Like I said in the previous article I've spent the past week looking for a room closer to my job..
I started Sunday a week ago and by Monday I had managed to view three rooms (one found on easyroomate and two found on adpost)

The first one was in Tampines (1 MRT station away from Pasir Ris) and the agent was asking for 250SDG for a common room. I was wondering why it was 200SGD more than any other room I had found but I still wanted to have a look. So I arrived there, block 354 Tampines, waited 20min for the agent to come (and got a free drink as an excuse), and finally I saw the room: 12 sq meters, 2 double decker bed, meaning 4 people sharing a room, and the agent was proudly saying that the room was with AC. What a joke when the first image that came to my mind to describe the room was a cell with 3 other cellmates..

The second room was... too perfect. I found the ad on adpost asking for 360€/month for a common room in 210 Tampines. I arrived there and was welcome by a 22+ Singaporean (that's my guess) showing me her room (since she was leaving and the flat). Wooden floor, huge common room, double bed, built-in wardrobe, 5 rooms flat brand new, american style kitchen really huge and nice, clean washroom, huge tv and coach in the common room, internet, cable tv included and the best for the end: two future stewardess as flatmates!!! plus one guy working in the same industry as me. I couldn't believe that this was only for 360SGD a month without agent fees. So I really tried hard to get to room, said that I was willing to pay one month more to respect a 6month contract, and I left thinking that I'll get the room (the girl only had to ask her flatmates if there were ok). The huge mistake I did is that I should have paid the deposit straight away but I didn't thinking that anyway I needed the approval of the others.  Approval that I didn't get since I learnt the following day that they had found someone else..

In comparison the third room I saw that day was crap (gloomy, bad location, shared with a 60+ Chinese grand-mother, not cleaned at all, and expensive (500SGD)). But at least I learnt one thing there. You can always bargain for the rental. The agent went down 50SGD when I started talking about the room I had seen before and was willing to bargain even more with the owner if I was willing to pay him a full month agent fees (instead of half a month).

At that time I wasn't desperate yet because I thought I'll get the other room... Upon knowing that I wouldn't get it the only thing I could think to was "Fuck, I almost had found the perfect room in less than 2days and now I have to start all over..FUCK FUCK FUCK"

So did (quite reluctantly) it. Found new numbers to call, found new websites, arranged new viewings. By thursday I had seen another flat and by Friday I had seen 5 other flats... And everyone of them I was viewing was standing the comparison with the 360SGD in Tampines... I was viewing the rooms and thinking "NO, I don't want it" room after room after room. Either too expensive, or too gloomy, or bad flatmates, or too far, or everything at the same time..

And the most depressing thing was that the more I was viewing rooms the less possibilities I had. I had less and less numbers to call (I even started to look in the Newspaper for new numbers). Rooms that I had visited before were taken.. so that I really wanted to be done with it when I visited the last few rooms on Friday evening (especially since I was leaving for Malaysia on Friday night...).

And that's when I got lucky. I met an agent at Pasir Ris block 484, named Henri, that was really nice to me. We saw the room there. The price was ok but the location not perfect and I didn't really like the room. We were discussing and he asked if I wanted to see another room closer to my future job (the viewing wasn't planned at all). I said ok, he called the owner if we could do an immediate viewing, answer was ok in 30min. So he brought me to Ikea on his scooter, offered me a drink and then brought me to the flat. The flat was ok, the location was great (5min walk from my job) and he even bargained with the owner. I didn't asked anything and I was telling the owner that the rental should be 400SGD and not a 450 for such a room. He then asked the owner to buy a desk for me (and offered to pay half of it!!!).

I took the room...And that's where you appreciate to have a agent to do the job for you. We signed a proper contract stating what I was paying for, what I was allowed to do and not allowed to do, saying how I should resign the contract, etc. I payed the deposit (a month rental, i.e. 400SGD) and the agent fees (half a month, i.e. 200SGD). Note that the agent is touching half of the deposit from the owner what I didn't know. He showed me the condominium where he is living with his family (5min away from my flat), he introduced me to his family, told me that I could come over whenever I want to use the Condo's swimming pool and the sauna, and finally drove me back to the nearest MRT station...

I really appreciate what that guy did for me and I can tell you that will have trouble to find someone that nice in Europe...