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Length of time to find an apartment / move in

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ottawan
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Length of time to find an apartment / move in

Post by ottawan » Sat, 05 Jun 2010 9:26 pm

Hello - I've been lurking/reading for a while. Have learnt lots of great stuff - thanks to all.

My wife and I are coming for a year to Singapore starting in August. What is typical length of time for finding an apartment and then length of time for move in?

We're intending to come sometime around August 7-8, rent a Serviced Apartment for a month, and are blithely assuming that we'll spend a week or so apartment hunting and then sign a one year lease for somewhere starting Sept 1. Are we being insane? e.g. should we get our serviced apartment for 2 mos instead of one, or should I make a point of flying over in July and choosing an apt then for a Sept 1 start date?

I think we've got all our other ducks in a row - have our EP and dependent's pass preliminary letter of approval, will open an HSBC bank account before we arrive, etc. We're bringing minimal household goods and they can be kept in storage for a month if needed.

Thanks for your help! Sorry if covered elsewhere - I looked but did not find.

cbavasi
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Post by cbavasi » Sat, 05 Jun 2010 10:58 pm

You will definitely have enough time if you allow 1 month. 6 weeks out tops. Most landlords will want to rent for the immediate month - especially now as the housing market has picked up from where it was last year. The only catch would be allowing enough time to have whatever adjustments you needed to happen (i.e. - paint, new appliances... etc) but even that would only take a couple of days. Just have a good idea of where you want to live, budget, how many rooms, transportation... etc so you don't waste a lot of time.

*Forgot to add - if you are only looking for a one year lease you may have a bit more trouble... not a lot - but a lot of places are looking for a 2 year lease. Still, one month would be plenty of time.

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 12:33 am

@OP: Just remember to act fast when you see a unit you like. There are instances where you're just on your on your way to a viewing only to be told, when you get there, that the unit has been taken already. And if something bothers you even if you can't put your finger on it, walk away anyway since it may bother you for the whole duration of your lease.

In any case, it seems you're giving this due diligence so you should be pretty knowledgeable already. Doing more research on house hunting surely wouldn't hurt.
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Big Mac
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Post by Big Mac » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 10:32 am

@OP - i think alot of it depends on the real estate agent and the realistic nature of your own budget. I recently relocated here and it took me 3 wks from viewing the first apartment to signing and moving in (which is going to be next weekend :D ). However a few of my colleagues that moved here has taken up to 3-4 months to find somethign they like. This was more a function of them being choosey as to the exact location, layout etc of their condo.

I think 4 wks is doable if you do research beforehand. ie narrow down roughly which areas you want to be living in and narrow down certain criterias you wish the condo to satisfy. Not sure which country you are coming from but i had to scale down rapidly my expectation of the condo size i wanted to live in! Space is a luxury in singapore!

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 10:35 am

this is just a guess but i think OP is from ottawa, ontario, canada. :P
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Post by Big Mac » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 5:57 pm

or it could be his surname is Wan and first name Otta?? :P

ottawan
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Post by ottawan » Sun, 06 Jun 2010 8:36 pm

Thanks for the replies. Fortunately, my parents did not name me Otta, but I do indeed live in Ottawa, Canada.

Our current Canadian house is a 110 year old 3 story brick home on a 5000 square foot treed lot. The carrying costs are about one tenth of a comparable Orchard area (or similar) black and white and the only resident reptiles are our rather snake-like next door neighbour :wink: We're still romantically dreaming of spending our Sinagpore year in a conservation shophouse magically renting at at least 25% off the going rate, but rather suspect good sense will kick in and we'll end up in an East Coast condo.

Since we will only be there 13 months, I don't think we can spend months looking for the perfect place - since then we'd be losing money on the tail end of a 12 month lease.

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Post by snowqueen » Sat, 12 Jun 2010 12:22 pm

We moved into are apartment within 3 weeks - 16 days to be exact and it was very stressful at the time. My husband's company only paid for us to stay in a hotel for 2 weeks, after that the costs were up to us and we really couldn't afford to have our money sucked up in hotel costs.

We already did some research on apartments for rent before we left, but completely changed our focus on the location when we got here. We decided to come to the East Coast as you get more bang for your buck compared to being in the central areas.

It can be done but you have to work and really get on top of those agents. Tell them exactly what you want and you've got no time to waste looking at unrealistic apartments which is what happened to us allot. They ask you a load of questions regarding budget, size, location etc then take you to places that are way over budget. They seem to think because you are expat you have money to burn.

We looked at our place our say on a Monday then moved in on the Saturday and they had all the air cons serviced, curtains dry cleaned, the place fully cleaned and re-painted. The worse part was getting our money from the UK to the SG bank in time to get the check made out to the landlord.

ReubenSim
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Post by ReubenSim » Sun, 27 Jun 2010 1:56 am

Right now, it should be able to take shorter than 3 weeks.. :D

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