Where to live?

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
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Tammy138
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Where to live?

Post by Tammy138 » Mon, 27 Apr 2009 5:53 am

Hi everyone. I am new to this forum. I am relocating to Singapore this July from London, and have never been to Singapore before. I will be on local package and need to find a place to live. I have done loads of internet search and it says district 9, 10 and 11 are the best places to live as I will not have a car, and will rely on MRT.

Please can anyone tell me the average price for a 1 or 2 bed apartment in those areas, so I know the agents won't rip me off? I am single and female so want to be safe too.

Thank you!

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OogieBoogie
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Post by OogieBoogie » Mon, 27 Apr 2009 9:46 am

this area is pretty expensive i think...
I'm on the east coast, too far from the MRT to take it for commute, but i've a got few bus stations less than 3 minutes walking from my place. At first I didn't want to rely on bus, but I have to say Singapore buses are quite correct. I now take it every day, and it's a brilliant way to go to work (i start early to avoid the rush hour)
So even if you're far away from the MRT, you can consider a place that is near a decent bus station.

What's your budget for your rent?

Tammy138
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Post by Tammy138 » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 5:17 am

Thank you for the advice. I never even thought about the East Coast. As long as there is walkable public transport, I am open to options. The highest I am willing to go for is 3,000 a month for a 2 bed. Is that fair or too optimistic?

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Post by OogieBoogie » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 9:18 am

i think you won't have any problem to find a nice condo for this price don't worry :)
Did you try the "search property" here? I just made a quick one for 2 bedrooms around 3k, and spot some nice places already.

Before arriving in Singapore i went through like 50 condo description found here, so i knew exactly what i was looking for when i contacted the real estate agency, and knew the price range, and what i could expect from a condo.

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Re: Where to live?

Post by Addadude » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:49 am

Tammy138 wrote:Hi everyone. I am new to this forum. I am relocating to Singapore this July from London, and have never been to Singapore before. I will be on local package and need to find a place to live. I have done loads of internet search and it says district 9, 10 and 11 are the best places to live as I will not have a car, and will rely on MRT.

Please can anyone tell me the average price for a 1 or 2 bed apartment in those areas, so I know the agents won't rip me off? I am single and female so want to be safe too.

Thank you!
Hi Tammy. Your budget of $3k is more than adequate to get a decent 1-bedroom apartment in and around District 9, 10 and 11. In fact it should easily get you a 2-bedroom unit. (District 11 will be substantially cheaper than 9 and 10 by the way.)

So, your budget is not a problem. Deciding the area and condo you want to live in is very personal. You don't have to limit yourself to central districts like 9, 10 and 11. If you are used to London commutes, Singapore will be a real pleasure as the distances and travelling times are tiny by comparison. You don't even need to be close to an MRT station as the bus services are VERY good and highly efficient - if a little packed at times.

The standard advice for Singapore newbies holds true: stay in ahotel/service apartment for your first month and take your time to find your dream home. Don't settle on one particular area immediately. Districts 9, 10 and 11 are fine. But Districts 5 (West Coast), 8 (Little India), 15 and 16 (East Coast and Upper East Coast) have their own charm. There are even some nice apartments around Tanjong Pagar (Chinatown) and Raffles Place that should fall within your budget.

Lastly, there is very little to worry about when it comes to personal safety in Singapore. Compared to London, Singapore is a VERY easy place to live in.
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

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Post by AngMoKio » Thu, 30 Apr 2009 4:20 pm

When I first moved here we were looking at a place in Little India (where we live.) Seeing all the nightclubs, ktv, etc I and knowing I am naive to the area and my wife would be walking home late most days....

I asked a policeman on the street "Is this a good neighborhood?" (As in, is this a safe neighborhood to walk the street at night.)

The policeman (who was Indian) looked at me completely uncomprehendingly.

After a long pause he then finally answered "Well, there are a lot of Indians here. You have to like living with Indians."

(Duh, this is Little India.)

I tried to clarify my question "Well, is it safe to walk the street at night? My wife walks home late."

His reply was totally serious ... "They do get in the way sometimes."

(For those not in the know, the nightlife makes for crowded sidewalks here - esp Sunday)

FWIW - I really like living in Little India - I would consider this an up and coming area and a neighborhood I really enjoy.

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Post by Tammy138 » Sun, 03 May 2009 4:16 am

Thanks everyone for the advice. Its really helpful. I have been told that $3,000 is way too much to pay for an apartment as it means its even more expensive than London. (I got the exchange rate wrong).

Is $2000 still okay for a 2 bed? I won't have a car so will that finding an apartment further out be okay? by the way, further out in Singapore term means 30mins? or an hour? I currently commute about 40mins on the underground and stuff (on a very good day)..is it the same in singapore?

I have never been to Singapore and is you can all see...I am getting abit nervous now

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Post by OogieBoogie » Sun, 03 May 2009 11:57 am

Tammy you have to put things back in their context. For the same type of appartement i'm sure you will pay more in London than in Singapore.
We're not only talking of number of bedroom, we're talking of bigger appartement, condo wih a lot of facilities like gym, pools, playgrounds, pools, jaccuzi, BBQ pit, Club house, 24h security, parking lot, ...

Besides In Singapore when you sign for an appartement you sign for 1 or 2 years. I don't think you can break your contract just because you want to move out somewhere else.

I think you should budget how much you want to spend on a appartment, regarding your monthly salary in SGD, and see what you can get for that. Don't compare with London or other cities.

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Post by JoeyLucius » Mon, 04 May 2009 3:26 pm

3k should be good enough to find a 2br condo near mrt and amenities.
but some 2br is only less than 900sqft.... so still depends on the size u looking at and which area though....

Tammy138
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Post by Tammy138 » Mon, 04 May 2009 5:49 pm

Thanks everyone! I think I can only afford at most $2k per month for a 2 bed. I will be in Singapore next month (my first visit ever!) and hopefully I will not be in too much of a shock.

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Post by AngMoKio » Mon, 04 May 2009 6:06 pm

You may. I personally think rent is extremely expensive compared to London. It is astronomically expensive compared to what I am used to. The good news is that your other expenses may decrease quite a bit.

I think you can find a 2 bedroom apt. for under 2k pretty easily if you look out in the heartlands. We passed on a great one downtown (with no amenities) for $2200.

We pay about 2k for our 450 sq foot studio... but it came furnished and we didn't need much space.

We will probably move in a year. We are much more wise to the area and how the agents work (and how much room there is for negotiation.)

We spent a month looking - wish we spent 2 before we committed.

Good luck!

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Post by Tammy138 » Tue, 05 May 2009 3:51 am

Thanks for this.

Angmokio....when you mean in the "heartlands", what areas are you referring too? I don't mind checking it out when I land. I rather live a bit further out and know its a nice place and I am not paying expat prices for rent and grocery shopping. Is commute far to the business district or convenient?

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Post by AngMoKio » Tue, 05 May 2009 5:27 pm

I use the term 'heartlands' broadly. Heartlands is pretty much anywhere outside of downtown or the expensive expat areas. About 90% of Singapore probably qualifies. Heartlands in my mind represents the vast blocks of HDBs, Hawker Centers and Malls.

I, personally, would figure out where you are planning on working then backtrack a few stops on whatever mrt line or bus line is closest and look at areas that way. The bus system is pretty excellent compared to anywhere else in the world - don't rule it out.

There are no unsafe areas in Singapore, and there are many areas in the heartlands that border more interesting areas and/or green space. The nice thing about the heartlands is the availability of cheap good food, recreation and quiet.

The bad part I suppose is the population density and the fact that you will be living among non-expats (and advantage in my eyes.) Also, there are more HDB's and fewer condos and the areas can look like a cement jungles.

Also, don't discount HDB's on principal. They range GREATLY in accommodation depending on age and how much the owners have kept them updated. We have seen a few that rivaled condos and a few that were miserable. I think the agents showing both purposely showed the most decrepit ones in order to push us to expat condo areas... watch out for that.

We looked at a great 2 bedroom (converted from 3) HDB flat in Clementi that was renting for $1800 high floor and was recently renovated to a level close to our new condo. We would have taken it except it was too far from my wifes work.

Be prepared to bargain hard in this climate and realize that the price may get inflated if you are an expat.

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Post by wnyw » Tue, 05 May 2009 5:27 pm

AngMoKio... can i find out how's the rental like in AMK? I understand that this is a mature heartland area but i've read news that there are some good condo around this area too...

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Post by AngMoKio » Wed, 06 May 2009 2:41 pm

Sorry, I don't actually live over in AMK. There -are- some nice condo areas over there. Maybe someone on this board can help but we found it almost impossible to find an agent that specialized in an area. All we could find were people who wanted to show us places in Orchard. Finally we resorted to looking at the boards in the mrt station and calling random people.

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