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Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Old Jul 11th 2015, 10:57 pm
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Default Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Hello, my husband has just accepted a job from his UK company to set up a Singapore retail business. I'm very excited about the move and am looking forward to it with a few small apprehensions... I have an 11 year old dog who needs to come with us and I'm expecting our first child in a matter of days.

We'll need a landed house for the dog, as a condo will be too difficult to nip in and out with both the dog and a new baby. Ideally I'd like to live in as dog friendly a district as possible where we can take him for walks on grass rather than through the streets and that still has good links to shopping and transport. Our housing budget is $5000. Can anyone recommend an area to start our search?
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 4:33 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Hi there,

It's a long time since we left Singapore (2001) so I can't really comment on the current property market, but back then, you would have been very hard pushed to get a house with garden for that budget. There were a few condos that we looked at whose ground floors had small patches of garden, but the names escape me now. Hopefully there will be a current local along to give more up to date advice.

I did want to ask about the dog however - what breed is it? We were looking at moving back to Singapore a few years ago, so researched the dog import requirements then. There was a list of "non-approved" dogs that would not be granted import licences. Ours was OK, but the list was quite long. I've had a quick google, and can't lay my hands on it now as the links seem to be broken, but you may want to dig around and see if you can find it. Or pick the brains of a pet import agency of which there are quite a few.

And congrats on the baby. We had our first there too, and having a live in maid made life a whole lot easier - she didn't do any baby duties other than a spot of baby sitting when he got older, but she did all the other household "heavy lifting" so to speak, so that we could focus on the kid.

Good Luck!
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

This page gives a fairly good summary of the restrictions, but the "second schedule" list of breeds is incomplete, because this page describing changes made to the restrictions in 2010, has a much longer second schedule and it is broken into two parts with different requirements, though as I suspect Yorkie was refering to, the link to the Singaporean government web site page is broken.

That said, all the dogs I see mentioned on the schedules, are clearly either very large, or known to be strong/muscular, or both, so I suspect the OP's family pet is likely to be OK, at least so long as it isn't a mongrel containing a scheduled breed.

This is the Singapore government web site page on importing dogs and cats, but it doesn't, so far as I can see, make any reference to the second schedule breeds and restrictions on them.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 12th 2015 at 5:22 am.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 5:20 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

If I were the OP, I would get the definitive list from the SG authorities as the risks are quite high - at the time we looked at it, part of the T&C was that they would assess the dog on arrival and they had the exclusive right to decide whether to admit it or not, which is not unusual I guess. However it went on to say that if the pet was refused admission, it would be destroyed! High stakes! Ours is a mutt, and although we have a letter from our vet describing her as a Lab/Border Collie mix, we also had a DNA test done at the time that had her as a mix of various breeds (none of which were lab or border collie) including part American Terrier (aka Pit Bull!)
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 5:33 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
If I were the OP, I would get the definitive list from the SG authorities as the risks are quite high .....
I have added the Singapore government web site above with the out-and-out prohibited list, but as you say, in a somewhat understated way, the risks are "quite" high (especially for the dog ) and I would be concerned about any dog that is not EITHER (i) a pedigree that clearly is not a prohibited breed and not "similar to" a prohibited breed, OR (ii) a mongrel that doesn't both have a "clean" DNA test, and appear soft, docile, and fluffy.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Odd, i still cant open that page. But yeah, it could definitely cast a bit of a shadow over the relocation if Fido bought the farm on the way in.....!
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 6:24 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Thanks everyone. :-)
The dog is a pedigree- a cocker spaniel who's incredibly docile. I've already checked that he's on the approved list, it'll just be down to the vet to decide whether he's fit enough to fly I suppose.
We're not restricted as to where we stay as my husband won't have an office, but a garden and some sort of transport links are desirable. Where do you think would be most suitable for the dog?
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Purely out of curiousity I had a look on propertyguru site and you can get landed within your budget. Might have to be terraced though. I saw some around SGD 4000 to 4500.

I also seem to recall reading that the rental market in Singapore was going down down. Maybe someone currently in Singapore can confirm that? If so, then maybe you can negotiate a little bit on the prices.

Have you ever been to Singapore? You may still want to consider a condo. There are some dog-friendly condos. The great thing with condos and, bearing in mind that you will be at home with a young child, you can easily meet up with other Mums around the swimming pool. It gives you a good kickstart for a social life.

Also, you will be quite surprised how green Singapore actually is. There are loads of nice parks and green areas spread around the island.

We used to live on the East coast. It's actually south-east of the island. We used to walk down to East Coast park many evenings ( a lot cooler in the evening ) and would see many folks walking their dogs, and jogging etc etc.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Thanks baked bean.

No, I've never been to Singapore so it's all going to be a bit of a shock to the system. I've lived and worked abroad before, but I was on my own back then so I could just suit myself. My husband would much prefer a condo for the facilities and to help me meet people.
I think we might have to arrange a scouting trip to see what the different property types offer. Are estate agents quite helpful?

Thanks for the tip on the east coast. It's where I was leaning towards so it's good to know there are other dog walkers too.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Hello and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on the hubby's job and your impending relocation.

To be honest, $5000 isn't much of a budget for "landed" housing, the softening rental market notwithstanding. That price would get you a large 3 to 4 bedroom condo in an older development with a patio (or a balcony) but you'd be hard pressed to find anything "landed" for that price - unless you're willing to look in the outskirts and away from what is known as the "CCR" (core central region) - Districts 9,10 and 11.

It's called the CCR for a good reason - it's close to the city, has leafy suburbs, large expat community, good amenities and close to good schools. Correspondingly, "landed" (terrace/townhouses/cluster) houses will easily be at least $8000 - $15000 per month, and free-standing detached/bungalows with a large garden at least another $10000 to $15000 more.

To quote you a real life example: our 4800sqft house (it's a landed cluster semi-detached - best of both worlds: privacy of a house with common condo-like facilities: gym, sauna, pool) was tenanted for $14,000/month until we decided to move back in some 2 years ago. The 1200sqft single bidder loft condominium/apartment we were living in is now tenanted for $4000/month. Both properties are in the CCR.

Having said that, outskirts are not to be scoffed at either - you could get a terrace house (townhouse) in Seletar or Yio Chu Kang for maybe $1000 or so more than your budget. Katong & Siglap (out in the East Coast) are also popular with expats and are still relatively cheaper when compared to the CCR.

Don't be fooled by the rentals quoted in propertyguru.com.sg - read the fine print: sometimes, the rental may be only for a ROOM within the house, or a particular FLOOR within a multi-level house. Do your homework, get a good agent and you'll be alright. While $5000 may not be a lot in terms of a housing allowance (for the kind of house you may have in mind), it's still a very generous amount by any reckoning!

Good luck!

Last edited by xizzles; Jul 12th 2015 at 12:03 pm.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Originally Posted by sixth_williams View Post
Thanks baked bean.

No, I've never been to Singapore so it's all going to be a bit of a shock to the system. I've lived and worked abroad before, but I was on my own back then so I could just suit myself. My husband would much prefer a condo for the facilities and to help me meet people.
I think we might have to arrange a scouting trip to see what the different property types offer. Are estate agents quite helpful?

Thanks for the tip on the east coast. It's where I was leaning towards so it's good to know there are other dog walkers too.
You might find the shock is pleasant - I loved my time there from Day 1.

I think I would go with hubby on the condo for the facilities. We didn't actually meet any friends through the condos, although we went a bit "unconventional" in our choices. Singapore is (was) a very sociable place though, so didn't have any problems on that score, especially with a baby to ease the intro's!

If you don't got for a condo and feel cut off because of it, or lack the facilities, there is always the option of joining a club - country based such as British, American, Swiss etc, or just a private club - such as the Tanglin Club etc. We never did join one, although the company would have paid for us to - we just didn't have time! If we'd not lived in a condo, I may have been more tempted to join a club.

I would definitely go with an estate agent for your first place. They will be able to cut out a lot of the legwork and help you narrow down choices and areas. I'd second East Coast as an area to look at - we spent our last 3ish years out in Katong, and it was great. Very easy access to the East Coast Park, and while we didn't have a dog then, I pushed the stroller out there for a walk every day without fail. Hot, yes, but shaded and often had a sea breeze. Last year when we visited we stayed in a friends place further out on the East Coast - Costa Del Sol I think it was called - and as well as great views and pool/gym/squash(?) facilities, it even had a decent sized dog park.

I'd also have a look up Upper Bukit Timah, esp if husband doesn't have to commute. We were in Singapore last month, and it seems quite a few of our friends have moved out that way, although we didn't go to their homes, I suspect they were pretty decent.

More conventional expat location is down in 9/10/11 as someone mentioned earlier. We kept looking at a couple of condos there whose ground floors had small enclosed gardens, but we never bit the bullet for various reasons, mainly that even then, they were getting a bit long in the tooth, but also because I loved living high up with a decent harbor view - we did 19th 50th and 17th floors, and rarely needed a/c because of the constant breeze up there. That area has all had massive development since we left (well, the whole of Singapore has!) and looking at google earth, I think one of my favorites is now a building site, although one of the ones that kept pulling us back for a look still seems to be there - Sommerville Park - it had a 50m pool which I liked, and the ground floor had a postage stamp garden, maybe 20' deep - big enough for a bbq and for Fido to cock his leg. But it was old then, so unless there was some serious renovation it could be a bit of a hole by now. Using an agent will get you that local knowledge.....
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Thank you so much everyone. I have to admit I've been massively taken aback at how helpful you've all been. I'm so glad I joined. If the people we meet when we get there are anywhere near as lovely as you've all been, I'm sure we'll settle in just fine. We're going to be put up in a serviced apartment or hotel for a month while we find somewhere to live then I'll come home and arrange for our furniture and the dog to be sent over. East Coast/ Katong seem like they'll suit our needs.

No doubt I'll have plenty more questions between now and than though :-)

Thanks again everyone!
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 4:07 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
Last year when we visited we stayed in a friends place further out on the East Coast - Costa Del Sol I think it was called - and as well as great views and pool/gym/squash(?) facilities, it even had a decent sized dog park.
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Somewhat off topic but....have you noticed all the seriously bad names of condos you get? Makes you wince sometimes. Penang has a bit of that too.
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Haha yes I have :-)

I was also surprised by how anglicised some of the street names were. Although given Singapore's history, I should have guessed. We could literally move into a street with the same name as the one we'll be leaving behind.
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Singapore with a newborn and a dog

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Somewhat off topic but....have you noticed all the seriously bad names of condos you get? Makes you wince sometimes. Penang has a bit of that too.
It's got something to do with making the citizenry feel "good" about living in their multi-million dollar homes & I suppose if a fancy-semi-exotic-albeit-spelt-all-wrong name makes them forget about their back-breaking mortgages for a while, why not eh?
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