Living in Singapore can be an exciting adventure as you will soon find yourself getting immersed in the life and culture of one of the world’s most vibrant places.
But with all the perks of living in Singapore come a few drawbacks. For instance, the high cost of living and our expensive, highly competitive real estate rental market.
Whether this is your first time looking for an apartment for rent or the fifth time, finding an apartment in Singapore can always be a little stressful and time-consuming.
If you’ve never lived in Singapore before, you may get a little overwhelmed trying to figure out where to look, what you need and how to go about the whole process. If you are moving to Singapore, it’s generally advisable to take up a serviced apartment in Singapore for the first month while you find your perfect long term apartment.
That being said, it is possible to take the stress out of finding an apartment in Singapore by following these six easy steps.
Renting in Singapore
Find an Apartment for Rent in Singapore in 6 Easy Steps
1) Determine your budget
Before going on a hunt to find an apartment in Singapore, draw up a budget and take a good look at how much you are willing to spend on monthly rent.
On the whole, it’s recommended that you spend no more than 30-35 percent of your income on housing costs. Keep in mind that in addition to rent, you’ll need to budget for utilities, TV subscription, internet, and other basic services such as parking etc.
2) Narrow down on the features you want
Make sure you have spent enough time making a wishlist of the features you’re looking for in the new apartment. Your research should go beyond a basic bedroom and bathroom count. Ask yourself if you would like any of these features:
- Do you want furnished, partially furnished or unfurnished apartment?
- Would you want to live on the ground floor or any of the upper floors?
- What kind of neighborhood do you prefer? A trendy neighborhood close to shopping malls, restaurants or a quieter one?
Make a complete list of the essential features and also consider the compromises you’re willing to make in order to get the apartment you really want. Differentiate between “must-have” and “nice to have” features. You may soon discover that it’s worth taking some unobtainable features off your rental wishlist.
3) Research on the neighborhoods
Singapore is a dynamic place with each neighborhood having its own unique personality. Do some research on the area you’ll most likely spend the next few years of your life.
Take a look at the neighborhood guides on our website and use the smart search feature to figure out what areas work best for you. Once you’ve shortlisted a neighborhood, get to know the area better by going there and exploring the place.
You can also post on a forum online, Facebook groups or speak to friends, and try to get honest opinion from people who live in the same neighborhood about the overall feel of the area.
Also, be on the lookout for any potential building work. The last thing you want in your new home is to be troubled by constant drilling from the new development next door that you forgot to ask about.
To help you in your research, we have all the rental properties in Singapore listed on our website.
Suggested Reading: Top Areas to Rent a Condo in Singapore
4) Map your daily commute
You may have found the perfect apartment for rent in Singapore, but failing to check on the commute time can prove detrimental to your whole living experience.
How much time would you like to spend on your daily commute to work? You would ideally want to live in a place that’s closer to your workplace or school if you have kids. Access to MRT is an important factor to consider.
5) Find a trusted property agent
Finding an apartment for rent in Singapore can often times be stressful and take a long time. While you can always spend some time doing your own research on the neighborhood, it’s always easier to hire a property agent who can do the research work on your behalf. Engage a trusted broker who specializes in the neighborhood you want to find an apartment for rent.
A good property agent can keep you informed about the prevailing rent rates, advise you on the kind of property to look for within your budget and help you with the whole documentation process. Make sure you have your list of features/preferences ready and communicate the same with the broker to help him/her get a deeper understanding of your requirements.
Our in-house property agents understand your requirements and can help you every step of the way in finding the best apartment for rent in Singapore.
Take note that property agents are allowed to represent only one party (either the landlord or tenants) on a particular transaction. We recommend that you engage an agent to represent you.For more information, read Why You Should Engage a Tenant’s Property Agent
While it’s true that Singapore has a competitive rental market, that doesn’t mean there is no scope for negotiation. The market has been softening for the past few quarters & there is considerable scope for negotiation. That said, the decline in price hasn’t been uniform and varies by property & area. Seek your agent’s advice to negotiate the best rents.