Which districts to research before move?

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Aussie_family
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Which districts to research before move?

Post by Aussie_family » Fri, 28 Oct 2011 8:27 pm

Hi, we're an Aussie family (one 18mth old girl) moving to Singapore in January 2012 on a local contract, not expat package (ie we pay for rent, medical and schooling).

Just hoping somebody can give us pointers on a few things:

1. What districts we should be researching to live in - my husband's work is in Maple Tree Business City

2. From what I've read to live close by (not more than 30-40 min commute) we'd be looking at a 2 or 3 bedroom condo between $4-5K a month - as we're new to apartment living (having lived in a 3 bedroom house and yard in Oz in the suburbs) - we'd like one with nice facilities for myself and my daughter to enjoy while hubby is working - is this $ enough for a reasonable condo nearby or is the East Coast a better fit for a young family?

3. Medical insurance isn't included in the package and I need one to include o/b for 2nd baby - what is the cost we'd need to budget?

4. Rough budget for expenses - we don't live a lavish lifestyle being a young family but would still like to enjoy our time in Singapore - are these costs reasonable?:
- Utilities (will prob run a/c 18 to 24 hours while we get used to the heat/humidity) - $300 per month
Mobile phone for me (hubby's is paid) - $50
Cable - $70
Internet - $70
Gym membership for me only - $100.00
swimming lessons for 18mth old - $150.00
Travel to work for Hubby - $150.00
GP consultation, dentist monthly (we're at dr once a month for 18mth old) - $100.00
Hubby's lunch - $150.00
Eating out (we only eat out in Aus once a wk but assume as groceries cost are more in Sing than we might eat out more) - $300.00
Groceries - $1,000.00
Taxi - getting around (no car) - $300.00
Entertainment - $200.00
Alcohol - $200.00
Singapore contents insurance?
income protection ?
preschool costs at International School?

Thanks so much for any helpful advice - the above is what I've guessed from reading forum posts but obviously having not been to Singapore yet would love to get these costs clarified by someone living there.

Many thanks
S

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wannamove
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Re: Which districts to research before move?

Post by wannamove » Fri, 28 Oct 2011 9:27 pm

Aussie_family wrote:Hi, we're an Aussie family (one 18mth old girl) moving to Singapore in January 2012 on a local contract, not expat package (ie we pay for rent, medical and schooling).

Just hoping somebody can give us pointers on a few things:

1. What districts we should be researching to live in - my husband's work is in Maple Tree Business City

2. From what I've read to live close by (not more than 30-40 min commute) we'd be looking at a 2 or 3 bedroom condo between $4-5K a month - as we're new to apartment living (having lived in a 3 bedroom house and yard in Oz in the suburbs) - we'd like one with nice facilities for myself and my daughter to enjoy while hubby is working - is this $ enough for a reasonable condo nearby or is the East Coast a better fit for a young family?

3. Medical insurance isn't included in the package and I need one to include o/b for 2nd baby - what is the cost we'd need to budget?

4. Rough budget for expenses - we don't live a lavish lifestyle being a young family but would still like to enjoy our time in Singapore - are these costs reasonable?:
- Utilities (will prob run a/c 18 to 24 hours while we get used to the heat/humidity) - $300 per month
Mobile phone for me (hubby's is paid) - $50
Cable - $70
Internet - $70
Gym membership for me only - $100.00
swimming lessons for 18mth old - $150.00
Travel to work for Hubby - $150.00
GP consultation, dentist monthly (we're at dr once a month for 18mth old) - $100.00
Hubby's lunch - $150.00
Eating out (we only eat out in Aus once a wk but assume as groceries cost are more in Sing than we might eat out more) - $300.00
Groceries - $1,000.00
Taxi - getting around (no car) - $300.00
Entertainment - $200.00
Alcohol - $200.00
Singapore contents insurance?
income protection ?
preschool costs at International School?

Thanks so much for any helpful advice - the above is what I've guessed from reading forum posts but obviously having not been to Singapore yet would love to get these costs clarified by someone living there.

Many thanks
S
We just moved to Singapore from the US with a 2 yr old. We picked a place in the Upper East Coast area and we got a nice 3 bedroom apartment for around S$4500. There is a pretty good gym at the apartment so we are not thinking about gym fees right now.
My daughter is going to go to a local playschool/childcare (both of us work full-time) and it costs us around 700 monthly (initial registration fees etc not included)

I am sure I will have more answers in the coming weeks. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions

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Re: Which districts to research before move?

Post by BillyB » Fri, 28 Oct 2011 9:31 pm

Aussie_family wrote:Hi, we're an Aussie family (one 18mth old girl) moving to Singapore in January 2012 on a local contract, not expat package (ie we pay for rent, medical and schooling).

Just hoping somebody can give us pointers on a few things:

1. What districts we should be researching to live in - my husband's work is in Maple Tree Business City Pasir Panjang, Harbourfront

2. From what I've read to live close by (not more than 30-40 min commute) we'd be looking at a 2 or 3 bedroom condo between $4-5K a month - as we're new to apartment living (having lived in a 3 bedroom house and yard in Oz in the suburbs) - we'd like one with nice facilities for myself and my daughter to enjoy while hubby is working - is this $ enough for a reasonable condo nearby or is the East Coast a better fit for a young family? Why East Coast? It's a longer commute...

3. Medical insurance isn't included in the package and I need one to include o/b for 2nd baby - what is the cost we'd need to budget? Medical insurance for family of 4 can vary from 1500 sgd per year up to 5-8k for something much more comprehensive. Try HSBC, Prudential for the local policies, and global health, Bupa for the comprehensive cover.

4. Rough budget for expenses - we don't live a lavish lifestyle being a young family but would still like to enjoy our time in Singapore - are these costs reasonable?:
- Utilities (will prob run a/c 18 to 24 hours while we get used to the heat/humidity) - $300 per month I'd say more like 500-600 for that usage.
Mobile phone for me (hubby's is paid) - $50 - yep, about right
Cable - $70 - probably not that much, unless your hubby wants sports and then you need singtel and likely starhub for the kids
Internet - $70 yep, maybe you could save on that and get it around 50ish
Gym membership for me only - $100.00 yep, about right
swimming lessons for 18mth old - $150.00 no idea
Travel to work for Hubby - $150.00 if mrt or bus, then will be less. likely around 100
GP consultation, dentist monthly (we're at dr once a month for 18mth old) - $100.00 see health insurance. if local cover then you have to pay for your doctor visits. need to do your sums and forecast how much are likely to be visitng the GP
Hubby's lunch - $150.00 about right
Eating out (we only eat out in Aus once a wk but assume as groceries cost are more in Sing than we might eat out more) - $300.00 depends where you go
Groceries - $1,000.00 seems high but is dependent on your taste could cut down on this quite easily
Taxi - getting around (no car) - $300.00 yep, about right
Entertainment - $200.00 - if you like a drink, double or triple this at least
Alcohol - $200.00 see above
Singapore contents insurance? not really needed
income protection ? depends on company - shop around
preschool costs at International School? - someone else should be able to help on this one

Thanks so much for any helpful advice - the above is what I've guessed from reading forum posts but obviously having not been to Singapore yet would love to get these costs clarified by someone living there.

Many thanks
S
One further point - whatever you budget factor in 10-15% contingency for the first few months as it's easy to overspend. But coming from Aus, which I view as more expensive than SG, you should be ok with the above figures. Bear in mind the tax system here is different so you aren't taxed at source - so ensure you put some away each month so the bill isnt a shock.

And also remember about deposits you need to put down for housing and utility bills etc.

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Re: Which districts to research before move?

Post by richie303 » Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:59 pm

BillyB wrote:
Aussie_family wrote:Hi, we're an Aussie family (one 18mth old girl) moving to Singapore in January 2012 on a local contract, not expat package (ie we pay for rent, medical and schooling).

Just hoping somebody can give us pointers on a few things:

1. What districts we should be researching to live in - my husband's work is in Maple Tree Business City Pasir Panjang, Harbourfront

2. From what I've read to live close by (not more than 30-40 min commute) we'd be looking at a 2 or 3 bedroom condo between $4-5K a month - as we're new to apartment living (having lived in a 3 bedroom house and yard in Oz in the suburbs) - we'd like one with nice facilities for myself and my daughter to enjoy while hubby is working - is this $ enough for a reasonable condo nearby or is the East Coast a better fit for a young family? Why East Coast? It's a longer commute...Can tell you've not got Kids Billy, East Coast has a great park, but to be fair, you'll probably want to just find a place with other families with kids similar age, there tends to be more familes in East Coast, but Harbourfront is a pain to get to from there without a car.

3. Medical insurance isn't included in the package and I need one to include o/b for 2nd baby - what is the cost we'd need to budget? Medical insurance for family of 4 can vary from 1500 sgd per year up to 5-8k for something much more comprehensive. Try HSBC, Prudential for the local policies, and global health, Bupa for the comprehensive cover.

4. Rough budget for expenses - we don't live a lavish lifestyle being a young family but would still like to enjoy our time in Singapore - are these costs reasonable?:
- Utilities (will prob run a/c 18 to 24 hours while we get used to the heat/humidity) - $300 per month I'd say more like 500-600 for that usage.agree
Mobile phone for me (hubby's is paid) - $50 - yep, about right
Cable - $70 - probably not that much, unless your hubby wants sports and then you need singtel and likely starhub for the kids
Internet - $70 yep, maybe you could save on that and get it around 50ish
Gym membership for me only - $100.00 yep, about right
swimming lessons for 18mth old - $150.00 no ideaat 18 months? what benefit is there to lessons? get in the pool with her! its around $350 for a term of lessons at most local places, not sure of the teachers that come to your condo though, I taught both my kids to have fun and blow bubbles etc myself ;)
Travel to work for Hubby - $150.00 if mrt or bus, then will be less. likely around 100
GP consultation, dentist monthly (we're at dr once a month for 18mth old) - $100.00 see health insurance. if local cover then you have to pay for your doctor visits. need to do your sums and forecast how much are likely to be visitng the GPDentists are pricy, $50 for a check up, GP $25 for consultation, the kids hospital is a single price for anything related to kids (stukies, drugs, treatment etc, outpatient stuff)
Hubby's lunch - $150.00 about right
Eating out (we only eat out in Aus once a wk but assume as groceries cost are more in Sing than we might eat out more) - $300.00 depends where you goyou an eat out for $2 each if you want, but you can pay $300 for a steak in Mrtons also! Depends on taste.
Groceries - $1,000.00 seems high but is dependent on your taste could cut down on this quite easilyWe spend this easily, family of 4 though with a hungry kids
Taxi - getting around (no car) - $300.00 yep, about right
Entertainment - $200.00 - if you like a drink, double or triple this at leastBeer in bars is $12+ a beer and in hawkers is $6-8 for a 600ml one
Alcohol - $200.00 see above
Singapore contents insurance? not really needed
income protection ? depends on company - shop around
preschool costs at International School? - someone else should be able to help on this onedepends school to school, but it's not cheap! you are looking at least $15K a year for international school fees

Thanks so much for any helpful advice - the above is what I've guessed from reading forum posts but obviously having not been to Singapore yet would love to get these costs clarified by someone living there.

Many thanks
S
One further point - whatever you budget factor in 10-15% contingency for the first few months as it's easy to overspend. But coming from Aus, which I view as more expensive than SG, you should be ok with the above figures. Bear in mind the tax system here is different so you aren't taxed at source - so ensure you put some away each month so the bill isnt a shock.

And also remember about deposits you need to put down for housing and utility bills etc.
I've added to Billy's post in red
Richie - East Coast Superbabe...

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Post by Aussie_family » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:47 pm

Thanks for everyone's 2 cents - I really appreciate it.

Looks Hubby's HR team would agree with you that Singapore has a similar living cost to Australia which is what they told us but so far from what I've read on posts only and research on condo prices I've had to factor in big increases in rent, groceries, schools and medical but will hopefully be able to confirm once we're on the ground next Sat for a pre-hire visit.

Any tips on what we should ensure is on our itinerary during this visit? We are in Sing for 5 days - obviously it's not about being a tourist but more checking out where to live, confirm cost of living to ensure our standard of living isn't going to be reduced on the current package being offered etc

Also any suggestions as to districts within 30min commute to Maple Tree Business District for Hubby and close to parks and shops for 18mo and me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Post by Aussie_family » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:53 pm

Sorry just confirming our budget for renting is around $4,000 - obviously if we could find something decent (not to small, old etc) with a nice pool we'd be happy to pay it!! lol

But from what I'm reading we're prob being a bit too optimistic about paying only $4K for a 30min commute to Hubby's work and still living in a nice area for myself and the 18mo during the day.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts.

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Post by Mad Scientist » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:56 pm

5 days will be a rush to do so many things. More like2 weeks will be ideal. I would highly recommend you to go to the search button on the right hand corner and type in "Monthly expenses , Rent a condo etc and absorb what others has gone thru. There are thousands of account by other forumers before you and you can learn what they have found out
If you still not able to find what you are looking for then yell
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Post by BillyB » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 2:56 pm

Aussie_family wrote:Thanks for everyone's 2 cents - I really appreciate it.

Looks Hubby's HR team would agree with you that Singapore has a similar living cost to Australia which is what they told us but so far from what I've read on posts only and research on condo prices I've had to factor in big increases in rent, groceries, schools and medical but will hopefully be able to confirm once we're on the ground next Sat for a pre-hire visit.

Any tips on what we should ensure is on our itinerary during this visit? We are in Sing for 5 days - obviously it's not about being a tourist but more checking out where to live, confirm cost of living to ensure our standard of living isn't going to be reduced on the current package being offered etc

Also any suggestions as to districts within 30min commute to Maple Tree Business District for Hubby and close to parks and shops for 18mo and me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
On the MRT you can live almost anywhere in Singapore and still be 30 minutes commute from Mapletree! It's a tiny Island!

Where in Aus are you guys from as I'm really surprised that you think the cost of living is much higher here? I find Australia has caught up and overtaken London and Singapore because the ASD is so strong these days.

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Post by Mad Scientist » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 3:10 pm

BillyB wrote:
Aussie_family wrote: Thanks
Where in Aus are you guys from as I'm really surprised that you think the cost of living is much higher here? I find Australia has caught up and overtaken London and Singapore because the ASD is so strong these days.
Billy for a fraction of what you pay in rent in SG , you will get a decent home rentable in OZ
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Post by BillyB » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 3:26 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:
BillyB wrote:
Aussie_family wrote: Thanks
Where in Aus are you guys from as I'm really surprised that you think the cost of living is much higher here? I find Australia has caught up and overtaken London and Singapore because the ASD is so strong these days.
Billy for a fraction of what you pay in rent in SG , you will get a decent home rentable in OZ
In Sydney city centre? I am under the impression when you take tax into consideration there is little between Singapore and Sydney, as the cost of living in Aus has really increased over the last few years?

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Post by Mad Scientist » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 4:16 pm

Of course not in the city center but in the suburbs. Of course it all depends which suburb you wish to put up. What I am saying is for a condo here , you are looking at renting approx $5 a month and it is just four walls and the gym and swimming pool. But in suburb you will get a decent home with a backyard and own garage
I do not know much about Sydney but I did lived in Penrith years ago which is about some distance from Sydney and the cost is relatively low
Of course AUD is ever stronger against SGD. For my POV living in SG , the one single factor of cost is rent and transportation
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Post by wannamove » Sat, 29 Oct 2011 6:00 pm

Aussie_family wrote:Sorry just confirming our budget for renting is around $4,000 - obviously if we could find something decent (not to small, old etc) with a nice pool we'd be happy to pay it!! lol

But from what I'm reading we're prob being a bit too optimistic about paying only $4K for a 30min commute to Hubby's work and still living in a nice area for myself and the 18mo during the day.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts.
Yes! 4 days in doable. We did it with a 2 year old. You have to research ahead and find an agent who understands your schedule. We looked at around 7-8 places before finalizing.

And yes around $4000 is doable for a nice condo in the Upper East Coast

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Post by textex » Sun, 30 Oct 2011 11:10 am

Hi S, BillyB is correct, look for a place within walking distance around the MRT. If your hubby works at Mapletree, there are office and biz park shuttles to and fro' from Harbourfront plus its now within the new train line (Labrador Park station).

Go to google maps or streetdirectory (local) and have a look. That said, your monthly expenses are about right, just be prepared to double or triple your entertainment expenses (alcohol/eating outside/good food etc.) when you settle in, if you want the finer things in life.


Cheers
Tex

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Post by Aussie_family » Mon, 31 Oct 2011 4:34 pm

Thanks so much for everyone's feedback - it's really appreciated and I'm very excited about our pre-hire visit this weekend.

BillieB - we live in Penrith an hour from Sydney and where you can easily rent a 3 bedroom house with a big yard for approx $350 a week. My hubby's commute now is 40min so not too bad really. As I said I don't know if Singapore is more expensive or not yet, as we haven't been for the pre-hire visit yet - I'm just going off what I've read on forums and searching on the real estate rental websites. But from that research it appears the biggest cost difference to Aus is rent and schooling and I guess groceries too until you get used to eating like a local, rather than imported food that we're used to here.

Any tips to reduce the costs (or what I've heard are the costs) is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
S

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Post by CJO » Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:01 pm

I just wanted to drop in a quick thanks for the responses. It's nice to see all this info in one place!

CJ

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