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Some real estate terms that may be specific to Singapore

Service Apartments:
These short term accommodation types have facilities like a gymnasium, a swimming pool, car park, tennis courts, security and housekeeping service, laundry, etc. They fall in between a hotel and a private house.

Singapore boasts a number of very attractive service apartments, from budget to exquisite. Please fill out this inquiry form to let us know your wants and needs. I'll reply to you within one business day.

Black and whites
These are bungalows of a recognizable style: white external walls with wood supports painted in black.

CBD or Central Business District:
The inner core of the city, diameter 2-3 kilometers, home to well known commercial and banking giants, the main reason for its high real estate prices.

Co-broke deal:
When more than one agent liaise between landlord/owner and tenants, the deal is called a co-broke deal.

Diplomatic or escape clause:
This offers you protection against undue losses in the event your employment is halted or you are transferred overseas.

Empty furnished or non-furnished:
Property that comes without any furnishing, other than the bare basics, such as a kitchen block, faucets, light fittings.

The right to own a property in perpetuity, i.e. there is no limit.

Fully furnished:
Property fitted with common furnishings such as a refrigerator, a washing machine, a tv, furniture, wardrobes, beds, mattresses etc.

Lease hold or 99-year lease:
The right to own a property for 99 years. There is the variant 999-year lease as well.

Housing Development Board. The body responsible for public (government) housing in Singapore.

Landed house:
A grounded property that has none of its walls shared amongst occupants.

N-Bloc or Enbloc:
A collective sale of an estate, usually by voting majority, to make place for a new estate. In the case of developments less than 10 years old, 90% of owners majority is required, and 80%for developments 10 years old or older.

Partially furnished:
Property fitted with some but not all the common furnishing items.

You'll find that some agents and landlords refer to tenants as "pax", originally a travel industry term referring to passengers.

Strata Title:
A type of property ownership where multi-level apartment blocks are divided into separate levels or "strata".

Temporary occupation permit. In practical terms, a unit that has achieved TOP means it is ready to be lived in.

TIP: A simplified printer-friendly check-list is available here. Take a copy of this list with you when you go on a house hunt with your agent.

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