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hhnc
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US to Singapore

Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 9:59 am

Hi everyone,

My husband may be getting a transfer to Singapore and I've been browsing the site trying to get a feel for areas, what to look for in a condo, budgeting etc...thanks for all the great info!
Now for my question :) and my thanks in advance.
We are in our late 40s, kids in college so no worries about school etc. Hubby's work in Science Park area. We're looking for a 3 bedroom condo in an area where it's lively with restaurants,(not into the bar scene), coffee shops, stores, bookstores, library, good walking area, close to MRT. Are we asking for too much? We'll prob have a budget of 5-8K. I made a list of areas from reviewing other posts and this is what I came up with..any suggestions/considerations would be much appreciated
Clarke quay
Orchard
Novena
Roberts quay
Holland village
Pasir panjang
East coast
It seems as though I've picked every area! Hubby will prob take taxi to work so traffic/distance would be important .

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aster
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Postby aster » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:14 am

I'm not a fan of the Holland Village thing. For me it's Robertson Quay all the way if location is important (walk to Orchard, CQ, Esplanade/Marina Bay, Chinatown, CBD). Plus you're living on the river, with lots of bars and restaurants in the area. Great for long walks too without having to deal with traffic.

Short walk to CQ or Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations.

If the "Science Park" is located at Kent Ridge MRT then you just need to hop on to the MRT at CQ, 3 stops to Harbourfront, and then just switch to the Circle Line for a few more. You can also take the bus to H'front.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:10 pm

East coast would be far for a taxi, and inconvenient for public trans. Clark Quay is a lot of bars and such, so may not quite meet what you're looking for. Orchard and Novena are probably out of your budget for a 3-bedroom. You're not going to find a lot of good coffee shops or bookstores focused in any specific area.

Where in the US are you from? If it's somewhere I'm familiar with, i can give you comparisons to areas you might know :)

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Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 3:25 pm

We've always lived in suburbia since the kids were young but now would like to live in a more "downtownish " area. Newport beach comes to mind with the shops and galleries you can walk to but we used to live in Toronto and Houston if you know those areas?

Should have mentioned that I'm visiting Singapore this week to check out areas etc. Took a looong walk from marina sands hotel around the river to raffles, CBQ (if that's where Fullerton hotel is), riverwalk, Clarke quay and then back through esplanade.
I really liked Clarke quay just walking through so will see what's available there to give me an idea -didn't realize that Robertson quay was just around there but my feet were pretty tired :)

Aster, why don't you like Holland village?

And thanks everyone for your comments

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Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 3:35 pm

Zzm9980, what would a 3 bedroom in orchard/Novena go for? If it's a better area for us, would 8-10k be a good budget? I'm sure we'll have the kids who are twenty something and tons of family visiting and Clarke quay would be a fun area for them.

I'll be checking out Robertson quay and orchard/Novena tomorrow and then arrange with an agent to take me to see a few properties.

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Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 3:37 pm

Zzm9980, what would a 3 bedroom in orchard/Novena go for? If it's a better area for us, would 8-10k be a good budget? I'm sure we'll have the kids who are twenty something and tons of family visiting and Clarke quay would be a fun area for them.

I'll be checking out Robertson quay and orchard/Novena tomorrow and then arrange with an agent to take me to see a few properties.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 4:05 pm

I don't know Toronto or Houston too well. Now Newport Beach, I do. If you like that, Holland Village is like that but a little smaller (and no beach). Same with East Coast, but more spread out between say East Coast Rd & Joo Chiat to Upper East Coast Rd / Siglap.

Clark Quay is a bit more commercial than that, much more focused on tourism and/or drinking foreigners. It's nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. My own opinion though.

Prices are all over the place, and 8-10k would get you something there easier. Just Google for "singapore property" and check the first or second link. This site also has a property search. :)

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Re: US to Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 5:12 pm

hhnc wrote:Clarke quay
if you really need to go out to the bars every evening
Orchard
if you prefer crowded, noisy areas
Novena
Nothing special around and far away from the Sci Park
Roberts quay
Same as Clarke quay but slightly nicer (less people)
Holland village
A reasonable compromise and relaxed biking distance to Sci Park. MRT coming. A number of reasonable restaurants. One limited choice shopping mall
Pasir panjang
Probably will get you better housing (for your budget, a cluster house or similar).
East coast
Far away from Sci Park

I would also check Tanglin Rd / Napier Rd / Grange Rd / Cluny Rd Sector. Basically the area in the vicinity of Gleaneagles Hospital. You should be able to find something nice within your budget and you would be close to your preferences with the exception of MRT (but buses are there and they are good if not better).

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Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 7:50 pm

Great comments..thanks!

From what I've read, it seems that Holland village, Robertson quay and then orchard, in that order may work for our preferences. East coast looks like a popular area but will prob be too far for commuting but I'm still going to check it out.

That last section, tanglin/cluny etc..is that around Holland village? I should prob Google it eh?

And just curious, there are a number of people who prefer the bus service rather than mrt..is it just fewer people or is the service better?

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 8:15 pm

I lived in the Holland area for the last 3 years and what I liked was that it was kind of aside many popular city areas yet within a close distance from them. Also, if not for a primary reason to stay there there is a very large green area between Holland and Orchard what includes the Botanic gardens but also all what comes between Holland and Dempsey. And Dempsey = lots of restaurants too. We lived within Holland Hill so a bit off the center of Holland Village but found the location perfect. Tanglin Rd and such is from the opposite side of this green part between Botanic Gardens or Dempsey and Orchard area.

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Postby hhnc » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 8:46 pm

Thanks x9200, its good to hear from someone who lived in the area. Have you moved out?

I've been checking the property sites but don't really know which buildings would be good to live in. Would you be able to suggest properties I could look at? And I'll plan to pass by and check them out. Sorry if this is a request for an agent but I know that whenever I've lived in an area, I always know of addresses that would be good to live in.

And if you don't mind, anyone living in the Robertson quay area (Aster??), or Orchard, or East Coast...I'd really appreciate it!

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 19 Mar 2012 9:16 pm

Ok so in East Coast, I can suggest three major areas.

The first would be the condos in the vicinity of Parkway Parade. That's a mall right on the coast. You can search for it on Google Maps. The condos are generally to the west and north of it. Some places to look at are Cote de Azur, Seaview (disclaimer: not actually a 'sea view'), Esta, One Amber, and a few others in the vicinity. All of these are high rises, newer buildings, and very short walking distance to two shopping malls (Parkway, a mainstream mall like in the US, and I12 Katong, which a slightly upscale/boutiqy mall), a hawker center, and a wet market. Plus, you can walk to the beach. You're also a short walking distance to the lower half of Joo Chiat, which has a lot of boutiquey shops and trendy food places, and a longer walk to upper Joo Chiat. It has more of the same, plus some Karaoke parlors and "BMD" bars. Not exactly family establishments, but nothing that would ever offend bother most people unless you went inside. (Basically, Redlight-lite) A further walk is Tanjong Katong (maybe 1km or so), which also has good/trendy food places of a wide variety. (including best Fish n Chip in Singapore!) Equally far, about 1km to the east of PP is the Siglap area, which again, more trendy dining options. Since you mentioned coffee shops in first post, Best coffee on the East Coast is there, Vines on Nine. It's also right next to a Starbucks if by coffee you meant blended sugary beverages. :)

The downside is that between East Coast Parkway and Marine Parade Road, there is a lot of road noise and hustle and bustle.


The second area would be the cluster of condos at Costa Del Sol, Bayshore, and Bayshore park. These are about 2km directly east of Parkway Parade, also on the water. They're also tall, but less hustle and bustle there and a fair amount quieter. You still have car noise from East Coast Parkway, but the rest is nice. It's more remote, so everything is a farther walk. It's probably 1km east of the Siglap area I describe above; so a fair walk to most anything except the beach. There is a shuttle bus that runs from here directly to Bedok MRT and also to Parkway Parade mall though.

The last area would be Telok Kurau. It's a residential area that takes up about half of the area between Siglap and Joo Chiat. If you look on the map below, it runs along East Coast road, and then north along the Siglap park connector. Now this area is completely different. It has a lot of low rise condos mixed in with houses. It will be very quiet. Farther from the coast, but if you just want nice walks, the Siglap park connector is much more peaceful and arguably nicer. Depending how far north you go, you're quite close to Kembangan MRT. This area may not be as feasible without a car; you'd be walking half a kilometer just to a bus at least most likely.

Hopefully you like maps:

Here is the cluster of high rise condos just west of Parkway Parade
http://g.co/maps/943yh

Here is the lower half of Joo Chiat. The i12 Katong mall is at the intersection of Joo Chiat and East Coast Rd. The upper half is roughly north of Dunman/Koon Seng Rd, goes all the way to Changi Rd.
http://g.co/maps/c7npk

Siglap Area, Coffee shop is next to Starbucks and the Killiney Kopitam:
http://g.co/maps/wy3cq

Bayshore condo cluster:
http://g.co/maps/h57n8

Telok Kurau area, roughly bordered by Changi Rd on the north, East Coast Rd on the South, Still Rd on the west, and the river/canal on the east:
http://g.co/maps/kkj9c


Hopefully you're good at maps, otherwise it might be a little confusing. There is also what I consider a better map site for finding buildings in Singapore than Google Maps. Unfortunately I can't link to it. If you google for "Street Directory Singapore", you'll find it. It labels almost every building, and is much more clear to read. It doesn't have satellite view though, and is quite slow to load. Also on Google Maps, a lot of the building/business names are mislabeled. They might be across the street or down the block from where Google says they are.

Good luck!

edit: Removed some of the Singlish :)
Last edited by zzm9980 on Tue, 20 Mar 2012 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

hhnc
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Postby hhnc » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 8:33 am

Thanks zzm, that's exactly the sort of info I wanted and if I'm not good at maps, I soon will be :)

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Postby nutnut » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 9:20 am

IF you aren't good at maps, www.Gothere.sg will give you nice times for travel between places if you stick in the address of the to and from, it will also tell you approximate travelt imes by bus, taxi, train and car! :)

It's brilliant, and yes, there is an iphone app for it, which is probably the best $5 you'll spend in Singapore if you are rubbish at directions ;)

I agree with zzm on his run down on the east coast, very concise.
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Postby aster » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 9:57 am

hhnc wrote:Took a looong walk from marina sands hotel around the river to raffles, CBQ (if that's where Fullerton hotel is), riverwalk, Clarke quay and then back through esplanade.
I really liked Clarke quay just walking through so will see what's available there to give me an idea -didn't realize that Robertson quay was just around there but my feet were pretty tired :)

Aster, why don't you like Holland village?


Those are the types of walks you can do when living by the river, and exactly why I like this area so much. :) And you can walk to Orchard which is very close, or to Chinatown. Or as mentioned that whole Esplanade/Marina Bay area. Generally speaking, all the central areas are close and within walking distance.

The Riverwalk apartments you mentioned are well-located between Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, but they are a bit dated (there was talk of them coming down for redevelopment, but that was a few years ago). Moving along the river you know you've come to Robertson Quay when you have River Place on the left side and The Pier on the other, both great apartment buildings right in the heart of RQ. Stick to the right side and do continue as there are still nice apartments further down, with more restaurants and cafes. Pass the Boomerang restaurant/bar and keep on going for several more minutes before turning back, that will give you a feel for the place.

As for Holland Village, I was unimpressed by that little area with shops/bars (that you often see on photos, with the little windmill as the main sign of the place - not sure if it's still around). And just not walking distance to any of the places I like to go to.

Still, make sure you visit as many places as you can and think where you'd like to spend your free time and how.


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