Any expat consider HDB?

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LoriW
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Post by LoriW » Wed, 13 May 2009 3:54 pm

"Boondocks"!!! Love it!

Anyway, I think that I'd not be too fussed about living a little further out - although a cross island commute in the rush hour doesn't seem too appealing either.

If the place is unfurnished a a bit scruffy, again it's not too big a deal - I can then make the place more like home for me. Certainly when I've bought houses in the past I've gone out of my way to look for somewhere which needed decorating but was in good structural condition.

Probably I'd like aircon - being used to a rather more temperate climate, but then again, I've stayed in plenty of places with just fans too - fair enough recently for only a week or so and as a child for 6 to 8 weeks (A/C wasn't so common back in the early 70s!)

As far as I understand, with the SHIFT scheme you're not allowed to sublet - which is fine, the only other person who might be living there would be my partner, but then again, we have agreed that if he does travel over to join me, he would have to be on a good expat package including a good housing allowance!

I would want a spare room to put up visitors in. Cooking smells .......... can't stand them, but a few perfumed candles and room sprays as well as a good airing ought to sort that!! :wink:

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Post by Addadude » Wed, 13 May 2009 5:10 pm

Lori, honestly, your cousin's place sounds like a better deal. SHIFT flats are very basic indeed and won't be a whole lot cheaper.
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Post by metroguy » Wed, 13 May 2009 5:21 pm

Here's my take on SHiFT flats.

Disadvantages

1. They do not come with any furniture or air-con or water heater. But one is free to get whatever they want installed, but it has to be uninstalled when they vacate.

2. Chances are they are not at a lift level

3. One cannot view the flat before taking it up.

4. Once vacated, one will automatically be ineligible for SHiFT scheme. i.e. If you rent a JTC flat and vacate later, you can never ever be able to rent a JTC flat again. I was quite surprised about this unwritten rule. I vacated the JTC flat I used to live in, as my work location changed. I learnt about this unwritten rule when I wanted to rent JTC flat again.

5. It needs minimum 2 persons to apply for a JTC flat. For some strange reason, one cannot apply if one wants to live by oneself.

Advantages

1. No landlord hassles

2. One can rent as long one wants to

3. Slightly cheaper than market rate, though unfurnished.

4. Excellent and prompt Service - if you find anything faulty within the first 2 weeks of tenancy, they will replace it.

Hope this helps.[/u]
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LoriW
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Post by LoriW » Wed, 13 May 2009 5:34 pm

OK thanks guys :)

Apologies Tammy138 for hijacking your thread .......

So currently the options open to me will be my cousin's place, staying with an elderly aunt while her daughter and family are abroad for a year (probably the cheapest but least appealing option), and then I don't know if anyone knows about A*Star, but another relative who also works there tells me that they have something called a "service apartment" at their headquarters which is rented out to employees at a discounted rate?

Then there's the SHIFT option, or a flatshare - which doesn't look to be that much cheaper than an HDB flat and having lived in my own property for 20 years, going back to student days or my first few months at work of sharing with strangers sounds pretty gruesome.

Then, there's the condo option which I really don't want to do simply because I don't want to spend a large chunk of my salary on rent!

Oh and another option .......... my father as a Singaporean citizen is entitled to buy a HDB flat which he is considering doing and spending 6 months of the year in the UK and 6 months in Singapore .......... then again going back to living with Daddy after about 26 years doesn't sound great either!

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Post by Tammy138 » Wed, 13 May 2009 7:50 pm

No worries LoriW....I am still baffled on what I am going to do with housing. Good luck!

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Post by LoriW » Wed, 13 May 2009 9:20 pm

[quote]I am still baffled on what I am going to do with housing.[quote]

Hahahahaha!! You and me both Tammy!! And all the rest of it! It's 6 weeks before I move and I'm starting to get a little freaked!

Good luck to you too! :)

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Post by Tammy138 » Wed, 13 May 2009 11:33 pm

At least you have 6 weeks LoriW....i have 4! and have no clue what Singapore looks like. Searching for apartments online just seems weird. Freaked out is no longer the word to describe me :?

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Post by LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:09 am

and have no clue what Singapore looks like
Eeek!! I think you're very brave (along with everyone else!!) to choose to go to a totally new country!

Where are you from? The UK? If that's the case, I'd probably say that apart from the climate, it shouldn't feel "too" "foreign" - or at least that's what my beloved says!! :wink: He visited Singapore for the first time about 5 years ago and was thrown immediately into "local life" staying with one of my aunts in HDB land. He loves it and it's actually bizzare that I managed to get a job before he has! I was probably less keen to move than he was!

Basically, Singapore is a former British colony and a lot of the old colonial stuff remains.

I think that for me the biggest change will be the fact that I can't live in a detached house surrounded by fields nor can I own and drive a fast car!! I'm sooo sad at having sold my car on monday in preparation for the move - and bought a cheap little runabout to keep for when I'm home!

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Post by Tammy138 » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:14 am

Yeah I am from London. I am excited but also freaking out of going at the same time. I think housing is my biggest concern as I really was not expecting the rentals over there to be so expensive.

Know what you mean about missing the house though...but hey, the positive is that smaller place..less cleaning to do :)

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Post by LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:43 am

I think housing is my biggest concern as I really was not expecting the rentals over there to be so expensive.
Absolutely!! Me too! Our mortgage for a 4 bed detached house (because we're "old"!!) is about £300 a month! To be paying what will essentially be way in excess of £700 a month for a shoebox is just too horrific!!

Problem is, I'm just not sure that I can deal with a flatshare long term at my stage in life!

From what I've seen condos can be TINY!! You can get a much bigger HDB flat for the same price as a condo half the size!

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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 14 May 2009 10:41 am

LoriW wrote:From what I've seen condos can be TINY!! You can get a much bigger HDB flat for the same price as a condo half the size!
New condos, yes, but older ones can very spacious.
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Post by LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 3:21 pm

New condos, yes, but older ones can very spacious.
Hmmm .............. Dairy Farm is considered to be rather ancient and past it's sell by date. Think my cousin has lived there for the best part of 20 years. They have a 3 bed condo which, I suppose by Singaporean standards is "spacious". I have no idea how much such a place would be to rent but I'd like to bet my bottom dollar on it costing twice as much as say another cousin's 15 year old HDB flat/maisonette which is I'd say in terms of area much the same size as our house!

Of course there are bigger properties out there, but if you're on a budget ........ I would certainly say that on my own, I'm nowhere in the league to rent either of the apartments I've just described!!

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Post by Addadude » Thu, 14 May 2009 6:07 pm

Lori, up your budget to $2k per month, check out some of the older condos further out (including East Coast), be prepared to bargain hard and you might well be able to get something larger than a shoebox.
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Post by Tammy138 » Thu, 14 May 2009 6:14 pm

Addadude: my budget is max 2k for a 2 bed....is East coast my only option? which area would you suggest?

Lori: Ditto that on the sharing. I am way too old to share with someone..been living in my own place for so long. The thought of having to been disciplined and tidy the place all the time cos of a flatmate is scary!

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Post by LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 7:03 pm

$2k is almost £1000!! That's outrageous!

Yes my salary will probably stretch to that but honestly .......... from a very girlie point of view, the difference between that and $1500 for an HDB flat is a pretty amazing pair of shoes once a month! Or a hell of a lot of beer! Or ....... more realistically, half the cost of a flight home!

East Coast isn't a huge issue - apart from the fact that I'll be working on Jurong Island so will have to cross the CBD going to and from work! I'd consider anywhere though!

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