Obvious things for househunting in Singapore?

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villagewife
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Obvious things for househunting in Singapore?

Post by villagewife » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:29 pm

Hello,

My family amd I will be moving from the UK to Singapore in about two months' time and ahead of our househunting trip, wanted to hear of people's top tips, especially those that help a complete newcomer to the city.

For example, in the UK people prefer south-southwest facing properties because they are lighter. What direction would be best in Singapore? The opposite?

Or what about noise from neighbours, pool playground etc? Any good ways of avoiding complete nightmare situations?

Thank you!

Singapore Property Search

 

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:53 pm

South facing can get extremely hot during the day, and the heat just carries over into a generally hot unit. We had that last time, I don't think I'd do it again.

I'm not sure I'd mind much being next to a condo swimming pool, swimmers tend to keep sociable hours. Children tend to have lessons on weekends, but no big deal.

More of an issue we had was overlooking a condo basketball court, where you'd have 10-20+ testosteroned-up youths many nights being noisy and willingly breaking the condo rules. (A basketball being bounced on concrete is muuuch worse than a few children paddling around in a pool. 'Chinese concrete torture'? lol)

Tree pollen/mold is said to be less of an issue if you above the 6th floor. Once you've thrown out a bunch of otherwise perfectly good belongings and clothes due to mold, you'll see why that figures quite large.

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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 11:32 pm

Lower floors = more pests

Older buildings next door = 2 years of jack hammering hell

Potential landlord acting like a jackass during negotiations = unresponsive and often criminally negligible prick after contract is signed

Partially furnished = hideous built-ins

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Post by Mad Scientist » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 2:46 am

Do not sign anything with any real estate agents or Landlord without seeing the apartment.
Come over rent a Serviced Apartment for maybe two weeks then on start the hunt.
If you are used to having quite peace tranquility night sleep, this city never sleep.
The regulars here have heaps of "experience" that you can learned from
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 7:41 am

Mad Scientist wrote: If you are used to having quite peace tranquility night sleep, this city never sleep.
^^
If you like sleeping with the windows open (a must, unless you want a huge electricity bill), then make sure your master bedroom does not face a road.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 8:35 am

Or a basketball court like mine does. :mad:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by nutnut » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 10:51 am

Rememeber, big bay wondows eat into the p/sqft price, properties are made out to be bigger than they are sometimes

Avoid being over looking a BBQ pit if you see a lot of expats around, they tend to go on later than condo rules and drunken people outside your window can be worse than a Basketball court ;)

Remember, it's not important to be right next to your work! The trains and buses are great, property agents will try and put you within 3-4 minutes crawl from your office but could cost a lot more money and CBD local facilities are crappy and expensive in the evening.

MRT stations are good, but buses are also good!

Oh, and make sure you ask for proof of ownership of a property before you buy it....

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the lynx
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Post by the lynx » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 11:12 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Or a basketball court like mine does. :mad:
Or the MRT rail, level to your window! :lol:

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:19 am

the lynx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Or a basketball court like mine does. :mad:
Or the MRT rail, level to your window! :lol:
I did that for three years in Chicago. MRT is nothing compared to the Chicago 'El'. Just like the movies!

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Post by luminoso » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 7:34 pm

The most important thing is to talk through everything with the agent beforehand and be aware of how much commission (if any) you have to pay, and to speak frankly about your service expectations. The vast majority of them provide little to no value add apart from being a messenger. And for that they expect you to pay them thousands.

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Post by BillyB » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 8:28 pm

Be wary of agent 'fee's'. Everything is negotiable - even a 1 year lease can have no commission attached to it. Walk away and find a new agent if you start getting messed around such as receiving counter offers, or the price is jumping around from what you were originally told or saw advertised.

Take two or three viewings on a property you like - in the daytime, evening and weekend - to see what your neighbours are like and to assess the noise etc.

Don't be a snob and think that public transport is for the 'poor people' - Singapore has a fantastic MRT network, and the buses are great. And it's cheap.

If you're getting a place with a balcony, be wary of living near the freeways - with the doors closed it's not so bad, but with them open it can be loud and annoying.

When furniture shopping, remember to negotiate on everything.

Don't expect the neighbours to welcome you with open arms.....or even smile.

Ask people in the condo or security what developments are proposed close-by, and don't ask the property agent or believe what they tell you on this. If there are really old buildings surrounding you, and you like peace and quiet, look for something else - likelihood is that they will be torn down and rebuilt which means building work 7 days a week.

One final note - thank your lucky stars you're getting out of the shithole that is the UK, and moving somewhere hot, with good food, almost zero crime, and lower tax rates!

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Post by villagewife » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:09 am

Thank you for all your replies - lots of things I never would have thought about (like the basketball court issue)!

As people have brought up the issue of agents, can I ask how quickly the market normally moves? In other words, how quickly do you need to offer on the place that you are interested in? Our relocation people (who we are having some doubts about) keep harping on about how fast things move, but I am not sure if that isn't a ploy to get us to sign on the dotted line as fast as possible to ensure the money in their pockets. Thoughts welcome! :D

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 6:47 am

They move 'very' fast, when necessary. In Singapore, time is money. Most places are, but this place is mercenary.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Zeenit » Wed, 14 Dec 2011 6:22 pm

We made a list of MUST haves:
Near an MRT
A nice Gym in the condo
bedrooms that you can swing a cat in and a decent kitchen.
and if you use the pool make sure its not overshadowed by building on all sides or the pool will never warm up.

and what we did was go back another day after work and see what the area looked like without the agent babysitting us.
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Post by beppi » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 1:57 am

Zeenit wrote:and if you use the pool make sure its not overshadowed by building on all sides or the pool will never warm up.
You are joking, right?
Nothing (outside of aircon'ed rooms) is ever cold in Singapore - and pools are some of the few chances to cool down!

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