At the age of 30, I’ve finally decided to try to be more of an adult (a bit late but better late than ever right?). Armed with this revelation, the first order of business for me will be to move out of my family home. Seeing as I’m not yet 35 and am not eligible to get a new or resale HDB, nor am I able to afford a condominium with my measly pay check, the only option I’m left with to consider is renting – be it just a room or a whole apartment for myself.
Coming from someone that’s actively sourcing for a place to call home (at least for one year before I run home), these are some questions you may want to ask yourself before taking the leap to rent your own place. Be sure not to make a hasty decision and to think about the pros and cons of renting your own place before coming to a decision.
1) Are you committed to renting?
Renting your own place is a huge step and you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it for all the right reasons and it’s a decision you’ve come to make after a lot of deliberation. Ask yourself this: Did something happen at home that made you decide to move out? Are you renting a place with your other half just a few months into the relationship?
Seeing as there’s typically a minimum of a one year lease listed in your rental agreement, you’ll want to make sure you’ve made an informed decision and are able to see out your lease. Be sure to also think about the housework you’ll need to do all on your own, especially if you’ve been living the good life with a helper throughout the years.
2) What’s the budget you have in mind?
Similar to purchasing a home, you’ll also need to reconsider what’s the amount of money you’re willing to fork out each month for rent? You should draw up a budget sheet and pull in all your income avenues and expenses to determine how much rent you’re able to afford. Ideally, you should also have money set aside for savings and also investing rather than to live from pay check to pay check once you’ve factored in your monthly rent.
Be sure you have enough money set aside right from the get-go as you’ll also need to fork out a month’s worth of deposit once you’ve decided on a place.
3) Are you willing to share, or do you want complete privacy?
Once you have your rental budget locked down, you’ll then need to ask yourself what’s the level of privacy you’re after at your new place. I don’t like to share (yes, I’m selfish), especially when it comes to the bathroom. Imagine you’re all hot and sticky after finishing a workout and you just want a cold long shower, but someone’s in the toilet. Ok fine, patience is the mother of all virtues. But then 5 minutes becomes 15, then 30 minutes and at the hour mark, the bathroom hogger comes out and says, “Oh sorry, I didn’t know you were waiting.”
So while shared apartments or common rooms are normally cheaper, do also consider the cons that are involved. One option you can consider, which I ultimately went for, is a studio apartment. A studio apartment essentially is a room that comes with an ensuite bathroom and typically has a washing machine and a small cooking area.
Now that you have a budget set, along with a better idea of what type of unit you’re after, you’ll then need to start your search for places. Sure, we’d all like to live in Singapore’s Core Central Region for all the convenience it offers, but even if your rental budget allowed, you'll likely get a much tinier space then if you stayed further out from the area.
Having said that, you also won’t want to choose the cheapest option that’s in some ulu place without much public transport thus making travelling around Singapore a huge hassle.
Once you’ve settled on a few options, be sure to act fast and head on down to view the apartment. As they say, looks can be deceiving so you’ll want to assess the place and its spaciousness yourself. You can also better visualise whether you can stay in that apartment and how you’d like to set it up for yourself.
Be sure to thoroughly go through all the furniture and appliances in the unit to make sure that everything’s in good condition as you won’t want your landlord to come after you for any damages down the road.
6) Additional Costs
Be sure to take note of any additional costs that are in the mix when signing your lease. Is the monthly rent inclusive of utilities and WIFI? If so, is there any limit on usage? Are there any cleaning services as part of the rent?
Once you’ve factored in whether all these key items are included in the rental fee, you’ll have a better gauge of the final costs involved so you won’t be taken aback by any extra costs.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, be sure to head on over to SRX so you can easily find the right space for you. Simply choose your property type, put in your price range along with the number of bedroom and bathrooms you’ll need, and you will get a whole host of available units up for rent. What’s more, you can also add in MRTs and Districts you’d like to be conveniently located to.
If you’d like to go even further, there’s also the advanced search option where you can delve even deeper and cover off aspects as floor area, PSF and Tenure.