If you’re going away to study in Singapore, finding an affordable and conveniently located flat is important. There are countless options to choose from, but majority of marketed properties are tailored for the serious investors and residential occupants who have the long-term perspective in mind. Here’s 5 tips to finding the right flat for foreign students on a budget.

Know How Much You Need To Pay Upfront 
Security deposits are omnipresent in every housing rental contract, and Singapore is no exception. The amount is usually one month of rent paid in advance and then returned once the contract expires. Other leasing terms may differ depending on the original owner or landlord. Some terms consist of a 6-month lease with a 6-month security deposit paid in advance. For foreign students, leasing contracts may range anywhere between 6 months to 24 months.

Consider Location 
Getting around Singapore’s main districts is made easy via the MRT or Mass Rapid Transit railway system. It is also the most affordable option for foreign students as opposed to buying or renting your own vehicle. When looking for a condo around MRTs, pick one that is nearest to the school you are attending. Screen the neighborhood for accessibility to basic needs like food and hygiene supplies.

Find a Roomie 
A roommate will make the costs of housing much cheaper. Of course, there is the element of safety in question. Websites that help connect people looking for roommates are an available service. It allows people to screen potential roommate candidates to determine if they are a good fit for each other. These services also act as another layer of security by verifying that these roommates are indeed safe to live with. There might be a onetime or monthly fee involved, but the service does make the process safer and more efficient.

Think Small 
Each square footage will bite a chunk off your budget. Consider getting a smaller apartment unit like a studio type and then buying a mattress for it. It will be cheaper plus you don’t really need much room since you’ll spend most of the day at school or hanging out with friends.

Seek Professional Help 
Realtors in Singapore have the experience to find housing options that are best suite for their clientele. They also have a database containing a variety of available apartment units, condominiums, foreclosed houses, and so forth. If short-term apartment leases are what you are looking for as a foreign student, there might not be a better partner for conducting this search than a local professional realtor who knows the market like the back of his/her hand.

Studying overseas in a country like Singapore is fun and exciting. However, one must first establish a base or headquarters wherein he/she will feel safe and at home. Use these 5 tips to get the right accommodation during your stay without breaking your college funds or having to settle for unsafe and inconvenient flats. Singapore’s real estate market is well-diversified and can accommodate occupants of all budgets and preferences.