Toa Payoh vs. Somerset vs. Tiong Bahru -LOCATION QUESTION

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Spiglet35
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Toa Payoh vs. Somerset vs. Tiong Bahru -LOCATION QUESTION

Post by Spiglet35 » Sun, 27 Apr 2008 8:53 pm

Hi Everyone!

My husband and I will be relocating to Singapore on an expat package for 2 years in July. My husband is already there and has been looking at condos and areas to live in for the past 3 days.

We are trying to decide on 3 condos: DeRoyale near the Toa Payoh MRT (awesome penthouse apartment), Urbana near the Somerset MRT (very nice and very new 4-bedroom condo) and MeraPrime near the Tiong Bahru MRT (very nice 3 1/2 bedroom condo).

All three have great amenities and are beautiful condos. So, my question is really - Which area is the nicest / most convenient? We don't have any kids and will both be working full-time (demanding jobs with long hours) downtown (Raffles Plaza & Newton MRTs).

I have read so much about the Orchard Road area, which I guess is not too far from where the Urbana condo is (River Valley). The Urbana condo is in District 9, the DeRoyale condo is in District 12 (slight North) and the Meraprime condo is in District 3 (west).

My question is really on LOCATION. I don't know much about District 12 and District 9. Although we are Europeans, we love Asia and are looking forward to "mingling with the locals" and don't want to be stuck in an expat-infested location. :-)

Any comments / suggestions / tips and opinions are welcome! :-)

P.S. My husband also looked at 8@Mount Sophia but he said that you could look into other people's apartments and see everything so we decided against it.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND HELP!

Singapore Property Search

 

midniteblues
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Post by midniteblues » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 1:37 am

Toa Payoh, is what you call the heartlands of Singapore. This neighborhood, would be a good example of what a true Singaporean neighborhood is. Located a few MRT stops from town, this area would have private and public housing, malls, crowded roads, as well as some industrial activities.

Urbana is on River Valley....you will need to travel along Killiney Road to get to Somerset MRT, and that is a good 15 mins walk. That is a pure expat enclave.

Tiong Bahru is an interesting option. Tiong Bahru Mall, and Tiong Bahru MRT, are literally at your doorstep. It is an older part of Singapore, which has been seeing some rejuvenation lately, and garnering interest from the yuppie segment. MeraPrime, and the condo opposite Central Green, are probably occupied by owners and tenants equally. It is mostly favored by folks which want to live near town, and yet escape the traditional expat enclaves. 1 MRT stop away is Chinatown, 2 MRT stops away is the CBD. Walk down the main road a little and you will find the bustling Tiong Bahru food market and its surrounding charming art-deco walkup apartments. Turn left after that is the upmarket Great World mall. Or go straight and hit the drink /food joints at Mohd Sultan. Go the opposite direction, and you head towards the resort island of Sentosa in five mins.

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Post by yoongf » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 8:31 am

Given those 3 choices, my preference (as a local) would be MeraPrime.

It's right next to the MRT station, whereas DeRoyale is a good 10min walk from Toa Payoh MRT, and involves a long overhead bridge over the expressway.

Also, given the 3 choices, MeraPrime has a supermarket+shopping centre at the doorstep, unlike the other 2.

As for culture.. Tiong Bahru.. is one of the older estates with famous eateries.

Of the 3 .. Urbana wld command the highest prestige though.

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Post by Turtle » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 12:55 pm

I would definitely say the Tiong Bahru one as well, because of the location. It's convenient without being part of the "core", plus the area has a lot of history and character.

I would avoid taking the Toa Payoh one just to "mingle with the locals" - it sounds nice, but real "heartland" Singapore can be more like old men in their underwear spitting on walkways, rather than what you probably envision of well-dressed Asian couples who enjoy mixing with those from other cultures. They often are not all that tolerant of Caucasians either (although you may not understand what they're saying about you either way). Nothing wrong with being part of local life, I just would recommend that you don't make a big investment in a home that forces you to stick there 24/7 should you decide that it isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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Post by local lad » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 4:38 pm

Turtle wrote:I would definitely say the Tiong Bahru one as well, because of the location. It's convenient without being part of the "core", plus the area has a lot of history and character.

I would avoid taking the Toa Payoh one just to "mingle with the locals" - it sounds nice, but real "heartland" Singapore can be more like old men in their underwear spitting on walkways, rather than what you probably envision of well-dressed Asian couples who enjoy mixing with those from other cultures. They often are not all that tolerant of Caucasians either (although you may not understand what they're saying about you either way). Nothing wrong with being part of local life, I just would recommend that you don't make a big investment in a home that forces you to stick there 24/7 should you decide that it isn't all it's cracked up to be.

:???: .....is that all you know about Toa Payoh? How insightful. :?

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Post by Turtle » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 6:47 pm

Well no, I'm just saying - nothing's all roses, there's always a risk when you try something significantly different to what you're used to. Some people love it, some people hate it - but if you buy an expensive home there, you're stuck, you know? I go to Toa Payoh, it isn't some pungent pit of evil or anything like that. It's a normal place. But if you're not used to Singapore life, from a foreigner's perspective, it's a big risk to make that your permanent place of residence, in my opinion. The heartlands are very different from the CBD and the Singapore that most expats get to see.

Spiglet35
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Post by Spiglet35 » Mon, 28 Apr 2008 9:48 pm

Hi Everyone!

Thanks a lot for your tips. We will look into Tiong Bahru more closely to see if it's an area that we would like to live in. Your suggestions were very helpful!

Thanks againa!

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