Where should we live?

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SarahO
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Where should we live?

Post by SarahO » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 8:52 pm

Can anyone help? We're planning on moving to Singapore in May 2009 and I'm having real trouble figuring out where we should look for accommodation. My husband will be working centrally, but doesn't mind a cycle to work. I'll be looking after 2 children (who'll be aged 2 years and 2 months (I'm pregnant at the mo)), so would like somewhere with good transport links and the opportunity to meet other mums. However, having lived overseas before (without kids), we're not ones for the 'traditional ex-pat' life, and so although it would obviously be good to meet with other people who aren't necessarily born-and-bred Singaporeans, we're very wary about living in very ex-pat areas.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the sort of areas we should look at?

There's also the possibility of my mum coming out with us, in which case we'd need something big enough that we didn't get under each other's feet, but I'm just not sure if we have the budget for it - my husband would be hired on a (decent) local hire contract, rather than an international package. How much would we be looking at if we wanted a 4 (or even a 5) bed place?

Any advice would be much appreciated - am currently looking at lots of websites, but there's almost too much info around!

Thanks very much

Sarah

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cbavasi
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Post by cbavasi » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 9:11 pm

you really need to come up with some sort of budget first for housing (and then plan to spend more :) ) seriously - it would be impossible to recommend places to live if you didn't have some sort of dollar amount in mind. also if you are planning on having a car and what your top criteria may be (i.e: close to MRT, park, market. whether you prefer a house or a condo with/without facilities...etc)

SarahO
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Post by SarahO » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 10:29 pm

Thanks for your note.

Budget-wise, we've been told to expect $6000-$7000, though if we can get something good for less, than so much the better - I still can't get over the cost of accommodation in Singapore.

We're not planning to have a car, so would like somewhere close to an MRT. Green areas are also good. In terms of house or condo, my instinct is to steer away from communal living, but I realise that having shared facilities is a good opportunity to meet other people, so I think it would depend on the house/condo and other opportunities in the area.

Thanks.

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Post by cbavasi » Mon, 05 Jan 2009 8:57 pm

i think you'll find living in a condo w a 2 year old and an infant a blessing when you can simply go downstairs and have built in playmates and if you employ a helper or have your mom come with you they can stroll the baby around the grounds easily.
the rents are coming down quite a bit so you'll probably be in luck by the time you need to move. most of the new buildings are quite small in square footage for what you will pay - so you may want to check out some older buildings (tho in singapore - old is only like 10 years!) when you do a search you could probably look in the 8-10k range and assume that they will come down and you can negotiate.
also, what is listed is not necessarily what is being offered (often inflated on the internet).
maybe check out these areas: tanglin, orchard, draycott, balmoral, chancery, novena, newton... (district 9, 10, 11). i'd stay away from bukit timah or holland village if you don't have a car.
anyone else have any suggestions?

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Post by Blue Sapphire » Mon, 05 Jan 2009 10:27 pm

Considering you dont plan for a car and have several kids. You might want to consider a place where you can walk out of your home pushing your stroller a very short distance to a MRT station until your desired destination. That would make going around Singapore very easy for you with less hassle of taking taxis and buses.

I was amazed how some condos are as close to the MRT station as the swimming pool. Its amazingly convenient!

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by bole » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 1:24 pm

Hi Sarah,
There are many options to live in here.
In the budget above 5K you have ample choices.

The suggested places above are where there are more watering holes for the men, so rent is high. mostly Europeans stay here.

Just move down, to East coast, 20 mins by bus to his office and same for you to go shopping, thats cool and rents within 3K to 5K...I suggest this. Here is a mixed crowd (with Europeans too)

I have been living here and its really good places with all facilities in your condo, beach nearby, office ans shopping all within 20 mins..and rent half of what you expectd..what more you need.

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Post by smayrhofer » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 4:22 pm

If you end up in the east, would love to meet up! I'm having my baby in April, so I'd love to meet other moms in the same area.

My man and I are both foreigners but on local contracts. And without a car. We are paying $3k for a private apartment with 3 bedrooms and a maid's room. It's big enough for us, but lacks a pool. If you can afford it, condo is the way to go!

East coast is nice for kids because of easy access to the park. But you'll have to rely on direct buses to town and the CBD, because there isn't really an MRT station nearby.

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Re: Where should we live?

Post by cbavasi » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 6:40 pm

bole wrote: The suggested places above are where there are more watering holes for the men, so rent is high. mostly Europeans stay here.
uhmmm..... yeaaaahhhhh that's why the rent is so high. wouldn't have anything to do with convenience or being central. :???:

SarahO
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Post by SarahO » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 10:54 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. The point about living near an MRT station had occurred to me as well, and I've had a bit of look at 9, 10 and 11 (though I'll now have a specific look at the areas you mentioned). Thanks also for the warning that the internet tends to inflate what's available, but interesting to hear that prices can generally be negotiated down (we've been told to budget for $7,000, but we'd much prefer to spend less if we can).

I must admit that I'm coming round to an idea of a condo with shared facilities (in order to meet other mums), but am wary about living in a very 'expat' area, so the suggestion about the East Coast is an interesting one, as that hadn't really occurred to me - I'd been looking North a bit instead.

In my mind, the MRT is like the tube in London, so relatively easy. But, what is the bus system like? How often do they run? How busy? And how easy for someone like me if I had a pushchair and a baby in a carrier?

Thanks again for your suggestions so far - and "smayrhofer", if we do end-up in the East, would definitely like to meet up. Do you know if there are many parent/toddler things around, or have you not looked into that yet?

Cheers.

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Post by BodyBlitz » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 11:01 pm

URL CENSORED DUE TO COPYRIGHT ISSUES

http://www.smrt.com.sg/buses/buses.asp
http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/transport/ ... rview.aspx

Since there are only two public bus transport - you can check it up with the above website.

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Post by BodyBlitz » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 11:06 pm

URL CENSORED DUE TO COPYRIGHT ISSUES

http://www.smrt.com.sg/buses/buses.asp
http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/transport/ ... rview.aspx

Since there are only two public bus transport - you can check it up with the above website.

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BodyBlitz
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Post by BodyBlitz » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 11:07 pm

URL CENSORED DUE TO COPYRIGHT ISSUES

http://www.smrt.com.sg/buses/buses.asp
http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/transport/ ... rview.aspx

Since there are only two public bus transport - you can check it up with the above website.

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Post by Blue Sapphire » Tue, 06 Jan 2009 11:34 pm

I dont think you have to worry about anywhere being too expat. But east coast is becoming very expat. The least would be the north and west if you want to be in a less 'expat' area. But why would you want that?

As for meeting people in your condo area, its possible but most of the time alot of us meet friends from within this forum and from meetup.com groups. We organise playgroups with our kids of even similar ages, ladies night, movie clubs etc. Its easier this way finding people that are in a similar situation and are free to hangout. And if you live centrally its easier to meet people anywhere in the country.

Look at the map of all the places you would take your kids to, the zoo, bird park, sentosa etc. They are all spread out in all the corners of Singapore. If you live too far its further from some of the attractions. Unless you want to go only to east coast park...where the whole country goes to on weekends.

Rents are going down what with alot of expats living, I think especially by mid year. A condo with 3 bedrooms like where I live is around $6000 usually but you might get them less soon.

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