Deciding where in Singapore to live needs careful consideration, especially when you’ll most likely be locked into your house or apartment for two years. Here, we’ve put together a checklist of what to consider when house-hunting, plus the low-down on the neighbourhoods to consider on the island’s South and Southwest.
5 points to consider from the start
1. Where is the place of work for the main breadwinner in the family, and what will the commute be like? If you’re lucky enough to have a car, it’s more likely that it will be used by the parent responsible for overseeing the children’s schooling and extra-curricular activities – so don’t forget to look at public transport connections to the office, too. If you’re both working, it’s even more important to think about your commutes.
2. Once you’ve picked a range of locations with a commute that you’re satisfied with, have a think about what you’d like to surround yourself with. Is it important for you to be near a coffee shop or grocery store, for example, or a restaurant or pub? Do you want to look at greenery or the sea?
3. If you have children, look at the schools in those particular areas. Although there are school buses, if you’re too far away – at the first pick-up point for the bus, for example – you could have a very early start to your day. Some bus pick-ups start at 6.30am.
4. Do you want to be able to walk from your door and onto grass, or is a balcony enough?
5. What facilities do you want? Would you prefer a pool, gym and tennis court in the complex where you live, or would you be happy joining a club for access to these?
Alexandra / Portsdown / Pasir Panjang
These areas contain many of the island’s older colonial homes; they’re convenient for UWC South East Asia, Tanglin Trust School and the National University of Singapore. If you want easy access to the outdoors, there’s West Coast Park, Kent Ridge Park and the Southern Ridges (great for walking), and little enclaves beside the ocean, such as Labrador Park. It’s a straightforward commute to the CBD by car via the AYE and is serviced with plenty of buses.
Faber Park has a spacious, suburban feel and a large, friendly expat community with leafy surroundings. The area’s benefits include easy access to the AYE/CTE motorways, and VivoCity and HarbourFront malls for shopping. Mount Faber is one of the oldest parks in Singapore, with spectacular views and the cable car to Sentosa.
Sentosa Island has some of the most exclusive (and expensive) homes in Singapore – some of which directly face the sea. Residents of Sentosa Cove also have access to a golf course, excellent restaurants at Quayside, recreational opportunities and the ONE°15 Marina. At the gateway to Sentosa is VivoCity, one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, with Harbour Front MRT and buses.
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