Penthouse Master Room in Strata
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Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) are the crème de la crème of Singapore real estate. Typically among the most expensive homes, they provide their owners with the semblance of a sanctuary in land-scarce Singapore. Their popularity can be attributed to the government’s efforts to keep them as exclusive as possible through the use of stringent regulation and controls. The following should come to mind the next time you hear the term ‘GCB’:
The champagne’s been popped, resolutions made (and maybe already broken) and the happy haze has cleared… somewhat. Now it’s time to get back to that necessary evil known as ‘apartment hunting’. Finding an apartment can be daunting task. So here’s a few tips to get you started. Besides, it’s that time of the year for lists!
- Decide what you want.
You know that thing you do just before you’re considering dating someone where you take out a yellow legal pad and make a list of her pros and cons? Well, it’s something like that here. Like most Singaporeans, I used to stay overseas for a few years and that meant searching for a place to rent. One of the things I did before I went out hunting for girls apartments was to draw three columns on a piece of paper with the headings ‘Things I Need’, ‘Things I Want’ and ‘Deal-Breakers’.
If you’re an expat working in Singapore, a diplomatic clause is something that you can usually find, or insert, into your standard rental agreement. A bit wordy for me to post the entire clause here, so I’m just going to give you a summary.
The diplomatic clause allows you to terminate your contract after 12 months and giving 2 months’ notice. Note that landlords will allow a diplomatic clause only if the lease is for 2 years or more.
Either of 3 conditions have to be fulfilled before you can activate the diplomatic clause. You have to be:
- Transferred out of Singapore permanently by your firm
- Ceased to be employed
- Get kicked out of Singapore and not allowed to return
So, if you’re getting a lease for 2 years or more, please make sure that there’s a diplomatic clause in your contract. It’s there to safeguard guard you, just in case…
Let’s say that you’re thinking about renting a place. You’ve called an agent, viewed a couple of places and found one that you can actually imagine yourself staying in. What do you have to pay?
Generally, your first payments would include:
- A security deposit equalling a month’s rent
- One month’s advance rent
- Agent commission, which is half a month’s rent including GST