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Buying furniture in Singapore

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fivegomad
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Buying furniture in Singapore

Postby fivegomad » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 12:14 am

Can anyone advise on buying furniture in Singapore. Is it expensive in comparison to the UK? We're wondering if we should ship everything over with us (company will cover costs) or buy new when we're there. We wanted to replace beds, sofa etc anyway. So, should we buy new here and ship that over?
Thanks.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 9:07 am

Over here we've only ever shopped at IKEA and Courts, and I can't say that I've found them to be relatively expensive. In fact if you wished you could compare IKEA prices in the UK vs SG (online) to gauge any difference.

I'm not an advocate of 'shipping everything'. property here is smaller than one gets used to back in the UK. Also they have all kinds of 'tricks' on the advertised floor-space, like, in our current place:-

- all bedrooms and bathrooms have c30" wide projecting ledges under the windows. i.e. so a 10*10' room is now 10'*7'6" + a kinda bookshelf ledge-space or similar.
- built in cupboards in main bedrooms
- balcony
- railed ledge for external air-con condensers outside kitchen.

Each of those 'features' are *included* within GFA/gross floor area, something that would be illegal to do in the UK. There is no concept of NFA or 'reduced head-height' zoning etc here.

The point is though that suddenly your '1000ft2' property, actually turns out to have maybe 750ft2 of habitable space. So now you have your container of UK furniture arriving, what are you going to do? Pay to bin some of it ? Pay to put it into storage?

Better to have planned it out in advance, than have that hideous gut-churning realisation when the removers are in full swing...[DING!] 'Oh s***, we're not going to get it all in are we'[DONG!] - Interrupted by the removal man asking 'Er, excuse me sir, where was it you said you wanted this 3-seat sofa to go? -

Advice previously has been along the lines of:
- Bring a few family/heirloom pieces. But preferably nothing the climate will destroy
- Get the rest from IKEA/Courts etc when here (this is why expats used to get 'furnishing allowances'. If you don't have one, try and negotiate one in lieu of them shipping all your bulky furniture to and fro).
- be prepared to probably bin all the IKEA stuff when you leave (there's almost nil market for 2nd hand furniture here)


Do not buy in the UK to ship, as you have no way of gauging what space you'll have. Very risky!

Any major furniture you do bring make a note of dimensions. So when you view places, you can judge whether you'll get it in. For the purposes of the latter sketch rough floorplans when you view places, and back home redo them roughly to scale. Cut to scale stickers (1:50?) representing your major items of furniture... you can use trimmed-up Post-It's so the glue holds them in place, and you can move an item from one place or room to another. This takes you from:
level #1 'Can we physically get it in'
level #2 'Are we going to have some kind of flow/circulation space? [i.e. can you get from the front-door to kitchen carrying 5 bags of groceries without having to navigate via an obstacle course of furniture).

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QRM
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Postby QRM » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:00 am

If you are going to live in a condo, keep in mind a problem we had, a design fault in a well known block in SG the one with the rubbish chute and flooded carpark problem, the service lift is so small a number of items had to be carried up the stairs, which 1. cost extra, 2. are more likely to be damaged on route up, 3. you feel really bad for the poor buggers that have to carry sofas, coffee tables pianos, up 20 storeys.

fivegomad
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Postby fivegomad » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 5:31 pm

Thank you JR8, that's all helpful to know. I doubt we'll get a furniture allowance as such but will find out more. We are expecting to find a decent sized house, but agree, it's tricky until you know the exact size.
QRM, as I say, we're looking at houses rather than apartments/condos so hopefully not too many stairs.
Thanks for your info.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Jan 2014 5:47 pm

Hopefully your housing allowance will be at least 5K+/mo for housing as that is just about the minimum you will spend for landed property (house) as opposed to a condo/apartment. That will also be outside of the major downtown/business district (think 8~25k/mo there).

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Postby stuckmojo » Tue, 28 Jan 2014 10:09 am

JR8 wrote:Over here we've only ever shopped at IKEA and Courts, and I can't say that I've found them to be relatively expensive. In fact if you wished you could compare IKEA prices in the UK vs SG (online) to gauge any difference.

I'm not an advocate of 'shipping everything'. property here is smaller than one gets used to back in the UK. Also they have all kinds of 'tricks' on the advertised floor-space, like, in our current place:-

- all bedrooms and bathrooms have c30" wide projecting ledges under the windows. i.e. so a 10*10' room is now 10'*7'6" + a kinda bookshelf ledge-space or similar.
- built in cupboards in main bedrooms
- balcony
- railed ledge for external air-con condensers outside kitchen.

Each of those 'features' are *included* within GFA/gross floor area, something that would be illegal to do in the UK. There is no concept of NFA or 'reduced head-height' zoning etc here.

The point is though that suddenly your '1000ft2' property, actually turns out to have maybe 750ft2 of habitable space. So now you have your container of UK furniture arriving, what are you going to do? Pay to bin some of it ? Pay to put it into storage?

Better to have planned it out in advance, than have that hideous gut-churning realisation when the removers are in full swing...[DING!] 'Oh s***, we're not going to get it all in are we'[DONG!] - Interrupted by the removal man asking 'Er, excuse me sir, where was it you said you wanted this 3-seat sofa to go? -

Advice previously has been along the lines of:
- Bring a few family/heirloom pieces. But preferably nothing the climate will destroy
- Get the rest from IKEA/Courts etc when here (this is why expats used to get 'furnishing allowances'. If you don't have one, try and negotiate one in lieu of them shipping all your bulky furniture to and fro).
- be prepared to probably bin all the IKEA stuff when you leave (there's almost nil market for 2nd hand furniture here)


Do not buy in the UK to ship, as you have no way of gauging what space you'll have. Very risky!

Any major furniture you do bring make a note of dimensions. So when you view places, you can judge whether you'll get it in. For the purposes of the latter sketch rough floorplans when you view places, and back home redo them roughly to scale. Cut to scale stickers (1:50?) representing your major items of furniture... you can use trimmed-up Post-It's so the glue holds them in place, and you can move an item from one place or room to another. This takes you from:
level #1 'Can we physically get it in'
level #2 'Are we going to have some kind of flow/circulation space? [i.e. can you get from the front-door to kitchen carrying 5 bags of groceries without having to navigate via an obstacle course of furniture).


As someone who has recently relocated to Singapore from the UK, I largely agree with you, with the exception of the point you make about houses being smaller than in the UK. As far as I know, the UK has the smallest houses in the world (save perhaps for Korea and Hong Kong). My personal experience in looking at condos here versus flats in the UK is that room sizes are much bigger here. I am referring in particular to the newer type of UK flats, where sometimes you can touch both ends of a room if you stretch your arms out. "Double room, deceptively spacious, innit"

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Jan 2014 12:39 pm

stuckmojo wrote:My personal experience in looking at condos here versus flats in the UK is that room sizes are much bigger here. I am referring in particular to the newer type of UK flats, where sometimes you can touch both ends of a room if you stretch your arms out. "Double room, deceptively spacious, innit"


Ah, I see, well I've had the opposite experience. I've only really been involved in period/conversion (often Victorian era) property back 'ome. There you hopefully get some decent space and proportions.

Here, and new-build, is where they skimp and almost scam you (show-homes with 2/3rds sized beds installed etc). All the space/GSF-maxing tricks discussed just earlier this week.

I wouldn't touch new-build in the UK, it's like buying an Italian car. The minute you take ownership and drive it off the forecourt it's depreciated by 25%.

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Postby stuckmojo » Tue, 28 Jan 2014 1:19 pm

JR8 wrote:
stuckmojo wrote:My personal experience in looking at condos here versus flats in the UK is that room sizes are much bigger here. I am referring in particular to the newer type of UK flats, where sometimes you can touch both ends of a room if you stretch your arms out. "Double room, deceptively spacious, innit"


Ah, I see, well I've had the opposite experience. I've only really been involved in period/conversion (often Victorian era) property back 'ome. There you hopefully get some decent space and proportions.

Here, and new-build, is where they skimp and almost scam you (show-homes with 2/3rds sized beds installed etc). All the space/GSF-maxing tricks discussed just earlier this week.

I wouldn't touch new-build in the UK, it's like buying an Italian car. The minute you take ownership and drive it off the forecourt it's depreciated by 25%.


I couldn't agree more. The 2/3rd sized furniture trick I have seen with my own eyes in the UK too, it's baffling.

I believe the majority of the new builds in the UK won't last as long as the mortgages on them. Victorian houses, yes, another story.

ultravibes
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Postby ultravibes » Thu, 06 Mar 2014 4:25 pm

You could buy or you could lease the furniture..


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