Hey rs2000 - wow harsh welcoming here.. Haven't been on this forum in a while but damn looks like you asked the wrong question
I've been living in SG for 3 years, and am myself in the process of finding a new condo
withing the same budget.
A few comments:
- travel time: if you're ok for up to 50min travel time, you can definitely widen your search to other areas and even afford a transfer from a bus or an MRT line to another. I suppose what will take most of the time if the travel from your condo to the bus/MRT station and from the bus/MRT station to your work place. So if these two are close to bus/MRT stations, don;t worry about the travel time it won;t be difficult to match your criteria.
are a bit far from MRT stations though, so that's something you want to use to shortlist them.
My advice is don;t limit yourself to the direct lines, as you can very easily transfer from a line to another without sweating it (the purple line and green line, the purple line and red line, the green and red line - these combos call for a very easy and almost seamless transfer)
- location: look up condos in Bishan/Ang Mo Kio area. Its on the red line and pretty fast to get to Raffles. You might have to go a bit above $3k but it would be worth it in terms of travel time. You might also wanna look at the east or west side: it's on the green line, direct to Raffles and you can go as far as Clementi (west) or Kembangang (east) without worrying about the travel time.
- Other things to consider: proximity of shopping center: you'll probably need at least some kind of supermarket (Fairprice, Cold Storage, Shop N Save etc..) close by. If your condo is near an MRT station then there will be places to get your groceries from close by. If not, make sure you scope the surroundings. Unless you have someone at home who can do all the grocery shopping by car or bus or whatever..
Another important advice has been mentioned here: get yourself here and view the condos by yourself. Some are old (15 years old) and still in excellent condition, some are very new but cut off from everything else. And some flats have the worst layout ever. And for your price range you can find very different levels of quality, so I'm afraid the best way to get a better idea of what's out there is to book yourself a few days of "viewings" , it will help you a lot assess the location and the type of condo you want.
Oh last piece of advice: don't listen to agents who will tell you you can't find 3 bedrooms at $3k in those locations. Just stick to your budget and be firm on what quality you want. Don't make concessions you're not happy with, and don't rush signing.
Also, always bargain the rent price. Not usual overseas, but in Singapore, it's always worth the shot to ask for a $100-200 reduction. Especially if:
- the condo is rented for 2 years
- the condo is not furnished or just partially furnished or has old furniture
I hope this helps