For those moving to Singapore or have a friend on the way… we have the guide for you! From areas that are fabulous for families to schooling and useful apps, this guide lets you settle in with all the top resources. Good luck and enjoy living on this beautiful island!
There are many good districts to live in within Singapore. Choose a district that works for you and your family, whether that's the proximity to work, international schools, the shops, recreation clubs, or golf courses. Popular districts are 1-16. If you live further out you will get more of a lifestyle choice. Rent will depend on the size and type of housing, the location, its condition, the facilities it has, furnished vs. unfurnished, and supply and demand factors.
Types of Housing
A popular choice with expats, there are plenty to choose from. There are older condominiums to brand new modern and luxury condos. They offer leisure and recreational facilities, and pets are allowed unless your landlord sates otherwise.
Often high-rises will have two to four bedrooms, open plan living, en-suite bathrooms, maid’s quarters, and laundry area. Security is generally 24 hour. Facilities often include swimming pools, tennis courts, bbq pits, a club house, and sometimes a gym.
They can include low-rise apartment blocks, maisonettes, and townhomes. A common set up is townhomes surrounding a central swimming pool and a private garden. A guard and/or 24 hour security.
A bungalow is a detached house set within its own grounds. They can be single story but more commonly are now two to three, with four or more bedrooms. Some will include a swimming pool, so take note of maintenance considerations, as well as air-conditioning units, garden, gates, and security systems.
Stunning Black and White homes are the traditional colonial houses built when Singapore was under the rule of the British Government. Set in spacious grounds, the homes are actually quite small in comparison. Most of these homes now belong to the Singapore government or private wealthy owners.
This is a popular style in Singapore, most are two stories with three bedrooms. Maintenance is easier here as land space is smaller.
If you decide to use an estate agent, an agent fee would incur upon the completion of signing a rental contract. How much you are required to pay depends. It could be a fixed sum or certain percentage of your rent.
Utilities and Telephone Services
SP Services Ltd is the provider of water, electricity and gas in Singapore. The electrical voltage here is 230-volt. The tap water is soft and safe to drink. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) is the licensed operator for fixed lines telecommunication services in Singapore. Other telephone providers include M1 and StarHub. If the account is to be in your name you will need to provide the following: your signature on a standard SP Services Ltd application form, a photocopy of your employment pass showing the front and the back, security deposit, letter of authorization from the landlord or lease agreement. Please note that the utility bills are usually not included in your monthly rent unless it is indicated otherwise. Utilities can start from SG$200+ per month for a household, depending on the size.
Cable Television and Internet Services
StarHub and SingTel (Mio) are the main providers of television and internet services in Singapore. Both have packages to cater for expat needs depending on whether you would like to see sports, news, or movies. www.starhub.com or www.singtelshop.com
Domestic helpers can help with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and taking care of small children. To hire a helper, you may need to pay around SG$450 to SG$700 per month and a monthly levy of SG$265 is required to pay duty to the Singapore government. You can hire a helper through an agency or hire direct. Most expats prefer hiring through an agency. The agency will help locate your ideal maid by arranging interviews and sort out essential paperwork. For more information visit, Ministry of Manpower www.mom.gov.sg and the Association of Employment Agencies www.aeas.org.sg.
Here is a quick guide to some of the best! www.littlestepsasia.com/singapore/articles/learn/101-schools-guide-singapore
If you want to buy your favorite items from home, you may find them two, three, or even four times the price here. Grocery shopping in Singapore varies depending on the shop you chose to use and the budget you have to shop with. Whether you chose to shop solely at a supermarket or mix it up with weekly visits to the wet market, there is something to suit you. Some of the main places to check out are:
NTUC FairPrice, www.fairprice.com.sg
Cold Storage, www.coldstorage.com.sg
Market Place by Jasons, www.marketplacebyjasons.com/mpjshop/en/html/index.html
Sheng Siong Supermarket, www.shengsiong.com.sg
To most Westerners, the wet market is a new discovery. Noisy, colorful, and often wet, they are filled with a cacophony of smells, people, and produce. You might even find live frogs and turtles sitting amongst the chicken and pork! Fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and flowers can be found at the dry end of the market.
Online & home delivery
Meat and Seafood, www.littlestepsasia.com/singapore/articles/shop/meat-seafood-delivery