How much did it cost me to move to a new flat in Singapore?

In May I embarked on quite a big project: I moved to a new apartment! Taking advantage of Singapore’s declining rental prices I upgraded from a tiny flat to a huge and swanky place for just SGD 300 more. How much did I spend in the course of moving house?

While I have sternly avoided all lifestyle inflation despite getting promoted and having my salary increased several times in recent years I think this small increase can still be justified.

What I did not expect was how all the costs for moving house tend to add up. I avoided a number of house moving mistakes which tend to cost quite a lot of money:

Three house moving mistakes I avoided:

1) I did not hire an agent but searched myself via

Savings: SGD 2,800

Singapore has a great rule: no agent is allowed to represent both the landlord and the prospective tenant. Therefore I searched via propertyguru and made sure only to view apartments where the advertising agent was also the landlord’s agent. This saves a month of rent in commission.

More information on the dual representation rule (external pdf link)

2) I cleaned the old apartment myself

Savings: SGD 300 (end of lease cleaning companies really charge that much and more!)

I spent about 20 hours cleaning the old apartment to an extreme level of cleanliness, including windows, balcony, cupboards etc. It was good exercise and my landlord was impressed how clean the place was. The weekend was miserable though

3) I borrowed the boxes from the moving company and packed them myself

Savings: not sure, but probably SGD 300?

It cost me about 15 hours to pack and unpack all boxes myself, but it saved quite a bit of money as well.

So how much was the overall damage?

Unfortunately my girlfriend and I could not resist the urge to visit the ultimate test of all relationships, the blue and yellow house of doom, crowds and flat packages:


Those of you who went there before know the drill: you came there to buy a new shelf, but you leave with a complete bedroom set, cutlery, countless vases, glasses, carpets and towels and a million small items such as candles etc. Maybe I exaggerate a bit, but it is unavoidable!

Then one week later we forgot all about our good intentions never to set foot there again and never to assemble another cupboard and went to the other branch on a mission to buy some cheap chairs for the terrace but in the end bought even more things including plants etc.

So how much was the total cost of moving?

All in all my girlfriend and I spent a whopping SGD 3,195 on the move. Hopefully this will inspire you to save some money once your turn to move to a new house comes around!

Here is the full list:

Description Amount
Brand new fancy cover for the three year old idea couch $250.00
Dehumidifier $370.00
Disposal of old stuff $120.00
Flowers and plants $180.00
IKEA  trip number one $480.00
Ikea trip number one: Van from IKEA using easyvan $50.00
IKEA trip number two (including taxi) $170.00
Moving company $350.00
Moving company: Tips for the five workers $50.00
Polishing floor in old apartment $400.00
Stamp duty $485.00
Tools $140.00
Van to transport items $50.00
Various disposables (cleaning products etc) $100.00
Total $3,195.00

PS: The monthly portfolio update will come very soon – I did not want to combine it with the moving post and decided to split it into two.

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