Things to Consider When Looking for an Apartment in Singapore

Aug 06

Finding a good place to live in Singapore is difficult. Nothing is “cheap” – space is at a premium, which means you can forget about looking for an affordable place to live. Instead, focus on the benefits that make paying a high price worth it.

Here are some of the things you need to do when looking for an apartment:

1. Consider the distance between places that you frequent
How far is it from your work? Can you plan your daily commute to make it easier? Do you have easy access to the MRT? Is there a convenience store nearby? What about a bus stop? A market when you need to buy food?

The best place to rent is when everything is not too far away from you. If “affordable” is out of the picture, the next best thing to do is to find a place with as much benefits and nearby amenities as possible.

2. Observe the neighbourhood
There are many websites and agencies as well as property guides that are more than willing to provide helpful details about the environment that you’re planning to move into, but it helps that you check it out in person.

Go there once during daytime, and once at night. This lets you get a feel as to what the place would be like if you stayed there. Better yet, converse with the people already renting near your unit to get a better answer for the question, “What’s it like to live there?”

3. Watch out for the security deposit
Renting a unit means that you have to put down a security deposit. Most apartment leases require you to deposit at least one month’s worth of rent, and this is usually returned when your lease ends. Leases with weird security deposit deals are something to look out for.

If you’re an expat, watch out for the expat clause. This lets you cancel your lease without having to part with your security deposit, provided that you notify your landlord two months in advance. This is great if you have to move back in case your contract gets cancelled.

Ask your landlord to point out where the clause appears in your contract. If you hear “I overlooked it” and “Don’t worry, I’m not going to cheat you” in the same sentence, make run for it and rent somewhere else.

4. Determine your budget and negotiate
Lastly, don’t look at just one place. You should take the time to look for at least three different locations that you can compare to see which one offers the best deal.

Once you have that considered, take a look at their rent prices to see if they fall within the budget that you have allotted. You can negotiate with your landlord on your lease, but remember not to drive too hard a bargain. There are also agents that can help you out with that.

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