Housing in East Singapore?

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Cazeran
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Housing in East Singapore?

Post by Cazeran » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 4:22 am

Hello all,

I will be relocating from the US (North Carolina) to Singapore in September and am in the midst of planning. I will be staying for 1.5-2 years as an international assignee. My company is helping with goods shipment but I am responsible for finding my own housing.

My budget is S$4,000/month, I am coming alone and will not be bringing any furniture. My office is located in the North of Tampines (in between MRT stops Pasir Ris and Tampines), which seems to be quite out of the way and far away from downtown.

I have searched many property websites and read many forum threads, but am still very concerned about finding a decent place to live. I don't know which areas to consider. And even within the same area, prices seem to fluctuate wildy. I was looking for a studio or one-bedroom condo, ideally furnished (bed, tables, chairs, couch, etc), unless you tell me it is really easy to find cheap furniture. Also, I would love to find something fairly close to the city without causing an excruciating commute to work. I heard that the East Coast Area is nice, as well as Tanjong Rhu and Bedok, but those are just speculations so far..

Any thoughts or tips? Maybe a realtor would help? If so, which one to pick? There seem to be thousands. Thanks so much!

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 9:02 am

The furniture they provide will be cheap. Ikea passes for 'above average' in Singapore. Any furniture of quality you're probably used to in the US will be extremely expensive. Also, you won't easily find a studio or 1bed condo in Singapore. If you do, it'll cost about as much as a 2bed in many cases.

If you would be willing to live in Pasir Ris, you can get a very nice condo in your budget around there. Close to the beach, and closer to $3k.

Tanjong Rhu would be pushing your budget, is a bit remote from amenities, and no where close for your commute to work.

East Coast is nice, but most of the East Coast is not too close to the MRT (~10 min bus ride) so you'd have to take the bus then train in the morning. Not terrible, but I'm not sure what you expect your commute to look like.

Bedok is OK. So is Tampines and Tanah Merah (for condos). Those are all MRT stops, and would be close to your office.

Another option, if you want to save money on rent and don't mind a really small place, would be to look at 'shoeboxes' around Paya Lebar. This is what they call <500sq/ft condos. You would be able to get a studio or 1 bed there, probably for a bit under $3k/month. I like the location because you're surrounded by a lot of areas famous for good food places, and a few local bars. Also, it is pretty much the ideal spot to be convenient to the city/downtown/night life and your office. (Plus it is reverse commute from there, so your train won't be too terribly packed).

It is the very edge of Geylang, so read about Geylang before you decide to go too far west. I'd say the halfway point between Aljunied and Paya Lebar MRT should be the furthest west you look unless you don't mind what Geylang entails. (Working girls and flop houses. Otherwise it's not bad either).

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Post by Barnsley » Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:10 am

Where exactly are you working?

There is nothing but green (for now) between Tampines MRT and Pasir Ris MRT.

Are you working at the Office Cluster near Tampines MRT?

Pasir Ris/Tampines are 20-25mins away from City Hall/Raffles Place so they are not a long way away from the action.

Also nowhere is really a long way from anywhere in Singapore.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Post by henrycc » Fri, 05 Jul 2013 5:53 pm

Agree. I just moved here about 2 months ago and work in the CBD. If you are from the states it is a piece of cake.

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Post by Cazeran » Sat, 06 Jul 2013 3:58 am

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome to the forum. I appreciate your answers and helping me to understand life in Singapore.

I will be working at 6 Tampines Industrial Avenue 5, which is a little bit west of the green MRT line. It looks as though I may have to take a bus as well as the MRT, so I wanted to keep my commute as short as possible. Any experience with bikes? Buy one there? Ship one? Even worth having one?

Thanks for the tip on furnishings too. Nice to know that there is an IKEA so close by. I will try and focus on "partially furnished" then (i.e. kitchen and washer) and furnish it myself.

Any experience with the north shore in Pasir Ris? Or how to go about finding a realtor? Hard to navigate the jungle of ads and unprofessional-looking bios.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 06 Jul 2013 11:41 pm

Cazeran wrote:Hard to navigate the jungle of ads and unprofessional-looking bios.
Thats what passes for a professional realtor in Singapore. :)

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Post by Barnsley » Sun, 07 Jul 2013 12:19 pm

Cazeran wrote:Thank you everyone for the warm welcome to the forum. I appreciate your answers and helping me to understand life in Singapore.

I will be working at 6 Tampines Industrial Avenue 5, which is a little bit west of the green MRT line. It looks as though I may have to take a bus as well as the MRT, so I wanted to keep my commute as short as possible. Any experience with bikes? Buy one there? Ship one? Even worth having one?

Thanks for the tip on furnishings too. Nice to know that there is an IKEA so close by. I will try and focus on "partially furnished" then (i.e. kitchen and washer) and furnish it myself.

Any experience with the north shore in Pasir Ris? Or how to go about finding a realtor? Hard to navigate the jungle of ads and unprofessional-looking bios.
You will be very close to IKEA , you can get the free shuttle bus for IKEA from Tampines MRT :)
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Post by BedokAmerican » Sun, 07 Jul 2013 10:08 pm

As far as real estate agents/Realtors go, I've personally found them to not be very professional. Most of them don't know their head from their feet. With that being said, there probably are a few good ones out there, it's just that they're probably very few. Maybe some people on this forum know of someone they've had a good experience with.

Now, the agents are usually nice; but they can't answer questions about the properties and amenities and stuff like that. Unfortunately, it's not like in the US where you just go to an apartment leasing office and everything is taken care of.

When you find someone and are interested in a place, ask LOTS of questions. Many places are advertised as "furnished," but what exactly does that mean? Furnished could mean only a refrigerator/freezer and nothing else. If there are appliances, are they functional? When was the last time the A/C was serviced? Will all utilities be turned on when you move in? If something major breaks, who's responsible for repairs? When you get a copy of the lease, read it very carefully.

Sorry to ramble on, but here is one example:

We moved in and a week or two later when I wanted to cook something, we couldn't get the gas to turn on. Why? Because the bimbo realtor "forgot" to have the gas turned on. We had to wait a few days for someone to come out and turn on the gas.

A friend of mine moved into a new place and was promised an oven and ended up with a toaster oven.

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Post by sleepygrouchymonster » Wed, 10 Jul 2013 5:51 pm

Hi Cazeran, with a budget of $4k per month for studios or a 1 bedder apartment, you do have quite abit of options to explore. I think it's better to get a partially furnished apartment cos rental can be 200-300bucks lower per month. Thats quite abit of money saved. Rental prices for apartments around MRT are generally higher but it's alot more convenient if you're not intending to drive... esp when car prices in SG are so crazy now! :/

You can consider a bike but the traffic in sg is pretty mad too so it might be better to familiarise with the roads before you get a bike.

:)

Cazeran wrote:Thank you everyone for the warm welcome to the forum. I appreciate your answers and helping me to understand life in Singapore.

I will be working at 6 Tampines Industrial Avenue 5, which is a little bit west of the green MRT line. It looks as though I may have to take a bus as well as the MRT, so I wanted to keep my commute as short as possible. Any experience with bikes? Buy one there? Ship one? Even worth having one?

Thanks for the tip on furnishings too. Nice to know that there is an IKEA so close by. I will try and focus on "partially furnished" then (i.e. kitchen and washer) and furnish it myself.

Any experience with the north shore in Pasir Ris? Or how to go about finding a realtor? Hard to navigate the jungle of ads and unprofessional-looking bios.

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Post by wheaten » Sun, 14 Jul 2013 4:16 pm

Hi there. Living close to work has its benefits in Sg as the work hours can be long. We live out where you are and cycle to work on the footpaths. If you do, be prepared to get drenched occasionally as the weather is unpredictable. So long as your condo and workplace have safe places to store your bike ( bike theft is a real issue on Singapore and underground condo facilities not always safe) and you have somewhere to shower, we highly recommend cycling in to work.
But... You look so young and there is not a lot of fun activity for the youthful out Pasir Ris, Tampines and Bedok way that I am aware of. If you are a bundle of energy, wanting to go out carousing most nights, living closer to the action might be preferable.
Buses are great, but slow. If you can find A place hat is one bus route away from work, that is sensible, as waiting for us connections can be long.
Singapore maps is a reasonably good website for working out potential bus and MRT routes and how long they take.

Edited for autocorrect.

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