SINGAPORE: High property prices have been an issue in Singapore over the past couple of years, with renters especially hard hit, as fees have increased by as much as 30 per cent.
Is living in another country the solution? Or, more specifically, in Johor Bahru, just across the border. One woman tried it to see how much money she would save on rent by documenting her journey on the OGS YouTube channel.
“Is renting in Johor Bahru THE solution to rising rental prices in Singapore? To find out, we sent our host Kimberly to rent a place in JB for a week and travel across the causeway for work every day. Was it really worth it?” the caption on the video, posted on July 20, reads.
OGS host Kimberly Tan, a 28-year-old freelance writer, conducted a social experiment of living in JB for a week.
The rental rate at the flat she got at R&F Princess Cove goes about S$930 monthly, whereas, in Singapore, this amount is less than what’s charged for renting just a room in an area far from the centre of the city.
Here are her takeaways:
Commuting is not so bad, as she usually gets from JB to her office in 1-2 hours. But this also means transferring from one bus to another, which isn’t easy, and she also got a ride from someone who drives from JB to Singapore and vice versa every day.
One of her challenges was getting enough sleep, and she had to rethink her late sleeping hours.
But the biggest challenge was loneliness, as she spent most of her evenings alone.
On her last day in JB, Kimberly says, “I came into this thinking about money, and I’ve never lived without my family.” On the plus side, she said, were independence and privacy.
She admitted to being used to being around people and feeling frustrated when a friend messaged her and they couldn’t hang out.
If Kimberly were to live in JB, she would realize that she would need to make friends her age and socialize.
But asked if she would do it long term, she answers, “Not if I had a choice.”
However, she added that if given a chance to work remotely, this might change her opinion.
And for the time being, as she packed up her belongings, she said that she was ready to eat her mum’s cooking, as she was tired of ordering food or cooking alone daily.
Nevertheless, “JB is a beautiful place,” Kimberly said. /TISG