Starting in Singapore: Starting Up and Settling In
Starting Up

So you're about to make that big move. Over the following weeks, you will have to make the decisions about the following: Finding a home, putting your children in a good school, learning about the public transport, buying a car, opening a banking account, discovering where to shop, etc.

Fortunately, Singapore is a remarkably easy place to get used to. Information is readily available through a phone call or through the Internet. Of course it would be ideal if you got a headstart and begin making arrangements BEFORE you even touch down in Singapore. Which is where we come in. Housing regulations, information on hotels, serviced apartments and international schools, even how to apply for your water, electricity, gas and phone. It's all here to help get you settled down in your new home as quickly and painlessly as possible.

What's in this section:

Expat Housing - We are here to help you

Housing - What you should know
Probably your first concern will be to find a house or apartment to call home for the coming months or even years. Several considerations come into play, like budget, location, size and facilities required. We give you information about buying or renting a house in Singapore.

An overview of housing in Singapore
A comprehensive description of what renting an apartment or house in Singapore is all about. Contributed by a reader who obviously knows what he's talking about.

Low-cost housing
The Scheme for Housing of Foreign Talents, or SHIFT is an attractive prospect for many expats, especially if you're working away from the city or don't mind travelling a little extra.

Prime Apartments in Town
If you have the means, then you may want to live it up in a swanky apartment in the city. We let you in on a few.

Serviced Apartments
Temporary accommodation may be what you require while shopping around for a more permanent address, or maybe your budget allows you to splurge for that little bit more. Either case, you'll find you have a wealth of choices.

Some expats find it practical to put up at a hotel first while waiting for their belongings to be shipped over, or for renovations to be completed. Dozens are availble, from 6-star luxury hotels to low-budget guest houses.

Telephone Services
Information about getting a leased land line, as well as cellular phones and pagers.

Furniture and Decoration Services
Furnishing your new home can be a mini-adventure on its own, with the vast selection of Asian, European and even antique furniture available here. Even if you just want to lease, your options are myriad.

Finding the right school for your children will be a priority for you as well. You'll have several international and language-specific schools to choose from, as well as specialised places like art schools and computer centres.

Just for the Kids
Your children will have specific needs, especially if they are of pre-school age -  Nurseries, creches, play centres and kindergartens may each be of use to you.

Employing Foreign House Help
You will find that hiring a maid in Singapore is very affordable, and to many - especially working parents - very necessary.

Living Costs
A common concern among expatriates relocating here. Singapore has a reputation for being expensive, perhaps rightly so when it comes to cars and property. We tell you more, down to the cost of basic goods and services.

Groceries and Other Essentials
Besides the local supermarkets where you can get most basics, there are also several expat-oriented places where you can find that bottle of HP sauce or tub of Ben & Jerry's.

Water, Electricity & Gas Utilities
Information about getting your utilities up and running, as well as rates and bill-paying.

Postal Services
Need to send that new-found bottle of local chilli back home for mum to try? No problems, the postal service here is fast, efficient and cheap.

Health Care
A rundown of the health care in Singapore from an expat's point of view.