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Expat commuting to work from Johor Bahru

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Dittmer
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Postby Dittmer » Fri, 18 Mar 2011 7:01 pm

Since my last post, I have amass so much experience and knowledge of JB and I am still learning.

Presently, we are still at design stage of building a bungalow and hoping to move on to submission stage soon. My biggest worry is the escalated cost of commodities which will drive the construction cost up.


Anyway, please feel free to pm me should you need to tap on my knowledge about immigration, schooling, logistic, banking, financing and accomodation.

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dpot
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Postby dpot » Wed, 23 Mar 2011 9:10 am

ok, this thread has me thinking. my wife is a malaysian citizen (i'm american), but we're moving to singapore from the uk in april because i got a job in singapore.

however, i'm wondering if it would be realistic to live over one link or the other and then just commute to D13 every day? i have been trying to estimate drive times and it appears the 2nd link might be quicker, but i have more confidence in people who have actually made the drive than computer algorithms...any thoughts?

also, since my wife is malaysian, i'm thinking it would be pretty easy to purchase a basic used car in malaysia (like a proton), which i could then drive in and out for work...though i'm pretty sure there might be some 'red tape' i haven't considered yet.

i've got an ep, and she has a dp, but my guess is that her dp is moot if we go this route. we've only got about 4 wks until the move, so i'd appreciate any feedback from the group...we're a young family with a 2 year old and it would help us to think through this issue a little more objectively. :-k

observe
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Postby observe » Wed, 30 Mar 2011 11:51 am

dpot wrote:ok, this thread has me thinking. my wife is a malaysian citizen (i'm american), but we're moving to singapore from the uk in april because i got a job in singapore.

however, i'm wondering if it would be realistic to live over one link or the other and then just commute to D13 every day? i have been trying to estimate drive times and it appears the 2nd link might be quicker, but i have more confidence in people who have actually made the drive than computer algorithms...any thoughts?

also, since my wife is malaysian, i'm thinking it would be pretty easy to purchase a basic used car in malaysia (like a proton), which i could then drive in and out for work...though i'm pretty sure there might be some 'red tape' i haven't considered yet.

i've got an ep, and she has a dp, but my guess is that her dp is moot if we go this route. we've only got about 4 wks until the move, so i'd appreciate any feedback from the group...we're a young family with a 2 year old and it would help us to think through this issue a little more objectively. :-k


There's an active discussion about Singaporeans and Expats 'Living in JB' and commuting to work in Singapore, here's the link
http://www.sammyboy.com/showthread.php? ... JB/page153
I believe you can find answers to your questions from those pioneers who are surprisingly high income earners like businessmen, doctors and lawyers. Contrary to the believe that only those who cannot afford it in Singapore will want to live in JB.

jennys
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Postby jennys » Thu, 31 Mar 2011 8:23 pm

its a bloody good idea. until you get robbed... that is. its like the wild west. they can smell money off you a mile away.

sandcastle
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Suggestions for condos to rent in Johor Bahru

Postby sandcastle » Tue, 17 May 2011 8:01 am

Any suggestions for condos in the Johor Bahru area. I would like to be within 1 km of public transportation. I would like to be able to walk, take public transportation for food, shopping... convenient access to taxis would also be good.

A nice view and a quiet location would be nice - I will be spending a lot of time in my condo reading and writing. I will use the internet a great deal so a fast and reliable internet connection is a must. A nearby basketball court would be great, but I figure I likely won't get that.

I won't be commuting to Singapore but trips into Singapore would be nice occasionally (so if that is convenient and less time that would be a plus).

Straits View condo seems like it might be nice? Adamai also seems nice? Molek Pines may also?

Do you have any thoughts on Danga Bay and Danga View Apartments? Wadihana condos?

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aargon
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Re: Suggestions for condos to rent in Johor Bahru

Postby aargon » Tue, 17 May 2011 9:19 am

sandcastle wrote:Any suggestions for condos in the Johor Bahru area. I would like to be within 1 km of public transportation. I would like to be able to walk, take public transportation for food, shopping... convenient access to taxis would also be good.

A nice view and a quiet location would be nice - I will be spending a lot of time in my condo reading and writing. I will use the internet a great deal so a fast and reliable internet connection is a must. A nearby basketball court would be great, but I figure I likely won't get that.

I won't be commuting to Singapore but trips into Singapore would be nice occasionally (so if that is convenient and less time that would be a plus).

Straits View condo seems like it might be nice? Adamai also seems nice? Molek Pines may also?

Do you have any thoughts on Danga Bay and Danga View Apartments? Wadihana condos?


please do tell us more about those condo`s!!
Everybody was KungFu Fighting.....

mofobro
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Expat living in Horizon Hills

Postby mofobro » Wed, 18 May 2011 5:29 pm

We bought a bungalow in Horizon Hills and commute every day into Singapore... We leave at about 530AM and my kids are in their school by 620AM, same as when we lived in Orchard. No traffic problems at all using second link.

Coming home, until yesterday (17 May) we would get home inless than an hour, including gas stop if we would leave Orchard by 530PM.

However, now, the Malaysian Gov't. in their infinite wisdom have implemented this freekin stupid "Biometric" ID scheme at Tuas (and I assume Woodlands) where all foreigners entering Malaysia have to place their 2 index fingers on a scanner... you have to get out of your car to do thgis!! How freekin stupid is that? It took 20 minutes for 2 cars in front of us to clear Malay immigration!

Now... I and my family have MACS passes... didnt freekin matter... still took 20 minutes.. and that's with NO TRASFFIC!

I just dont understand these neanderthals... they start a great thing with good property values, MACS pass access to facilitate daily commuting, then screw it all up witrh a really stupid, buggy, and badly thought out "Biometric ID" program? I just dont understand.. why would you wnat people to pull up at the immigratyion counter, then have to get out of their car?

Only in Malaysia.. Truely Asia!!

Any thoughts or comments on this new program that promises to add 2 hours to our daily commute?

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aargon
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Re: Expat living in Horizon Hills

Postby aargon » Wed, 18 May 2011 6:33 pm

mofobro wrote:We bought a bungalow in Horizon Hills and commute every day into Singapore... We leave at about 530AM and my kids are in their school by 620AM, same as when we lived in Orchard. No traffic problems at all using second link.

Coming home, until yesterday (17 May) we would get home inless than an hour, including gas stop if we would leave Orchard by 530PM.

However, now, the Malaysian Gov't. in their infinite wisdom have implemented this freekin stupid "Biometric" ID scheme at Tuas (and I assume Woodlands) where all foreigners entering Malaysia have to place their 2 index fingers on a scanner... you have to get out of your car to do thgis!! How freekin stupid is that? It took 20 minutes for 2 cars in front of us to clear Malay immigration!

Now... I and my family have MACS passes... didnt freekin matter... still took 20 minutes.. and that's with NO TRASFFIC!

I just dont understand these neanderthals... they start a great thing with good property values, MACS pass access to facilitate daily commuting, then screw it all up witrh a really stupid, buggy, and badly thought out "Biometric ID" program? I just dont understand.. why would you wnat people to pull up at the immigratyion counter, then have to get out of their car?

Only in Malaysia.. Truely Asia!!

Any thoughts or comments on this new program that promises to add 2 hours to our daily commute?


hmmm... how's the golfing at horizon hills?
Everybody was KungFu Fighting.....

Wilsonlow
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Cross Border Coach

Postby Wilsonlow » Wed, 18 May 2011 10:40 pm

I'm working near Marina Bay Sands and commute daily between JB and Singapore. I found out that there is a cross border coach that directly fetch customers from Danga Bay Tune Hotel to Resort World and Marina Bay Sands directly. The name of the operator is Compass Coach / Odyssey = 07-2323092. RM25 for return trip, RM15 for one way.

The earliest slot is 7am. Reach RWS around 8.20am and then MBS around 8.45am. Just nice for work if you're working around there. Going back is 7pm from MBS and 7.30pm from RWS. Reach Danga Bay Tune Hotel around 8.45pm. They have other slots as well.

I've been using this service for about 1 year. The thing I like about this service is that it is very hassle free.
1) Parking is free at Tune Hotel with GUARDS ;-) I can safely dump my car there.
2) The coach uses second link - less traffic
3) WiFi On-board
4) Super VIP seats - not crowded, about 26 persons / coach. Very comfortable.

I normally just hop on the coach and sleep or turn on my laptop to work / surf net. Just make sure you hop on and off at both sides of Immigration check points. ;-)

So, even though the travelling time is slightly longer, but I find it more productive this way - can make full use of my time ^_^...

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Postby Excellentexpat » Sat, 21 May 2011 12:23 am

It's great to have find this forum and topic, I have visited HH, Nusa Duta recently and considering buying a property there. These projects are value for money compare to those in KL as property in KL has appreciated beyond affordable range.

I have not visited East Ledang, Ledang Heights and I heard Taman Laguna is good too. Could you provide me some advice. Rcently seen a unit in HH DS Link 26X80 go for RM700K+.

Will the Iskandar project take off? I have one bad experience of a property in KL near Cyberjaya where I need to be more careful now.

Bayam Trees wrote:Hi, I am a SPR working in Singapore and live in Horizon Hills, Nusajaya. Being staying here close to 2 years. Purchased a Cluster home back in year Oct'06. In fact I was the second house buyer when the Gateway princit was launched. The property ownership consists of 40% S'porean, 30% foreigner (middle east/Sri Lankan investor), 20% SPR and 10% local. If you plans to stay here, I would be glad to share with you my living experiences with regards to the environment of  Nusajaya. Please PM me. Cheers.

observe
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Postby observe » Sat, 21 May 2011 1:12 pm

Excellentexpat wrote:It's great to have find this forum and topic, I have visited HH, Nusa Duta recently and considering buying a property there. These projects are value for money compare to those in KL as property in KL has appreciated beyond affordable range.

I have not visited East Ledang, Ledang Heights and I heard Taman Laguna is good too. Could you provide me some advice. Rcently seen a unit in HH DS Link 26X80 go for RM700K+.

Will the Iskandar project take off? I have one bad experience of a property in KL near Cyberjaya where I need to be more careful now.


Care to share with us more details of your bad property experience in KL?

Excellentexpat
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Postby Excellentexpat » Sat, 21 May 2011 9:39 pm

Bought a DS Link at LP, a place benhind Equine Park and Jusco in 2000 when the government was promoting Cyberjaya, sold it at loss last 2 years ago. Went back to see property in KL recently and found that the property prices at good location are out of reach!

sstewart
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EP Query

Postby sstewart » Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:41 am

patali wrote:cool i also bought in Ledang Heights! We will be neighbours soon then. Which part of Ledang Heights are you at?

TragicallyHip wrote:Hi - I wrote this response in another forum so please forgive the "cut and paste". As such there are some points below pertaining to questions/comments people had in that other forum but still relevant to your questions I think.

To answer your questions specifically, A: yes you can get a visa to live in Malaysia and still work in Singapore and B: yes you do need to stamp your passport everytime.

==========BEGIN COPY OF MESSAGE========

I'm an expat with a family and we're building a house in Ledang Heights (right next to East Ledang). I have several friends that are doing the same (nearly all expats) and some are already living there.

When we first starting looking into it, we experienced the same negative responses that I'm reading here. You need to see through the prejudice and clutter to make a decision that works for you. My wife and I both have engineering and architecture backgrounds which helps.

Commute:
Many people don't realize that this development is 7 minutes over the Tuas link, and not north over the causeway. Most people making negative comments about the commute have only driven over on the weekends when traffic is at its worse. During the week (when you and your kids will be coming into Singapore for work and school) you can expect a commute of 35 to 50 minutes into the CBD. My kids attend the Canadian School. When the new campus is completed (near Chinese Garden) their commute will be only 25 minutes (all these times include border crossing/immigration). These are average times that I have personally experienced. The worst traffic is during weekends and holidays (Chinese New Year) and when the odd terrorist escapes from local custody (that one took me 3 hours at the border. Typical weekend traffic is about 45 minutes to an hour at the border - but this is coming from Singapore into Malaysia. Malaysia to Singapore is against the flow of traffic and faster. Remember you will live there and you don't care how long it takes for others to come into Malaysia. You'll be headed into Singapore against the traffic). No problem for someone used to a minimum 1 hour commute (or 2 hours in the snow).

Security
Again, please note there is a difference between JB (Johor Bahru) and Johor (the state). This development is not in JB. It is in a township called Nusajaya, which is the capital city of the iskandar project. These communities are gated and guarded and the entire area is not as highly populated as JB. JB (by singapore standards) has a higher crime rate. However, anyone who has lived outside of Singapore is familiar with employing some common street sense. JB is no more dangerous then any other major city in the world, and Nusajaya is "country living" by comparison. Your commute to Singapore is direct on the highway and there is no need to go down any local sideroads (if this is a concern - it's not for me).

Government and Iskandar project
It is true what one of the posters said - government changes can impact your investment. This is true anywhere in the world. Will they shut down the Iskandar project? Perhaps parts of it. The Iskandar project is huge. On a grand scale it combines several projects into one. For my investment I care only about one of those projects - Nusajaya. This is the "jewel" of Iskandar and the new government offices are almost completed. It would be foolish to kill that part of the project. Could it still happen? Perhaps but I doubt it. Just take a drive around the area and you'll be amazed by what is already built. Ask yourself this question - if the worse case scenario is that you have a beautiful home within a 1/2 hour commute of Singapore CBD and nothing else happens with that development, will you still be happy? That one was an easy one for me.

Construction Quality and cost
You get what you pay for but don't confuse total cost with Construction cost. Just because the total cost is cheaper than singapore does not mean the quality is worse. The reason things are cheap in Johor is because the land is cheap. The next variable you have to play with is the construction cost and this will vary by developer. You don't want to go cheap here or you will get some of the problems that others have posted about above. Make sure you go with a reputable developer. The only way to do this is look at existing homes. Also make sure your contract is ironclad - deadlines, materials, etc all need to be included in the specs. Be very vigilant about this. Saying floors are "hardwood" is not descriptive enough. You need to know type of wood, plank thickness and length, etc or you will end up with parquet veneer.

East Ledang is actually of good quality. I've checked it out myself. It's not top of the line (finishes, etc) but its very good value for money. We decided on a custom designed home on a larger piece of land so we are building in Ledang Heights. There you can get much bigger plots and can build your dream home. Ledang East has smaller plots and smaller homes. Still - that's a personal decision. If you like what you see then go for it. Although it's not advertised there is still plenty of land available 3rd party at Ledang Heights. It's 100% sold to other investors so the people in the office there won't bother mentioning it to you.

Can you get cheaper housing? Of course! Price is based primarily on land so it's all about location, location, location. Ledang area is prime for a very good reason. It is the closest (as the car drives) residential community to the Tuas link. It is also a beautiful sprawling gated community. Just take a drive around there to see all the amenities going up. Marina, commercial district, etc.

Schools
We'll have to wait and see. There are already some signed deals that see International Schools in the area but that's about 2 years away. For now you need to make your decision based on a commute for kids into Singapore. This commute will vary depending on school location - see above for our personal commute times.

Immigration
How do you retain your EP? PR? etc. There are lots of options to this and a bit too long to add to an already long post. But it's not a problem. You can send me a message separately and I'd be happy to talk you through it.

Could you possibly PM me as I have a few minor questions concerning the specifics of holding EP's & DP's and living in Nusajaya/working in Singapore. We are a family of 4 Canadian Nationals from PEI whose children go to CIS. We are anxious to secure a specific property in Ledang but need more info before we sign a tenancy agreement. Regards,
Scott
sdstewart@edu.pe.ca

Final Analysis
Taking all of the above into consideration the decision was easy for us. We're moving into an 8000 sqft custom designed Balinese villa on 30,000 sqft freehold land complete with landscaping, pool and 2 dogs. Total cost less than my 1300 sqft condo in Singapore. Yes, I will be saving money and increasing quality of living

tnflee
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SPR/expats staying in JB working in Singapore

Postby tnflee » Wed, 29 Jun 2011 10:24 am

Bayam Trees wrote:Hi, I am a SPR working in Singapore and live in Horizon Hills, Nusajaya. Being staying here close to 2 years. Purchased a Cluster home back in year Oct'06. In fact I was the second house buyer when the Gateway princit was launched. The property ownership consists of 40% S'porean, 30% foreigner (middle east/Sri Lankan investor), 20% SPR and 10% local. If you plans to stay here, I would be glad to share with you my living experiences with regards to the environment of  Nusajaya. Please PM me. Cheers.


Hi Bayam Trees & all the others staying in JB,

All-in-all, do you have any regrets staying in 'boring' JB and facing the daily grind communting to Singapore? Thanks.
tnflee

mash1
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Postby mash1 » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 9:52 pm

Hi we moving to JB leisure farm in sept 2011. any latest info is greatly appreciated..
mash1


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