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Archive for February 2010

Lessons From A Little Flat In Japan

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In Japan, much like Singapore with our apartments and condominiums, there are apartos (apartments) and there are mansions. Mansions here are not bungalows like you might intuit, but are instead more like apartments without swimming pool/tennis court etc. An aparto is in a usually fairly old two story building. A mansion is usually a newer building and built higher. Something of a rare sight in Singapore these days.

Seen on Apartment Therapy, this Matsudo Mansion by design studio BAKOKO embodies renewal and opening up of cramped space. I think we can all find inspiration in the tight constraints of this wonderful apartment.

You want to do your work here. (No Jedi mind tricks needed)

A touch of personality with the planter box

Note the soft light above the door

Nothing red here officer

Now you can deck up your shower too

On a not so related note, here’s how to get out of bed and changed for work in under 5 minutes, and have a breakfast to boot. Cheers!

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Written by L

February 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Review: Holland Residences

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Holland Residences

Need To Know
Location
Taman Warna
District 10
Land Tenure Freehold
Units 83 in 5 Storeys
Expected TOP Jun 30, 2013
Developers Allgreen Properties Limited
Facilities Multiple swimming pools, Half basketball court, Covered BBQ pit

Unit Types
1 Bedrooms 10 units, min 602 sqft
2 Bedrooms
20 units, min 957 sqft
3 Bedrooms 34 units, min 1,356 sqft
4 Bedrooms 2 units, min 1,872 sqft
Penthouses 17 units, min 1,614 sqft

Sales Info
Sales Open
Feb 2009
Average PSF $1,600 @ Jan 28, 2010

Everyone has heard of the age old mantra of “Location, location, location” when it comes to buying property, and Holland Residences fits all 3 of those stringent requirements. And sometimes thats all you need to know.

Holland Residences is nestled amidst the rustic terrace houses of Chip Bee Gardens on the edge of Tarman Warna. Its enviable location blends the best of both worlds with privacy from the hectic Holland V crowd with easy access to the main road (Holland Road) and the future MRT.

Location! Location! Location!

A 5 storey condo with 83 units, Holland Residences is well divided into 1 to 4 bedroom units along with lofts and penthouses. It interestingly follows the Multi-Generational Living (Studio + Loft) layout of the SkyVille@Dawson with 1st storey lofts with the small 1 bedroom units on the 2nd floor. The showflat features this loft unit with a Jacuzzi patio.

Souped up patio and jacuzzi rocks

All the 3 bedroom and above come with a private lift lobby, barring of course the 1st floor units. Most of units also come with 2 entrances, one from the kitchen to the service lobby and stairs. This layout is the norm for condos with private lift lobbies, as you might still need to walk if the elevator breaks. If you ask me it looks like a great place to stash unsightly stuff when you have visitors, i.e. during CNY.

Even despite the awesome location, the units do have its charm. The 3 bedroom loft has a decked up patio with a private jacuzzi that overlooks the condo’s many themed pools. Most of the units also have well-appointed balconies that also share the views. I’m usually against large balconies but here, they fit the outdoorsy green-garden feel of the locale. Also the inner layouts doesn’t look cramped.

No qualms with balconies here

There were some nice touches with the toilets too. The shower area is recessed slightly behind the sink which helps prevent splashing and also makes the toilet more spacious. I also love the glossy white lacquered kitchen cabinets and the built-in Miele fridge. I only noticed a small hiccup with the loft which is the master bedroom does not have a view into the living room, other than from the stairs.

Love the professional white facade

The Low-Down

I was there on the first day of sales, and the prices were already skyrocketing. For a 5 storey condo, the prices ranged over $100 psf from $1570 to $1680 for the units put out for sale, and the developers seem to be revising their prices upwards by the minute. There are some blocks which are not as desirable, in particular stacks 05/06 and 16/17 where you could look opposite into your neighbour’s house without those trusty binoculars.

Close encounters of the ... close kind

Facilities-wise there isn’t much. Beyond the watery landscape of swimming pools, there is only a jogging track and a 3-point basketball shooting area. I’m not even sure there’s the standard gym. And you have to pay loads for it. 3 bedroom units have monthly maintenance fees around $500 due to the limited no of units.

Conclusion

Holland Residences is definitely a buy for me. There’s not much wrong with it apart from the dollar amounts. It has a great location, rustic privacy with easy access to Holland Village and the MRT. Rental should not be a problem given how popular the nearby Chip Bee Gardens is with expats.

I personally prefer the smaller units (3 bedroom and below) namely because at the price of the penthouses, I much rather buy a landed property tear it down and rebuild it. The 3 bedrooms gives you the feel of a landed property but with the security and some of the facilities of a condo.

Written by L

February 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm