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Accommodation in Singapore
Housing in Singapore
The vast majority (more than 80%) of Singaporeans live in public housing. These homes are located in housing estates, where most are developed neighbourhoods with schools, supermarkets, clinics, food centres and recreational facilities. Popular neighborhood estates include names like Ang Mo Kio Town, Toa Payoh, Clementi, Yishun, Bishan, Hougang, Simei, Woodlands, Punggol, Bukit Batok,Tampines and others to the name. In short, they are called HDB.
There are three-room, four-room, five-room and executive flats. A three-room flat has two bedrooms , which is about 1,000 sq ft. A four-room flat has three bedrooms which is about 1,200 sq ft of space. A five-room flat is about 1,400 sq ft. An Executive mansionette has three and they are relatively larger than any other HDB units- some even have double storey, with the rooms on the second level.
When looking for accommodation as an expatriate in Singapore, you have plenty of choices to make, from type of housing to service level. Are you coming alone, as a couple, with children (of what age)? Is your furniture en-route or are you starting from scratch? Only you will be able to answer all this. We may be able to lend you a hand here as one of our services but let us first give you some general information. Location
Singapore is very small compared to practically everywhere else but still give some thought to the location you would like to stay, look at your workplace, schools, shopping areas, nearby MRT stations etc. Singapore is conveniently divided into districts so see if you can pin-down 2 or 3 districts of your preference. As a very crude guide; districts 10 and 11 are central and the more expensive with rentals, for similar accommodation, dropping if you get away further from there. There are expensive pockets in other parts of town too though.
An unfurnished place usually has nothing but the main kitchen appliances and, if applicable, some build-in cabinets. Please ascertain yourself of the fact that a fridge etc. are included, same for the air-conditioning.
Furnished can mean many things, from a couch with a coffee table to the vase with flowers inclusive. Check with the realtor. Also realise that these sort of things are often negotiable, if you need extra furniture and don't want to buy ask for it to be included (and see what the price does), alternatively you may not want to live with that particular horrendous couch, just ask if the owner does not have his own spare room for it.
Apartments / Condominiums
These are available in many shapes and sizes from fully furnished and serviced, convenient if you are a bachelor and likely to travel a lot, to large and empty save for the kitchen appliances. You can find them almost all over the island and the complexes range in size from a few to a few hundred units with anything from a barbecue pit to a full fitness centre available.
A particular type of apartment is the 'walk-up',so named because of the lack of an elevator. These are generally older and 3 to 4 floors high. Because they are older they tend to have larger rooms and therefor a larger total area as well as a larger common area. Facilities are more basic but most still have a pool. Because building regulations generally allow more floor space vs plot size (plotratio) than these developments have they are 'underutilized' and popular for en-bloc sales for redevelopment. Rental contracts for this reason sometimes have a clause allowing the owner to terminate the lease in case of such a sale, check for it. The large space however is often a big draw.
Before you start looking ask yourself what the 'musts' are and what would be a bonus, this will make searching easier for you and your agent.
Do also consider whether you mind living on the 20th floor.
Sometimes also referred to as row houses, ranging from 1 to 3 floors with small front and backyards. You can find them all over town and with one or two exceptions they do not have any facilities.
A special type of these are the shophouses, these are converted old-style local houses which used to have the business on the ground floor with the owner living above it. The houses often have a colourful exterior and are located near the centre but generally lack much of a garden.
Or semi-detached houses give you one build-on neighbour. You are separated from the other neighbour by a garden or path of anything between 0.5m and park size. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, you really have to see for yourself.
These are free standing houses on a largish plot of land. These too come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a bigger chance of including a small pool.
A special type of these are the so called black-and-white houses. These are older kampong-style houses of 1 to 2 floors high and usually very nice. Guess what their dominant colour scheme is (on the outside).
Most housing in Singapore is offered through agents. Often both the seller / landlord and the buyer / renter use an agent. Agents get a commission from either party depending on the price range and if more than 1 agent are involved they will have to share this commission. For this reason it unfortunately is generally difficult to find a searching agent for the lower rental classes because the commission on low rentals is also low. If you are looking for a low rent your best bet is going through the advertisements yourself and approach the owner's (agent) direct.
What are the different types of Business Entity in Singapore?
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