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Several questions about moving for work in Singapore

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hyperinflation
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Several questions about moving for work in Singapore

Post by hyperinflation » Sun, 14 Jun 2009 10:30 pm

I am American considering moving to Singapore for work. Having lived in Bangkok for 10 years, I find the housing prices absolutely abominable. I do not wish to share a residence, and the cheapest legal option I see right now is SHiFT housing at $1250 SGD per month! Can anyone suggest something less expensive? (no room mates please) I really don't need 2 bedrooms. Don't they have cheap studio apartments in Singapore? Just a bed, bathroom, kitchen and private entrance is all I'm looking for.

Now, as I understand it, SHiFT housing is completely unfurnished and does not include air conditioning. The furniture part is not really a problem for me, but I do require air conditioning. Can anyone suggest how much it costs to add a single room air conditioner to an HDB flat? Would I be permitted to do this under the terms of my rental agreement?

Next, my wife of 5 years is Thai. What are the rules in Singapore about bringing her along? According to the MOM website I should qualify for an Employment Pass. Does this automatically grant her eligibility as well, or are there more hoops to jump through?

The few times I've visited Singapore I've found the cost of living to be quite expensive. Can someone give me an idea of the current prices that I might be expected to pay for a meal at a foodstall in a HDB housing district?

Finally, does anyone know if it is possible to get a permit to import my car from Thailand? If so, how much would I have to pay for this privilege?

Does anybody have any advice they can share about low cost living in Singapore?

Thanks for any information.

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Re: Several questions about moving for work in Singapore

Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 14 Jun 2009 11:50 pm

hyperinflation wrote:Finally, does anyone know if it is possible to get a permit to import my car from Thailand? If so, how much would I have to pay for this privilege?
If your car is right hand drive and it should be in Thailand, then maybe you can bring it in if it is not more than 3 years old.

First pay a surcharge of S$10,000. You will have to pay 20 percent customs duty on the car's value plus other odds and ends, then 7 percent GST, then about S$12,000 to get to certificate to drive it, then 100 percent of the value as registration tax, plus your road tax, about S$1000.

You get the feeling they really don't want you to do this? It is complicated to do as well. See here for all the gory details.

http://www.onemotoring.com.sg/publish/o ... mp/Car.pdf

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Post by Teejay22 » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:15 am

Hey mate, from starting a completly new topic and annoy everyone from posting the same thing.

I have the same problem - i am planning in the near future to move to Singapore (just myself) and will be looking at a place to stay - like hyper said, nothing too intense, just a basic 1bed, kitchen etc.

Because moving from Australia to Singapore - in terms of rent...its huge! im paying 200/pw for a 3bedroom, kitchen, lounge, backyard padio and close to schools, trains, shops etc - its a deplex.

But compare that to what i have seen around 3500/pm SGD, devide by 4 and convert to AUD...then you got a hefty weekly pay O_o. Then again 3500sgd is what i have seen? There any good websites i can have a look at aswell? So confusing :/ lol.

Is it this hard to move to Singapore when cost of living seems so high?

Thanks, and sorry for kind of hijacking the thread (didnt want a create a similar or the same thread because the questions are the same practically)

Regards,
TJ

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Re: Several questions about moving for work in Singapore

Post by hyperinflation » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:31 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
hyperinflation wrote:Finally, does anyone know if it is possible to get a permit to import my car from Thailand? If so, how much would I have to pay for this privilege?
First pay a surcharge of S$10,000. You will have to pay 20 percent customs duty on the car's value plus other odds and ends, then 7 percent GST, then about S$12,000 to get to certificate to drive it, then 100 percent of the value as registration tax, plus your road tax, about S$1000.
Thanks Strong Eagle. Sorry I asked. :(

I assume when I leave my job in Singapore they'll give me all this money back? :lol:

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Post by LoriW » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:40 am

I'm due to move out in a couple of weeks from the UK and looked at SHIFT housing and explored all sorts of other options. From my point of view, the whole point of moving abroad to work has to be for career advancement, to earn a decent living wage and also for the life experience.

I've chosen to rent an HDB flat - these start at about $1500 fully furnished - mine has full aircon too and it's a 2 bed flat with an ensuite shower room in the main bedroom as well as a massive kitchen. It's a pretty large sum to me for renting, considering that the mortgage on my 4-bed detached house with good sized garden in the UK is half that! I'd say that for Americans and Australians, the price contrast is even steeper - an Aussie colleague recently moved back to the antipodes because he found the UK too expensive to live!

If you have a job before you move out, your employer should sort out your employment pass and dependants pass for your wife. With my contract, I received all the necessary documents to fill out and send back to HR at my new workplace.

Food is amazingly cheap - although nowhere near as cheap as Thailand - Singapore is a very expensive place to live and although I'm not there yet, I'm certainly hoping to save some money in the 3 years I'm out there. If you live as a local - eating at hawker centres rather than at expat hangouts, live in HDB rather than in a condo, don't run a car - public transport is excellent and taxis are cheap and reliable.

I chose Singapore because I'm of Singaporean origin - never lived there but visited regularly. I have a lot of family there who gave me lots of advice when I was there for a visit a couple of weeks ago too.

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Post by Teejay22 » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:45 am

Interesting - i heard that Singapore dont pay as much tax aswell? Compared to Australians anyway! Is that true?

While comparing wages - what might be the common, lets say average wage? Maybe from low to medium income earner?

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Post by TommyD » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 8:44 am

Teejay22 wrote:Interesting - i heard that Singapore dont pay as much tax aswell? Compared to Australians anyway! Is that true?

While comparing wages - what might be the common, lets say average wage? Maybe from low to medium income earner?
TJ, max tax for an expat is 17% here, but i've been told it averages at about 10-12% when the gov calculates your tax for you.

Rent is about the same as the inner suburbs of Sydney, and geographically it's very similar, i.e. you'll pay the same amount here for a flat 5km from the centre of Singapore as you would for a flat 5km from the centre of Sydney. The difference here is that there are no "fringe" suburbs that are really cheap as the place is so small.

I'm paying SGD1250 for a room in a share flat (a nice one with a pool and stuff) which is about the same as i was paying for a room in a share flat in Balmain, Sydney. When you factor in that you don't need a car here, food is really cheap and tax is about half of Aus tax, then it looks a lot cheaper.

Can i ask where in Aus are you paying 200pw for a 3 bedroom house with yard etc?

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Re: Several questions about moving for work in Singapore

Post by nushk » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:22 am

there are studio apartments (i.e. no separate bedrooms, comes with kitchen (may be open concept kitchen), bathroom, sitting room right next to bed'room' area) at chinatown (e.g. pearl bank apartment) for about $1000. some are furnished for that price, including an air-conditioner (though, quite old ones). for a little more, at about $1200 or $1300, you can find studio apartments at river valley area, in old condominums, furnished with air-conditioner. searching for apartments online can be rather misleading, as these are mostly targeted at extremely wealthy expats. a look at the classifieds from a local newspaper could give you more options.

of course there are even studio apartments in the east, and cheaper ones at geylang (some as low as $900 furnished). but the furnishing can be quite scummy.


a meal at a HDB foodstall or hawker centre can be as cheap as S$3 per person (without any drinks) - and I think there are several stalls that still have food that goes for S$2.50. you definitely can get a plate of noodles or rice or carrot cake (hm!!) for S$3. so food isn't too expensive (not compared to thailand of course).

hyperinflation wrote:I am American considering moving to Singapore for work. Having lived in Bangkok for 10 years, I find the housing prices absolutely abominable. I do not wish to share a residence, and the cheapest legal option I see right now is SHiFT housing at $1250 SGD per month! Can anyone suggest something less expensive? (no room mates please) I really don't need 2 bedrooms. Don't they have cheap studio apartments in Singapore? Just a bed, bathroom, kitchen and private entrance is all I'm looking for.

Now, as I understand it, SHiFT housing is completely unfurnished and does not include air conditioning. The furniture part is not really a problem for me, but I do require air conditioning. Can anyone suggest how much it costs to add a single room air conditioner to an HDB flat? Would I be permitted to do this under the terms of my rental agreement?

Next, my wife of 5 years is Thai. What are the rules in Singapore about bringing her along? According to the MOM website I should qualify for an Employment Pass. Does this automatically grant her eligibility as well, or are there more hoops to jump through?

The few times I've visited Singapore I've found the cost of living to be quite expensive. Can someone give me an idea of the current prices that I might be expected to pay for a meal at a foodstall in a HDB housing district?

Finally, does anyone know if it is possible to get a permit to import my car from Thailand? If so, how much would I have to pay for this privilege?

Does anybody have any advice they can share about low cost living in Singapore?

Thanks for any information.

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Post by ching » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:27 pm

You could also try up north, or somewhere in the west of Singapore. Like other cities, the further away from downtown, the more reasonable the rents are.

It's true that Singapore isn't very big in terms of distance, but if you think in terms of commuting time (via bus or train) - rent can be quite reasonable when you're 45 - 60 minutes from the city center.

I saw nobody answered your question about your Thai wife. If you get an Employment Pass then she would be eligible for a Dependent's Pass: http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal ... _pass.html
Tips from expats living in Singapore - http://www.livinginsingapore.org

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