Where to live? (with links to residential areas)

Where’s the best place to live in Singapore?
This question can only be answered subjectively. On the one hand, it is a question of the budget that is available. And on the other hand a question of personal wishes and ideas.

As a student, the best place to look is close to universities and academic institutions. There are simple dormitories, hostels or private accommodations, which cost about 400 € per month. A small apartment of your own costs about 1,000 €.

Apartments should always be viewed. The pictures on the Internet rarely correspond to reality. This is true for cheap rooms, which do not necessarily have a window, and also for higher-priced offers, whose windows, depending on the area (government), are “iced up” from the higher floors. You can’t look out then.

In our case a budget of 3.000 – 5.500 € per month was available. Since we already lived at this level in Beijing almost 20 years ago, it didn’t seem too expensive in Singapore. Basically, there is a suitable apartment for almost every budget.

  • Apartments in the city centre or on the coast are generally more expensive than in less desirable areas.
  • Between a new and a 10 year old apartment there is often a price difference of 1.500 SGD.

Condo, HDB and Service Apartments

  1. HDB flats are mostly older, state buildings with rather simple flats. There is in most cases no pool or similar. But they are inexpensive.
  2. Condo (Condominium) are private complexes with apartments. Usually with pool and gym. Often also with golf, tennis court, barbecue area, sauna and playground. Restaurants, public transport and shops are usually not far away.
  3. And there are service apartments. These are fully furnished apartments for short-term or long-term rent – similar to a hotel. In Addition cleaning and WLAN, laundry service, breakfast, pool, gym, tennis courts, golf, etc. are usually included.

But what do you get for your budget and what are the differences?
Here we have relied on Relo Network. We emailed the company a list with our requirements and our price expectations. We received a two-day program with apartment visits, many informative conversations and interesting insights away from the tourist Corners.

Relo Network
Relo Network Singapore

In advance we received a list with apartments and internet links for selection. From 12 offers we omitted 8. But that was no problem either. Relo immediately adjusted to our needs and until we landed in Singapore, they had been looking for more apartments to view.
I describe here those which we have looked at and my impression to the objects. At the bottom you will find what we have decided on. We did not look at HDB flats.

Condo/Reflections Keppel Bay (D4 / Telok Blangah):
Here we looked at three apartments with two bedrooms and two bathrooms each. The size of the apartments was approx. 110 sqm/approx. 3,500 €. The apartments were uninhabited and renovated. The furnishing was limited to kitchen, lamps, wardrobes and beds. Apart from the fact that this is much too big for me, it was not clean either. I always look into neuralgic corners. With the mirror under the edge of the toilet, plug of the drains, oven and inside of the garbage can. In addition, the apartments smelled damp and black mould came through in an apartment in the bathroom. The area is also far away. Shopping facilities and restaurants are difficult to reach without a car. The residential area seems impersonal. The houses are much too dense. From the balcony of two of the apartments, the neighbors from the whole other house can be observed. In addition there is a glass cladding of the balcony, which can not be changed.

In addition to the price there would also be furnishings, electricity costs, WLAN costs, etc. Apart from the fact that we do not transport crockery, glasses, cutlery and pots in our three suitcases. Duvets, pillows, towels and bed linen would also be needed…

Besides the fact that you can’t move into a condo when you arrive in Singapore. For this you first need certain papers. So hotel costs for a few days.
Do we want that?

Service Apartment Orchard Parksuites and Orchard Scotts (D9 / Orchard):
THE corner in Singapore, because here are also the malls with THE brands. This is the most central district. I don’t care because shopping is not one of my passions. The advantage of this kind of apartments is that practically everything is included in the price. The price-performance ratio is better for me here than with Condo apartments. But with about 5.000 € for approx. 90 sqm (two bedrooms/two bathrooms) no bargain.

According to the website of Orchard Scotts the following amenities are included in the price:

– Swimming Pool
– Children’s Pool
– Jacuzzi Pool
– Tennis Courts
– Sauna
– Grammar school
– BBQ Pits
– Business centre

Package inclusions

– Daily housekeeping service (except Sundays and Public Holidays)
– Light continental breakfast from Mondays to Fridays (except Public Holidays)
– Complimentary local phone calls
– Complimentary selected cable TV channels
– Complimentary utilities
– Complimentary Wi-Fi access
– Round-the-clock Front Office and Security support
– Complimentary car park lot (1 allotment per apartment)
– Complimentary use of facilities
– Complimentary shuttle service to One Raffles Quay, MBFC and Suntec City from Mondays to Fridays (except Public Holidays) and subject to seat availability
– Complimentary access to The Legends Golf & Country Resort golf course, subject to availability (buggy fee and insurance are chargeable on guest’s personal account)

I’ve decided against it. The charm of past splendour radiates only on the ground floor. The corridors of the upper floors seem unkempt and dingy. Except a mini balcony of not even one square meter I could not open a window, or at most a skylight. The flats look gloomy and worn out. All in all very impersonal, not individually adjusted to the tenants. No way.

Service Apartment Parkroyal / Services Suites (D7 / Beach Road):
Also approx. 90 sqm with two bedrooms and bathrooms for approx. 5.000 €. The Arab quarter and market are three minutes away and from the shown apartment we can look at it. Also on the fantastic mosque. The apartment was bright and clean. Also the whole public area made a very neat and clean impression. Unfortunately no balcony and the windows could not be opened either. Those who don’t mind and who like the hustle and bustle of hotel guests are in good hands here. The atmosphere is friendly and open.

Update 15.07.19!!!: Unfortunately I can no longer recommend these service apartments. The rooms smell musty, which may be due to the fact that air conditioning is switched off for economy reasons if the rooms are not occupied. Even worse is the fact that there are big cockroaches in the apartments and the staff doesn’t really react well. So let me know, when they solve the problem.

Service Apartment Fraser Place Robertson Walk (D9 / River Valley) and Fraser Suites (D10 / River Valley):
Here we looked in both objects apartments with approx. 90 sqm for approx. 5,000 €. Again two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Both districts are located in the city centre.

Fraser Suite an robertson

The amenities for Fraser Suites (from the website):
Here at the hotel apartments in Fraser Suites Singapore, we offer the finest facilities and service offerings much desired by travellers on long or short term stays, enough to keep everyone going at all times.

– Fully-furnished serviced residence with separate living, dining, kitchen and bedroom areas incorporating a study area
– Complimentary high-speed internet access available in rooms and around the property
– Modern and well-equipped kitchen
– Comprehensive home entertainment system
– 24/7 fully-equipped gym
– Outdoor recreational facilities
– Steam and sauna facilities
– Swimming pool
– Jet pool
– Children’s wading pool
– Children’s Playroom
– Barbecue facilities*
– 24/7 reception and concierge services
– 24/7 security and CCTV surveillance
– Daily housekeeping services (except Sundays and public holidays)
– The Dining Room* (all-day dining with alfresco seating)
– In-room dining
– Daily breakfast
– Laundry services*
– One-way airport transfer for stay of one month and above
– Scheduled shuttle service to key business and shopping districts
– Car park (one lot per apartment)
– Babysitting services*
– Residents’ programs*
– Pets friendly

The selection of apartments is divided into Deluxe and Premier. Terrace apartment or maisonette only in Fraser Place. Deluxe apartments are smaller and slightly cheaper. With two bedrooms approx. 86 sqm. Premier apartments have about 93 sqm.
Fraser Place has a Mediterranean feel and is conveniently located to restaurants and bars. Basically both Fraser have the highest standard of the residential areas we visit. They are super clean. The atmosphere is cosy and individual. Not so hotel like.

We have chosen Fraser Suites. The apartment has a small balcony, is bright and the windows can be opened. The kitchen has the most important kitchen utensils, a coffee machine, a washing machine and dryer. The pool is located in a small area with differently planted corners, which are designed with benches, table and chairs or loungers.

Fraser Suites is located right next to the small Valley Point shopping mall. Here you will find Fair Price Finest (supermarket), a delicatessen with Australian food, a wine shop, an Italian restaurant, a laundromat, a pet shop, noodle restaurant, veterinarian, nail studio, baker and coffee shop and a Starbucks.

There are walking and cycling facilities along the river in the surrounding area.

Fraser Suite

The MRT Tiong Bahru is within 15 minutes walking distance. Bus 32 departs directly from Valley Point. It stops opposite the MRT station Redhill. Both MRT stations are located on the green line that runs from east to west through Singapore. And between the orange Circle Line (Harbour Front-Marina South Pier-Dhoby Ghaut) and the purple North/East Line (Harbour Front-Punggol).

Besides all these wonderful comforts, the personal and friendly nature of the staff convinced me. Almost a bit familiar. And that’s a bit important now that we know our friends and relatives so far away.

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