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Help with relocating to Singapore

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EuroTexan
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Help with relocating to Singapore

Postby EuroTexan » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 2:46 am

I am considering relocation to Singapore. I've travelled there on business several times and find it a very nice place, but I have some questions that I don't find answers too on the Net, and would greatly appreciate any assistance from those of you who have relocated there.

1. First and foremost it's important to know that I'm from Texas, so cooking on the BBQ grill 3-4 times per week is common, even if I'm just cooking up a quick steak or something for myself. What are the rules regarding BBQ'ng at your house, apartment, condo or townhouse?

2. I enjoy a nice place to live, preferably with a small yard/garden or large terrace, quiet but close to things to do? Any recommendations on where to look for such a place?

3. Coming from the States and Europe, I am used to having my own car. I understand living in Singapore this is not really necessary but is there anything that I should know about this, good, bad or indifferent?

4. I'm single and would be interested to know socially, how is Singapore in terms of ease of meeting people making new friends etc.?

Many thanks for any insight you can provide. Maybe see ya there soon!

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sillingw
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Postby sillingw » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 11:43 am

I am a Brit who lived 12 years in Boston and San Francisco, have been here nearly three years, lived in a condo and now live in a landed property (house with garden) - We barbecue on average twice a week, (If you do move, bring a barbecue with you - limited choice here) and have never had a problem - some condo's do have restrictions (they also have communal barbecue areas that can be booked, but I like my own, but I would say that the majority have no such restruictions - just ask when you are house hunting and make sure your agent understands that barbecuing on the deck or garden is a mandatory requirenment.

on the housing side, look a little outside orchard/central - we used to live just past Holland Village, had a large condo with a big deck in a great neighbourhood (still have it, just rent it out) it's cheaper to rent and adds a little to your journey, but not much - I prefer this option although some others prefer the central city life.

Because we prefer this lifestyle, a car is mandatory, but the saving in rent or purchase price will more than cover the cost of a car, too long in the US, meant I cannot do without and I am used to the convenience, but they are expensive here, not just the buying, but the certificate of entitlement (COE) will mean more than double the price you would pay in the US.

I'm married with kids so will leave others to comment on the last, but single expat guys usually have no problems finding girlfreinds (do a search on this website) and we have a great circle of freinds, mostly locals, but some expats as well

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sierra2469alpha
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Re: Help with relocating to Singapore

Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 2:55 pm

EuroTexan wrote:I am considering relocation to Singapore. I've travelled there on business several times and find it a very nice place, but I have some questions that I don't find answers too on the Net, and would greatly appreciate any assistance from those of you who have relocated there.

1. First and foremost it's important to know that I'm from Texas, so cooking on the BBQ grill 3-4 times per week is common, even if I'm just cooking up a quick steak or something for myself. What are the rules regarding BBQ'ng at your house, apartment, condo or townhouse?


Hi EuroTexan and thanks for dropping in. We live in a new 3BR apartment which has a communal BBQ area. It's very swish, gas-fired etc. All we do is pay a deposit of $SGD 100 each time we use it, along with signing a little agreement that says we're not going to host more than 20 people, will clean up after ourselves etc. A few of our friends in similar complexes have similar agreements.

We haven't tried to purchase a BBQ to place on our balcony but I will ask our building manager next time I see him and get back and amend this posting.

One other thing to consider is a griddle plate for your cooktop. Depending on how much you marinade, they can work just fine if you're doing a quick mid-week job. We use the Le Creuset range (cast iron).

In terms of garden - we have some communal stuff, but also a VERY large balcony which we'll be planting some herbs etc in. I might even build a small water feature! That being said, our balcony is HUGE, and bigger than most we saw, unless you look at the condo-style.


EuroTexan wrote:2. I enjoy a nice place to live, preferably with a small yard/garden or large terrace, quiet but close to things to do? Any recommendations on where to look for such a place?


All we can do is share our experiences. Originally we looked around when we were here in MAR2007, and boy have prices gone up since then. That being said, a lot of new places have come on-line also. Our experience is that when you do a good a thorough search through these forums (use the search feature up above - it's invaluable) you'll get a feel for where people have found certain accommodation styles and prices. As this forum is run by RE agents have a look through that side of it also to get a feel for what you'll be getting. A good way of doing a "value analysis" we found was to create a spreadsheet with all the relevant data and break it all down into $/PSF then weight each property according to what we wanted (eg, pool, gym, close to MRT etc.). That might help.

Your next step would be to get over here if you can and appoint an agent and get them to show you the places in real-life. Ours came through this site and we were MORE than happy with them.


EuroTexan wrote:3. Coming from the States and Europe, I am used to having my own car. I understand living in Singapore this is not really necessary but is there anything that I should know about this, good, bad or indifferent?


The previous post summed up nicely, so I'll only add a little. We went from 2 cars to nil. We get a pretty decent car allowance but for us, our location, and that we're married with no kids, it just didn't make sense for us. That being said, we have friends who have cars for different reasons, so again, research is the key!


EuroTexan wrote:4. I'm single and would be interested to know socially, how is Singapore in terms of ease of meeting people making new friends etc.?


You'll meet people through here, many expats of course. I'm not sure about the singles scene too much, though (see previous marriage comment!!) Again, have a look around this and other sites to get an idea. Remember too to keep asking questions!

EuroTexan wrote:Many thanks for any insight you can provide. Maybe see ya there soon!


Good luck to you too, cheers, C & P

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sillingw
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Postby sillingw » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 3:13 pm

The previous post summed up nicely, so I'll only add a little. We went from 2 cars to nil. We get a pretty decent car allowance but for us, our location, and that we're married with no kids, it just didn't make sense for us. That being said, we have friends who have cars for different reasons, so again, research is the key!




That's so funny, we went from Nil to two cars (and my motorbike) but we do have kids

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sierra2469alpha
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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 3:14 pm

Hahaha - funny - one thing works for one, others work for others! :D

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Asian_Geekette
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Re: Help with relocating to Singapore

Postby Asian_Geekette » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 4:42 pm

EuroTexan wrote:4. I'm single and would be interested to know socially, how is Singapore in terms of ease of meeting people making new friends etc.?

Many thanks for any insight you can provide. Maybe see ya there soon!


EuroTexan,

Some suggestions:

1. You can check out the different sub-forums (sub-fora?) here. There are a lot of activities being organized. There's the Friday nights and Wednesday nights drinking club. There's the 30's club, too (for those who are in their 30's or feel that they're still in their 30's). :lol:
2. You can sign up for classes in the local community centers. You can check out People's Association. You'd meet like-minded people in the classes you join.
3. You can join a gym and meet people in the group classes.

Just go out with an open-mind and be friendly. People won't bite.

I hope you get to decide whether moving here would be in your best interests.

Cheers,
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

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Re: Help with relocating to Singapore

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 27 Mar 2008 8:52 pm

Asian_Geekette wrote:People won't bite.


Depending on who it is, we may nibble a little though....... :P

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Hope this helps

Postby VLewis888 » Sat, 29 Mar 2008 12:50 pm

Cooking on the BBQ is not an issue as long as we do not annoy our neighbors.

If you’re putting up in a landed property, then absolutely no issues at all.

Nice place to live in Singapore is in the East.

Cars are expensive. If you want to buy one, you first have to bid for a certificate of entitlement. That itself costs a bomb. The public transport here is absolutely efficient and covers the entire island. Great savings!

Socially…. oh my…. great people. Great place to meet others. American Club, British Club and abundant other social clubs gets you networking.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Help with relocating to Singapore

Postby Asian_Geekette » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 11:42 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Asian_Geekette wrote:People won't bite.


Depending on who it is, we may nibble a little though....... :P


A lil nibbling is not that bad! :)
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 1:08 pm

Somehow I though you might say something like that! :wink:

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Asian_Geekette
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Postby Asian_Geekette » Wed, 02 Apr 2008 10:28 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Somehow I though you might say something like that! :wink:


Ha ha ha! Oh gosh! I've been hanging around this board for quite sometime... enough for you to predict how I'd react to a lil nibbling. :lol:
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

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Postby kaseyma » Sat, 05 Apr 2008 6:51 pm

sillingw wrote:Because we prefer this lifestyle, a car is mandatory, . . . but they are expensive here, not just the buying, but the certificate of entitlement (COE) will mean more than double the price you would pay in the US.

Cost of buying a car here is more like 3 times the price in the US.
Can you imagine a Mitsubishi Lancer for over US$40K?
However, this has actually come down in the past 10 years or so.

By the way, interesting concept for traffic control, this COE.
COE = Certificate of Entitlement.
You bid for a piece of paper that entitles you to spend your own money on a car.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 05 Apr 2008 10:39 pm

Following is a link for the history of Road Congestion Pricing schemes in Singapore along with the history of same.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... i_n8875414

The COE maxed out in 1994 at over S$110,000 for a COE, PLUS ARF of 175% of the Value of the car, so that US$15,000 Mitsubishi Lancer would have cost a whopping $100+K USD. Below is an excerpt from the article (the article also goes into the old ALS and the new ERP costs as well):

CAR OWNERSHIP RESTRAINT

The car growth rate was already a concern in the 1970s. In 1974, the new car registration fee was S$1 000 and an Additional Registration Fee (ARF) of 55% of the Open Market Value (OMV) of a car was introduced. This additional fee, payable once only, progressively increased to 175% by 1983. For a car with an open market value of S$15 000, this ARF was S$26 250. The total cost would be S$41 250 - one car for the price of almost three. (This ARF rate is at 140% since the implementation of ERP in September 1998).

In May 1990, the authorities further decided to cap the vehicle growth rate at 3% and introduced the Vehicle Quota System (VQS). The quota for new vehicles each year has since been determined as 3% of the total vehicle population at the end of each year, plus replacement vehicles for those deregistered. Vehicles were classified into seven categories. Categories 1 to 4 were for cars with engine sizes in the range: (0, 1.0 L), (> 1.0 L, 1.6 L), (> 1.6 L, 2.0 L) and above 2.0 L. (These four categories have been merged since May 1999 to two categories: 1.6 L.) Category 5 is for goods and unscheduled buses, Category 6 for motorcycles, and Category 7 is an open category for any vehicle type but which has been mainly used for cars. A new vehicle buyer has to bid and pay a premium, usually through a car dealer, for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) if he/she wishes to buy a new vehicle in a particular month.
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Table 3 shows the number of successful bids for different vehicle types from 1995 to 1998 and the corresponding yearly total premium from VQS. The data are available from the LTA Internet site: www.lta.gov.sg.

The VQS has significant impact on private car ownership. Each car-COE lasts for 10 years, after which a car owner has the choice to scrap or export the car, or renew the COE by paying another quota premium which is the prevailing three-month running average premium if he/she wishes to own the same car for another ten years. There is an option for a five-year renewal at half the premium. To encourage owners to scrap old cars, a portion of the Additional Registration Fee (equal to 80 % per cent of the open market value at the end of 10 years) can be used to reduce the cost of purchasing a new car. In the years just before VQS, the car growth rate was 6.8% (Han 1999). The demand for cars therefore substantially exceeds a growth rate of 3%. The Certificate of Entitlement has become a rare commodity. Figure 2 illustrates how the premium for the COE varied each month from January 1992 to May 1999 for two different car categories. In November 1994, the COE premium for a car with an engine size above 2.0 L reached S$110 500 and decreased to S$21 998 in October of the recession year of 1998. The corresponding premium for a car in the 1.0 L to 1.6 L category was S$47 033 in December 1994 and S$25 102 in October 1998.

The COE or VQS system has been in operation for almost 10 years since May 1990. The number of vehicles older than 10 years is rapidly diminishing simply because the cost of the COE has been too high to justify renewing it. The average age of the car fleet should therefore approach 5 years over the next decade if the COE policy remains unchanged.


Personally, I sold my cars (2) about 3 months after the COE system was implemented in 1990 and rather like my $250/mo transport costs now. Definitely not for everyone though..... :wink:

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Postby Springer » Fri, 18 Apr 2008 5:53 pm

Do not buy a buy in Singapore if you want to squeeze with everyone in the public transport.
Club in St James alway make you feel good after hook up with a few gals.

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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 18 Apr 2008 7:40 pm

Springer wrote:Do not buy a buy in Singapore if you want to squeeze with everyone in the public transport.
Club in St James alway make you feel good after hook up with a few gals.

:???:
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague


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