We hit 2 years in Singapore back in November, and our old lease expired not long after in early December (most leases in Singapore seem to be 2 years, although you can negotiate different terms).
I’m not going to do a step-by-step guide to looking for an apartment, as plenty of people have done a much better job of it (like my friend Crystal over at Expat Bostonians). The process is well documented on a number of other expat sites too. All I’d say is make sure you have a clear idea of what you want (size, location and $$$) and don’t be afraid to tell your agent if what they are showing you isn’t working for you.
We were lucky in that we found a good agent pretty early on in the process, after a couple of false starts with some decidedly disinterested agents. Lynn helped us consider new areas that we’d never looked at before, but that actually worked really well for us, both in terms of budget, size of unit and commute for W.
We’ve ended up in a gorgeous new condo just off Old Airport Road and we’re loving the peaceful surroundings and the much more residential vibe. We definitely have a lot more choice of places to eat on the doorstep (or a short walk/bus ride away). Supermarket shopping is a bit more tricky but the local wet market looks promising (I still haven’t made it out early enough to make the most of the best produce!). I’m embracing ordering groceries online now – with sites like RedMart and the online butcher service. Definitely more practical than carting groceries around the island, although I do still hop on the MRT for a quick Cold Storage run!