Moving to a new apartment can stir up an exciting flare of adventure in you especially if it means moving overseas. However, it can also be confusing and overwhelming for you as well as everyone else involved. You may find it difficult to find the perfect apartment or anything else even remotely close to what you truly desire.

Here are a few apartment hunting tips to help you make the right decision so that you may escape your dilemmas:

Apartment Hunting Tip #1 : Fixed vs Monthly Lease

When renting an apartment in Singapore, you will have to choose between two kinds of leases that your landlord will offer you. Each option has a mixture of certain positive and negative aspects to it so it is up to you to decide which one is the better alternative for you.

If you choose the fixed-term lease, it means that you have to pay the lease within a longer length of time than you will have to do if you choose the other option. The due date for the lease can be set at 6 months, a year or two years. Every time a due date is reached, a new lease must be agreed upon if the landlord and you mutually decide to continue renting the apartment.

The downside to this type of lease is that you, the leaseholder must abide to pay rent for the set period of time, regardless of whether or not the apartment is being used. If, for instance, you need to move to a different city for a year and you have a fixed-term lease of two years, you will still need to pay rent for the apartment you’re no longer using. If you’re determined to end the contract, penalties will apply.

The upside to the fixed-term lease is the reduced prices. This is because it means a sure, constant revenue stream for the landlord regardless of what may occur in the future. Therefore, the landlord will offer better prices (on a monthly basis) for the tenants who choose fixed-term as opposed to month-to-month lease. Thus, the longer the lease, the cheaper the price.

Singapore Real Estate 101: Everything You Need To Know

If you choose the month-to-month lease, you will have to pay the lease within a shorter term in comparison to the fixed-term lease. This monthly lease will automatically renew if neither you, the tenant nor the landlord decides against it. The disadvantage of this lease is the elevated price compared to fixed-lease deals. This is because the landlord runs a higher risk of having an unoccupied apartment at any given time since he can do very little to deter the tenant from moving elsewhere. Therefore, it is only logical that the price for this deal is higher.

On the contrary, the advantage is that there are no penalties for leaving before the time is met. You will only pay for what you use: if you occupy the apartment for two months, only two months will be charged; if the period of time extends to a couple of years, then that’s what the tenant will pay month by month.

Read: 5 Property Websites In Singapore To Buy, Rent & Sell Houses

Apartment Hunting Tip #2 : Location, Location, Location

When you’re apartment hunting in Singapore, be sure to adopt the real estate agent’s maxim. Don’t limit yourself to observing and comparing the apartments only. Remember to take a look at what surrounds these apartments because certain facilities and infrastructures can greatly increase the value of the apartment. Moreover, personal preferences and needs also come into play when choosing your ideal apartment.

For instance, if you have children, then pay special attention to any school districts in the area as these will be the first options when looking for an elementary/middle school for them. Also, those who are very religious will be willing to pay more to secure an apartment near their place of worship. Additionally, those who don’t own a personal vehicle or wish to reduce its use, should keep an eye out for proximity to bus stops and Mass Rapid Transit stations.

Apartment Hunting Tip #3 : Parking

Most apartments will come with a single or double parking lot. It’s recommended that you discuss about this with your landlord before agreeing to a lease if you own at least one vehicle. The reason for this is that some apartments don’t include parking at all or the parking is offered as a separate service only accessible to you if you pay an extra fee.

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Apartment Hunting Tip #4 : Price vs Luxury

It is important that you note that the better the location, the more amenities the apartment or the apartment complex has to offer you and hence, the higher the price will be. Thus, I am suggesting you to re-evaluate the previous two tips. If you are on a tight budget, you will need to sacrifice some of your desires while apartment hunting. You must decide which amenities and facilities are essential and which ones can be discarded in order to lessen your expenditure.

For example, you may consider supermarkets and convenience stores to be necessary and want to be as close to them as possible. However, if you are religious, you may also re-evaluate the nearness to your place of worship and decide that the apartment that offers proximity to both supermarkets and the place of worship isn’t worth the inflated price. Don’t you think it would be a much better idea to select a lower costing apartment that has supermarkets and convenience stores nearby?

Here are our next 5 apartment hunting considerations you have to take note.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).