How to Move to Singapore I Living in Singapore I Move to Singapore I Relocation Guide for Expat to Singapor
Relocating to Singapore
If you are relocating an executive to Singapore or if you are relocating to or within Singapore yourself, you have found the right relocation and immigration specialists. Helpxpat Relocation provides professional relocation and immigration solutions tailored to the needs of international executives.
For the past 6 years we have consistently relocated corporate executives to live in Singapore and their families to, and within, Singapore. We are responsive and professional, and always operate with care and sensitivity towards our client’s needs.
Moving to Singapore
This tiny nation state could easily be overlooked on a world map, but do not be misled by its size. Singapore is a vibrant cultural melting pot, a gateway to Asia and a land of opportunity for expatriates.
Relocating services in Singapore
If you are planning to relocate to Singapore, www.helpxpat.com is best positioned to be your preferred partner of choice for relocation services in Singapore. Expats interested in moving to Singapore should be well-aware of the fact that the country has a high cost of living, and this is especially true for housing. However, the country offers a wide range of options, from single houses, condos, or flats. Singapore also has an efficient public transport system, so do consider venturing beyond the most sought after locations.
Home Search in Singapore
Searching for a new property in Singapore can be stressful, time-consuming and very frustrating, often requiring that you view numerous properties that don’t meet your requirements. Helpxpat Relocation will save your time by assuring all properties closely suit your needs and reporting back to you with an itinerary. Our consultants in Singapore have considerable market knowledge and negotiation skills.
A safer option is to use the services of a relocation agent, who will be able to speak the language and understand the local nuances of the Singapore property market.
Types of accommodation in Singapore
A popular option, especially for cash-strapped students, are Housing and Development Board (HDB) apartments. Although the original aim of HDB housing was to cater for the poorer strata of the Singaporean population, the quality of housing has increased in recent years and HDBs are definitely worth a visit on your house-hunting trips. There are restrictions, however, on the attribution of HDB apartments and only permanent residents can submit applications. Condominiums are also immensely popular in Singapore, and they generally come equipped with swimming pools, gym facilities and in some cases with tennis courts. Even though apartments are the most popular form of accommodation, Singapore also offers an excellent choice of houses from which to choose from, although these tend to cost significantly more. Among the most popular type of houses are the so-called ‘Black and Whites’. These are homes built during the colonial era to house British military men and their families. They are characterised by white walls and black trim and are part of Singapore’s historical legacy. They are generally owned by the Singaporean government and are in high demand, especially by expatriates. Most of the Black and Whites come with large gardens, which are a real treasure in land-scarce Singapore.
Security deposit : Note that you are required to pay a year’s rent in advance. In case of cash payment, the owner is required to declare it before the notary under the terms of the contract. If payment is made by check or by direct debit, bank statement should be needed.
You must also make a deposit which is equal to a month’s rent. This sum will be refunded to you provided you have not damaged the premises during your occupation period.
How to find a home in Singapore
If you are planning to relocate to Singapore and need assistance to find a home, helpxpat.com enables you to find the most appropriate home for the employee for their budget and lifestyle and to negotiate the best possible lease terms – saving the client and the employee time, financial liability and stress.
Some of the most favoured locations for foreigners include central locations such as Orchard Road and Tanglin. These places buzz with activity and are ideal if you want to be close to shops and an eclectic set of hawker centres, which are eateries offering a wide selection of foods. Flats in these areas tend to be more expensive, as are housing options in Sentosa Cove, which is an exquisite enclave located towards the Eastern part of Sentosa island. More affordable accommodation options can be found in Serangoon Gardens as well as in some areas of Holland Village, which is located in a convenient area with bars, shopping centres and laid-back cafés. Other nice areas to consider include Tiong Bahru, Tanjong Pagar and the Woodlands. As a general rule, prices tend to drop the further away you go from central Singapore.
The paperwork to secure a house
Lease agreements in Singapore generally last 2-3 years. Some of the leases contain clauses which allow the holders to break the lease more easily should they have to leave Singapore earlier than expected (‘diplomatic lease’). This allows the termination notice to be reduced to one or two months, and is an essential component of any lease you sign, especially if you are uncertain about how long you will be in Singapore for. It is also common practice to negotiate prior to signing a lease and you are highly encouraged to include specific amenities or services you feel are missing (e.g. cleaning) and to negotiate down the price you are asked to pay for the housing. There are many real-estate agencies in Singapore and it is advisable to contact a few to get an idea of the going prices. It is also worthwhile to contact private owners, since agencies generally apply a steep service charge. It is highly advisable to visit a few properties prior to making a final choice.
Choosing a right school in Singapore
Expats moving with family will understandably be concerned about making arrangements for their children’s education and schooling in Singapore. There are options for public, private and international schools in the city-state, but parents should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding on where to enrol their children.
It’s important to note that locals place a high premium on education, and expectations for achievement can be high.
The school year is generally divided into two or three terms, depending on the school
International schools in Singapore
There is a large expat population in Singapore, and it follows that plenty of international schools have sprung up to service the foreign community. Overall, international schools in Singapore have a good reputation, though some are generally regarded as having higher standards and more challenging curricula than others.
Many of Singapore’s international schools follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, while others offer the curriculum of their country of origin. Some expats choose to enrol their children in the latter simply because it means that the school holidays align with home-country holidays.
Another factor that greatly affects school choice is availability, as popular schools often have extensive waiting lists. Others might not have waiting lists at all and are a good option for enrolment while waiting for a spot to open up at a more prestigious institution. Although these intermediary schools are accepted as offering a good standard of education, the high turnover can unsettle students and disrupt the learning environment.
International schools in Singapore are expensive – however, many expats are lucky enough to have their employers supplement their school fees. Those moving to pursue an assignment abroad should try to negotiate an allowance into their contract if one isn’t initially included.
Relocation agencies in Singapore
Helpxpat specialise in helping people move and are set up to relieve employees of the issues that occur when moving to Singapore and we offer a wide range of services and provide aid in every aspect of your relocation – from visa struggles and work permits, to transport and finding housing.
Relocating without any assistance and help can quickly evolve into a matter of frustration, confusion and surrender – Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!
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