at least from online research) is around the Novena MRT. Darn expensive for housing but you have malls, MRT, lots of child care options, good hospital to have a baby (Thomson).

Anyone have any opinions? I take it from the condo rental rates that this area is pretty darn popular.
Hi... we are in Tx right now.. in few months we will move to Singapore.. my husband will work in Tuas.. we have 2 kids (6 yo and 2 yo).. We are looking condos around Newton and Novena.. because our son will go to SAS in Woodlands area.. and the other reasons are the same like yours...

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