Whether you’re already living in Singapore and looking to move to a new neighbourhood or moving here from overseas and have a family, then it may be worth considering Charlton Park, near Upper Serangoon. American expat Jennifer Yarbrough lives in Surin Avenue and says it’s a great spot for young families.
What’s the name of the street where you live? Surin Avenue.
If it’s in another language, what does it mean? In Sanskrit, it means “wise” and “learned”.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Upper Serangoon, Charlton area, behind the Caltex.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Charlton Park.
Closest MRT station? Kovan on the North East line, but our neighbourhood is nearly halfway between Serangoon MRT and Kovan MRT. We take a one-stop bus ride to Kovan or a two-stop one to Serangoon MRT.
How long have you lived here? A little over a year.
Why here? We wanted an affordable area located close to SAIS and with larger homes
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Two-storey houses. It’s a quiet street with people walking their dogs.
The closest store to your front door is: Pet Stop and Nippon Paint.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: Full House. There are a lot of large family-sized homes.
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Laundry on everyone’s decks.
The unofficial uniform of your street is: Exercise attire. We’re very close to the park connector so you see people running, walking and biking.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Watch people race remote control cars at the Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club Activity Centre.
If you’re missing home, you: Head to the Bread Table at Upper Serangoon Road for cinnamon rolls or sourdough bread.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: We take our guests to the park connector, which is a block down the hill from our house. This park connector is so long, you can ride your bike all the way up to Punggol Waterway and Coney Island, and you feel like you’re in the middle of a park all the way.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: It’s known as a mostly local neighbourhood, but in reality there are a lot of expats here. They come for the larger and more affordable homes. It has a good balance of locals and expats.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: A neighbour’s party with children running around playing long after midnight.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: Bread Table for great sourdough bread, Lickers for ice cream, The Parlour for haircuts and Just Anthony for furniture.
You won’t find better local food than at: Kovan Food Centre; it has an excellent chicken rice store!
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: Bats and shirtless old men.
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are: Nail Artistry in Serangoon Gardens where you can get an express mani or pedi for $30. Closer to home, I also go to Nail Earth. Kovan Food Centre has great chicken rice for $3.50.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: A prata from Srisun Express.
One thing you’d never change is: We’re surrounded by nice shaded parks. I love the park connector and having a great place to walk the dog or take the children to play.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: Upper Serangoon Shopping Mall; it’s run down and in dire need of a refresh.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Plant more trees, make the street signs more accurate and put in a stop sign at the corner of Charlton Road and Surin Avenue.
About the condo
Name: Charlton 27
Facilities: Pool and gym
Size: 27 units
Age: Completed in 2016; some units are still not sold.
Is it close to a supermarket? Yes, FairPrice Finest and Cold Storage.
What’s the community vibe? The neighbours are friendly and there are loads of kids. The units are all five-bedroom and 4,500 square feet, so it attracts families.
Are the facilities kid-friendly? Yes, we have a children’s pool and a swimming pool. The units are designed with a shared pool behind each one, so everyone’s back door opens into the community swimming pool. The kids can meet up and play in the pool.
Like this? Read more at our neighbourhood guides section:
The expat’s guide on where to live in Singapore
What it’s like living in Ulu Pandan
An insider guide to Bedok North
This article first appeared in the August 2018 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!