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  • New to Singapore?

    New to Singapore then read on.

    Top Tips

    If you're new to Singapore there are a few things you might want to consider when looking at finding a new home. Here are some pointers we think might be useful, and some explanations of terms generally used.

    1. Agents
    The services and input of a good Agent or Property Consultant is invaluable in your search for a new home. Tap their vast knowledge of the Singapore property market to make your transition as enjoyable as possible.
    Many will do good research for you and will only take you to the areas/type of units that you are interested in, so it can be useful to them if you have as clear an idea as possible where you want to live and what sort of accommodation you want.

    We suggest that you take a little time to browse through our database and decide the area, condominium or even unit that you are interested in and then contact the agent or owner.

    2. What age property is best?
    Older properties (pre 1990s) tend to be slightly larger, with larger rooms and often have balconies. Many of the older properties in Singapore have been renovated now so the condition of interiors, exteriors and communal areas are often pretty modern. Facilities available to older condominiums vary drastically so you should look at the individual property descriptions to check these out. If you're looking for an apartment and would like a larger place, with a balcony and don't mind it being a little older then you might want to consider looking at some of the older properties.
    Newer properties (post 1990s) are often smaller for the price, but obviously everything has a new feel about it. It seems that often the newer the property the better the facilities, though of course this isn't always the case. If you're not so concerned about the room sizes but want modern facilities then perhaps you should look at some of the newer apartments.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Part Two

    3. What furnishings will be included?
    It's a good idea to find out, before you view a place, what level of furnishings it has. As a rough guide we've included explanations of what is often meant by 'unfurnished', 'partially furnished' and 'fully furnished' here in Singapore, but check with your agent for specific details of what is and isn't included in the price for a specific property.
    Unfurnished properties come with virtually nothing in it. Check with the agent to see if it has any of the basics, but be ready for a shell.

    Part furnished - coming from the UK this was a bit of a surprise at first; basically part-furnished tends to mean that the unit has air-conditioning (if applicable), kitchen units, oven, refrigerator, bathroom units and may have a washing machine, drier and/or dishwasher, but doesn't have much else so be prepared to get your own beds, dining furniture and sofa for a start. Many properties have built-in wardrobes.

    Fully furnished is quite straightforward and generally means that your apartment or house will come with the basic furniture needed to eat, sleep and live. The level of furnishing can vary significantly from property to property so you might want to check for some basic items before viewing a place, landlords might consider providing extra items if you ask, though this could affect the price you pay.

    The important thing is to discuss your requirements with the agent who will be able to advise you on whether an apartment has what you need.

    4. Level (Apartments only)
    By level we mean which floor you'll live on. In Singapore the floor at ground level is the 'first floor', or 'level 1'.
    High Levels are good if you like more of a breeze, handy if you have to pay your own electricity bills. Also you can get a good view, depending on your location. You'll get fewer bugs and mosquitoes flying in at a higher level too, though this might not be a problem in many condominiums. Apartments that are on a higher level may be lighter too if there are a lot of trees around. If you want to live on a high floor you might have to be prepared to pay a little more than for a similar apartment on a lower floor.

    Lower Levels are good if you don't like heights or if the apartment has no lift access. First floor apartments might have a small garden, great if you have kids or just want that extra little bit of space. An apartment on a lower level can feel less isolated as you tend to be closer to any outside action. The lower level apartments are often slightly cheaper than living higher up.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx


    • #3
      Part Three

      5. Air-conditioning and Ceiling fans
      Air-conditioning (commonly referred to as 'aircon') is installed in most of the newer properties when they are built and many of the older properties have now had them installed. Some properties have air-conditioning in the bedrooms but not living rooms. Air-conditioning a room is not cheap, but is affordable. It's a matter of weighing up cost and being comfortable. A well ventilated room often doesn't need air-conditioning, especially if there's a nice breeze blowing through.
      Ceiling fans tend to be more common in the older properties; they are great at keeping the air circulating and so are often effective enough at cooling a room without air-conditioning, alternatively they can be used in conjunction with air-conditioning to keep a room that much cooler. A ceiling fan can be a good option in apartments on a low level as they may not get as much of a breeze as higher levels.

      When renting a property you might find the draft agreement holds you responsible for the cost of servicing of aircons. Landlords will usually make sure your air conditioning has been serviced shortly before you move in. You should be prepared to clean the aircon filters yourself at regular intervals.

      6. General
      What you see is not necessarily what you get when it comes to renting an apartment in Singapore. We're talking prices, decor, furnishings and fittings here. When you're shown round a place you should bear in mind that an owner (or agent acting on the owner's behalf) will often be willing to negotiate. Depending on the original asking price, age of the decor and fittings and any existing furniture, landlords will often consider reasonable requests.

      If you decide to rent and find the perfect place but...

      ...It's slightly above your budget. The owner may consider a slight drop in price.

      ...It's the right sort of size and price, but getting a bit scruffy. It is reasonable to request that a place is repainted before a new tenant moves in.

      ...You need more/less furniture than it currently has. Check whether the owner could remove some of the excess furniture or whether he'd be prepared to provide some additional furniture if required. This will often effect the rental price so it's important to check that too.

      Kitchen appliances, when included in a property in Singapore will usually include a hob (either gas or electricity) but may not include an oven (roasting oven). So remember to check this one out if it might affect your decision.

      Gas supply to a hob and/or oven in a kitchen is not always supplied by the mains. Some apartments have a gas hob and/or oven supplied by a gas canister that is usually stored under the hob. A deposit is payable on the canister but after that payment is only made on the gas when it's refilled. Ask your agent or the owner for details about refilling the canister, it's a good idea to find this out in advance so that when the gas runs out you are prepared. The length of time a full canister will last depends on how much cooking you do at home and whether it supplies both a hob and oven, or just one.
      "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx