Criteria to consider when looking for a home in Singapore|
Locating your dream home boils down to finding a happy medium between the pros and cons, a comfortable middle ground between what you want and what you need. You'll find that this invariably will also be the case for the home that you decide upon.
This being the case, in order for you to make an informed decision, make sure you have all your pros and cons lined up. In other words, before you engage your property agent of choice, do your due diligence, i.e. decide on your wants and needs in and around the house that you choose. After all, ideally, you'll want to move house just the once, especially when you have a family in tow.
To assist you in this rather challenging process I've given you a leg-up. I have prepared a list of all criteria that in my experience come up again and again. Consider all the items and then compile the ones that apply to you personally.
This list will be your roadmap to your new home.
Are you getting a company allowance or are you paying the rent out of your own pocket? Either way, give yourself a bit of margin, i.e. say your budget is S$5000, add a S$500 buffer above and below to play with. Also, keep in mind that rents vary, depending on the type of accommodation, its geographic location, its construction date, whether it's partially/fully furnished, its total floor size, proximity to MRT station, duration of the lease, etc. In other words, actually going to see the houses on your shortlist is a must.
TIP: It's now a renters' market. Rentals have been on a slide lately, in part because of the recent recession, but also because of countless new apartments coming online this year and next year.
Use the various maps in the menu to the left to orientate yourself. The visual nature of maps helps you get a better feel in which area of Singapore the houses of your choice are located and where your needs and wants are in relation to it. Crucial here is the distance you need to travel between home and work. The same applies to your spouse and your kids' schools.
TIP: Most international schools have comfortable school buses so there's no need to overly restrict your active radius. An hour's travel time is quite doable in Singapore.
Once you've narrowed down your geographical area of your choice, you can continue down the selection process based on the number of rooms you need. Does each of the family members require a separate bedroom or are the kids young enough to share a room? Ask yourself this question, because you pay extra for each additional room.
The following might be important enough for you to take into account. Gym, pool/jacuzzi, tennis/squash/basketball courts, spa/sauna, playground, BBQ pits, jogging track, concierge and security services, reading/function room, deli/supermarket.
Perhaps these receive sufficient weight to influence your decision too. Banks, shopping centers, hospitals/clinics, public transport, airport, recreational park, beach, a garage for your car(s).
Maybe a suitable (child-friendly) environment is something that features highly in your final decision. Do you prefer the serenity of a green belt or the downtown buzz? Or perhaps you wish to stay a few minutes' drive away from where your friends live.
To further narrow down your choices, you can eliminate the various types of houses that you are not interested in out of budget concerns or otherwise. The following home choices all have their own pros and cons.