Singapore is small on space, big on population and HIGH on PRICE. The overall crime rate is low but Singapore IS NOT CRIME FREE.
It is a cosmopolitan city and just like any other country in the world it has good and bad people, so you have to be realistic and expect some crimes related to drugs, sex, violence and theft.
Just like other cities there are expensive desireable places, lower end cheaper areas and then there are areas you may want to avoid completely e.g If you’re a single young female you may want to avoid the steamier areas such as gaylang
For Students in Singapore it can be an expensive place to live and study. Tuition/university/school fees can be high so think carefully about the costs before you commit to any course of study. It’s important to get the best for your money. This also applies to accommodation.
THE GOLDEN HOUR
Most people will tell you that the transport system in Singapore is so good that you can get anywhere within 1 hour. In my experience this translates to 1hour 45 minutes, but it’s still not bad. So bear this in mind when looking for accomodation.
Check distances and transport links by visiting www.gothere.sg enter in the accommodation address and your final destination to get an idea of distance and times.
THE COST OF RENTAL
$500 -$2000 sgd Room rental
Renting a room in a locally owned HDB (Housing Development Board) flat or in an apartment is one of the cheaper options. Be warned Singaporean Landlords can be very hard and when they say a room they mean just a room with access to a bathroom. You may not be allowed to use the kitchen, the washing machine, a/c or have access to a common room. ALWAYS CHECK EXACTLY WHATS INCLUDED.
$1000 – $5000 sgd HDB flats
HDB flats are apartment blocks built by the Government for the local population. The rooms are small and compact and the apartment blocks dont have the same facilities that the private condos have, so there is definitely no gym or pool. If you want to get an idea of what they are like on the inside you can go along to see the HDB show flats at the HDB HUB in Toa Payoh (Do note that the show flats look nice but have no storage space).
$2500 – $15000
Depending on the area $2500 can start you with a stylish studio apartment or a 2 bedroom apartment with facilities. The central district is the most expensive area, with the east coast also a rising area. Locations such as Yishun which are further out of the central area cheaper but lack the night life and atmosphere.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
Although there are hundreds and hundreds of agents finding a REAL one is difficult. Expect to send emails, make calls, send sms and get no reply. I recently contacted 10 agents and got zero response.
Internet listings; it is extremely common for agents to list properties they dont actually have for rent, or to keep their old listings up, especially on the bigger sites like iproperty where they have to pay to advertise. You can waste hours looking at apartments and rooms only to find they have already been rented or were never available in the first place.
Service; Singapore is not known for it’s outstanding customer service or warm welcome, thats’s why there are posters all over the place reminding citizens to be curteous, so dont expect all agents to be helpul and cheerful or to go the extra mile for you. When it comes to negotiating for rent you might even be told to do it yourself as it’s something they dont get involved in!
I recommend www.Gumtree.com or www.Expatriates.com as adverts are posted on a more regular basis.
Real Estate Fees
Budget for 1months rent as deposit plus 1/2 months rent as commission if your property plus approx $250 for registering the lease.
DO NOT PAY CASH. Do get a RECEIPT and ask to see their LICENCE.
RECOMMENDATIONS; for an introduction to useful agents send me a request.