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Moving from San Francisco to Singapore- advice please!

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gailwynand
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Postby gailwynand » Wed, 15 May 2013 3:22 am

californiagal wrote:Question on neighborhoods- another one I've heard some good things about is Tiong Bahru. What do you think of that neighborhood for a mid-20's american expat?

Tiong Bahru is great. It has one of the best hawker centres and several hipster cafes for your coffee and brunch needs. Lots of good deals on rent, and historic Art Deco buildings. Only downside, it's not as close to the nightlife as say Robertson Quay or Chinatown. If you're working downtown or out west, though, it's hard to beat.

FYI, my fiance and I have nearly your exact demographic profile (couple of years older.) We currently live in Chinatown, but are seriously considering a move to Tiong Bahru once the lease is up. There's nothing wrong with where we live now - and I would recommend you check out Chinatown as well - but Tiong Bahru has a more intimate neighborhood feel to it and that sounds like it's important to you. Rents are lower, too.

Don't worry about meeting people, there are tons of others in your exact situation so it won't be excessively hard. All of the major US universities have active alumni clubs here so that is a good place to start.

Ask your coworkers to recommend an estate agent to you. That's what we did and no complaints.
Also- I'm planning on buying pretty much everything in Singapore and only bringing over clothes for the most part. Is there anything else by way of household supplies/misc items that are particularly expensive or hard to find in Singapore that would be worth buying here?

California wine! Only two bottles though :(
Any over the counter drugs you use frequently, too.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 15 May 2013 11:34 am

californiagal wrote:For those of you who know SF at all, my favorite neighborhoods are North Beach, Russian Hill, Marina- given this are there are any other neighborhoods in Singapore that you think I should look into?


There is an area just east of Tiong Bahru called Tanjong Pagar. This area, and a bit of the surrounding to the north, in particular, Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, are the closest you'll get to North Beach and Russian Hill. Ann Siang Hill is much less steep :) but there and Club St have all of the trendy cafes, bars, coffee shops, etc, that you'd be familiar with from the areas in SF you like. If I was single, this is where I'd live.

As mentioned, Robertson Quay and Clark Quay are also similar to the (SF) Marina bar scene. This isn't too far, maybe a 5 minute cab ride / 15 minute walk north.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Wed, 15 May 2013 4:10 pm

If your company is paying to ship stuff, you probably should bring things from the US, but not too many things because you don't know the size of your place yet. Ikea is here (and it delivers) and that's probably where you'll get the best deals. Craigslist is another good way to go. However, shopping for home stuff at a boutique store here will be very costly. Also, mattress sizes will be somewhat different than in the US, so if you do plan on bringing over a bed, make sure you bring plenty of sheets to fit the mattresses.

gailwynand
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Postby gailwynand » Thu, 16 May 2013 3:00 am

zzm9980 wrote:
californiagal wrote:For those of you who know SF at all, my favorite neighborhoods are North Beach, Russian Hill, Marina- given this are there are any other neighborhoods in Singapore that you think I should look into?

There is an area just east of Tiong Bahru called Tanjong Pagar. This area, and a bit of the surrounding to the north, in particular, Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, are the closest you'll get to North Beach and Russian Hill. Ann Siang Hill is much less steep :) but there and Club St have all of the trendy cafes, bars, coffee shops, etc, that you'd be familiar with from the areas in SF you like. If I was single, this is where I'd live.

Yes, this is where we live now. It's nice but housing is quite expensive and prices at the local supermarkets seem to be 10-20% above elsewhere on the island. Tiong Bahru is a bit better on these fronts and there is a similar Western hipster scene.

Bottom line in my opinion, OP should start with Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru then branch out from there.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 16 May 2013 12:10 pm

gailwynand wrote:Yes, this is where we live now. It's nice but housing is quite expensive and prices at the local supermarkets seem to be 10-20% above elsewhere on the island.


Well, thats the same as the areas of SF the OP is discussing :)

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 17 May 2013 12:20 am

BedokAmerican wrote:You might have to pay into the US Social Security system. If so, that'll be about 12.5 % of your annual income. It's something to check on if you haven't already.


I don't think this is correct. If the OP is being paid by the American arm of her company, then the company will deduct social security and medicaid, then pay the employer share, just like it does right now.

Additionally, under this arrangement, the OP will have to pay both Singapore and USA personal income taxes, and this should be taken into account when negotiating salary... even though Singapore personal tax rates are low, you will be double taxed.

However, if you are being paid by a foreign firm, even if it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American firm, they you will not be subject to any social security payments whatsoever. And, if you meet the requirements, you will be able to take advantage of the IRS foreign earned income exclusion, this year set at $97,600, which shields this much earned income from double taxation.

californiagal
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Postby californiagal » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 5:22 am

To those of you who recommended Tiong Bahru and Tanjong Pagar, do you have any specific condo recommendations? Looking for something less than 10 min walk to the MRT, with a swimming pool and decent sized apartments.

Thanks!

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 12:52 pm

Have you ruled out sharing a room and/or an HDB?

Pinnacle @ Duxton is a high-end HDB which is a great location near Tanjong Pagar. It's also a bit pricier like a condo though.

It's the big new one in back on the right here:
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The ones in back on the left are a traditional HDB. They're generally close inside to an average condo, but look like they're built with duplos on the outside and will lack pools and such.

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Postby tienchin » Sun, 02 Jun 2013 3:52 pm

Your account is now locked for re-posting your advertisement after receiving a warning.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 02 Jun 2013 7:45 pm

Pinnacle is a reasonable place but be careful as it was completed in Dec 2009, meaning there are restrictions on rental. I believe it can be rented only if the owner is placed overseas and of course HDB gives the permission.

californiagal
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Postby californiagal » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 4:22 am

Thanks all. I'd prefer to live in a condo rather than an HDB and would like my own place. Does anyone know anything about these condos in particular?

Roberston Quay:
Robertson 100
Riverside 48
River Place

Tiong Bahru:
Central Green

Tanjong Pagar:
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The Lumiere

Also- any other advice besides . on where to find apartment listings?

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:10 am

californiagal wrote:Also- any other advice besides . on where to find apartment listings?


The menu bar on top of this site.

californiagal
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Postby californiagal » Wed, 05 Jun 2013 11:38 pm

Thanks everyone for all the advice so far! I have a few more questions:

- Is Tanjong Pagar too urban to be a good place to live? It seems like compared to Robertson Quay and Tiong Bahru it has the best options in terms of nice, new but affordable condos. I like the idea of being able to walk to work but also want to feel like I'm in a neighborhood, preferably with other expats as well. Seems like it's pretty much all locals?

- What is the deal with bringing wine over to Singapore? I've heard you can do something like two bottles/checked bag for free and beyond that there are fines...?

Thanks!

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Postby californiagal » Thu, 06 Jun 2013 2:10 am

One more question...is . the best way to find an available room if I decide to go that route instead of finding my own place?

gailwynand
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Postby gailwynand » Thu, 06 Jun 2013 4:59 am

californiagal wrote:- Is Tanjong Pagar too urban to be a good place to live? It seems like compared to Robertson Quay and Tiong Bahru it has the best options in terms of nice, new but affordable condos. I like the idea of being able to walk to work but also want to feel like I'm in a neighborhood, preferably with other expats as well. Seems like it's pretty much all locals?

Tons of expats in Tanjong Pagar - not to mention tourists. Many good quality hipster coffee shops, cocktail bars, etc to choose from. Definitely not all locals.

Also Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay, and the MBS are a short cab/MRT ride away.

I think Tiong Bahru has a bit more of that neighborhood feel but Tanjong Pagar is not bad at all.


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