Tag Archive for Apartment

New Apartment Visit – Same Condo, Different Unit

After 2 years in my current condo, my rental lease agreement was up for renewal – so I was keen to see what was available on the market – noting that the ‘housing conditions’ had put the market in the favour of the rentee rather than then landlord – lets see whether this will be the case for me.

I started but trying to negotiate with my current landlord, but I was keen to only renew for one more year (rather than another two years) – he was keen to keep the rent at the same level – he commented that it was a good price having been low to start with, and because I had asked for one year only.

Potential New Option

Potential New Option

I was not that convinced, so started to look around before I responded. I noted that in my current condo, there were a number of smaller units between $2400 – $2800 – so I knew I couldn’t push lower by much, but then I saw that there was a similar sized unit (570 sq ft) for rent – that was priced at $3000 a month. I asked to check the place and went up to have a look – I asked what was the best price he could offer, and he suggested he could push for 2800. I was quite shocked that they were willing to reduce $200 a month to easily, so the landlord must have been keen to rent it out. Anyway, I said I would think about it for the weekend, and then decided to email my current landlord’s agent, who stated that $2900 (current rental) was the best and the landlord would not go lower. I decided to take a risk and email the landlord directly, who responded in a day to state that he was willing to go down to $2800 – a bit interesting that I get a different result when I liaise with the landlord directly isn’t it? 🙂

I started to think about staying, but I decided to visit the new condo unit again with my girlfriend. There were a few pros and cons in both apartments. Lets start with my current one:

Current Unit – Pros:

  • Don’t need to move
  • Don’t need to dry-clean curtains
  • Don’t need to worry about changing addresses in everything
  • Landlord seems pretty nice and responsive
  • Lots of wasted space with the staircase

Current Unit – Cons:

  • Agent is a bit annoying and seems to not communicate effectively or accurately
  • Only partial furnished

And now the new one for comparison…

Potential New Unit – Pros:

  • Cheaper unit
  • A higher floor
  • Fully furnished – also a con due to furniture I’ve purchased!

Potential New – Cons:

  • Need to move
  • Layout is worse than current, bomb shelter is on ground floor
  • No ground floor wash room
  • Staircase location wastes space

The new agent then contacted me for a decision, and I said that I will likely renew with my current unit – and I then preceded with the confirmation. The new agent then stated that the landlord was willing to reduce to $2700 – wow – what a quandary…save another $100 a month. I then presented this to the existing landlord, who then responded saying ‘now what?’ – as the documentation was being prepared. I asked him that I was very keen to move due to the price reduction, but had decided to stay as I preferred to stay with him as the landlord (better the devil you know, as they say). He then responded stating that he will match that price – so I got the same unit, for 1 year renewal, at the $2700 rate – a $200 reduction per month – not bad methinks. I think I could have gone lower, but at least it is a saving.

I now need to sort out the new repayments and get part of my deposit back, as I only need a month’s deposit of the 2 month’s that I currently have settled with the landlord – he owes me $$$ for a change (all of $3100) – haha!

Intelligent Cleaning Robot (iClebo) GroupOn Offer

iClebo Groupon Offer

iClebo Groupon Offer

During an expo in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, the iRobot vacuum cleaner was the fad device on show – lots of manufacturers had stalls set-up promoting the device. They were quite expensive, 3-4 hundred quid, so I decided that I would probably not require it – and for me, it was easy to clean my UK home and my Singapore apartment with the more traditional Dyson vacuum cleaner.

However, there was a GroupOn offer and I noticed that there was one device on offer – so I decided to get it 🙂 It was the second time they offered it, so I presume that they had quite a few in stock – and were trying to shift them quick. It wasn’t the more traditional iRobot brand, but it was a Korean brand called iClebo (Intelligent Cleaning Robot).

The model number was YCR-M06-L1 – which looking on the iClebo website seems to imply it was a dated model – but alas, it should fit the bill for my needs. It’s listed RRP was S$999 (about £500), but the GroupOn offer was priced at S$389 (£190 ish.) – that was okay in my books.

Can’t wait to use it now – haha! 🙂

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The Features – the What, Why and How:


The User Guide:

Air Conditioning – New Contract, but a Problem!

Well another year, another air conditioning contract.

I decided to renew with the same company that I used previously last year (Atlantic Engrg & Air Con Services), and thought it would simply be a quick maintenance clean and inspection.  Only to realise that there was a fault with one of the units.

It appeared that there was a warning light showing, and after the maintenance inspection, they advised me that the required work was a chemical clean then refill the gas.  If this doesn’t resolve the fault, then the PCB would need to be replaced.  I checked with the landlord and his agent, and they advised me that the cleaning and gas-refilling was my responsibility and cost, but if the unit had to be repaired / parts replaced, then this would be borne by the landlord.  The quote came back as S$250 chemical clean + S$70 gas refill – ouch!  I had no choice but to settle this.

In addition to this, the annual maintenance cost was S$180 (luckily this was the same price as last year) – again, I have to pay this.

So unfortunately, it was quite an expensive maintenance service this quarter 🙁  Hopefully the next few servicing won’t cost this much!

Atlantic Engrg & Air Con Services
No 41 Toh Guan Road East #07-04
ADL Building
Singapore 608605
Tel: +65 6400 5196
E-mail: atlanticengrg@singnet.com.sg
URL: http://www.atlanticengineering.com.sg

Final Air Conditioning Service for 2013

Well today was the final service of my apartment’s two air conditioning units for 2013. It cost S$180 for the four services, S$45 for each service. That isn’t too bad at all – although I was told that it was pretty cut-throat in the air conditioning service trade, and the cost cutting comes with a price – eg poor servicing, or lack of proper care to the units.

I don’t really care that much, as just want them serviced for the records, and if there is a problem, I can call the landlord’s agent to sort it out 🙂

Anyway, another 3 more month’s and I need to sign up to another annual contract – hopefully it will still be S$180 🙂

Another work from home day at least – haha!

PS I needed that WFH day, I was a bit hung over after last night’s intrepid drinking adventures 🙂

Catholic Church – Easter Service

I also managed to find the local Catholic Church – and luckily for me, it was located very conveniently in Novena – down Thomson Road.

I decided to go for the 09:00-10:00SGT service – and it was a very popular church service. The challenge was the outside area with seating was not that ventilated – and it was sticky and hot!

The church mass was very nice and relaxing, and it was good to spend it properly this Easter at a Catholic Church – so glad that I found the place, and hopefully it won’t be as long when I return for my next service.

Air Conditioning Servicing

Well one of the stipulations of my condo contract, like the vast majority of rentals here in Singapore, is that you have to perform quarterly servicing of the Air Conditioning unit.

The previous tenant provided me their invoices from a company – and this was for $70 each time.  I have two units in my apartment, so that worked out to be $35 for each unit.  I knew this was quite expensive, having asked around.  I was told that I should be able to get it between $15-$20 if I shop wisely.  I also knew that an annual service contract would be cheaper.

Anyway, I wanted a bit of consistency in the paperwork, so first contacted the ‘Atlantic Engineering Air-Conditioning’ company, who previously serviced the units for the previous tenant.  They told me that an annual service would be $200 – which equates to $50 a visit, or $25 a unit.  I still wanted it slightly cheaper, so told them about a comporative price where it was quoted as being $17 a unit for an annual contract.  They couldn’t match this, but rather than the inconvenience of phoning around to get a cheaper quote, I accepted their slightly discounted offer of $180 – or $45 a visit, or $22.50 a unit.  That will do 🙂  I am sure I could have found one slightly cheaper, but alas I’ll be happy with this – a few bucks spare to spend on the Guinness!!.

The first visit was scheduled for 21st March, and they came and serviced the units very efficiently.  In 20-30 minutes it was all done.  Sorted for another quarter and sorted for the next year at least!

Home Insurance – Peace of Mind

Well I finally sorted my home insurance – well that should be really content insurance – for my condo apartment. I was concerned about things like my electronics, and clothes etc – and as such I feel it would be good to have peace in mind.

I decided to go to Expat Insurance – and it only cost me S$154 for the appropriate cover that met my needs (another quote was over S$500 – so I got a bit of a saving, by reducing the cover to what I need). I wasn’t keen to go for a huge cover, just enough to come by personal effects.

Regardless, I just hope that nothing happens whilst I am here!

I just now need to get my Travel Insurance sorted – and possibly consider enhancing my Medical Insurance (that I get from Amex) to cover any additional coverage needs that I should consider…remember there is no National Health service here – so everything costs $$$ – which is totally a culture shock for my head!

Old tenant picked-up their furniture

I must admit, it should never be advertised as ‘fully furnished’, as the items that belonged to the previous tenant should not be listed on the property listing.  I think the landlord’s agent wasn’t that truthful, or really understood the definition or the difference – but alas, I gave the feedback 🙂

Well the agreement that I reached with the previous tenant was that they would pick-up their furniture by 15th January, having giving them about 2 and a half weeks grace period.  The challenge is that I didn’t make the purchase straightaway, as Ikea give you a date for delivery which you cannot choose – well at least if you change it, they charge you, so I had to make sure the apartment was clear of the previous furniture before I committed the purchase.  The previous tenant wanted to sell me their second-hand items – the sofa-bed, dining table, 2 dining chairs, 3 cabinets, a book case/side unit, and tv stand – for S$1k – but I said no to this.  Luckily, I didn’t make this purchase, as the items I am looking for only equate to about £$650 which is a nice saving 🙂

So before the Ikea delivery – the apartment looked a bit empty…

On the positive, I was able to use their items (dining table and sofa primarily) whilst they were in my apartment, but I also now need to make a purchase 🙂  So have already looked at the Ikea SG website, and think I know what to buy.

  • Solsta Pällbo Footstool for S$10.90
  • Bjursta Extendable Dining Table S$149.00
  • Lycksele Lövås 2 Seater Sofa-Bed S$315.00
  • Lack Side / Coffee Table S$12.90
  • Börje Dining Chair (x2) S$130.00
  • Laiva TV Bench S$25.90

All for S$643.70 exc S$65 delivery charge.  And I get a S$50 voucher for spending over S$500 🙂

I even managed to build the items myself without major issue…it finally feels like home, and I have some nice new items that make it personal to me now – perfect 🙂

SingTel Installation brought forward and successful!

I received on 31st December from SingTel saying that the installation was brought forward from 8th January to 4th January – now that’s what you call service.  It was scheduled for the 2pm-4pm slot, but when I was in Ikea browsing through for Sofa’s and Dining Tables, and buying some bits and bobs for the apartment, the engineer called saying that he was keen to come earlier…So I arranged a 1pm time.  Nice!

About an hour later the installation was completed – a bit of wiring on the phone box and the phone exchange in the building hall-wall, and I had 2 phonelines (one for the broadband and one for the TV (also on broadband)), MioTV, and the 10MB broadband installed.  I just need to buy a cheap phone so at least if there are any calls, I can receive the calls and make outbound calls accordingly.

NOW, I feel at home 🙂  Good on ya SingTel, a satisfied new customer…just make sure that you services remain as efficient as the installation process.

Need my Internet – haha :)

The world is the world of the Internet, and when you remove this, it becomes a bit different and strange – actually, it is quite refreshing too – hehe.

Either way, my mum and I managed to find an ingenious and free way to get access to our emails and the Internet – free wi-fi is available through Singapore, but you need to look for it.  So we spent our time visiting a local shopping mall and some of the establishments within the mall had free wi-fi services available, so we stragetically located a seat near one wifi hotstop and relaxed, checked out emails and the latest news and events back home in the UK, and made plans for the rest of the day…and most importantly, we used someone else’s air conditoning to keep cool in the process…hehe!! Thanks to those establishments for a great service 🙂

I just need to be patience for the installation of the SingTel services – counting down to the 8th January, when the scheduled installation will occur…

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