Questions..housing allowance/east coast rentals

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standingroomonly
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Questions..housing allowance/east coast rentals

Post by standingroomonly » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 6:45 am

DH and I along with our two kids (under 2 years old right now) may be moving to Singapore in about 1 year ...or sooner depending. I'm starting some research by poking around on these forums and elsewhere.

We've done a 1 year IA in Japan, so we've at least done this once before, but I imagine it feels fairly new each time you jump into a new place...

My husband would be working in or around district 15 from what I can tell... What I have narrowed it down to so far is living somewhere on the east coast (for the sea breezes and view of the ocean...oil rigs/transport ships included of course)... Aalto looks really nice (so far one of the top likes), but would like to know if there are any new complexes with ocean views on the east coast going up? Sentosa Island looked tempting, but I know how wonderful convenience is when you have kids...so I believe that option is off the table for us.

We aren't sure of our budget (company provided budget that is)...in Japan we stayed in a top-rated place and had a high budget based on Japan standards, but Singapore prices are much much higher even in relation to Japan. It looks to be 10-15k for a decent sized new/newer apartment 2400 square feet+. Looking for decent sized bedrooms is also another issue with the newer complexes and seems to require renting a penthouse to achieve the larger bedroom size...

Is it very common for large companies to provide a housing rental budget of 15k and upwards in Singapore? Anyone care to comment on their your housing allowance?

With so many choices for apartments...It would be nice to have in narrowed down to a handful to save some headaches later or the feeling of being completely clueless as to where we should live.

So questions for you...
Is it common for large companies to provide a huge rent budget?
Do you know of new complexes on the east coast with ocean views?

Thanks!

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beppi
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Post by beppi » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 4:33 pm

Housing allowances, together with other Expat perks, are getting rarer all the time, as people are more willing to move on their own and there is more "competition" with people from poorer countries.
S$15k/month is certainly reserved for company presidents and such folks. For others, around S$4000 seems to be common. For that, you can get a decent apartment half the size of what you have in mind.

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 22 Sep 2011 4:49 pm

Yeah, $15k? Only for C-level or maybe Sr Director I'd imagine.

For comparison, I moved here on "local" terms, ie no expat package. (Great salary though) I had the exact same requirements as you for location, but can get by with just the base necessities, so I rented an HDB at Marine Parade (East Coast). S$2600/month. High floor, excellent view. Very breezy. 5-7 minute walk to either the beach or Parkway Parade.

Here it is the view:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6009/600 ... f6ae_b.jpg

standingroomonly
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Post by standingroomonly » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 12:24 am

Thanks for your thoughts beppi & zzm...I was thinking 15k may be too good to be true for an allowance, but one can dream right? I guess we'll see what the terms are when the time comes..

That picture does look great--love the trees and the ocean view.

How is the ocean there on the east coast? There are a lot of ocean liners / cargo ships coming in and out, so is the water murky most of the time or fairly clear? Would the average person want to swim in it? Large waves or small most of the time? Sharks or other creatures known to lurk around the shore?

Thanks!

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:25 am

Well, I definitely wouldn't call it an Ocean here. Technically it's a Strait just off the South China Sea. It isn't too far across; about half the time I can clearly see Indonesia across; on some uncommonly clear days I can make out power line towers and buildings.

Because of that, the waves don't tend to be very large. It's not the cleanest water I've been in, but it is far from the dirtiest. After large storms lots of junk tends to wash up, but Singapore's army of foreign labor tends to clear the beaches quickly.

For a regional comparison, I'd say its about on-par with the water I've seen in Hong Kong (south shore of HK Island) or some of the resort towns in Vietnam. (say Nha Trang), but with a lot more boats. It is much cleaner than the beaches I've visited in India. (Chennai and Mangalore). But it definitely isn't the "blue water" beaches seen in the Caribbean.

Those aren't cruise liners either- they're mostly old run down transports and fishing boats. Depending on the direction of the breeze you very occasionally have a bad odor of diesel.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Sep 2011 12:20 pm

standingroomonly wrote:
How is the ocean there on the east coast? There are a lot of ocean liners / cargo ships coming in and out, so is the water murky most of the time or fairly clear? Would the average person want to swim in it? Large waves or small most of the time? Sharks or other creatures known to lurk around the shore?

Thanks!
It's green water so visibility is very limited. The average person here swims in it with no ill effects, (Not like HK Harbour)

Waves? Nah. Not even small, ripples only.

Buaya only........:-)

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standingroomonly
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Post by standingroomonly » Sat, 24 Sep 2011 4:07 am

Thanks all for the input--I have a better (more realistic) picture in my mind of the ocean area now.

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