Singapore Expats

MOVING FROM LOS ANGELES TO SINGAPORE NEXT MONTH

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.
Post Reply
eduardomi
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 5:42 pm
Location: Singapore

MOVING FROM LOS ANGELES TO SINGAPORE NEXT MONTH

Post by eduardomi » Sat, 16 Jan 2010 6:04 pm

Hello all,

This is our first post in these forums and we are very glad we found them. We have been reading for the past week and we have found lots of useful information to prepare for the change.

I will start with a bit about us:

We are a young couple (26-27) working and living in Los Angeles, CA; legally married.

I was recently offered a position in Singapore as Project Manager with a salary of approximately S 91,000/yr before taxes + bonuses. We have no kids or other ties to the US (Except for a lovely persian cat that we want to bring along).

Anyways, we are doing our due diligence investigating where to live and how to live. We are currently paying around $1,200 USD (approximately S $1,600) for a 1 bedroom apartment here in the States (Los Angeles is expensive!!!) and would like to spend the same (if not less) in Singapore. We are looking for a quiet, clean and SAFE place to live.

Our perfect place would be a 1 bedroom apartment for no more than S$1,600 per month in a good area. What neighborhoods/districts should we be looking at? (Most likely, I will be working at the OG Albert) I have read that owning a car is expensive so this place would need to be close to public transportation (referred as MRT?).

American fellows, please post your experiences, what difficulties did you have to go through and what your recommendations are to make the move easier. The company is trying to get me there by Mid February.

I appreciate everyone's help and we hope to receive helpful feedback.

Thank you very much!!!

e+r+c

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40452
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: MOVING FROM LOS ANGELES TO SINGAPORE NEXT MONTH - HELP-

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 Jan 2010 6:56 pm

eduardomi wrote:Hello all,

This is our first post in these forums and we are very glad we found them. We have been reading for the past week and we have found lots of useful information to prepare for the change.

I will start with a bit about us:

We are a young couple (26-27) working and living in Los Angeles, CA; legally married.

I was recently offered a position in Singapore as Project Manager with a salary of approximately S 91,000/yr before taxes + bonuses. We have no kids or other ties to the US (Except for a lovely persian cat that we want to bring along).

Anyways, we are doing our due diligence investigating where to live and how to live. We are currently paying around $1,200 USD (approximately S $1,600) for a 1 bedroom apartment here in the States (Los Angeles is expensive!!!) and would like to spend the same (if not less) in Singapore. We are looking for a quiet, clean and SAFE place to live.

First of all, 1 bedroom apartments are hard to find and rather expensive considering. The stand is a 2 bedroom which is okay as it gives you some breathing space and also room for guests (who will show up when they find out your are in the "Far East"!) Having said that, I don't think you will find a condo for that price (look around 2500 to start). You can however, find HDB flats and usually there are good bus & MRT links in HDB estates. It's possible to find a 2 BR HDB for around 14-1600/mo and maybe even as low as 1200/mo (Sing Dollars). The further out of the CBD you go the cheaper you can find them. Almost any place in Singapore is "Safe" but quiet is a relative term I guess. Most of Singapore is clean but only because of the multitude of Foreign Cleaners that have to constantly pick up behind the locals.

Our perfect place would be a 1 bedroom apartment for no more than S$1,600 per month in a good area. What neighborhoods/districts should we be looking at? (Most likely, I will be working at the OG Albert) I have read that owning a car is expensive so this place would need to be close to public transportation (referred as MRT?).

American fellows, please post your experiences, what difficulties did you have to go through and what your recommendations are to make the move easier. The company is trying to get me there by Mid February.

Somebody else can fill you in on the difficulties (few) to make the move (although the cat may pose a problem at short notice). Do a search here as there are a number of thread on the importation/quarantine of pets here. This yank made the move 27 years ago and arrived with a single suitcase, briefcase & a KBM diving mask with no other baggage. (Single) ;)

I appreciate everyone's help and we hope to receive helpful feedback.

Thank you very much!!!

e+r+c
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

amarettoSour
Regular
Regular
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:55 pm

Post by amarettoSour » Sat, 16 Jan 2010 7:15 pm

heya, i moved to Singapore after spending ~10 years in LA / Santa Monica area! i've only been here since november of last year though, so I'm not sure if I can be of help but i have to say my move was quite hassle free. I think I arranged everything including finding an apartment in 2 weeks (then again I was moving from another country 1hr flight away from Singapore, and I'm moving by myself).

you might want to talk to an agent to find a place. It's a bit hard to do by yourself since you are not physically here. I basically do a google search for agents and email them my preferences (rent range, AC, laundry, etc) and a few will reply with some pictures.

since you're both young, you might want to live closer to the south central area because that's where everything is. I live in Queenstown now and I'm loving this area!

eduardomi
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 5:42 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by eduardomi » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 4:50 am

Thanks for the replies.

We may need some help with acronyms like:

MRT (Trains?)
CBD (Business District?)
MOM (No idea)
HDB (Real estate company?)
PR (I read somewhere someone's wife applied for this)

So, if my office will be in the OG Albert and we cannot afford to spend more than S$1600; what district/neighborhood should we be looking for?

Important question: Is the offer I was presented fair? or will we struggle to get through the month? I know this depends on our own living habits but say we only spend necessary; would it be enough?

Where can I look for HDB flats? and is here anyone living in one of these flats? Whats is a HDB Flat? (to start with...)

Thank you all for your help. Please keep posting we want to hear your experience, anything helps.

Thanks!

e+r+c

User avatar
adione
Regular
Regular
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 11:04 am
Location: east

Post by adione » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 3:07 pm

eduardomi wrote: MRT (Trains?)
Mass Rapid Transit - that's the train/metro
you can get easily everywhere using MRT
and or buses - you don't really need a car here in SG

CBD (Business District?)
Central Business District
where all the major businesses/banks are located

MOM (No idea)
Ministry of Manpower
all the information you need about work passes and how to apply


HDB (Real estate company?)
Housing and Developing Board
(to put it simple) HDB apartments/building are built by the gov.


PR (I read somewhere someone's wife applied for this)
Permanent Resident - self-explanatory
check the ICA website for details


So, if my office will be in the OG Albert and we cannot afford to spend more than S$1600; what district/neighborhood should we be looking for?


with 1600 SGD you can find a 2+1 HDB furnished apartment, you don't need
to go far from your office, just search for apartments nearby
use google maps and any real estate website, http://singapore.gumtree.sg will help


Important question: Is the offer I was presented fair? or will we struggle to get through the month? I know this depends on our own living habits but say we only spend necessary; would it be enough?
cannot really help on average salaries but with that salary you both pay the bills, get out and have fun, save some money :)
taxes are very low here in SG and the cost of life can be quite cheap compared to western countries


Where can I look for HDB flats? and is here anyone living in one of these flats? Whats is a HDB Flat? (to start with...)

I'm Italian and I live in an HDB apartment, you won't have all the facilities you can find in a condo; the layout and the interior can be quite poor but there're many of them renovated or built recently, that means they will be
more cozy and with bigger spaces.
Clearly depends on what you're looking for, with the salary they have offered you, I think you can afford a condo.
Personally I prefer to save money since I find the prices too expensive, regardless if you can afford it or not: I prefer to save money for travelling and other things...
some websites:
-----------------
apartments (filter ads and pick the one with pictures, u can get an idea):

https://singapore.gumtree.sg

mom
http://www.mom.gov.sg/ (work passes and related VISAs)

ICA
http://www.ica.gov.sg/ (permanent resident and related)

IRAS
http://www.iras.gov.sg/ (taxes)

AOB:
www.google.com.sg

eduardomi
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 5:42 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by eduardomi » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 5:16 pm

Wow, adione! That was a very helpful post!!! Thank you very very much!!!

User avatar
adione
Regular
Regular
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 11:04 am
Location: east

Post by adione » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 6:35 pm

as SMS suggested ealier, maybe you can ask the employer to help you
with the move, e.g. having the accomodation set-up and paid
by the employer so you don't have to hassle with that stuff and
have time to settle and understand what's best for you.

There're also several offers for short term rental, that might be a good
option to settle the accomodation and have time to look around.

About the PR... I guess you will apply for an EP, a work pass that your
employer will sponsor; once you get that work pass you can extend it
to your wife (called dependant pass).
The PR will come only later when certain conditions are satisfied,
the links I posted earlier have all the details btw.

good luck and... keep in touch ;)

amarettoSour
Regular
Regular
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:55 pm

Post by amarettoSour » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 11:09 pm

I think you will find that you can probably afford more than SGD1600 given your salary (and you should be used to paying high rent anyway.. you know how los angeles is). when i looked around in November, most apartments are in the 2000+ range for a 2bd but maybe they have gone down since then?

I don't make as much as you do and my rent is considered pretty high for renting a room in an HDB, but cost of living is really not that expensive if you don't smoke or drink excessively and doesn't mind eating local food. Usually I spend less than SGD 5 for lunch (unless coworker decides to go somewhere other than the usual food court) and I can spend about the same amount for dinner as well at the food court near my apartment.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40452
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 11:47 pm

Also, have a look at my links page in my signature below for many, many other links, both commercial and governmental and general informative to help you along.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

eduardomi
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 5:42 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by eduardomi » Mon, 18 Jan 2010 5:48 am

Thank you all for your replies!!! We will certainly give a look at all these links.

We want to start our apartment search ASAP so we will keep you posted on how it goes.

Thanks!

n0s
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu, 03 Apr 2008 4:20 pm

Post by n0s » Sat, 20 Aug 2011 10:38 pm

eduardomi wrote:Thank you all for your replies!!! We will certainly give a look at all these links.

We want to start our apartment search ASAP so we will keep you posted on how it goes.

Thanks!
hey Eduardomi, i am moving to LA next month , would like to get some advise on housing too.

revhappy
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1068
Joined: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 9:16 pm

Post by revhappy » Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:49 am

When I started reading this thread, I didn't know it was an old thread thread ,bumped up. I was shocked by SMS's reply that you can find a 2br HDB for 14-1600. That reply was just 1 and 1/2 years ago. Amazing how things have changed. If the TS was asked to relocate to Singapore now with the same salary he would have probably shunned away, considering HDBs now cost 2.2K to rent :lol:

Eibow
Regular
Regular
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 7:12 am
Location: San Francisco/Singapore

Post by Eibow » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 2:50 pm

You would be posting in all caps coming from LA (I'm joking, I too will be moving from LA near Venice to Singapore).

I expected the same thing until I visited last month, but prices in a small area with heavy population growth (largely of ex-pats) makes it quite expensive. I have around the same budget (~$1,500) for my housing and it's looking pretty dismal- especially for having my own place. Right now in LA i have a big, 2BR apartment and thats about what I'm paying. Good luck! Let me know if you find success

S2GE
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 1:45 am

Post by S2GE » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 8:24 pm

I lived in Long Beach for awhile, what a hole. Not a fan of LA.

If you are making over 90K why limit yourself to 1600SGD?

I am moving to SIN in a few weeks and have been doing a lot of research. I don't think I'll get anything less than 2800 SGD and I'll be making less than half of what you'll be making.

From what I've seen SIN is way more expensive than LA.
À rebours

kokonee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 12:59 am

Post by kokonee » Tue, 18 Oct 2011 1:49 am

It can be quite difficult to find a studio that comes with a $1600 price tag.
I think its almost non existent now.
Property prices in Singapore have gone up to an extent of dizzying heights.
Even run down HDB 3 room flats are asking for $1800-$2000.
With an income of $8k per month, i think can more than afford a HDB 3 room rental.
Spending on condo is a luxury and unless you utilise the gym and pool frequently, then its not much difference from staying in HDB.
No doubt you have free parking in condo and security guards walking around, but come on Singapore is one of the safest place you can ever live in. You can walk out around 2am to morning and i can say you are still alive and kicking with no fear. Haha

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests