My name is Bryan Norman. I’m from The Netherlands’ Antilles, but I’ve lived in Holland, UK and Australia.
I moved to Singapore in 2005 after spending a month here each year since 2003. I prefer a tropical climate and I like to live close to the sea. Singapore has both, as well as great food, great people and a very decent standard of living. It’s a real happening city. Best of all, it’s very, very safe.
I found a very capable property agent through the internet. He showed me a few condos and I liked the second unit we looked at, at Bayshore Park. We then signed the lease and that was it, again quite smooth. You’ll find that generally this is a recurring theme when you relocate to Singapore, it’s very easy, especially when you select the right people, which you can do if you do your homework on the internet beforehand.I did actually move again two years later. But that move too was a very seamless affair. In fact, I’m still living in Bayshore Park now. It really is a wonderful place to live.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Very few actually, the whole move went very smoothly. Find the right movers and all of it can be quite painless.
What is the property market like at the moment?
It’s now August 2010 and the property market has more than recovered from the financial crisis. In fact, the whole of Singapore has; property prices are back at their previous peak, perhaps even beginning to eclipse that peak. Rentals are still fairly flat, however, because of the large number of new properties that have been developed in the past two years and are still being developed now. You can get very attractive condos at very attractive rents right now (for the latest Singapore property news, see www.rentinginsingapore.com.sg/latest.html).
Are you employed or self-employed? What challenges did you face in either finding employment or running your own business?
I’m self-employed. At the risk of sounding boring, starting my business here was a breeze. Most of it can be done online and costs are low. So long as you have a good business plan and your idea is a winner, you’ll be granted a work permit. Make sure all the prerequisites check out though, your qualifications, your references etc.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Yes. Bayshore Park has a great mix of expats and locals.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
The same as my relationship with expats. If you’re outgoing, you’re bound to meet people, some will be locals, some will be expats. I joined a local club and found that I assimilated quite quickly.
What do you like about life where you are?
The climate. The very low crime rate. The people. The occasional cultural surprises. The political stability. The efficiency. The tasty food. The proximity to other great locations. The excellent public transport. The buzz.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
The fact that your family is far away.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Immerse yourself, realise that Singapore is not your home country. Some things are different, learn to live with it. And pace yourself too. Don’t go all out from the moment you wake up, because chances are you’ll be gutted by the heat and humidity by the early afternoon.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m applying for Permanent Residency this year 🙂