Moving to Singapore: Tips on scouting out your new home
If you’re not already living in Singapore, it’s best to check a map of the city first in order to identify the landmarks that will be important to you and your family, such as workplaces, schools, and any other amenities. If you’re moving for work, your employer will most likely provide you with a ‘new employee’ or ‘new resident’ pack containing lots of useful information about the locations of international schools in Singapore, facts about medical facilities, and an outline of living costs. These will all be instrumental in helping you make a decision about where to locate your family once you make the move.
Word of mouth
If you’re in temporary accommodation in Singapore, you will hopefully have some time to explore specific locations. Additionally, you may know colleagues who have experience of scouting for places to live and can pass on a few hints and tips. It certainly helps to ask around and get as much advice as possible in advance. Often you can find out enough about certain areas to decide that you don’t want to live there without having to view them.
Narrow your focus
As transportation in Singapore is so practical, it should not be too difficult to narrow down which localities have the amenities you need. The next thing to consider is the type of home you want to live in. Not every neighborhood has a wide range of options, so if you can’t find your preferred accommodation in a specific area, you’ll know not to visit. A good example is the quiet neighborhood of Tiong Bahru which predominantly consists of elegant postwar apartments with stair access. Of course, that’s absolutely fine as long as everyone can handle the climb and you haven’t got a pushchair to worry about!
Consider your budget carefully
Singapore boasts a range of options when it comes to residential areas, and you should ensure you are aware of the differences between them. For example, the area of Sentosa is known as the ‘resort island’. This predominantly consists of high-end properties, golf clubs, and waterfront residences; whereas Geylang is a more traditionally Chinese area — offering budget-friendly accommodation, usually in public housing administered by the Housing Development Board (HDB). Again, depending on your budget or requirements, knowing the differences between Singapore’s residential areas will be enormously beneficial for you.
Put it all together
Once you’ve gathered your facts — initial research, tips from colleagues, information on types of houses and suitable neighborhoods — you should be able to draw a profile of what you want from your ideal home. Here’s an example of how that might look based on Holland Village, one of the most popular areas for expatriates in Singapore.
Holland Village is centrally located and close to the downtown areas — with Orchard Road being a favorite of many Americans who move to Singapore. This area boasts easy access to the MacRitchie Reservoir and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Holland Village is also popular with people from other parts of the world and has the air of a diverse and multicultural area, featuring a wide variety of shops, bars, and restaurants. It is easy to find either traditional, local dishes or more familiar, Western menus.
In terms of workplaces, office buildings include the international research and development center Biopolis, which is located at one-north, Buona Vista. It’s a purpose-built biomedical research center and houses researchers from both the private and public sectors.
There is an arts and restaurant hub at Dempsey Hill and fabulous shops in the Holland Village Shopping Center. Living in Holland Village means you would be close to some of the best international schools in Singapore and a broad range of housing options offer a selection of bungalows, condos, HDBs, and conventional family houses.
This is an example of the sort of things to think about when moving to Singapore, and a mere taster of what just one of the city’s residential areas has to offer. If this location or another one ticks all the boxes for you, make your move to Singapore with confidence and enjoy settling into your new home.