Recently, we’ve been seeing more young Singaporeans in their 20s moving out of their parents’ house in favour of finding their own place to call home. Aside from having to deal with the financial aspects of moving out (ie. high rental costs), we were curious to know what it’s really like having to live alone, in the practical and everyday sense.
We spoke to Charlotte C., a TikToker who moved out when she was just 25 about her experience living alone, and whether she had any regrets about doing so at such a young age. Charlotte describes her move away from home as “the biggest transformation [she’s] ever had”, and one that she’s grateful for as it has allowed her to “create so many memories”.
Images from Charlotte C.
In a 2-part moving out series posted on TikTok, Charlotte also details the thought process behind moving out, as well as some of the Pros and Cons of living alone.
Reply to @joeleneschoice Moving out guide part 1 is out. Covering the Why and What to expect. The second part will cover the how – deep dive into financial budgeting and selection #movingout #consulting #independent #fyp
Charlotte posits that there are 2 main reasons why young Singaporeans choose to move out:
- Pursuit of independence
- Conflict with parents/family
For Charlotte, her reason for moving out was to learn how to be independent in her mid 20s, as well as carve out a space where she can enjoy her own solitude. However, living alone is not always a bed of roses, and there are plenty of hardships that come with having your own space.
According to Charlotte, these are some of the Pros and Cons to expect when living alone:
✔ lots of serenity and quiet time to focus away from all the noise
✔ no curfew, come home as late (or early) as you like with no one to nag or scold you
✔ host your own gatherings/parties & cook whatever you want
✖ having to handle emergencies yourself (you are your own handyman!)
✖ being alone and taking care of yourself if you’re sick
✖ higher expenses, having to take on additional financial responsibilities
Of course, when it comes to moving out, we have to talk about the financial side of things, particularly high rental costs. Charlotte’s rent in the Central area came up to about $1.3k a month (she rented back in 2022), and she highlights the importance of budgeting your finances if you choose to rent your own place.
These are some of her tips for young individuals who wish to rent their own place:
- Make sure your rent does not exceed 30% of your annual salary
- Save up at least 1 years worth of rent before proceeding to move out
- Always ask for a breakdown of the rental price (ie. inclusions or misc. fees etc.)
- Request for an in-person appointment to check out the place you’re looking to rent
- Find out about the other tenants that will be sharing the apartment (if any)
If you’re a young first-timer looking to rent a place, here’s a little 411 on renting in Singapore.
Types of Rental Homes
There are a couple of options you can choose from in terms of properties available for rent: HDBs, condominiums, co-living spaces or serviced apartments. If you’re a young Singaporean with a tight budget, you’ll likely want a more cost-effective type of rental property, which leaves you with HDBs and co-living spaces.
For HDBs, you have the option of renting one room or an entire flat with multiple rooms that you’ll be sharing with other tenants (or with your friends). To give you a rough gauge, renting a single room in a HDB can range anywhere between $600-$4000 a month; while an entire flat with multiple rooms ranges between $2500-$9500 a month and above (estimated rates as of May 2023).
Once you’ve decided on the type of apartment/flat you’d like to go for, the next question is cost. Your rental cost will vary depending on the area you choose to stay in, with places in the Central area being more expensive due to the accessibility and convenience it provides
1-room flat in the Central area: $1500-$3000/month
1-room flat outside the Central area: $800-$2500/month
3-room flat in the Central area: $3000-$6000/month
3-room flat outside the Central area: $2800-$5000/month
Disclaimer: rates listed are an estimate and not exhaustive.
On top of the base rental rate of the apartment/flat, you’ll also have to take note of other “hidden costs” that’ll contribute to your total rental cost. These include items like:
- Security deposit
- 1 month’s rental upfront
- Maintenance fees (air conditioning, plumbing, pipes, sinks etc.)
- Broadband installation
If you’d like a more convenient option that does away with all these “extra costs”, you can try co-living spaces or serviced apartments. These typically come fully-furnished, with housekeeping/maintenance services and WiFi already installed.
Where to Rent
If you don’t know where to start on your house hunt, here are a couple of sites to get you started.
HDB & Condos:
Co-Living Spaces & Serviced Apartments:
While Charlotte has since moved back in with her parents after 1 year of living alone, she says that her experience living away from her parents has definitely changed her mindset and perspective on certain things in life. For one, she feels much “more independent”, taking to cooking meals for her parents and doing her own laundry. She also finds herself being more financially savvy: from making use of money saving “hacks” while grocery shopping, to always making sure to switch off all the lights when not in use.