Accomodation help and advise please

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PrimroseHill
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Accomodation help and advise please

Post by PrimroseHill » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 12:06 am

I am wondering if you guys can help provide some advise as to places/apartment/areas we should be looking at.

The condo/apartment needs to be:

1. near public transport - MRT, buses
2. commutable to OFS/Dover Court
3. commutable to Harbour Front
4. with supermarkets and coffee places nearby.

All suggestions are much appreciated

Singapore Property Search

 

curiousgeorge
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Post by curiousgeorge » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 8:22 am

1) Think you will find anywhere is near buses, and lots of places near MRT lines...car ownership is pretty low in SG
2) What is your definition of commutable? 45mins? 1hr? If I recall, OFS is on Paterson, which is fairly close to Orchard (NS/Red Line). Dover Court...is near Dover? The EW/Green line. Quite far apart if you intend to accompany both children on their commute. Why not start with the schools themselves and find out the catchment area for their own bus services?
3) Really, anywhere in Singapore is commutable to Harborfront. Depends on what your appetite is for commuting...the three places you mention are three points of a triangle, and no single MRT will serve all three.

Depends on your budget too.

e.g. Live Keppel Bay - expensive, walkable to Harbourfront, CC line to Buona Vista and one more stop to Dover, but a bit more of a trek to OFS. But there are cheaper places near there, like Harbourlights condo.
e.g. Live Buona Vista/Holland Village - couple of stops to Dover, CC line to harborfront, one bus down Holland Road to OFS. Popular area with expats.
e.g. Live Newton/Novena - quick trip to OFS, about 35mins to Harborfront, nightmare to Dover Court.
e.g. Live at Dhoby Ghaut, three MRT lines, very expensive!
e.g live East Coast and take forever to get anywhere.

I don't know, guess if it was me and I had the budget I might be looking to live near Harborfront, you've got a couple of big malls there, two MRT lines, fairly decent buses, easy access to Sentosa (great for beach/kids), you hit two of your commutable places easily and the third with about 30 mins on the MRT.
Second choice might be Holland Village/Buona Vista.
(Actually, on reflection, HV might be a good first choice).

But like I said at the beginning, start by checking out the school bus services, because that could make all the difference. Places like OFS have buses running from all over the expaty areas of the island, including EAst Coast.

Also, to help you decide, make use of www.gothere.sg its a public transport service planner, just type in the start and end destinations and it will give you (ideal) travel times.

At the end of the day, the condo you live in may already be 15 mins walk from the MRT/Bus stop. Gotta decide what works for you. Its almost always more expensive to be nearer an MRT than not.


4) If you're near a major MRT, chances are there will be malls/supermarkets/coffee shops there too. I say figure out your location first, then look for shops.

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Post by nutnut » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 11:10 am

depends on your budget, but for everything you mentioned there I'd say Holland Village is best, if you have 2 kids at 2 schools a worker and a stay at home with a good income per month then you'd love this!

I guess the income is pretty good since you have two kids in International School and haven't mentioned a tight housing budget.

Yeah, I'll stick with Holland Village!
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Post by PrimroseHill » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 4:52 pm

Sorry, I haven't explain myself well, I'm afraid. Only 1 kid. Thats enough to bankrupt me in UK much less in Spore :D
The reason for asking about Dover Court and OFS, is that (a) I thought that both of these schools are located near each other. My daughter has a place in Dover Court but she is waiting to hear back from OFS. I have a feeling she much prefer to be in OFS.

Keppel Bay and Holland Village it is then, I will take a look. Are there apartment blocks better than others? Housing budget something in the region of $6k monthly. Is that a doable rental budget for a 2/3 bed apartment; partially furnished?

And where do I go to purchase 2 beds, real beds?

Also, I am thinking for the first 2months, to live in a Service Apartment until our possessions arrive. I had a reply from City Lights condo - jellicoe road, where is that? Is that doable?

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 5:10 pm

Google Maps search for "city lights condo singapore":
http://g.co/maps/8xke2

It's very nice, because with street view you get real photos of where you're moving to, not artistic renderings that remove all HDBs and put you in a magical forest.

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Post by curiousgeorge » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 8:00 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:Sorry, I haven't explain myself well, I'm afraid. Only 1 kid. Thats enough to bankrupt me in UK much less in Singapore :D
The reason for asking about Dover Court and OFS, is that (a) I thought that both of these schools are located near each other. My daughter has a place in Dover Court but she is waiting to hear back from OFS. I have a feeling she much prefer to be in OFS.

Keppel Bay and Holland Village it is then, I will take a look. Are there apartment blocks better than others? Housing budget something in the region of $6k monthly. Is that a doable rental budget for a 2/3 bed apartment; partially furnished?

And where do I go to purchase 2 beds, real beds?

Also, I am thinking for the first 2months, to live in a Service Apartment until our possessions arrive. I had a reply from City Lights condo - jellicoe road, where is that? Is that doable?
TO be honest, I would settle the school issue first, because not needing to be near either Dover Court or OFS will open up a whole load of opportunities for you.

For instance, if your daughter ends up on Dover Court, then you can start looking at more places along the EW(green) line, out to Clementi or Jurong. Especially now the Circle Line is running from Buona Vista down to Harborfront.

If she ends up at OFS then you might find Newton or Novena or even Toa Payoh on the NS (red) line more conveniant, being close to Orchard etc and still less than 40mins to Harbourfront.

6k should be doable for 2 or 3 beds, but you will get more for your money the further out you are (Clementi/Jurong instead of Holland Village, for instance or Toa Payoh instead of Newton. Look on google maps and click on the little coloured squares (MRT stations) and follow the lines...

Also, older properties will be cheaper than new ones. Something 10+ years old can be substantially bigger and cheaper than newer properties. If you're looking at Keppel Bay, for instance you will get a much bigger 3 bed apartment at Harbourlights for around 4.5k than a three bed at Caribbean, for instance which will run 6k+, but people pay it because they like the pool and the postcode ;)

So yeah, condos vary enormously, it depends what your own criteria are.

Partially furnished will usually only mean white goods, and at your rent level most landlords will add/remove items to secure the tenancy if you haggle.

One mistake that many expats make when they move here is that they look for a "southern" (i.e sunny) view with lots of balcony space. Then they find its too hot, close the windows, close the curtains, turn the aircon on and wish the bills were cheaper and use the balcony for storing bikes that sounded good when they moved here but ended up making them sweat too much. Look for a dark apartment facing north, with small windows ;)

For beds...what is your budget? What is "real"? There is an ikea if that is your thing, and several local chain outlets like Harvey Norman or Courts that any taxi driver can take you to.
If you want to spend, then Simmons has a store at Paragon Shopping Centre, Robinsons in Centrepoint does beds and nice mattresses, and there is also a serta mattress place in the same mall. For incredibly beautiful and expensive bed frames go to park mall. For everything in every price bracket, go to the furniture mall behind the Park Royal hotel on beach road and be prepared to haggle.

Oh - Asian bed sizes are different...you might find fitted sheets don't.

And get your condo before your beds...not every condo can accommodate a king size bed, for instance.

Plenty of more convenient Serviced Apartments, but you could do worse and at least you'll see a different part of singpore if you stay at jellicoe. For a decent (luxury) 2bed should budget 8-10k at current rates, but many will discount if you pay upfront or commit to two months upfront. Don't expect them to be too big though. There are different levels of "service" too...do you want sheets/towels changed everyday?

We've used these people": http://lxtan.webs.com/geylangaljunied.htm
But the only 2bed they do are Aljuniad...at least is fairly easy to get to Dover/OFS/Harbourfront from the EW line with a change, and you might find you like East Cost area which is getting more popular with Expats. And their two beds are $3-3.5k...but bedrooms are separated by sliding doors, not proper separate rooms.

But yeah, getting a Serviced Apartment for a couple of months will help you get to know the lay of the land before committing to a condo.

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Post by PrimroseHill » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 8:54 pm

Curious & zzm, great advice. Thank you. I had a look online at Harbourlights and I quite like the prices, I have to admit.
I have a feeling that my daughter will want to go to OFS, thats her preferred Choice No. 1. However, do only do their opening monthly and since she is starting after the Easter term, OFS will only let us know begining of March.
OFS and HarbourFront it is then. Is Jellicoe, the red light district? Beds wise, I am just thinking about 1kingsize and 1queen and nothing too fancy just plain dunlopillo something like that. The waiting/delivery times for beds are pretty much instantenous? The reason for buying a bed, I had thought earlier is because here, it takes 8weeks generally.

Service apartment, I will look at the ones that you recommended. Level of service- weekly bedlinen change, weekly cleaning and the use of washing machine & dryer.

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 9:11 pm

PrimroseHill wrote: Is Jellicoe, the red light district?
No, but it's pretty convenient to a few, if that is important for you? :P

More seriously, Don't worry. You won't have any "red light" type stuff close to you. The really well known redlight district is Geylang. It's roughly bordered by Geylang Rd and Guillemard on north and south, and roughly Kallang MRT and Paya Lebar MRT on east and west. So if you look at Google maps, you can see it's close, but definitely not close enough to "rub off" on that location. There "smaller" a one are along Joo Chiat (South/East of Geylang). Both of those are sometimes considered East Coast, which is why I mention it. You can find some really nice priced condos in Geylang. If you get one very close to Paya Lebar MRT, you'll probably avoid most of the red light too.

As typing this, a coworker told me there are redlight areas closer to Jellicoe, but they target the "foreign worker" (manual labor) crowd. Apparently north west of you, closer to Mustafa.

Again, don't let this scare you though. There's redlight all along Orchard Rd too. :P

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Post by PrimroseHill » Thu, 02 Feb 2012 11:05 pm

I like the sound of older condo like Harbourlights, Also my jellicoe self Service Apartment emailed me and told me that I couldn't rent for 2months as their availability is only until 1 April.
I had a look at orchard ones, greatworld and lanson, all those are pretty expensive, between $7-$11 per month.
Any other recommendation for cheaper self service apartment? And good recommendation for older condo blocks near harbourfront and ofs?

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Post by thismyvoice » Mon, 06 Feb 2012 2:09 pm

The Pearl and Faber Lodge are in the same area as Harbourlights. They are not really that near, and it will take you a good 15 min walk to MRT. Caribbean is the other side of Harbourfront Centre. It is near to MRT but pricey.

The Pearl and Faber Lodge are at Mount Faber. There are nearby hawker centers and shops. Faber Lodge is the older of the 2 and will also require a fair bit of climbing. But if price is a concern, I think it should be cheaper. Faber Lodge is a very quiet development and there are some good size units in there, I think.

Don't know if you notice, Harbourlights is right next to an expressway. This expressway will have vehicles 24 hours a day due to trucks entering / leaving the nearby port. This makes it polluted and noisy, in my view. Nothing is perfect.

Cheers

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Post by PrimroseHill » Mon, 06 Feb 2012 9:34 pm

Thank you, thisismyvoice.
The rental agency - do I have to pay a fee?
Security Deposit - generally how many months? Is there govt scheme like the ones in UK whereby the deposits are centrally held?
And then I supposed another month's rent in advance?
Ulitility bills - do I have to pay a deposit to get it activated and changed names too?

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Post by beppi » Tue, 07 Feb 2012 3:33 am

You have to pay the agent if you engaged him/her, i.e. if you told the agency to find a place for you. If you answered an ad that they placed, they are engaged by the landlord to do so and not allowed to charge you (doesn't mean they won't try nevertheless).
Two months deposit seems to be most common, but everything is negotiable. There is no centrally held deposit scheme, and if the landlord doesn't have the money any more when you move on, you won't get it back (also common).
Yes, another month rent is usually paid in advance.
Yes, there is also a utility deposit for foreigners. Ask PUB!

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Post by PrimroseHill » Tue, 07 Feb 2012 10:28 pm

Thank you, beppi. Are the landlords generally honest? And what do you suggest I do in safeguarding my deposit to ensure that when I leave, I will get it all back?
Also, if there's the 2months deposit, the utility deposit etc, wouldn't it be better to rent one of those Service Apartment? I don't know, I am just trying to get some ideas here. I noticed that the Service Apartments requires 2 months deposit as well, are they as dishonest as private landlords or are they better?

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 07 Feb 2012 10:35 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:Are the landlords generally honest?
You must come visit me in my Kingdom. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called Atlantis.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by PrimroseHill » Tue, 07 Feb 2012 10:53 pm

nakatago wrote:
PrimroseHill wrote:Are the landlords generally honest?
You must come visit me in my Kingdom. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called Atlantis.
:lol: :D I was trying to be positive. Ok, then generally its like the dark old days of renting in UK, before the deposit scheme.
I gather then, the best way is to get a copy of their IC, pictures of the condo before moving etc .Document everything. Fingers crosses that the landlord will be honest

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