Pros and Cons of Living in Singapore

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If you want to stay in Singapore for an extended period of time, you may be looking for an affordable room for rent in Singapore.

Whether expats want to rent an HDB (government-owned) flat or a privately owned condo, they’ll have lots of choice. High-rise developments are springing up all over Singapore. Most of the privately owned condos and apartments, especially the new ones, have amenities such as pools, playgrounds, gyms and function rooms included on site. Landed homes (similar to single family homes in the US) can be found in the heartlands (the suburbs).

Because land and space are in such high demand, rent in Singapore is really expensive. Expect to pay more for a place closer to the city centre, Orchard Road, Holland Village, and other desirable neighborhoods. Landed homes are usually very pricey, as well. Expats willing to move farther away from the central parts of town just might score a good deal. But you can find a master room for rent in Singapore for a reasonable cost.

Getting around Singapore by bus or MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a piece of cake. Public transportation is really cheap, too. More train lines are expected to be built over the next decade, making even the farthest corners of the island easily accessible. Cabs, which are also extremely affordable, are an alternative mode of transportation.

Owning a car in Singapore is a seriously expensive undertaking. Car owners must pay for a Certificate of Entitlement, as well as heavy customs duties, taxes and insurance fees. A car in Singapore costs at least double what it would cost for the same car in the United States. On top of that, tolls, known as ERP (Electronic Road Pricing), charge drivers for using roads. These tolls increase in cost during peak hours. Drivers must pay for parking almost everywhere in Singapore, including malls and other public venues.

If expats are looking to get away for a weekend, Singapore is an ideal jumping-off spot for travel in Southeast Asia. Several budget airlines offer affordable fares to neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Sometimes planning a trip at the last minute can result in extremely cheap airfare. If expats would rather not fly, the Indonesian islands of Bintan and Batam are about an hour away by ferry.

Pedestrians do not have the right of way in Singapore, so it’s a smart idea to use crosswalks whenever possible. Sometimes bikes share the sidewalks with pedestrians, but sidewalks tend to be really small so this can be dangerous. Cyclists don’t have dedicated bike lanes in Singapore and most cars and trucks do not look out for bikes on the road. Anyone who is going to ride a bike should wear a helmet and be as predictable on the road as possible. Use the “Park Connector” pathways when possible to avoid the dangerous roads.