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Rent out HDB in Singapore and lease a house in Johor for lower cost of living

The cost of living is high in Singapore as attest by most Singaporeans. So what does some enterprising Singaporeans do?

  1. They rent out their HDB flats in Singapore for SGD $2000 – $3000. This amount equates to RM $5000 – $6000
  2. They then rent a 2-3 room condo or apartment in Johor for RM $1000-$1300
  3. The cost of living is lower in Malaysia and thus this arrangement may result in them having less stress at work or going into semi retirement mode

There are certain considerations as well

  1. Everyone is waiting for MRT to Iskandar and Johor to be ready. By then this can be even more advantageous
    1. If you are retired, it is easy for you or your relatives to visit each other
    2. For workers near the North side and East West, they can commute to work easier
  2. I wonder for those complaining about taking 1.5 hour to go home would they be able to adjust to this kind of life
  3. Some Johor folks themselves feel unsafe in their own country. Although I have not heard stories yet, I feel crime will move to areas where there are bountiful opportunities
  4. You need to live in your HDB flat for at lease 5 years to do that
  5. Some people might prefer a simpler way of living with not so much hustling daily
  6. Some might not adjusted to that

Thanks to CK Loh in my Facebook for highlighting this to me.

What do you guys think? Would you favor an arrangement like that? Do you have friends doing that? What would make you transit to this kind of arrangement?


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Yoon Keow

Thursday 27th of December 2012

Hi Drizzt,

I have friends who are Singaporeans in their 30's and 40's living in KL and JB. The ones in KL commuted to Singapore only when they need to attend to visa problem every few other months. The one living in JB commuted to Singapore twice or thrice a week. With electronic and smart h/p, one does not really need to be Singapore full time. A caveat here, they run their own businesses.

I have floated similar idea with people who are Malaysian working full time in Singapore. They are the sceptical ones complaining of the trouble of crossing the borders daily. Of course, there are equal numbers of Singaporeans who raised issues of crimes and that Singaporean should be living in Singapore and not elsewhere even in retirement.

It is feasible for retired Singaporeans to consider this as a viable option. Commuting back to Singapore from Senai airport area via the 2nd link including the possible jams at the custom area to the eastern part of Singapore will take no more than 2 hours of drive. Of course, the time duration depends on where you live in JB.

One has to be wise to select the type of accommodation. The landed property there is cheaper to rent. If one is concerned of the security, then it is better to opt for the condo which is in the range stated in the article.

If you live overseas which I had in Bangkok and Gold Coast Australia, you live like the locals. Live simply( not in abject poverty) and don't display your wealth. Courting trouble and resentment from the locals if you violate this rule.

To live in Thailand, one need to know the local language to fit in. Certainly, the standard of living in Bangkok can be higher than in JB. One can eat out at restaurant daily between S$20 to $100 ( at Italian one).


Thursday 27th of December 2012

AK71, an HDB owner can go live in his private apartment and rent out his HDB, provided he has met the MOP for his HDB:

I own a private property and would like to reside there and sublet my HDB flat. Is this allowed? A. Owners may sublet their flat if they have met the minimum occupation period as follows:

3 years Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) and the application for the purchase of the flat was received before 30 Aug 2010;   5 years

Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) and the application for the purchase of the flat was received on or after 30 Aug 2010;

Subsidised flat (flat purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF housing grant)

Flat owners who meet the eligibility requirements above and who concurrently own a private property with HDB’s approval, are allowed to stay in the private property and sublet the HDB flat.

However, prior approval from HDB must be obtained before they sublet

Hope that link works!


Thursday 27th of December 2012

thanks Serendib!


Wednesday 26th of December 2012

The basic idea of public housing in Singapore and how it is supposed to give young couples a leg up is no longer valid due to the rising prices of such starter homes and the government allowing them to be easily bought and sold on the market. Since there is almost zero subsidy, people should treat HDB flats like a commodity. It's not very helpful to adhere to the 80s and 90s way of thinking about HDB flats.


Wednesday 26th of December 2012

Don't be too naive to think of this U see, i seldom go over to Johor, but i have a few incident of crime against me. I have not been there for the last ten over yr since the last incident. In the day i was born till now in Singapore, nothing have ever happened to me. No one ask me for money openly. The bext place is in Thailand, since you want to retire, might well leave here for good, and u still can come back anytime u want. The Thai are better behave. I have live there for a while, and i can testify to hat.

Wee Ming Kok

Tuesday 25th of December 2012

There are already singaporeans who are living and commuiting daily from JB. Lots of useful info from living in jb sammy boy forum.


Thursday 27th of December 2012

thanks Wee Ming. its a suggestive forum but hey there should be good info there.

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