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Advice on what to bring.. with a twist!

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colio
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Advice on what to bring.. with a twist!

Postby colio » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 8:48 am

So just over 4 weeks till we relocate to SG..

We're at the pointy end of the stick working out all the "fun stuff".. logistics etc.

Now I know this question has been asked before & I have read most of the threads on this, but since my situation is slightly different, was hoping to get opinions.

At the basic level, we are trying to work out what furniture & appliances to bring with us. I have seen the varying opinions & have taken what people have said into account.

The slight twist in my situation is that I am able to purchase new appliances & furniture on 3 years interest free terms - i.e. pay nothing now, not get charged any interest & pay all at end of 3 years.

So we are thinking this might be an idea to buy a bunch of things here in Australia & bring them with us.. the things we are thinking of buying are:

- New fridge (our current fridge has been with us for 15 years & needs to be replaced)
- New TV (current TV is playing up so a good time to refresh)
- Couch (current is made of fabric so will not last long in the humidity of SG - will buy leather instead)
- Dining table (current one is too large for condo's in SG)
- Washing machine (current is too large to fit in standard laundries, we always have to get custom made space when we move into new places)

The impacting issues are local vs international warranties for appliances, will appliances survive the big relocation to SG, are there interest free deals in SG, is it just cheaper to buy in SG altogether etc.

I know many condo's come fully or partially furnished, but have found most furniture left behind or placed there by LL's are sub quality. We like to have nicer things & will help with my family's settling into a new country.

Lots of variables but interested in people's thoughts anyway..

Ta
Col

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Mi Amigo
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Postby Mi Amigo » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:37 am

If I were in your position I wouldn't go out and buy those things, 3 year interest-free loan or not. It's still a debt that would have to be paid later. In particular, I'd skip the appliances, especially if you haven't yet confirmed where you will be renting for the first couple of years. Most condo apartments come with a fridge freezer of some kind and many have a washing machine too. If not (or if the existing items are grotty), you can ask for new units as part of the negotiation. If you were to buy and bring your own appliances, but then find an (otherwise ideal) apartment that already has them, you may find the landlord reluctant to take them away - they'd have to store them somewhere, so the usual response is that you have to store them in the maid's room or somewhere else. Hence unnecessary clutter.

Also, there's the wear and tear aspect - we bought a dishwasher a few years ago and it didn't take long before rust started appearing on some of the out-of-the-way areas. With the humidity here, everything deteriorates faster than it would in a temperate climate. You already mentioned about international warranties, but even if your overseas-purchased appliances are theoretically eligible for warranty service here, you may find the local service centres reluctant to fix them if they go wrong.

As regards furniture, I guess to some extent it depends on whether you are paying the removal fees - if so, you'd need to weigh up whether the additional costs for bringing new furniture were worth it. If you were to purchase expensive furniture, consider also the potential for damage in transit (hot sea container, etc.). Sure, you would (presumably) have insurance, but think of the hassle of claiming and getting repairs done after you've moved here. Plus the other issue already mentioned above - what happens if your 'perfect' apartment already has a dining room table, decent sofa, etc.?

If you need to buy furniture here, my advice would be to not go for expensive stuff (at least not at the beginning). Some people look down their noses at Ikea, but IMO they are a good source of reasonable furniture at reasonable cost that should last for a few years at least while you get established. Other good sources are classified ads (see above on this site - there are often interesting items there), or do a search for 'expat auctions'. In short, finding furniture here is not a problem and you can get stuff to meet most any budget.

When we moved here, although we had a 20ft container (could have had a 40ft one if we'd wanted it) and the removal costs were paid by my employer, we just brought our beds and a few other items of furniture that were 'special' to the kids, etc., and left the rest in the UK, either in our property there (which we rented out), or given away to family and friends. My advice would be - if in doubt - leave it out; that will give you the widest set of options when you get here.

This is just my perspective of course; as you say, others may have differing views. Good luck with the move.
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Postby beppi » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 5:06 pm

I have yet to see a leather sofa in Singapore - they are all textile.
Leather items (shoes, belts, etc.) tend to mold and age quickly in the tropical humidity - I suppose that, and the fact that textile breathes better and is washable (you sweat a lot here!), is the reason why leather sofas are uncommon.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 6:27 pm

I've got leather in my Living room. Full set. And the high humidity has taken it's toll. Unless you just love the smell and feel of leather, I wouldn't go for it. Me? I love leather, but unfortunately I will not buy expensive leather here due to the humidity factor (I don't have aircon).

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Postby colio » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 8:21 pm

Hey.. thanks for all your advice & good points so far.. lots to consider.

I'm not unused to damaging climate on furniture & appliances. We currently live one block from the beach & the salt in the air absolutely rips through anything that is not stainless steel or rust protected! We've had our BBQ for a few months & forgot to cover it for a few weeks & it now looks like we've had it for years, surface rust everywhere!

We're definitely going to have air-con in our condo.. we're unfortunately used to having it as we use it now in our place in Australia (45 degrees in Sydney today!!) so maybe mold won't be so much an issue for leather?

I hear you in regards to appliances so we've decided against bringing a washing machine.. but it's hard to go pass having a really nice fridge! A good fridge can be the difference in being able to keep food fresh for longer periods of time as well as having enough space to keep stuff & just having a good looking fridge in the kitchen!

I understand the debt thing but it's more of a concern in the early months as we've got lots of expenses but we figure 12 months down the track we're going to be really ahead due to low taxes & currency exchange, that it's not an issue.

I think we will not bring a dining table though.. we can get away with an Ikea one I'm guessing.. & TV we'll probably get there..

So right now we are thinking buy a fridge & leather couch here (as well as the beds that we are bringing regardless) & everything else we can get there or will come with the condo rental..

Still keen to hear opinions.

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 6:09 pm

Every single house we viewed last week had a decent known brand American style fridge. All of the electrical stores also had a big selection and prices were comparable with the UK. We never move large electricals because things can go wrong and it would be gutting to buy a great fridge then realise it's three cm too wide and you can't shut the kitchen door.

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Postby colio » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 9:44 pm

Thanks Hannieroo. Yes, agreed - we have now decided against bringing a fridge.

We did buy a leather couch.. "standard size" - it was on sale & a great deal cheaper than comparable in Singapore. It also has a sofa bed as well as storage built in so it's perfect for us.

Also bought a new TV, also once again on sale & a great deal cheaper than in SG. I think the strong AUD has a lot to do with it as well.

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Postby Taitaiwife » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 5:05 pm

Been here 5 years and moved 3 times. Impossible to say what you'll need and we found for each new place, there were always things we either had to get rid of as they didn't fit, or had to buy. Would not go mad on white goods as mostly the landlord will provide them and replace them if broken. Getting rid of stuff can be a big headache too.

Regarding your air con, are you sure you will leave it on all the time?! Expect a big electricity bill. Ours is $400 a month and that's only running 2 air con units during the night. We definitely don't leave the AC running all day. Granted, ours are the non energy efficient kind, but hey...

Random tip: do bring a Christmas tree. It's the one thing I threw away before we moved which I lived to regret. They are soooo expensive in Singapore! And the decorations too...

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Postby colio » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 1:13 pm

Thanks TaiTaiWife.. love the name! :)

Yes, funny we decided we are bringing our Christmas tree, more because we really like it.. but it's good to know that the advice is to BYO.

Yeah, probably won't leave the A/C on all day, mainly because no one will be at home apart from the maid.. but when we are there, if it's hot we'll leave it on.. $S400/mth is not that much. Our current bill in Australia is more than that & that is AUD! Not very eco-friendly of us I know..

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Postby Taitaiwife » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:19 pm

No worries. Oh and bring your gas BBQ unless it's enormous. Retail price is insane here, like $2000 for models which sell overseas at a fraction of the price. We got some Aussie friends to bring us a baby weber in their container when they moved here!

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Postby colio » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 12:50 pm

Taitaiwife wrote:No worries. Oh and bring your gas BBQ unless it's enormous. Retail price is insane here, like $2000 for models which sell overseas at a fraction of the price. We got some Aussie friends to bring us a baby weber in their container when they moved here!


More good advice.. unfortunately our current BBQ is huge & also the sea air near our places has ravaged it! But we will invest in a small webber definitely...


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