Renting An HDB Room In Woodlands For $450 – How This Singaporean Made It Into A Cosy Hideaway For $300

20 September 2023 | BY

In a city where rent is sky high, one Singaporean found a rental room at a steal. Here’s how she did it.

rental room makeover

It’s no secret that Singapore’s rental market is a bit of a disaster, and finding a great deal is even harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But this perseverance paid off as Manyi managed to find a listing for a room in an HDB flat for the price of $450/month. Here’s how she found it, the challenges of styling a small space, and her experience of living by herself.

Finding a room to rent for $450 on Telegram

telegram listing for a rental roomImage credit: Manyi

Most of us turn to portals like PropertyGuru or when we’re looking for a new room to rent. However, there’s a blossoming community of landlords and renters on alternative platforms like Telegram. There’s even one group – Singapore Room Rental – that currently boasts over 16,000 members, and that was where Manyi found her ace.

A landlord posted a message advertising a vacant room with a storage bed, a super single mattress, and a window all for the low price of $450/month. This was well below her allocated budget of $600-$700/month, and it was also near an MRT station, so it was a no-brainer that she immediately sent a response back to the landlord who posted the listing.

empty small hdb roomImage credit: Manyi

Granted, the room was located in Woodlands, and there were stipulations like no cooking and no visitors. There was also no air conditioner in the room. But Manyi felt that the time was nigh for her to have her own space and she was also willing to compromise on what the room lacked. So she took the plunge, reached out to the landlord, and seized a rare opportunity to live in a place well under her budget.

Furnishing her room for $300

furnishing a rental room for $300Image credit: Manyi

Once the lease was signed, Manyi immediately got to work styling her quaint room. She found an affordable single mattress on Shopee, a pre-loved Dyson standing fan, and pre-owned Ikea furniture like a table lamp, floor lamp, and bedside table off Carousell.

“The prospect of turning an empty space into my personal haven was a challenge, but it was one I looked forward to,” Manyi said. The main challenge in question for her was arranging everything to fit into the admittedly small room.

mirror and bedside tableImage credit: Manyi

Thankfully, the room was big enough to fit the mattress, the bedside table that doubled up as a vanity, and an open clothes rack. The Dyson tower fan also took up minimal space. But Manyi’s saving grace was the storage platform located underneath the bed. She was also helped because she only needed a room to rest in, and she spent most of her time working and studying outside.

All in all, furnishing her room only cost her $300, a small price to pay for comfort. 

Living in a shared home in Singapore for $450/month

One of the most daunting aspects of adulthood is living independently. Not only can it be a huge change, but it can also take up quite a considerable chunk of your monthly expenses – especially in the current market. Manyi hit the jackpot in this aspect when she scored a room that fit all her needs for just $450/month.

“Being self-independent is liberating, and managing the daily chores, finances, and responsibilities has taught me a lot about self-discipline and management,” she said about her first go around at living independently. Despite the smooth ride, she still reflected on how she could’ve planned her initial move and furnishing expenses better.

For those who are also looking to move out of their parent’s nest and live independently, Manyi recommended being diligent when researching a suitable place. “Joining groups or platforms, like the Telegram group I found, can lead to hidden gems,” she said. 

She also recommended considering the hidden expenses like transportation, groceries, and utilities. “It’s not just the rent,” she cautioned. “Lastly, be flexible and open-minded. Sometimes, the best deals come when you’re willing to compromise a little.”

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Cover image credit: Manyi

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