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Australian moving from Canada to Singapore: rent and pay Qs

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Rambutan2000
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Australian moving from Canada to Singapore: rent and pay Qs

Postby Rambutan2000 » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 6:16 pm

Hi all, first off what a great resource this site is! I've just spent a couple of days reading around.

So here's my questions I couldn't find answers to yet:

1. Do most of you guys get some kind of rental assistance as part of your moving package? I'm taking a position in a new company and not relocation within a company.


2. I did some googling and found that pay for people in the video games industry might be comparatively low in Singapore, I've seen everything from $30k to $100k. Is it even possible to live in Singapore for this much? I'm still negotiating but going in with $120k, but want to know how low I can go. As reference I'm currently on $95k canadian + bonus and have been offered a job in the US for ~$120k.

Games Industry salary:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69214115/Singa ... 202012.ppt

It's quite possible no senior people added figures to the above survey.


3. Most posts I've seen involve people with families wanting larger condos. I'm after a 1-2 bedroom place for me and my GF (I know about visa situations, that another conversation). I've been searching through the property listings and most come up as "Price On Ask". Is this code for "Expensive! don't bother looking"?


4. I've seen various posts about not trusting estate agents. I actually had a relocation package to move from Aus to Canada and was allocated a person who helped out with finding an apartment. Is this generally true in Singapore? Should I trust an agent supplied by my employer? No one has actually stated specifically what these agents are doing to be dodgy.


5. Given a budget of ~$3000, should I even bother looking in areas such as 15 (close to work and play) for a condo or is it just plain out of my price range?


6. How representative are the rental property web searches of the number of rentals out there? Am I going to find many more options once I get to Singapore or is what's on the sites pretty much it?


7. How ghetto is HDB housing? It's looking like this might be my best option to keep costs down but apparently people don't like the insides of apartments being photographed in Singapore so I can't really tell from the web. Is HDB something expats do regularly or am I really slumming it if I go this route?

Feel free to flame if these have been asked millions of times before and I'm suffering from searchfailitis.

Thanks!!!!

R

PS: Oh and I personally dont trust any COL adjustment data. I currently live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Living is supposed to be very cheap here but the fact that it gets down to -40C means you need to spend a lot of money on things like winter tires, and also the roads reassembling the surface of the moon means you blow tires/wheels every couple of months. Plus the oil boom is pushing rental prices way up. None of which is acknowledged by the company that moved me here.

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Re: Australian moving from Canada to Singapore: rent and pay

Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 9:02 pm

Rambutan2000 wrote:Hi all, first off what a great resource this site is! I've just spent a couple of days reading around.

So here's my questions I couldn't find answers to yet:

1. Do most of you guys get some kind of rental assistance as part of your moving package? I'm taking a position in a new company and not relocation within a company.

Yes most do - normally some capital for the bond and some sort of allowance for ongoing rental.

2. I did some googling and found that pay for people in the video games industry might be comparatively low in Singapore, I've seen everything from $30k to $100k. Is it even possible to live in Singapore for this much? I'm still negotiating but going in with $120k, but want to know how low I can go. As reference I'm currently on $95k canadian + bonus and have been offered a job in the US for ~$120k.

Games Industry salary:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69214115/Singa ... 202012.ppt

It's quite possible no senior people added figures to the above survey.

Dunno - but $120k is ok.

3. Most posts I've seen involve people with families wanting larger condos. I'm after a 1-2 bedroom place for me and my GF (I know about visa situations, that another conversation). I've been searching through the property listings and most come up as "Price On Ask". Is this code for "Expensive! don't bother looking"?

No - it's code for 'if you have western voice we'll phuck you and if you've an Indian voice the apartment will be mysteriously unavailable'. Everything is negotiable.

4. I've seen various posts about not trusting estate agents. I actually had a relocation package to move from Aus to Canada and was allocated a person who helped out with finding an apartment. Is this generally true in Singapore? Should I trust an agent supplied by my employer? No one has actually stated specifically what these agents are doing to be dodgy.

Depends on entirely who you are with. Make sure you have absolutely final say in what and where you live in and drive.

5. Given a budget of ~$3000, should I even bother looking in areas such as 15 (close to work and play) for a condo or is it just plain out of my price range?

I think you can do it - the cheap condo's go quick though and you need to look fairly frequently.

6. How representative are the rental property web searches of the number of rentals out there? Am I going to find many more options once I get to Singapore or is what's on the sites pretty much it?

IF you're looking at the two big ones they are pretty ok - the newspaper here sometimes throws up good bargains as well.


7. How ghetto is HDB housing? It's looking like this might be my best option to keep costs down but apparently people don't like the insides of apartments being photographed in Singapore so I can't really tell from the web. Is HDB something expats do regularly or am I really slumming it if I go this route?

It's not ghetto at all - usually very convenient to services and usually better value per ft2.

Feel free to flame if these have been asked millions of times before and I'm suffering from searchfailitis.

Thanks!!!!

R

PS: Oh and I personally dont trust any COL adjustment data. I currently live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Living is supposed to be very cheap here but the fact that it gets down to -40C means you need to spend a lot of money on things like winter tires, and also the roads reassembling the surface of the moon means you blow tires/wheels every couple of months. Plus the oil boom is pushing rental prices way up. None of which is acknowledged by the company that moved me here.


Yeah gotcha.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby Brah » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 10:25 pm

If it were me I'd take the US 120k job over one here

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 11:01 pm

Brah wrote:If it were me I'd take the US 120k job over one here


+1
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Postby Rambutan2000 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 1:28 am

thanks for the info offshoreoildude. I've been told by a friend that with my experience level I shouldn't take anything under $100k. I've also been advised to maybe take the master bedroom in a share to save $$$. seems legit.

I'm realty treating Singapore as an adventure, do lots of weekend traveling etc more than anything, plus I'm kinda sick of living in north America. The job is in the Seattle region, i like it there but I can't do another depressing winter! Plus I'm starting up a business in Australia and an 8 hour flight is better than 36 hours.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 7:56 am

Rambutan2000 wrote:thanks for the info offshoreoildude. I've been told by a friend that with my experience level I shouldn't take anything under $100k. I've also been advised to maybe take the master bedroom in a share to save $$$. seems legit.

I'm realty treating Singapore as an adventure, do lots of weekend traveling etc more than anything, plus I'm kinda sick of living in north America. The job is in the Seattle region, i like it there but I can't do another depressing winter! Plus I'm starting up a business in Australia and an 8 hour flight is better than 36 hours.


America to Australia is 36 hours? :o
The world is round, have you tried the other direction :lol:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 8:17 am

Depends on where he is coming from in Canada wouldn't you think? If he's talkin' about door to door, it could be easily 36 hours.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 9:29 am

Rambutan2000 wrote:thanks for the info offshoreoildude. I've been told by a friend that with my experience level I shouldn't take anything under $100k. I've also been advised to maybe take the master bedroom in a share to save $$$. seems legit.

I'm realty treating Singapore as an adventure, do lots of weekend traveling etc more than anything, plus I'm kinda sick of living in north America. The job is in the Seattle region, i like it there but I can't do another depressing winter! Plus I'm starting up a business in Australia and an 8 hour flight is better than 36 hours.


You have the right attitude. That's how I started here. Re Business in Australia - watch the red tape - it's overwhelming (I'm an Aussie) and the pay rates right now are off the scale (because of a commodity boom). Adelaide is probably the cheapest place for IT people right now. DON'T do it in Perth - the costs are just unimaginable.
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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:17 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Depends on where he is coming from in Canada wouldn't you think? If he's talkin' about door to door, it could be easily 36 hours.


Yeah, you are right! Although a direct flight from his place, Edmonton to Melbourne should take only 17 hrs

http://www.flightnetwork.com/destinatio ... ourne.html

But the actual flight options are really crazy, minimum seems to be 2 stop overs and hence indeed takes 36 hours or more in some cases :o

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Postby Rambutan2000 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:06 pm

yeah I usually go Edmonton - San Fran - Sydney - Brisbane - bundaberg with 3-6 hour stop overs.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 2:19 pm

Rambutan2000 wrote:yeah I usually go Edmonton - San Fran - Sydney - Brisbane - bundaberg with 3-6 hour stop overs.


Surprised you can even get a direct flight from Edmonton to SF!

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Re: Australian moving from Canada to Singapore: rent and pay

Postby taxico » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 3:12 pm

Rambutan2000 wrote:...Should I trust an agent supplied by my employer? No one has actually stated specifically what these agents are doing to be dodgy.

7. How ghetto is HDB housing? ...Is HDB something expats do regularly or am I really slumming it if I go this route?


good/bad agents. under promise and over deliver. over promise and under deliver. etc. YMMV.

HDB housing isn't bad the the majority (80%? 85%?) of singaporeans live in them and thus many modern flats are very well renovated and furnished. many expats live in flats too.

there are some estates that are older and you'll have a problem with littering. if you're persistent and patient enough, you can solve the problem with the town council and environmental agency officers' assistance.

you will not see crack heads, bitch-smacking pimps or gun-totting gang bangers. you will see rats and roaches at night but this is normal (AFAIK).

try using google street view for a feel.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 3:21 pm

7. How ghetto is HDB housing? It's looking like this might be my best option to keep costs down but apparently people don't like the insides of apartments being photographed in Singapore so I can't really tell from the web. Is HDB something expats do regularly or am I really slumming it if I go this route?


Honestly some HDBs will be just as nice as the nicest condo on the inside, others will feel like bare concrete slabs that haven't been decorated since the block was built in the 70s. I haven't really seen a strong correlation between price and the interior state of various units. You pretty much will just have to go and show up and look at them. Various HDBs are also

Your budget will get you a decent condo in a very far-out fringe area, or an HDB in most places. I was in the same situation as you, and chose an HDB at Marine Parade. It's in the East Coast area, directly next to the beach. It's one of the cleaner/nicer HDB estates, and also smaller. You're right next to decent shopping and dining options also. I'd suggest in your situation to look at HDB in nicer / expat friendly areas like this.

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Re: Australian moving from Canada to Singapore: rent and pay

Postby Rambutan2000 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks for the info taxico!

taxico wrote: you will see rats and roaches at night but this is normal (AFAIK).


LOL I'm a Queenslander (Northern Australia), unless the ground is crawling with life and there are giant bats in the air it just doesn't seem right :)

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 4:47 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
7. How ghetto is HDB housing? It's looking like this might be my best option to keep costs down but apparently people don't like the insides of apartments being photographed in Singapore so I can't really tell from the web. Is HDB something expats do regularly or am I really slumming it if I go this route?


Honestly some HDBs will be just as nice as the nicest condo on the inside, others will feel like bare concrete slabs that haven't been decorated since the block was built in the 70s. I haven't really seen a strong correlation between price and the interior state of various units. You pretty much will just have to go and show up and look at them. Various HDBs are also

Your budget will get you a decent condo in a very far-out fringe area, or an HDB in most places. I was in the same situation as you, and chose an HDB at Marine Parade. It's in the East Coast area, directly next to the beach. It's one of the cleaner/nicer HDB estates, and also smaller. You're right next to decent shopping and dining options also. I'd suggest in your situation to look at HDB in nicer / expat friendly areas like this.


I thought marine parade is one of the older estates with HDB blocks constructed in the mid 70s and most 2 bedder units not even having attached bathrooms

The newer blocks are in areas further out. Tampines has HDB blocks built in the mid 80s and they are decent. Pasir Ris and Sengkang has mid 90s and they are great. Punggol has almost brand new and plush looking HDB blocks and will put a lot of condos to shame.


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