If you could live anywhere in Singapore....

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phoenixscienter
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If you could live anywhere in Singapore....

Post by phoenixscienter » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 5:57 am

I am being offered an excellent opportunity to move to Singapore with my family (wife plus 2 young children - 7 years and 4 years) this year and I am still trying to get my mind wrapped around it.

My package is quite attractive, and my company is willing to pay for housing up to $15-20k per month for us, so I am assuming I should have a wide range of options - both high rise condos with amenities and excellent landed houses.

We will need at least 4-5 bedrooms plus 4 baths as I suspect we will have a live-in nanny or maid. So probably looking at a minimum of 3,000 sq/ft but possibly more.

I am wide open on places to live as my office location is TBD. I have heard Districts 9 and 10 are nice for expats, as is the East Coast (which seems appealing to me since its waterfront, right? Still easy to get into the city on the MRT or with private taxi?)

Can I afford a penthouse type apartment with that kind of budget? It is important for my kids to have other children around, a huge pool (or pools), playgrounds, and other amenities (beach would be nice!) What condos would you guys suggest? I really would love to ideally find a 4-5 bd/4-5 bath condo or cluster bungalow that is beachfront (with full ocean views) that is near on the MRT and that is very new. Does that kind of place exist?

Many thanks in advance!

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Re: If you could live anywhere in Singapore....

Post by x9200 » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 4:29 pm

phoenixscienter wrote:I am being offered an excellent opportunity to move to Singapore with my family (wife plus 2 young children - 7 years and 4 years) this year and I am still trying to get my mind wrapped around it.

My package is quite attractive, and my company is willing to pay for housing up to $15-20k per month for us, so I am assuming I should have a wide range of options - both high rise condos with amenities and excellent landed houses.

We will need at least 4-5 bedrooms plus 4 baths as I suspect we will have a live-in nanny or maid. So probably looking at a minimum of 3,000 sq/ft but possibly more.

I am wide open on places to live as my office location is TBD. I have heard Districts 9 and 10 are nice for expats, as is the East Coast (which seems appealing to me since its waterfront, right? Still easy to get into the city on the MRT or with private taxi?)

Can I afford a penthouse type apartment with that kind of budget? It is important for my kids to have other children around, a huge pool (or pools), playgrounds, and other amenities (beach would be nice!) What condos would you guys suggest? I really would love to ideally find a 4-5 bd/4-5 bath condo or cluster bungalow that is beachfront (with full ocean views) that is near on the MRT and that is very new. Does that kind of place exist?

Many thanks in advance!
Probably not many people around this board have such housing budget so I am afraid you may not get any more concrete responses.
- yes, it's enough for a decent penthouse in reasonable location
- waterfront bungalows happen mostly in Santosa and vicinity but for many reasons it is not necessarily the best location (search this board for Sentosa accommodation etc)
- seaview condos are everywhere along the Southern coast, not so many in the West coast part (but still a few of them), much more in the East, a good bunch of the in the central part
- personally I would go for some landed property but if your priority are your kids socializing then a condo would probably be better
- as your children entered or are approaching the school age you should also consider the school and only after the housing. You don't want your kids spending 2-3h a day in the bus/car etc.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 6:05 pm

You won't find anything very close to the water near an MRT, except maybe Caribbean? Not sure their rates on a unit the size you're looking for, but your budget should swing it.

Landed houses on the East Coast are well within your budget, but you'll be at least half a kilometer from the beach.

I know someone who has a penthouse the size you're looking for within spitting distance of Somerset MRT (D9), and it is 15k/month.

Best I can do, sorry. Your housing budget is probably more than the salary of most of the people on this forum, and double to triple the average Singaporean family's monthly income. I think you'll find something ;)

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Post by uscate » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 7:50 pm

Hi - I'm new to Singapore, but from what I've seen, you may not actually need to be close to a beach, as I don't think ocean swimming is too practical around here given all of the tankers, etc. You may want to re think that beach proximity and settle more for nice pools and a location near your kids' schools....

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Post by taxico » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 9:48 pm

Image

sorry, i don't know where my text went... but here goes:

if you live on sentosa, you will have unlimited access to all the beaches coz you needn't pay to enter the island as a resident.

if you and your wife want to run an "efficient" family... i would take a few grand (every month) and spend it on a full time driver.

public transport might drive you insane at times. it's supposed to be efficient and reliable...

living a little farther away from work might give you more space and greenery for your kids to play in. probably safer too (traffic-wise).

and it's cheaper. so get a van (MPV).
Last edited by taxico on Sun, 20 Jan 2013 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by rajagainstthemachine » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 10:08 pm

what kind of job do you have? you are probably overpaid and realistically you need a 2 bedroom house since you have 2 kids and you and your spouse.
A nice HDB flat is what you are looking at.

since your wife is able bodied i am assuming household chores shouldn't be a problem for her so could save money instead of hiring a maid
might be able to buy you more beers at a hawker center eh?

if you are getting paid a lot why do you bother asking about an MRT/ private taxi?? im pretty sure you'd be able to afford the COE and a car too.
but umm obviously you must be a troll of some kind

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 11:16 pm

Sounds to me like Pot. Kettle. Black, Raj. Just to let you know, you are treading on thin ice.

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Post by rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:08 am

I'm posted that to see what the reaction would be.. it looks like a suspicious account to me

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Post by phoenixscienter » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 4:40 am

rajagainstthemachine wrote:I'm posted that to see what the reaction would be.. it looks like a suspicious account to me
Well, I can assure you that I am real and am not "fictitious". Since you would like to be nosy, I'm happy to oblige to satiate your own curiosity.

My job would be to be a Managing Director of a US bank that is establishing an office in Singapore. The 20k per month housing budget was proposed to me by the bank as I make a good living here in the States, and they know that it will take quite a bit to incent me to move my two young children across the globe and uproot my family.

I have never been to Singapore in my life. My wife and I will be traveling there in one month's time to "scout" with a realtor, but I wanted to ask folks here for their input since I scanned around and most of the posts relate to budgets in the 3-5k range per month for housing.

Thanks to the rest of you who responded with helpful input -- I greatly appreciate it. I am just very confused right now as to what I should be looking for, as it seems my options are wide open. That's a good thing (and I'm not asking anyone to cry me a river - far from it), I am just curious what local expats thought may be the best area and/or specific condo or cluster home I should be looking for.

That is the first I've heard about the beaches not being swimmable - is that, in fact, the case? If so, then I would rather have wide ocean views but would place more emphasis on the amenities (size of pool, newness of condo, furnished or not, proximity to school and MRT or my office, etc.)

I had not realized a private driver was an option. Here int he US that would be something reserved to the ultra wealthy and I didn't think my salary would put me in that category (I'll be making alot, but I'm not some multimillionaire). How much would a private driver 24/7 cost per month? I'd rather not get my own car and COE - at least not for the first year while we settle in.

I've seen some very nice looking cluster bungalows with private pools, etc. Would that be something I should be focusing on more?

If you had my budget, would you be focused on D9 or D10? Or looking more at east coast?

The school I was looking at was Singapore American School - but that seems like an hour + drive from any of those 3 areas....

I welcome any more suggestions... and thanks to those of you who have been helpful to me. I greatly appreciate it.

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Post by Wd40 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 5:53 am

phoenixscienter wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:I'm posted that to see what the reaction would be.. it looks like a suspicious account to me
Well, I can assure you that I am real and am not "fictitious". Since you would like to be nosy, I'm happy to oblige to satiate your own curiosity.

My job would be to be a Managing Director of a US bank that is establishing an office in Singapore. The 20k per month housing budget was proposed to me by the bank as I make a good living here in the States, and they know that it will take quite a bit to incent me to move my two young children across the globe and uproot my family.

I have never been to Singapore in my life. My wife and I will be traveling there in one month's time to "scout" with a realtor, but I wanted to ask folks here for their input since I scanned around and most of the posts relate to budgets in the 3-5k range per month for housing.

Thanks to the rest of you who responded with helpful input -- I greatly appreciate it. I am just very confused right now as to what I should be looking for, as it seems my options are wide open. That's a good thing (and I'm not asking anyone to cry me a river - far from it), I am just curious what local expats thought may be the best area and/or specific condo or cluster home I should be looking for.

That is the first I've heard about the beaches not being swimmable - is that, in fact, the case? If so, then I would rather have wide ocean views but would place more emphasis on the amenities (size of pool, newness of condo, furnished or not, proximity to school and MRT or my office, etc.)

I had not realized a private driver was an option. Here int he US that would be something reserved to the ultra wealthy and I didn't think my salary would put me in that category (I'll be making alot, but I'm not some multimillionaire). How much would a private driver 24/7 cost per month? I'd rather not get my own car and COE - at least not for the first year while we settle in.

I've seen some very nice looking cluster bungalows with private pools, etc. Would that be something I should be focusing on more?

If you had my budget, would you be focused on D9 or D10? Or looking more at east coast?

The school I was looking at was Singapore American School - but that seems like an hour + drive from any of those 3 areas....

I welcome any more suggestions... and thanks to those of you who have been helpful to me. I greatly appreciate it.
Its very encouraging to hear that a US bank is establishing an office here, when most others are doing the opposite :)

I would imagine when a person of your stature and might is being relocated, you would have the services of a relocation consulting company like PWC? If yes, I would say use them to get all the advice you need. From your statements, it looks like you dont know a lot of things about Singapore and although this forum is a great place to research about it, I havent seen anyone of your might, asking that question or having them answered, so you may not get all the advice you need, instead you may invite a lot of wrath from poorly paid and disgruntled so called expats many of them put their whole families in a room sharing a pigeon hole house called HDB, with strangers and for whom taking up a whole 2 bedroom unit is a big luxury :lol:

Cheers!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 7:07 am

Wd40, that's only your countrymen, not the western world's expats. A lot of them are still getting that kind of money in the financial industry (of course, they might not be code monkeys either).
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 uscate » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 8:49 am

I agree with Taxico that Sentosa is really beautiful, and there are some nice beaches there, but still, I really wouldn't swim in the water, just enjoy the beaches and use your pool....I have a couple of friends who live on Sentosa, and while they'll chill their toes in the water, they won't go full on swimming. But of course, your mileage may vary on this one....just seeing the parade of tankers doesn't make me want to go for more than a toe dipping in this water.

It sounds like you're in a great financial situation, so I'd echo the comments made above that your company should hire a consulting firm to assist you with the ins and outs of your relocation -

Good luck with your big move - I hope you and your family enjoy it here as much as I think I will!

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Post by colio » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:16 am

Hi phoenixscienter

I agree with a previous poster.. in deciding where you want to live, you first want to look at which school your children will attend, as this usually impacts location of your house. Otherwise, you can expect that your kids will spend way too much time in traffic on the way to school (if you have a driver) or too much time in a bus. All International Schools operate a bus service, but depending on where you live it could take anywhere from 10minutes to 1.5 hours each way! I'm sure your 7 year old will not like this.

As for schools, you may want to look at Stamford American International School in Woodleigh. This is much closer to the CBD than SAS. Stamford just opened a brand new $300m campus & is being touted as a "super school" with amazing technology. They also have a lot more places vacant as they are a new-ish school but run by an excellent organisation that also runs the Australian International School close by.

My 7 year old has been enrolled at Stamford & she begins school shortly after we relocate at end of February. We are staying close by so that she can walk to school. Much easier on a 7 year old to settle in if they live close to school I think.

There are some nice cluster & landed houses in the Woodleigh area as well as executive condo's.

And yes, I can confirm the "beaches" in Singapore aren't swimming beaches.. except for a man-made beach in Sentosa, but people go there rarely. If you like the beach (we live across the road from the beach in Sydney right now) then you'll be booking short trips to Bali, Phuket, Indonesia etc throughout your time in Singapore as they are easy to get to & affordable to fly to.

IMHO water views in Singapore are overrated.. unsure where you are from in the US, but they are nowhere near water views in Sydney, Australia. My advice is to get as close to your kids school as possible.

Good luck!

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Post by Wd40 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:09 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Wd40, that's only your countrymen, not the western world's expats. A lot of them are still getting that kind of money in the financial industry (of course, they might not be code monkeys either).
Well not just my countrymen, the PRCs, Filipinos, Malaysians, Indonesians, taiwanese etc all of them. Whenever I speak to locals or other Asians and tell them I am renting the whole hdb for 2k for just myself and wife, you must see the expression on their face :)

I didn't deny that western world expats are getting fat packages, all I am saying is I haven't seen anyone asking for advice on this forum, except for couple of them who appeared more of a tongue in cheek. I haven't doubted the OPs intent yet and believe I have given him some sound advice.

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 1:13 pm

colio wrote:IMHO water views in Singapore are overrated.. unsure where you are from in the US, but they are nowhere near water views in Sydney, Australia. My advice is to get as close to your kids school as possible.

Good luck!
Completely agree, 200%. I based my entire housing choice on a water view when I moved here. Coming from northern California (similar landscape to Sydney), I thought I'd be in love. It's terrible. At night the water looks like a US used car dealership from the hundreds of tankers parked out there with flood lights glaring.

On your budget, I'd look for a landed house in the districts mentioned above, or a pent-house. No idea on the cost of a full time drive, but I think the price estimate above (a few thousand a month) sounds in the ballpark.
Manual labor is considered cheap here.

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