On touching down in Singapore, one of the first things to consider is where to live. If you’ve been used to a low-rise flat or maybe a single-storey house with a backyard, the thought of moving to a high-rise is bonkers. And if you’ve got kids (or a few mates that act like children after a few), balconies can induce terrifying nightmares. “On the ninth storey, you say? Noooo, we’ll keep looking, thanks.”
Some people arrive in Singapore with the grand dream of living in a majestic old black-and-white house – just, you know sipping slings on the terrace and playing croquet on the lawn. Imposing mansions, however, also come with imposing rents and air-con bills, terrifying creepy crawlies, and potential lack of swimming pool.
So maybe it’s time to have a real-estate rebirth and become a condo convert. Time to live your teenage-fantasy Melrose Place kind of life, with babes in bikinis just outside your window. Here we’ve put together the upsides of going up and the condo cons so you can make up your own mind.
- The Good Life
You are basically living in a holiday resort. It’s a tough choice on a Sunday morning: hit the gym, do lazy laps in the pool, or work on your backhand? Add in Singapore’s perma-summer conditions and you’ve got yourself a pretty sweet life. Seriously, are you ever again going to live in a place that boasts a squash court?
- A Room With a View
You don’t get a sprawling outlook in a low-rise. Plus, Singapore’s thunderstorms are incredibly spectacular once you realise you aren’t going to die.
- Condo Comrades
Fast, firm friendships can be made at condos for both adults and for the kids. It also means no more dropping off for play dates or having to traipse over to the other side of town just for a few beers with a mate. Socialising is mere steps away and a roll-on home.
- Gym & Tonic
It’s harder to feel conviction uttering the phrase, “I just don’t have time to get to the gym” when you have one at home. Condos make “just doing it” easier.
- Lazy men rejoice
Condos are pretty much perfect for non-DIY dudes, or simply those blokes who’d prefer to spend Saturdays reading the football results. Big up to condos for no mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, painting fences and getting shouted at because it should have been done last weekend. And there’s no more traipsing to the supermarket just for milk – simply nip downstairs to the shop instead.
- What does “partially furnished” mean?
It means beautiful music to your ears. There’s no need to ship over your fridge, your washing machine and your other annoyingly heavy whitegoods. You won’t be asked to lift them and you won’t be asked to fix them.
- We are the world
Condos are filled with people from all over the world. It’s like a UN convention poolside on a Saturday afternoon. Make some global connections, especially if they happen to mention their charming little vineyard just outside Provence or the beach house in the Hamptons. Friends for life!
- Vacay vs Staycay
If there’s one thing we can’t stand about living a Singapore condo life it’s that making decisions about where to go for your next holiday is really tough. If your idea of the perfect break is warm weather and drinking by the pool, well, you may as well stay home.
- Friends with benefits
Residing in holiday resort conditions means that friends and family from home will inevitably and totally understandably want to have their holidays at your place. Watch out: they’re baaa-aaack!
Sharing a wall means sharing noise. Some people like to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Some like to blast Britney through their floor. Some folks enjoy ripping up their marble floors and making you feel as though you’re undergoing brain surgery during an earthquake. Everybody’s different. Revenge tip for those with kids: assign your two-year-old’s “naughty corner” strategically, to maximise sound effects.
- Linger longer
Sharing a wall also means sharing smells. “Salad for dinner” intentions can go seriously astray from the delicious wafts from your neighbours place below. And there’s a reason durian is banned in taxis. Even the lift may pong on market day.
- Same same not different
You see the same people everyday. Can’t avoid it. This means making friends is easy but if you’re looking for a different kind of connection, proceed with caution. Regrettable poolside pickups and dangerous liaisons could make your life a nightmare. Don’t be the guy sneaking out through the basement each morning.
You’re trying to be good, get your sweat on at the gym. But the call of the Magnum while lying on the sofa is strong, especially when you’re mere steps away from the shop downstairs. And it can be lethal during the party when you realise how many bottles of strangely unfamiliar Russian vodkas they have stashed behind the counter.
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.