Review: Jardin condominium

I joined my friends in on one of Singaporeans' favourite past time: visiting condominium showflats. We visited the showflats - the actual units in the building which will be sold. The development we visited was: Jardin, at Bukit Timah, near the future King Albert MRT station.

One obvious bad thing about the Jardin was the name. Jardin means garden in French. But this is Singapore, not France. Even if you knew how to pronounce it, whenever you take a taxi or tell your non-French-speaking friends (how many of these do you have?) where you live, you'll probably have to pronounce it in Singlish: Jar-deen.

The gym is at the ground level, with no view. I'm sure people will have fun exercising while facing the 3 walls and the glass door which faces a staircase.

The units available for sale are the lofts, i.e. double-storey apartments. The small sacrificial units which face the busy cross junction and flyover are fully sold.

The lofts are seperated from the road by a good distance. The glass on the windows do filter out the noise effectively: I could not hear the traffic noise from inside the house at all. But this means that you'll have to close the windows and turn on the aircon 24x7 if you don't want noise and dust in your house.

We viewed 2 lofts: a 3+study and 3+1.

The area outside the loft is a like a shared garden. It's "free" space which buyers don't pay for. There's a shared roof top garden with spa, swimming pool and dining area for the residents. They can get an unobstructed view of the busy road and flyover.

The design of the lofts were rather weird. I didn't bring my camera but here's the floorplan that I got from the singaporeexpats website.

When you come in through the main door, you have the laundry room right in front of you. This is bad fengshui because all the qi from the maindoor goes straight into the laundry room. (But if you have the money to buy this loft, maybe you don't need more luck). On one side is the kitchen, on the other side is the study or the +1 room. You have to walk through either side to get to the living room.

Kitchen is spacious but impractical because the sink is across an open floor from the stove (people who do cook will appreciate the reason why you want the sink on the same platform: you won't want water dripping on the floor in between). There's a sliding glass door to separate the kitchen from the living room.

The living room is spacious with high ceiling. I was told that the flooring is marble. I noticed long cracks along 3 tiles near the staircase. I pointed it out and the salesman said that those tiles will be replaced before handing over to the owner. I wonder about the quality of materials used. The living room faces the swimming pool belonging to the condo behind. There's a small balcony, and small private grass patch which we were told was not counted in the floor area and therefore "free".

The storeroom, cleverly located at the midway of the staircase, has a high ceiling and is great for storing sport equipment like fishing rods and golf clubs.

The masterbedroom faces the neighbouring condo's swimming pool. The 3+study has a built-in wardrobe and a built-in cabinet both from laminate wood. I was surprised that solid wood was not used. I would expect an upmarket condo like this one to provide top-quality wardrobes. 3+1 has walk-in a wardrobe with glass doors: do buy black and white clothes only and keep the wardrobe neat!

The glass bathrooms doors are facing the bedroom doors. Remember to close the bedroom door if you use the toilet! The toilet in the 3+1 is separated from the bedroom only by glass walls. So your partner can see you shower and do your business daily. What's worse, the glass is just normal class, not tempered glass. If you slip and fall onto the glass wall/door, the entire glass panel will shatter, unlike tempered glass that will only crack up. The bathroom flooring is not the non-slip type. People who have the tendency to throw things around when they are angry should avoid living here.

The 2 bedrooms share 1 bathroom. The windows face the main road. The rooms are quiet as long as the windows are closed. There are beams and pillar sticking out of the walls. It is bad fengshui for occupants to sleep on beds with beams and pillars sticking out at them. The wardrobes are made of laminate wood.

The maid's room, facing the bathroom on the first level, is the bomb shelter under the staircase. It fits a tiny bed.

The 3+1 and 3+study freehold lofts cost more than S$3.5M each at $2,2xx per square foot (PSF) after discount. But there's alot of "free" space for residents to use. In my opinion, the "free" space serves to confuse buyers about the effective PSF price.

My friend asked a salesman why someone should buy this condo and not landed property. His response was that when living in a condo, neighbours would be foreigners and the unit can be re-sold to foreigners who don't qualify to buy landed property. Well, the way the wealth of the world, I won't be surprised to find that most of the foreigners living in that condo are the ones who pronounce its name as Jar-deen.

For S$3.5M, I don't understand why they can't use solid wood instead of Ikea-quality boards for the wardrobes, tempered glass for the bathroom walls and kitchen door, run more piping so that the kitchen sink can be on the correct side, and marble tiles of better quality.

I know I sound overly critical but I think it's so NOT worth it to pay that price for that kind of quality, design, location and fengshui. Or maybe I'm just sour grapes because I can't afford to buy it :o|


Anonymous said...

Yes, it could be sour grapes on your part lol but I too wonder about condominiums being giveng french names when many locals cant pronounce them. But I do wonder too if the developer (who?) would take kindly to your other negative comments?

Do you consider yours fair comment?

silli cat

Anonymous said...

They are asking for > $3,000,000.00for very little space because it is FREEHOLD lah.

Since Con-You came to power, he made most land releases LEASE-HOLD instead of the old land release system which was FREE-HOLD.

Bad luck with con-you!

Anonymous said...

May be good to have the laundry at the front door.

Simply leave a few sexy G-Strings on the washing machine will cure any erectile dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

"Jar-deen" - that make us think of the building known as "The one with a thousand assholes" at Hong Kong.

And YES, the windows are round instead of rectangular, that makes it look like a thousand assholes!

And YES, it is the HQ of Jardine, the narcotics running empire into China over a hundred years ago that caused the Opium War!

Anonymous said...

Does it mean that Jardine employees at HK are better at, or prefer anal sex, with the surrounds arousing them in that direction?

sillier cat

Anonymous said...

Hey Con-Mic! You're back! that's nice! lol

And its not freehold nor leasehold for you lah. Yours is rathole, underground hole, black hole and all kinds of holes you hide in.

And your holes are normally free for you to hold for as long as you live. lol


silli cat

David said...


An excellent property review. One could compare at least one similar priced property to determine if the quality issues you identified are typical.

Owning property for investment and income can be a sure source of income in a market such as unique to SG.


Anonymous said...

You think so David?

Only for the rich rich my friend.

For the rest of us, its all a risk that we can ill afford to take.

You dont hear of those fallen by the wayside. lol

silli cat

David said...

silli cat,

I did not say to jump in without completing due diligence.

One can compare prices of units.

Several SG women are quite successful buying investment real estate properties and are worth millions while still in their 20s!

The unwise invesstor will follow bad advice, be pushed by a broker to rushed decisions.

There are always opportunities.
Risk? Yes there are always risk.

Take no chances and one will never see any gains.


Anonymous said...

David, those who are successful in property investments when they are young are those born with cash in their mouths.

Putting a downpayment or deposit costs a bomb in Singapore. Where does one get that upfront cash if not born with a golden spade?

silli cat

David said...


Without knowledge of SGs requirements for purchasing property such downpayment/deposit and if there are any income requirements I cannot give you an informed response.

However if one has to save four, five, six or seven years to make that bomb deposit the potential growth in value and possibilty of income from retail property makes saving worthwhile.

Are you absolutely sure every under 30 property investor is born of weathly parents?


Anonymous said...

Yes David, at least 99% of them. That 1% may be due to a lucky break in the lotteries! lol

Just ask Yu-Kym if saving that number of years and having to account for other expenditures will allow an individual to accumulate enough to make a downpayment for a reasonably moderate property.

Yu-Kym, what say you? I vaguely recollect you have recently purchased that HDB property, renovated it extensively and now living in it right? How many years did you take to save up to pay the deposit?

silli cat

David said...


Yu-Kym did save for years.

Since her income is unknown speculating is useless.

We do know from her post that she saved enough to support herself while writing her book.

She also spent on printing the book.

I would like to think, (but there is know way to be sure about this) that Ms. Loh knew that the topic of her book would appeal to a niche audience and limit its appeal to a larger readership.

Her TV appearance went well and I was surprised with her charm even with the brief exposure on BlogTV. (Correct me if I got the shows name wrong).

Many people will save for years or even a decade or two to save for a dream, such as starting a business, a certian type of home, or a second home.

Yu-Kym wisely does not reveal her goals. When money and investments are concerned Yu-Kym is discreet in what information she shares with her readers.


Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Anonymous said...

David, I suppose you may be right that her investments and inaugural book and related income did well enough for her to save for a house. How else could she stop employment and devote solely to writing?

But I have a grouse if Yu-Kym keeps too many things about herself and her life discreet and confidential. What's the point of the blog if it's not also about Yu-Kym's deepest and darkest secrets?

Again where is the bold, provocative and brutally honest? Or is she all hogwash?

silli cat

Yu-Kym said...

silli cat, I doubt the developer, Far East Organisation, cares what I think. People will still buy!

Anon, I can imagine the g-strings hanging in the background when you answer the door. Very distracting for your visitor!

David, the price of a lousy, old private apartment without gym and swimming pool is at least SGD400,000. 20% payment is SGD80,000 because we can take up to 80% loan only. Add in buyer's stamp duty, lawyer's fee, touch-up/renovation, buying furniture works out to at least SGD100,000. And as silli cat said, "You dont hear of those fallen by the wayside." Assuming you save SGD1,000 per month, it would take 8.4 years to have enough to pay for the apartment.

silli cat, it was my sister who bought the HDB apartment. If I were to publish my financial information online, I would use only 1 word to describe myself: foolish.

Anonymous said...

I am curious.

Yu-Kym, without the need to publish financial info, pls explain why foolish? hehe

silli cat

Anonymous said...

the laundry at the front door?
I think the "front door" should be private lift door. the door your refer should call rear door

Great floor plans you have shared in here about this Jardin condominium. Hope to see more photos of the place. Thanks!

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