Singapore Expat Relocation Guide

Singapore Expat Relocation Guide

I reckon the last thing you need while trying to adjust to your new surroundings is the considerable hassle of finding a new home. After all, settling into a new place involves more than just acquiring suitable accommodation.

You probably will be looking for Singapore accommodation information prior to actual relocating. I am well aware of the differences in time zones and can assure you that I will be delighted to receive your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as it is important to me. I will undertake to commence the research for some homes according to your criteria and will be in good position to bring you for viewing upon your arrival. My goal is to find you your dream house within the budget you are comfortable with.

You will also receive my professional service with a friendly approach that will make your home searching a very pleasant one.

Know Your Housing Options

It is wise to look into the three main types of residential housing that are open to you. These three main types are: apartments & condominiums, landed houses, and HDB flats.

Apartments / Condominiums

The prime private residential areas are located in Districts 9,10,11 and 21 and are popular with expatriates and upper middle class Singaporens.

Other popular locations are districts 15 and 16 which are near the coastline and therefore offer excellent sea views (example, East Coast Park) or river/bay views (example, Tanjong Rhu).

These are available in many shapes and sizes from fully furnished and serviced (if you are a bachelor and likely to travel a lot). Many condominiums come with wide range in facilities such as bbq pit, playground, swimming pools, tennis courts, gym, karaoke etc. A particular type of apartment is the ‘walk-up’,so named because there is no elevator. These are generally older and 3 to 4 floors high. Because they are older they tend to have larger rooms and therefore a larger total area as well as a larger common area. Facilities are more basic but most still have a pool. The large space however is often a big draw. Before you start looking ask yourself what the ‘musts’ are and what would be a bonus, this will make searching easier for you and your agent.

Landed Houses

Terrace Houses

Sometimes also referred to as row houses, ranging from 1 to 3 floors with small front and backyards. You can find them all over town and with one or two exceptions they do not have any facilities. A special type of these are the shophouses, these are converted old-style local houses which used to have the business on the ground floor with the owner living above it. The houses often have a colourful exterior and are located near the centre but generally lack much of a garden.


For Semi-detached houses, you have only one build-on neighbour. You are separated from the other neighbour by a garden or path of anything between 0.5m and park size. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, you really have to see for yourself.


These are free standing houses on a largish plot of land. These too come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a bigger chance of including a small pool. A special type of these are the so called black-and-white houses. They are named as such because their external walls are painted white while the wooded support painted in black. These were once commonly used to house European expatriates and colonial families in tropical colonies like Singapore. These families who live in a black and white house are most often from the British Empire, in the nineteenth century. Now such houses are very popular with expatriates.

Public housing developments are usually classified into “towns”. For example:

HDB Flats

Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Toa Payoh are all towns in the central region and they tend to be more popular. Other towns such as Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Serangoon, Bedok, Yishun are also gaining popularity due to the extensive MRT networks that link them directly to the business and shopping belts of Singapore. Other popular areas include Marine Parade (located near the East Coast). With recent upgrades to their amenities, older estates are also seeing increased demand from flat owners as well as tenants (this may interest you as a property owner as you could be renting out your property in the future).

Before approaching any property agents, you should have an idea of your needs and preferences. Your first step should be to draw up a list of personal options. Do you require short-term or permanent accommodation? What’s your budget? Where is the location you preferred? What’s best for you and your family? You will need to look into a few factors (see guide below) before taking further action.

A) Budget – How much is required to get good accommodation in Singapore? Will the company bear my accommodation expenses? How much should the maximum amount be? How much can you spare to get a house? Budget at least $2,000 – $3,000 for public housing and at least $3,000 or more for private housing.

Having a budget will narrow down the areas and properties that are right for you. A budget of $3,000 monthly can give you a slightly big apartment depending on the district. A budget of $8,000 monthly can give you a lavish apartment with all the facilities like a gym, tennis courts and an Olympic size swimming pool like what you will see in Pebble Bay, Camelot, and Four Seasons Park and sometimes, you can even get a house and lot with a swimming pool exclusively for you. For a really high budget, you can have a multi-room bungalow in one of the prime districts of Singapore such as Bukit Timah, Holland Road and even Orchard that gives you a lush garden and a swimming pool exclusively for your use.

B) Location – Location is very important and it will determine the convenience for you and your family. Take into consideration the place where you work, where your spouse works, and where your kids will study. This is especially important if you are not driving. Even though Singapore has world-class public transportation system, it is still good to save travelling time for quality family and friends time.

C) Facilities – everyone likes those various facilities that come with your house, such as a pool or other recreational activities. If you can afford one that offers such facilities situated where you like it to be, then go ahead and get it. But if you can’t and the more affordable places that have facilities are farther from your place of work, weigh the odds because you might end up wasting your time to travel and end up not having the time to use those facilities. Determine what you really need.

D) Amenities – How reachable are you to transportation and other places of importance such as the hospital, the grocery or supermarket? These are also stuffs to think of when determining on the location and kind of house you prepare to rent, for your convenience.

I specialise on individual and third party relocation services. If you are constantly relocating — whether for yourself or for your company — let me assist you with a smooth transition. I am trained to benefit you by obtaining the best price for your property needs in the quickest possible time, and I do it while meeting both you and your family’s needs.