If you’ve secured a place in a university in Singapore, one of your main concerns is likely to be where you should live. While the halls of residence in university are a convenient option, student accommodation on campus is usually high in demand and you may find it difficult securing a room there if you do not book early. Still, there are plenty of other options for student accommodation off campus. Here are some factors to consider if you are considering renting a room off campus.
Location is one of the most important factors you have to consider. You want to be close enough to campus so that you won’t have to travel far. You also want to be near amenities such as eateries, convenience stores, supermarkets so that you can easily get your necessities on your way home.
Plus, your location should be easily accessible to public transport. Look out for places with either MRT stations or bus stops that are pretty nearby so you won’t have to walk too far to get public transport.
Even if there’s a bus stop nearby, make sure that there are buses that go to your school from that bus stop. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting changing buses to get to campus. The same goes for the MRT station. If it sits on a train line that heads to the MRT station closest to campus, that will also save you time as you won’t have to disembark at an interchange to switch trains.
As a student, it’s unlikely that you’d be able to afford to rent a whole apartment unit. Most students would opt to rent a room instead, as that would be significantly cheaper than renting a whole apartment.
Type of accommodation
If you’ve already decided to rent a room, you’d have to decide whether to rent one in a HDB flat (public housing) or in a condo (private housing). While the HDB option would be cheaper, condos have 24/7 security and you get access to facilities such as the gym, pool or tennis court.
If you are considering temporary off-campus accommodation for the short term (say, a couple of months), you can consider renting a room in a co-living space. Co-living spaces offer flexible leases. So if you don’t need the room for the whole year (because you may go back to your home country during the longer semester breaks which can last up to three months), co-living can be an option to consider. That way you can opt for a 9-month lease and save rent on the other months.
Utilities, wifi and cleaning
One factor to consider when you’re renting is whether you want to arrange for things like utilities, wifi and cleaning. If you’re priority is your studies and you don’t want the hassle of taking care of those arrangements, you can consider renting a room in a co-living instead. For this type of accommodation, your rent will include housekeeping or cleaning services, utilities and wifi.