Nowadays, looking for a house here in Singapore is not a pleasant activity. If I thought the prior years were tough, I should have waited until this year and I would have thought differently. My prior house hunting can be considered a walk in the park compared to this year's experience.
Thinking back on my experience leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Just imagine having to beg, bribe, kiss-ass and haggle your way to finding a house. Only to find out later that you lose out to a group of people who can afford to pay so much higher than you can. I can't help but think that the owners these days only care about the amount of money they can get and do not even care about the number of people who will be occupying the house. More occupants, more possibility of damage.
But I guess business is business and house rental is a booming business, it seems, in Singapore. There are a lot of HDBs and Condos being built, in fact, most of them will be available this year. You would think that due to the number of available houses out for rent, the price would at least stay the same, if not go lower than the current price. But no! It seems the prices are getting higher and is predicted to increase in the latter part of the year.
Good for the house owners. Bad for the renters. Bad for foreign workers like me who do not want to shell out the big amount of money in paying for a condo unit. It seems though most people are now moving to living in HDBs. But the competition is so fierce that the tactics that the renters would do just to get the unit would surprise you.
There's increasing the rent to a price that is way above the quoted price, there's the use of a two-year contract clause to get the agent’s eyes light up with the idea of more money to earn. Ka-ching! Some would even talk to the owner in one part of the house, in front of you, trying to make a deal even before you quote your price. What the !?!?
Here I thought I'd be able to live in a condo again. But I was not willing to shell out the extra $2400 that I was being asked to pay because some other renters decided to break their lease. Oh well. To each his own.
I have found my new abode and I am at peace. But thinking back about it does not conjure a good experience.
Here are a few sites that can help you out when looking for a new house:
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