If you could live anywhere in Singapore....

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
uscate
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 1:42 am
Location: Bahstin

Post by uscate » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 2:16 pm

I partially agree with zzm regarding the water view - we also based our housing decision on a water view. We're from Boston and I grew up near the Maine coast, so we have a certain idea of the ocean and boats....as of now I'm enjoying the cognitive dissonance, although give me a few months and I may be singing zzm's tune.

The good thing about an ocean view, though, is you have no other buildings in front of you, which (for me) gives a nice sense of having more living and breathing space than I actually have....although in Singapore I guess things can change in the blink of an eye, and I may eventually have a building plopped right in front of my view.... :D

Good luck with all of your decisions!

Singapore Property Search

 

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6865
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 3:06 pm

Here, I just shot this out my bedroom window. This is one of the *nicest* and clearest days in a while, and also has the fewest ships. Most days you cannot see Indonesia, and most days there are 2x-3x as many ships parked there. The water isn't nice to swim in because you'll see garbage bags floating up that were tossed off the ships. The same kinds of things you'd see in your own kitchen garbage.

Also, we need to keep our windows closed due to the dust and dirt that comes in. When any of the ships start up it'll spew thick black smoke for about 30 minutes. That soot will come and settle in our unit. Just before a heavy rain there will be gusts of wind that feel great, but stir up the sand on the beach and also deposit that inside. Lastly, the season(s) where Indonesian farms burn things....

Image

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 8:50 pm
Answers: 1
Location: East Coast

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 3:16 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
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.
Funny how I think totally opposite. I love the seaviews with ships and tankers lights on at night. Much more interesting than just empty sea, a few seagulls and waves, seen enough of that in my life and have a place like that to go back to if I really want something boring to look at.

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 8:50 pm
Answers: 1
Location: East Coast

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 3:26 pm

Wd40 wrote: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!
PWC Consultants helping with housing good luck with that.

Who would they sign for this “prestigious”

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 3:34 pm

phoenixscienter wrote:...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.)

...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?
i love the views on sentosa and i appreciate that it is a real gated community (i have no visitors nor do i have dinner parties).

i am unsure if anywhere else in singapore would you get unblocked sea views, barring high units in some really tall buildings not anywhere near the water and the pretend sea views that singaporeans rave about.

having said that, sentosa is not what i would call near to SAS...

please don't live in cluster anything if you want real livable and usable space. they were built to maximize profit.

i may be wrong, but you don't get "sea views" in D9/10...

there is no such thing as a 24/7 driver with their own car - you're looking for a regular limo taxi service then. they have a network of cabs+drivers almost 24/7 catering to a regular group of passengers.

otherwise you will get a full time driver that works 8-10 hours a day and the car is provided by the employer. the younger ones may be able to go for longer. the older ones work for lesser hours.

their pay varies depending in hours and experience, but start from way less than 2k.

my parents are retired (okay, dad's semi-retired) in singapore. their driver is a 50 something year old malay muslim and he gets paid about $3k/month, excluding overtime and 3 bonuses a year (feb, june, oct). he does not get health benefits (some do) but gets to use the car from time to time.

he works from 9am to 5pm, monday to saturdays, driving two people around in a toyota. i think his pay is on the higher end as he has only 2 persons to look out for and the hours are not long.

his lunch hour is "flexible" but my parents make sure he goes off for a 75 minute lunch at about noon'ish. he also gets time off every friday to go for islamic prayers at his masjid. he usually ends his day at about 4.30PM as my dad prefers that he (the driver) goes home before rush hour. on saturdays, he's usually off work by 2.30PM.

when he can't work overtime or certain weekends, he will ask a friend to fill in for him or my dad may choose to drive.

i know of some drivers that start work early (school run at 6.30AM so they awake at... 5.30AM?) and drive an entire family and their pets every where before ending work at about 8PM. it's not a tough job, but it can be demanding and very tiring.

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 8:50 pm
Answers: 1
Location: East Coast

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

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 3:43 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!
My opinion only for your original question where would I stay if I could choose and it does not take into consideration your children’s school.

I wouldn’t choose landed, simply because especially for new expats it is easier to find company and friends (of course there’s all kinds of other activities and clubs available but still if your children can find a few friends about the same age to play with at the condo pool and other facilities it is so much easier on daily basis.)

And I’m not a big fan of the Orchard Road as residential area. It gets really crazy crowded and difficult to get in and out due to traffic (that obviously can happen anywhere in Singapore but Orchard is the worst).

My 2 condo choices with your budget would be:
1. Reflections at Keppel http://www.reflectionsatkeppelbay.com.sg/
(or the Caribbean at Keppel as alternative option)
+ big units available
+ new and shiny and facilities
+ MRT and vivocity mall with cinemas etc close by
+ harbor and Sentosa views
+ Simply amazing looking building (about the only condo in the whole country which looks like it’s been designed by an architect and not a kid playing with legos)
- Not that much local flavor but still less isolated from the rest of world than Sentosa

2. Or a penthouse at The Sea View in the east coast. http://www.theseaview.sg/
+ newish condo with very nice facilities, lap tools and play pools and classic clubhouse building
+ location; walking distance to 2 local mall, including cinema, and lots of food places from local varities to international
+ good mix of local and expats in the area and with some history

- Current building site work opposite it blocking part of the seaview (can be an issue everywhere in Singapore)
- The biggest size penthouse might still be a bit short of your size requirements (2800sqft if I’m not mistaken)
- MRT station is not walking distance but as said above most if not all services close by

For the car topic, I would not spend money to buy a car in Singapore.
Unless your company is willing to get you a company car with a driver, in that case go for it. It’s not that uncommon for expats with your housing budget levels.

Otherwise public transport with taxis works quite well if you get the cabcharge priority card to be able to get a taxi during peak hours on a rainy day. (Doesn’t cost anything really, but you have to prepay 2000S$ to the account which can then used to pay your taxi rides over 6 months, this can be divided between 2 cards (one for you and one for your wife)).

User avatar
rajagainstthemachine
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:45 am
Location: Singapore

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 4:21 pm

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.
My sincere apologies, there are way too many trolls here so its kinda difficult to say who's trolling in threads or not.
and welcome to Singapore :D

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6865
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

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

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 5:11 pm

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote: 2. Or a penthouse at The Sea View in the east coast. http://www.theseaview.sg/
+ newish condo with very nice facilities, lap tools and play pools and classic clubhouse building
+ location; walking distance to 2 local mall, including cinema, and lots of food places from local varities to international
+ good mix of local and expats in the area and with some history

- Current building site work opposite it blocking part of the seaview (can be an issue everywhere in Singapore)
- The biggest size penthouse might still be a bit short of your size requirements (2800sqft if I’m not mistaken)
- MRT station is not walking distance but as said above most if not all services close by

For the car topic, I would not spend money to buy a car in Singapore.
Unless your company is willing to get you a company car with a driver, in that case go for it. It’s not that uncommon for expats with your housing budget levels.

Otherwise public transport with taxis works quite well if you get the cabcharge priority card to be able to get a taxi during peak hours on a rainy day. (Doesn’t cost anything really, but you have to prepay 2000S$ to the account which can then used to pay your taxi rides over 6 months, this can be divided between 2 cards (one for you and one for your wife)).
Or maybe something nice at Tanjong Rhu. If OP is in love with the sea view, at least from there they can see Marina Bay and the skyline, and the sea with a very short walk.

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 8:50 pm
Answers: 1
Location: East Coast

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

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 6:19 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote: 2. Or a penthouse at The Sea View in the east coast. http://www.theseaview.sg/
+ newish condo with very nice facilities, lap tools and play pools and classic clubhouse building
+ location; walking distance to 2 local mall, including cinema, and lots of food places from local varities to international
+ good mix of local and expats in the area and with some history

- Current building site work opposite it blocking part of the seaview (can be an issue everywhere in Singapore)
- The biggest size penthouse might still be a bit short of your size requirements (2800sqft if I’m not mistaken)
- MRT station is not walking distance but as said above most if not all services close by

For the car topic, I would not spend money to buy a car in Singapore.
Unless your company is willing to get you a company car with a driver, in that case go for it. It’s not that uncommon for expats with your housing budget levels.

Otherwise public transport with taxis works quite well if you get the cabcharge priority card to be able to get a taxi during peak hours on a rainy day. (Doesn’t cost anything really, but you have to prepay 2000S$ to the account which can then used to pay your taxi rides over 6 months, this can be divided between 2 cards (one for you and one for your wife)).
Or maybe something nice at Tanjong Rhu. If OP is in love with the sea view, at least from there they can see Marina Bay and the skyline, and the sea with a very short walk.
Problem with Tanjong Rhu is that it's prime example of traffic problems.
It looks like it's close to city, but not really and there's nothing really near by except the indoor stadium and a few restaurants there.

Aalto on Meyer Road would also be a potential option, and they have larger 4000sqt penthouse units, which I would consider if...

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6865
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 8:09 pm

True, but it has plenty of space for his kids to run around and play. Since it sounds like they'll have a car or driver at least, the lack of amenities within walking distance isn't terrible. It's a short drive (5-10 minutes) to Parkway or I12 Katong and all of the things by there. It's an isolated/insulated haven with a CBD and water views.

phoenixscienter
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed, 02 Jan 2013 12:45 pm

Post by phoenixscienter » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:23 pm

Thanks for all of your help, guys. I do really appreciate it.

So far, Reflections at Keppel Bay, the Caribbean at Keppel Bay and The Seaview look like legitimate options. Surprisingly, the larger units at Reflections are well out of my price range (I saw some listings for units at or above $30k/month), but there are some mid to large units there that do fit our monthly housing stipend. The Caribbean - although not as new or nice as Reflections - is in the same area, correct? (or roughly?) There I could afford the larger units and one even has a rooftop deck -not sure which one I would find more appealing but both are definitely worth a visit when I'm there. The Seaview is probably behind the other 2, only because the largest unit is still a little small for us (the rooms tend to be smaller, it looks like).

Is District 15 a nice district to live in? (where reflections is) -- how far does it take to get to Stamford International School from there? Are there local shops, restaurants, etc. nearby? Lots of expats or more locals?

Thanks guys.

uscate
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 1:42 am
Location: Bahstin

Post by uscate » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:57 pm

You may be able to do some real negotiating at Reflections. We almost rented there, but I thought it would be too isolating for me (I'm an MRT gal), and my SO works in the Northeast. That being said, he was really taken by the various units he saw there, and if it was closer to "stuff," we probably would have ended up there.

Our realtor (who has since actually become a friend), told us that Reflections is having some real difficulties in filling it's apartments - the reasons he cited were: 1) distance from "regular" work areas and long commute times - (obviously this is not a biggie if you have access to primo taxi service or private car) 2) problems getting on/off Sentosa at prime tourist times 3) apparently they only have one pool (or maybe it's one kid-oriented pool), 4) the Sing government's "cooling off period" for real estate.

Granted, our friend is now in Dubai, but I believe still keeps tabs on whassup in Sing real estate.

Again, the property was really beautiful (and we're a couple with a cat at $7k/month budget).

If you're even half inclined toward Reflections, I'd suggest you take a look when you're here. Also, a close friend lived at the Caribbean, and loved it, but has since moved into the CBD. He has a car, but really found the distance to be prohibitive to his single lifestyle.

Just make sure your realtor / agent has an idea of what you're looking for, and then make SURE he/she has things lined up. One of our problems when we were on our 4 day "let's get 'er done tour" was that our realtor was a little lackadaisical in getting us to see EVERYthing....I think the Northeastern "let's get everything done NOW" attitude was a little antithetical to his vibe.

Hope this helps -

phoenixscienter
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed, 02 Jan 2013 12:45 pm

Post by phoenixscienter » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 1:39 am

I'm seriously considering Reflections, yes, and it is very helpful to know that we may be able to negotiate there. I suspect we still won't be looking at the penthouse level condos at Reflections since I doubt we will be able to negotiate $10k off per month, but it is still helpful to know.

I heard Reflections had 2 pools-- maybe I am mistaken? I've also heard it is a "stone's throw" away from the Harbourfront MRT Station, parks and vivocity (looks like a huge mall from what I can tell). I want to be able to have an "outdoorsy" lifestyle - bicycling, parks, etc. - so I'm hoping that is all within walking distance of the condo that we ultimately choose.

I'm also hoping we can find a good International School that is close (or reasonably close) to the condo.. The more I look into SAS and woodlands, the less likely it seems our kids would go there since I don't want them in traffic for 2 hours everyday.

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 9:45 pm

Post by offshoreoildude » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 7:45 am

I'd rent one of the biggest Black and White bungalows on the Singapore Land Auth website http://www.landapplications.gov.sg/SPIO ... ashup.aspx
Now I'm called PNGMK

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39562
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 9:17 am

OSOD, I'd have to agree. But not all will be enthused with the amount of work that goes into keeping one of those things habitable. I know. I lived in black & whites in Seletar Camp from 1983 to 1999 when I bought my HDB flat. If I could rent out my flat for enough to pay the inflated rental for black & whites today, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I loved it out there. Only place that felt somewhat like being home with all the vegetation, wildlife critters, lack of amenities and little traffic. :(
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

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests