I’m prompted to write this article after my new office colleague asked me for advise on what he should look for in a room-to-rent. He’s originally from Korea, it’s his first time in Singapore; and he doesn’t have any friends nor relatives here. He said he prefers a place near the office, which is at the hilly place of Jurong East.

I thought it might be good to share here some tips when you do your room-searching:

  1. The rental fee must be within your rental budget. If you really like the room but you feel that it’s too expensive, you can always ask for someone to share the room with you–assuming the owner allows it.
  2. Check the location. In my case, I prefer to stay near the city.
  3. Always ask if the rental includes the PUB and the internet. PUB stands for Public Utility Board, but in colloquial term, it’s basically electricity + water + gas fees. If it’s included and it’s within your budget, then grab it. A fix PUB rate is already a good deal.
  4. For those who are always in action during wee hours of the weekend, make sure that there’s a Night Rider (NR) or Night Owl Service (NS) passing by your place, unless of course you don’t mind paying the midnight charges of a taxi.
  5. Find out who else is staying in the place. The last thing you’d want is a housemate who thinks he/she’s the only one living there.
  6. Do you like amenities and facilities which are exclusive to your building? Go for a condo! But there are HDB’s out there which are near public pools, sports hall and public gym.
  7. Make sure it’s near an MRT station. MRT is the most efficient and efffective way of travelling in Singapore–you won’t worry on traffic jams, on road accidents… although with the recent track faults and train delays, I’m reconsidering what I’ve just said.
  8. Can you cook or not? Some owners doesn’t allow you to cook nor to fry nor to bring in pork meat.
  9. Check all the house rules such as aircon usage, laundry schedule, bathroom cleaning schedule, house cleaning schedule, etc. If you’re one of those who can’t even clean your room, then ask for a freelance helper to do it for you. Typical rate is $12 per hour.
  10. Is there a family with kids/babies in the house? Some people are less tolerable to kids’ noise.

I hope these tips help you decide on where your next abode is going to be. If you’re looking for a property portal in Singapore, check out PropertyGuru.

If you have other tips that you would like to share, feel free to add them in the comments section below.