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WTD

Original Poster:

805 posts

119 months

[news] 
Tuesday 15th May 2012 quote quote all
Gents highly likely I'll be joining you guys in Sing in about a months time, going to be moving from Tokyo.

Whats the scoop regarding housing, work will be D1 near raffles train station - I've got a wife and young baby so wanted to get some advise on the best places to start looking at real estate, or any top tips you might have!

Cheers in advance,
Steve

XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
quite a bit of info on moving to Singa scattered about here, as a few of us have been living here for quite a while.

these two recent threads will give you a good starting point

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

SIngapore is a small place, so you are rarely more than 20 minutes from the CBD (it is not "District 1", the district numbers here don't work that way biggrin ) So you do not need (or to be honest, want) to be that close to Raffles Place.

Accommodation is expensive here, even by Japan standards i am told. Starting prices for a condo are at about $4,500 and can easily run to over $15k a month for something not especially large. Condo's cost upwards of $1.5million for something with 3 bedrooms and enough room to swing a cat without bashing its head!

Car prices are even higher, but finance etc is cheap (think BMW are doing 1.3% finance over 10 years at the moment)

If you can, get your company to put you up in serviced apartments (St Regis or the like) for 2 months so that you can start to understand what you want before jumping in, as you will be tied to 2 year rental clauses.



& welcome to Singapore!!


thehawk

9,177 posts

93 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
I'm kind of in a similar boat, having commuted to Singapore at least monthly for the last two years. Now may be moving up here.

Do your research on the accommodation, I know you can get cheaper than $4,500, a colleague has just got a nice 2 bed/2 bath place, with mezzanine floor as a potential office/sleepover area and he is getting that for $3,300 in the Novena area.

Also the 2 year lease, important that you get the various 'out' clauses in there, can also go for 12 months too. Not an expert but I know it's important to make sure you can get out of it if you finish your job, need to return home etc.

I've never needed a car, however I've never lived here in anger so things like grocery shopping, weekends with family etc may make having one a good idea.


-DeaDLocK-

3,332 posts

137 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
Every time I've been to Singapore in the past, I relied on public transport, which is generally very cheap, efficient and accessible. The last time I went down, I drove - what a world of a difference. Most places have parking (if you're willing to pay for it) and roads are well laid out and mostly unjammed, so driving was not only a great time saver, but very convenient and allowed us lots of flexibility.

I used to think you simply didn't need a car while living in Singapore, and while I still believe that's true, I totally underestimated what difference a car makes. In London, for example, you simply don't need a car to get around at all. Having one would add very little. But for Singapore, it makes a lot of sense IMHO.

XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
thehawk said:
Do your research on the accommodation, I know you can get cheaper than $4,500, a colleague has just got a nice 2 bed/2 bath place, with mezzanine floor as a potential office/sleepover area and he is getting that for $3,300 in the Novena area.
you can get cheaper smaller units etc (2 bed will be no more than 700sq ft i would guess) also gets cheaper the further from public transport / schools / etc you go. HDB's are also affordable options. I am just assuming that with a nipper they will probably want a 3 bed with reasonable space and will probably have an amma so that will be the starting point for budget.

thehawk said:
Also the 2 year lease, important that you get the various 'out' clauses in there, can also go for 12 months too. Not an expert but I know it's important to make sure you can get out of it if you finish your job, need to return home etc.


the only "get out clause" that will stand is the "Diplomatic Clause" that covers every contract that you sign in singapore from Mobile phone to rental to finance, and it is where your period of employment is terminated and your Employment Pass is cancelled / revoked / ends. There are ways to engineer this if you really need to get out of a place.

thehawk said:
I've never needed a car, however I've never lived here in anger so things like grocery shopping, weekends with family etc may make having one a good idea.
This is pistonheads, when do you ever NEED a car here ?!?! biggrin

TBH - I run 2 cars here, but we do this by choosing to live in a nice big house that is (relatively to Singapore) a long way from any public transport, work, shops etc but close to our lifestyle choices so is significantly cheaper than other options, and we pay the difference in running costs of the cars.

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XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
-DeaDLocK- said:
I used to think you simply didn't need a car while living in Singapore, and while I still believe that's true, I totally underestimated what difference a car makes. In London, for example, you simply don't need a car to get around at all. Having one would add very little. But for Singapore, it makes a lot of sense IMHO.
Indeed, there are a lot of places in Singapore that are not on public transport networks - the MRT and bus networks have been designed to take people from the HDB heartlands hubs to the CBD or to Orchard Road, so a lot of outlying areas get missed out.

Also makes getting the groceries home much easier - taxi's (like anywhere in the world) have the amazing ability to just evaporate when you most need them!! Also you might feel safer driving in your own car ....

Also a car means you can do trips to Malaysia.

alfaman

5,007 posts

120 months

[news] 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 quote quote all
For an idea of rents look at

www.propertyguru.com.sg


For prime central areas near to Orchard Road, River Valley .. rents are approx $5(+/-) psf per month .. a bit more at the Tanglin end of Orchard Road, bit less for low rise or lack of views.

that means around $4k for 1 bed , $5-6k for a comfortable 2 bed , $7k +/- for a 3 bed assuming good pool,gym and garden facilities and near a central MRT.

Prices drop quite a bit as you move away from MRT stations or good bus routes , or move out towards the "heartlands" from prime "expat" land.

East Coast is a bit cheaper , and in areas like Siglap [ bus route but no MRT ].. you can actually get a decent house for $7k

[a colleague rents a 3500ft2 semi in Siglap for under $7k .. though that is cheap for the size ]










Bingo1976

41 posts

29 months

[news] 
Thursday 17th May 2012 quote quote all
alfaman said:
For an idea of rents look at

www.propertyguru.com.sg


For prime central areas near to Orchard Road, River Valley .. rents are approx $5(+/-) psf per month .. a bit more at the Tanglin end of Orchard Road, bit less for low rise or lack of views.

that means around $4k for 1 bed , $5-6k for a comfortable 2 bed , $7k +/- for a 3 bed assuming good pool,gym and garden facilities and near a central MRT.

Prices drop quite a bit as you move away from MRT stations or good bus routes , or move out towards the "heartlands" from prime "expat" land.

East Coast is a bit cheaper , and in areas like Siglap [ bus route but no MRT ].. you can actually get a decent house for $7k

[a colleague rents a 3500ft2 semi in Siglap for under $7k .. though that is cheap for the size ]
Jeez, a one bed for 4k?? I'm paying that on a 3 double bedder 5 mins from the MRT, 25 mins door to door to the office, and 10 minutes bus from Orchard Road.

Shop around, and don't go for the latest fancy Dan bks condo, and you can get a decent size place for your money. You won't need a car for the first year, but after that, XJSJohn's nagging will make you spend more than you ever thought you could on a second hand 1.4 litre VW....

XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 17th May 2012 quote quote all
Bingo1976 said:
but after that, XJSJohn's nagging will make you spend more than you ever thought you could on a second hand 1.4 litre VW....
hehe just because you fold like wet toilet paper wink


WTD

Original Poster:

805 posts

119 months

[news] 
Thursday 17th May 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the top advice guys - appreciated!
Will check out the other threads, and do look at the prices of places on that property guru website to give me an idea.

Whats the deal with maids, you all have a full time one?

XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 17th May 2012 quote quote all
WTD said:
Whats the deal with maids, you all have a full time one?
very common here in Singapore, i personally don't - no kids that need a nanny / babysitter and i just don't like the idea of someone i don't know living in my house, but apparently 70% of households have amma's.

No idea what the bond / agents fee / government fee is initially, but i gather that anywhere from $400 - 800 a month plus bed and board is sort of teh market ... sure someone else along will have more of an idea, i may be 10 years out of date on the dosh .... does seem like a pittance!

noumenon

1,158 posts

90 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
the only "get out clause" that will stand is the "Diplomatic Clause" that covers every contract that you sign in singapore from Mobile phone to rental to finance, and it is where your period of employment is terminated and your Employment Pass is cancelled / revoked / ends. There are ways to engineer this if you really need to get out of a place.
Recent contracts I've seen only include the diplomatic clause after the first year. I'm very curious about any ways around that...

12 month contracts are available too, but these are difficult to get as it means basically half the commission to both your and the landlord's agent. Hence they will often wait for a more profitable 24m contract, especially for a desirable property.

XJSJohn said:
very common here in Singapore, i personally don't - no kids that need a nanny / babysitter and i just don't like the idea of someone i don't know living in my house, but apparently 70% of households have amma's.

No idea what the bond / agents fee / government fee is initially, but i gather that anywhere from $400 - 800 a month plus bed and board is sort of teh market ... sure someone else along will have more of an idea, i may be 10 years out of date on the dosh .... does seem like a pittance!
We have two little ones, so we decided to get a maid. Our first maid was useless, so we returned her to the agency after 6 months of trying to reform her. The second came through recommendation from a friend’s good maid. She’s turned out to be pretty good. The benefits are obvious, she does all the housework, most of the cooking and is an extra pair of hands to babysit when needed. On the flip side, she has her bad days and can behave like a teenager at times. Expats pay more than locals for maids, since as John says it seems like pittance, but it is significantly more than they can earn at home. We pay 500. We have friends who pay more and get less. We have friends who pay less and get more. Do bear in mind that their education and culture will be significantly different from yours. Watch out for the sick goat stories. My advice is if you are on the fence, then only get one as a recommendation from an expat who is genuinely leaving the country.

ColonelKurtz

29 posts

88 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Hi All.

I stumbled across this forum while looking for Singapore info. I have just been offered a permanent role in Singapore as an IT project manager for an oil & gas consultancy. The role will put me in charge of all IT projects across the Asia-Pac region for the company and they have a LOT of projects to do! There will be no expat package but the company will pay for relocation and 1-2 months accommodation while I get myself sorted out with more permanent accommodation as well as sort out visas, etc.

I've had a read of all the associated threads and have had a lot of my questions answered but I still have two main question I am hoping you can help me with. I am awaiting details but I expect the company to offer a salary of between S$170k - 201k, with medical, dental and pension on top of this. Will this be enough to live a good quality of life in Singapore? I don't expect to have a car there (I am going to miss my Elise frown ) but I would like a 2 bed place in a nice area that is an easy commute to the Novena area where the office is.

Also, my fiancee will be joining me and will want to get a job there. She is a qualified optometrist; anybody know of anybody who works in this field who could help me find out how easy/difficult it might be for her to get a job?

Thanks!

noumenon

1,158 posts

90 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
$170-200 is a reasonable wage, depending on what you need to get out of it.

Consider something like this:
Income : approx 18k / month
Set aside for tax : 2k
Rent : 5k
Utilities, cable, iphone : 1k
Schools : 1.5-2k per child (sounds like none for you..)
Basic car : 2k (probably not initially, but you'll miss it eventually!)
Expat food : 500-1k (because lurpack is expensive)

Without kids or a car, you'd have roughly 9k ish to play with.
Add a car and a couple of kids and you're down to a few k.

Low tax is super, but the cost of living can be very high. It's easy to burn through that sort of income. Hope this helps...

williaa68

672 posts

52 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
On the optomotrist front, I think the Singaporeans are the most myopic nation on earth (literally, not figuratively, although now I mention it...). There are more opticians than you can shake a stick at. I cant imagine she will have any difficulty getting a job although i suspect the wages may be fairly low and in some areas they might prefer someone who can speak mandarin too

Good luck with the move. I loved my time in Singapore.

thehawk

9,177 posts

93 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
I think that your salary is low, but then not sure your area of speciality and experience.

In the resources industry you would be paid a lot more than that if you are a decent PM in Australia for example, salaries tend to be the same or more in Singapore for expats.

For the role you have described I'd be expecting $300K, more for contract rates ($1800 day+) I know those exact rates for a global resources company based in Singapore. Our global IT company pays $220K for PM's just for looking after 1-2 projects, not a portfolio, plus medical, accommodation allowance ($3k USD per month), tax consulting, relocation, one month salary up front (can negotiate more as a sign-on bonus) etc



Edited by thehawk on Thursday 24th May 19:46

XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Friday 25th May 2012 quote quote all
Kurtz, you do same as me - your rate is correct for an average "PM" doing 1 or 2 local / regional projects but if you are doing a role more along the line of program management / regional head of projects, or owning overall project work for region then you are about 30% down. In the role I do, I would not be accepting that package.

Edit - also they want you here, so use that. Companies are playing fates down a lot in Singapore because they just don't get how strong then currency is and how high this has made thenliving costs.

Also without asking which oily, where based, central, Tuas / Jurong or loyang?

If it's in either of the latter, you WILL need a car as the O&G locations can be a long way off public transport

Edited by XJSJohn on Friday 25th May 00:56

ColonelKurtz

29 posts

88 months

[news] 
Friday 25th May 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for all the information guys, it is helping me a lot. As someone posted in one of the related threads you only get one chance to get the package right. I have spoken to the company; they asked me what I was looking for. I asked them to come back with an offer and we would go from there so I am waiting for them to get back to me. Based on what you have said I now have a much better idea on what to negotiate for. I also need to find out more about optometrist jobs for the missus; she will go nuts from boredom if she cannot work. Hopefully it will all work out as I am pretty excited about this move.

John, the oily is a consultancy firm based in Central I believe, Goldhill Plaza (Novena - is that classed as central?). I will probably eventually want to get a car, although the thought of a 1.6 Corolla is a tad depressing even though my Elise has a Toyota engine... I did like some of the links you provided to the old Beemers though on another thread.

If you all don't mind, I might post back again with some more questions as things progress. If it all works out I think I could be joining you all within the next 3 months.


XJSJohn

14,054 posts

105 months

[news] 
Friday 25th May 2012 quote quote all
Kurtz, know who it is then ... PM me if you have any specific questions etc.

Bingo1976

41 posts

29 months

[news] 
Monday 28th May 2012 quote quote all
noumenon said:
$170-200 is a reasonable wage, depending on what you need to get out of it.

Consider something like this:
Income : approx 18k / month 14-17k a month - check what the pension top up is - cash or contribution?
Set aside for tax : 2k
Rent : 5k can do less for a 2 bedder, 5k is on the high side, but depends if you have to live 2 minutes from mrt or not
Utilities, cable, iphone : 1k
Schools : 1.5-2k per child (sounds like none for you..)
Basic car : 2k (probably not initially, but you'll miss it eventually!)
Expat food : 500-1k (because lurpack is expensive)

Without kids or a car, you'd have roughly 9k ish to play with. and if you aren't saving/investing at least half of that for when you leave then you need shooting
Add a car and a couple of kids and you're down to a few k.

Low tax is super, but the cost of living can be very high. It's easy to burn through that sort of income. Hope this helps...
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