Where would you live if you were in my position...

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nburge
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Where would you live if you were in my position...

Post by nburge » Sun, 03 Apr 2011 11:37 pm

Hi, I'm moving to Singapore in May and am struggling to weigh up the different places on offer. Mainly because it seems the closer you get to nightlife and the more modern the building, the higher the price/smaller the apartment you can get. As such I wondered whether you guys can point me at other districts that might meet my needs without breaking the bank.

I'm early 30's and will be moving to Singapore with my wife. I'm going to be working from home, so the distance to the city isn't relevant, but she will be looking for a job so I guess proximity to good transport should still feature. We don't have kids. I'd like to live close to a few bars/restaurants where we can go in the evening, and within the property I quite like modern fixtures and fittings - a decent kitchen (with oven), modern bathroom (no old school bathtubs made of bakelite!) and a reasonable amount of space.

As I'm paying for it, I don't really want to spend more than $4k per month. So far I've looked at Holland Village (where that might get a 1 bed condo, or a 3 bed bungalow), Near Boat/Clarke Quay (where I'd struggle to get a small one bed condo, but they look very stylish), and out on the East Coast (but the nightlife is non-existent).

Any ideas where else I could try given my budget and requirements? I know I'm going to have to make some tradeoffs given the small amount I have for rent, just keen to narrow down my choices before I arrive and can look for myself.

Thanks,

Neil.

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Post by Asdracles » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:02 pm

With a good public transportation around the city, I would be a bit more flexible about the location. It will save you some good $$ that you can use to improve your accommodation standard.

I'm not sure about the prices, but if proximity to Clarke Quay is a plus, places as Farrer Park are 7 minutes away by MRT, and I'm quite sure that rentals will be much cheaper. Maybe Outram Park too, with the plus of being a connecting station (Green and Purple Line).

And IMHO Holland Village doesn't fit too well in the definition of "proximity to good transport should still feature". Maybe in a couple of years, with the Circle Line extension.

That's my 2cents advice.

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Re: Where would you live if you were in my position...

Post by JayCee » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:38 pm

nburge wrote: So far I've looked at Holland Village (where that might get a 1 bed condo, or a 3 bed bungalow),
Absolutely no chance of that for $4K, try closer to 10

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Post by nakatago » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 1:01 pm

Asdracles wrote:
And IMHO Holland Village doesn't fit too well in the definition of "proximity to good transport should still feature". Maybe in a couple of years, with the Circle Line extension..
Actually, right now, it's already very accessible and the MRT station should open 'round October. Problem is, greedy landlords are using that as an excuse to charge rents so high up the wazoo... :x
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Re: Where would you live if you were in my position...

Post by x9200 » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 1:06 pm

JayCee wrote:
nburge wrote: So far I've looked at Holland Village (where that might get a 1 bed condo, or a 3 bed bungalow),
Absolutely no chance of that for $4K, try closer to 10
A small chance for not that all fresh a 3BR terrace house.

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Post by nakatago » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 1:11 pm

He can get a nice, old HDB unit, though. :P
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Post by nburge » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 3:35 pm

OK, the location was one of the things I was trying to get right - ideally I want somewhere that has shops/bars/restaurants within walking distance (I live near a tube in London, but seldom bother to use it when going out for the night). I guess if the locations I'm looking at are much too expensive I'll have to reconsider.

I may not have the right lexicon for the housing types in Singapore too - the places in Chip Bee Gardens look like a 3 bed bungalow (from the internet sites) but the ability to work out what you're actually going to end up with is tough as there are very few good photos online.

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Post by nakatago » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 3:39 pm

nburge wrote:OK, the location was one of the things I was trying to get right - ideally I want somewhere that has shops/bars/restaurants within walking distance (I live near a tube in London, but seldom bother to use it when going out for the night). I guess if the locations I'm looking at are much too expensive I'll have to reconsider.

I may not have the right lexicon for the housing types in Singapore too - the places in Chip Bee Gardens look like a 3 bed bungalow (from the internet sites) but the ability to work out what you're actually going to end up with is tough as there are very few good photos online.
use street view then, with caveats.
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Post by JayCee » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 4:43 pm

nburge wrote:OK, the location was one of the things I was trying to get right - ideally I want somewhere that has shops/bars/restaurants within walking distance (I live near a tube in London, but seldom bother to use it when going out for the night). I guess if the locations I'm looking at are much too expensive I'll have to reconsider.

I may not have the right lexicon for the housing types in Singapore too - the places in Chip Bee Gardens look like a 3 bed bungalow (from the internet sites) but the ability to work out what you're actually going to end up with is tough as there are very few good photos online.
I don't know much about chip bee but I'd say that if rent is below 4K there then it's very much the exception to the rule, landed property in Singapore is by-and-large very expensive.

I'd recommend you take a look at Dover Parkview or Heritage view condos, you should be able to get a 2 bedder inside 4K and Rochester Park is just over the road if you want restaurants. Not so good for bars, but it's only about 1km from Holland village if you really want to be near there, and Ghim Moh and holland avenue have plenty of more local-style food places

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Re: Where would you live if you were in my position...

Post by Saint » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 4:47 pm

nburge wrote: and out on the East Coast (but the nightlife is non-existent).
You sure you were looking in the right place??

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Post by Saint » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 5:13 pm

nburge wrote:I may not have the right lexicon for the housing types in Singapore too - the places in Chip Bee Gardens look like a 3 bed bungalow (from the internet sites) but the ability to work out what you're actually going to end up with is tough as there are very few good photos online.
Think I might have found these places for rent online. They are cheap rental for a number of reasons. Firstly they a terrace houses well over 20 years old. No pics of bathrooms so probably just a couple of holes in the floor!

General rule of thumb, if an agent advertise a property online with no interior pics it's normally for one of two reasons.

1) The agent doesn't actually have the property on their books and just want you to call them up so they can try and get you as a client. This is normally for condos
2) For a landed property with no pics probably means it old and hideous inside, or as they might quote as being in original condition. If the landed property has been recently renovated the agent will most likely post pics to show it has

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Post by nburge » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 6:06 pm

Thanks Jaycee, I'll check those places out.

Re: East Coast - I posted on here and someone told me there weren't that many bars available, and the the food options were mainly food courts. A friend of mine used to live in Singapore and recommended Holland Village (hence looking there) and I knew the area around Clarke Quay from previous visits.

Ideally I want to narrow my search down to one or two areas so I can get somewhere asap when I arrive - I'm funding my own move so I don't want to be living in a hotel/serviced apartment for any longer than necessary.

I'll also bear in mind what you say about the estate agents - my feeling from what's been written is that I'd be better off sticking with a smaller condo than a cheap landed property given my meagre budget.

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Post by BillyB » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 6:42 pm

nburge wrote:Thanks Jaycee, I'll check those places out.

Re: East Coast - I posted on here and someone told me there weren't that many bars available, and the the food options were mainly food courts. A friend of mine used to live in Singapore and recommended Holland Village (hence looking there) and I knew the area around Clarke Quay from previous visits.

Ideally I want to narrow my search down to one or two areas so I can get somewhere asap when I arrive - I'm funding my own move so I don't want to be living in a hotel/serviced apartment for any longer than necessary.

I'll also bear in mind what you say about the estate agents - my feeling from what's been written is that I'd be better off sticking with a smaller condo than a cheap landed property given my meagre budget.
Neil, if you aren't a complete p*sshead then you don't need to be that near boat quay or clarke quay. The noise from there will drive you nuts. Might be beer on close tap but peace and quiet do help those hangovers!! I wanted to be central when I first arrived but settled for River Valley - a stones throw away from the CBD, Orchard, Clarke & Boat quay and it has amenities, smaller bars and plenty of places to dine and shops a plenty. And you should be able to find a 1 bed unit in a modern block somewhere close to your 4k budget.

Although referring back to your first post, have a little look at where the companies that your Mrs will be applying to are situated; might be something to factor in to your search.

Remember that Singapore has great transport and cabs are easy to flag or book, and a trip across the Island is only going to cost you $20-30 at the most. A short trip into town from Holland Village or River Valley is gonna be $10-15 maximum.

Another alternative area to consider is Novena.

One more point to note is all the building work going up in town. We have had no peace for 10 months with workers starting at 7am everyday including weekends. Try to look for a development that doesn't have older condo's next to it that could be torn down or is surrounded by current building work as the the time estimates for completion are usually way off. We were told 3 month until completion. 10 months later there is still 10 more floors to go on top!!

Good luck, put enough effort into your search and I'm sure you'll find somewhere great.

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