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Help:Relocating to Singapore

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Help:Relocating to Singapore

Postby minimids » Thu, 07 Mar 2013 7:43 pm

My wife and I are possibly relocating to Singapore in the next month or so and naturally we have some questions.

My wife is expecting our first child in June so we are keen to hire a nanny since we're new to this and we also won't have the family/social circle of back home to rely on for help, if and when it is needed.

Does that mean we would have to rent an apartment with 3 bedrooms (one for us, one for the new arrival and one for the nanny) or do nannies/maids have seperate quarters or own accomodation?

Saying on the accommodation issue, we're likely to be in a hotel for the first couple weeks until we find an apartment. The company will put us in touch with an agent to help with this but we'd like to know how long does it normally take to sign leases, background checks, move into an apartment, etc?


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Postby taxico » Thu, 07 Mar 2013 9:09 pm

depends on the type of nanny you hire. in the case of confinement nannies:

some live in on week days and go back on week ends (eg, home in malaysia) or you could get local ones that have their own homes in singapore, or ones that are entirely reliant on you for lodging.

the third type are a bit iffy, due to their visa status... i don't think there's a "nanny" visa, just a foreign domestic worker or private nurse visa (i could be wrong though).

having said that, most confinement nannies learn to cope sleeping without their own room. it is temporary after all. you will find some part time nannies. best to find out what nannies can/cannot offer locally... where are you from?

you might want to look into getting a maid (full time house help). your house help would need her own "room," although her accommodations needn't be luxurious or spacious, in accordance with local practices.

while house viewing, you can always ask your realtor where the maid's room is and he/she will astutely point something suitably small out to you. as a rule of thumb: if a room has no windows, it wasn't designed for a bed.

all you need is the deposit and rent for the first month (or two) and you're good to go. you could ink the lease for a place as quickly as the same hour you view the property (and maybe even move in the following day if the place is available immediately) or you could take months to find your ideal home. your mileage may vary, but the quickest i've done it was in under 2 hours.

background (ie, credit) checks are not common when renting from a private landlord. i would advise that you read through this forum to see what others have experienced - usually the good stories aren't posted.

moving in... again, your mileage may vary. 2 suit cases vs 2 pallets.

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Postby minimids » Thu, 07 Mar 2013 9:43 pm

Thanks for your reply, that's a huge help already!

Any suggestions for agencies to use for maids/nannies?

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Re: Help:Relocating to Singapore

Postby JR8 » Fri, 08 Mar 2013 1:50 am

IME it takes about two weeks, that's viewing maybe 10 properties in total and then making a decision and signing a Tenancy Agreement.

Think carefully about what it is you want from your home. Commute/transport, facilities, property type/size. I.e. there is nothing worse for an estate agent than to be instructed with 'We just want 3 bedrooms, and will live anywhere really'. Making their job easier, makes your life easier.

Good luck.

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Postby movingtospore » Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:31 pm

Ask your agent to show you older houses and/or landed properties as they will have maid rooms that are half-way decent. The new places - the maid's rooms are smaller than prison cells and really appalling. Older apartments are also usually quite a bit larger. You may not get all the swish facilities, but you will get more room to breath, and you won't have your nanny living on top of you and your new baby.

And a word about the nannies here. They are not nannies. They're maids who can babysit for short periods of time. Scroll through some of the stories on this forum about some of the issues you will run into. Many of them have very poor education, and will not have any of the skills you might consider to be "common sense" re childcare, especially care for an infant. The better educated nannies by and large are not in Singers as they have much better options elsewhere. Thats not to say you can't find a lovely lady to help out with your family - but be prepared to do a lot of hand holding. Just saying...

Good luck!

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Postby Taitaiwife » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 4:33 pm

The most common option is to hire a live in maid. They are not nannies as OP already said, but if you choose one who's got kids back home at least they have experience!

Most but not all properties have a maid's room. property ads often give a clue e.g.

3+1 means 3 bedrooms plus a maid's room

If your property has a halfway decent maid's room (and be warned they are all generally very small), it's normal for her to sleep in this rather than giving her one of your "proper" bedrooms. That said, some people do give the maid a proper bedroom....and on the flip side I've known people who had their maid sleep in the under stairs cupboard! (Obviously not recommended).

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