Hunting for a place in Singapore may appear daunting especially if you are clueless of what to expect and are still undecided with a lot of things. Singapore, after all, is considered to be one of the most expensive cities to live in for expatriates. But there is always a way to find an affordable place for you as long as you are willing to devote some time of finding the most suitable home as you stay in one of the most beautiful cities in Asia (and yes, arguably, the world). So, to equip you with the do’s and dont’s of house hunting in Singapore, we listed some important things to be mindful of as you start your search to the most humble abode you will soon live in.
- Be specific with your budget: If you have a budget of $3,000 or below, then you might be able to find a place with a 4-room HBD apartments on suburban areas like Woodlands or Punggol. That should work pretty fine even if it is not relatively near your school or workplace because transportation is fairly cheap and efficient in Singapore. For a budget of $3,000 – $5,000, you might be able to find some units that are more centrally situated in places like Tiong Bahru and Toa Payoh. While on a $5,001 – $10,000 range, a 3- or 4-bedroom condo on a grandeur park in Singapore guaranteed to have some of the best amenities and facilities may be awaiting you.
- Find a reliable and knowledgeable agent: The good thing about having an agent is that he can show you a wide range of options on a specific location or district (don’t be surprised if people start identifying locations through districts) according to prices and your other preferences. An agent can even bring you to the actual apartments, flats, grandeur residences, or condos to see for yourself you to better gauge if they are the right for your taste. If you want more than one agent to make sure that all possible home choices will be made known to you, you can also do that. But make sure that the two agents will be from two different areas so you won’t have to see similar places twice.
- Read the contract before agreeing to the terms of the rental: One of the common mistakes of people who want to rent in SG is not fully reading the content of their contracts. A lot of incidents happened where at the end of the contract, they do not get refunds of their deposits because the occupant broke the kitchen sink or repainted the living room wall—little things that may have been clearly stated as grounds for the landlord to forfeit the right to return the renter’s deposits. When written documents are involved, make sure to scrutinize everything before signing your name. Remember that this is a foreign country and you cannot be too trusting like you were back in your homeland.
- Share the place with your friends or colleagues: if you are single and doesn’t mind living with friends or trusted co-workers, why not share the place and split the monthly rent. What will you do with 4-bedroom grandeur park apartments anyway without anyone to share it with? You are risking yourself to feel so alone and solitary that you might feel too detached on a foreign land. You will surely save a lot too—and you have a fighting chance of landing a place that is convenient and nearer to your school or work area because the price won’t be much of a burden to you as more people are chipping in to pay the rent. Plus, it’s always fun to have more people in the house as you’d have people to depend on in case of crisis.