Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seastrand (Review)

Project Name:   Seastrand
Tenure:   99-year leasehold w.e.f 3rd Jan 2011
Location:   Pasir Ris Link
District:   18
Site Area:   215,281sqft
TOP (estimated):   31st Dec 2016
Total Units:   473 apartments + 2 commercial shop units
No. of Blocks/Storey:   10 (7 Block of 11-Storey and 3 Blocks of 12-Storey)
Car Park Lots:   473
Developer:   Far East Organization/Fraser Centrepoint Homes

The wife and I visited the sales gallery of Seastrand over the weekend. This is the latest project jointly developed by Far East/Fraser Centrepoint located in Pasir Ris. The two developers are also responsible for the “Waterfront Collections” along Bedok Reservoir Road.

Seastrand is located on a huge plot of land of about 215,000sqft at the intersection between Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Pasir Ris Drive 4. The main entrance, however, will be on Pasir Ris Link – this is a new road that will be built specially for the project.

The 99-year leasehold project has a total of 473 apartments spread across 10 blocks. It offers a mix of 1 – 4 Bedroom unit types:
• 1-Bedroom (159 units):   581 – 663sqft
• 2-Bedroom (113 units):   914/1001sqft
• 3-Bedroom Compact (98 units):   1133 – 1241sqft
• 3-Bedroom (83 units):   1195 – 1300sqft
• 4-Bedroom Compact (20 units):   1321sqft

A unique feature of Seastrand is that there are no penthouses, while the 4-bedder compacts are effectively 3+Study units.

Facility wise, Seastrand offers everything that one will come to expect from a full-facility condo (tennis court inclusive) and then some. The facilities are spread over the ground level as well as on the 3rd floor, i.e. the rooftop of the multi-storey carpark that wraps around the project. Of particular note are the Water and Strand Villas alongside the Strand Pool – these are outdoor function areas that come with their own Jacuzzis.

Parking lots are available within the 3 levels (basement, 1st and 2nd) of multi-storey parking, which forms an u-shape around Towers A – H. This allows residents to access their vehicles directly from their blocks, which is especially helpful during rainy days. The only exception is Tower J, which is not connected to the multi-storey carpark. Residents here will probably have to make do with “open air” surface parking that is located below their block.

There are three showflats in the sales gallery, showcasing the 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units. We shall focus on the 1195sqft, 3-bedroom apartment (Type C1b).

However, do note that the floor plan below is NOT that of Type C1b – we were unable to obtain the floor plan for this unit type during our visit. We have included the floor plan for Type Cc1b instead, which is actually the 3-Bedroom Compact with the same layout as Type C1b. The only differences are that for Type Cc1b, Bedroom 3 is smaller and there is no bathroom in the yard area.

As you enter the main door, the dry/wet kitchen is on your left. A dining table that sits 6 (barely) is incorporated into the dry kitchen area, which is actually quite a good idea as it frees up space in the living area.

The wet kitchen (more like the typical kitchen to us, since the so-called “dry kitchen” is not exactly a kitchen per se) is L-shaped and comes with nice solid surfaced worktop, full set (top/bottom) of kitchen cabinets and even a dish drying rack. The developers have also thrown in Delizia hood/hob, Ariston Oven and Microwave and Samsung fridge for good measures.

The yard has barely enough space for laundry, but we quite like the idea of having a wash basin here – this will come in handy for items that need “hand washing”. The washing machine cum dryer (provided) is tucked nicely beneath the kitchen worktop, which frees up space in the yard. A large window provides ample natural lighting and ventilation to the yard area, which also houses the home shelter and a bathroom.

And speaking of home shelter, this is a small rectangular strip of an area, which means that you probably need to customize the bed if you intend to use this as the maid’s room. Another option is a “pull down” bed as illustrated in the showflat. The home shelter is fully enclosed so your maid will have to leave the door open to avoid suffocation while sleeping.

The living/dining area is rectangular shaped and of decent size (relative to the apartment size). It comes with 2.9m ceiling height (3.15m for ground floor units) and for flooring, you have a choice of “warm” theme (60cm x 30cm marble slabs in darker beige colour) or “cool” theme (60cm x 60cm porcelain tiles in lighter beige colour).

The balcony is also rectangular in shape and rather sizable (we reckon 100sqft). Some will probably like the idea of a huge balcony area but we felt it’s a tad… extravagant, considering that the whole apartment is not even 1,200sqft.

The two common bedrooms come with timber-strip floors and full-height (ground to ceiling) windows. The absence of bay windows is a definite plus. We were told that both the bedrooms are of similar size but Bedroom 3 somehow looked smaller than Bedroom 2.

The common bathroom is good size and actually has marble floors/walls, which is a pleasant surprise (considering the “norm” these days with ceramic tiles). It also comes with Newform (Italian) bathroom and Vera (origin unknown) toilet fittings.

The surprise package of the apartment must surely be the master bedroom. The room is huge – we were told that the bed inside the showflat is an "European King", which is actually bigger than the typical King-sized bed. And yet the room still felt quite spacious even with the bigger bed. We also like the layout of the wardrobe in the master bedroom – you get a L-shaped wardrobe that separates the bedroom area from the attached bathroom, with a “walk-in wardrobe” feel.

The master bathroom is again quite spacious and almost an exact replica of the common bathroom in terms of look and feel. But it comes with a “sunken” bath and rain-shower. We were told that buyers can have the option of either solid or glass-partition walls for this bathroom.

Seastrand has started selling for about 2 months now and we understand that more than 50% of the units have been sold. Units in Towers C, E and G are fully sold and if you are looking at the 3-bedders, only 3 units (Tower B) are left amongst the units that have been launched. The good news is that there will be more 3-bedder (Tower J) and 3-bedroom compact (Towers D1 & D2) units launching soon, but supposedly at slightly higher psf. Then again, with the market circumstances as it is, it remains to be seen if the developers will actually increase prices for subsequent releases.

Price wise, the price for the remaining 3-bedders are about $990psf. The unit on the 4th floor of Tower B (#04-06) costs $1,413,260 after discount. In addition, developers are also giving away a further discount of 1% in furniture vouchers for selected “Star Buy” units. But the vouchers will only be given upon TOP of the project.

Monthly maintenance charges for the 3- and 4-bedders are about $320, which we feel is at the higher end of the scale for a supposed mass-market project.

What we like:
• The quality of furnishing and fittings are definitely more appealing compared to some of the other “mass market” condos that we have seen recently, and is more akin to those that we have come to expect with Far East projects.

Seastrand is located fairly close to neighbourhood amenities (think minmarts, coffee shops etc) located within the HDB estate across the road, and yet it is not “surrounded” by HDB flats so to speak. It is also within walking distance to Downtown East, where you find a NTUC and all kinds of F&B outlets.

• For those who enjoy greeneries and the sea, Seastrand is about a 7- 10 minutes’ walk to Pasir Ris Park and the beach.

• Parents who need to put their kids into primary schools will be pleased to know that there are several to choose from that's within 1-km of Seastrand – Casuarina Primary, Loyang Primary, Pasir Ris Primary and Coral Primary (maybe?).

What we dislike:
Seastrand is supposedly 2 bus-stops (or 3-mins drive) from Pasir Ris MRT station and bus terminal at White Sands Mall. But should you decide to walk it, you may find that it is actually quite some distance away. Consolation is that for the first two years at least, there will be dedicated shuttle-buses from the condo to White Sands & Ikea/Carrefour.

• We reckon that the main road (Pasir Ris Drive 3) leading out to the ECP/PIE will be rather congested especially during the rush hours.

• The plot of land next to Seastrand was recently acquired by MCL Land and will be developed into another private condo project in due course. In addition, the plot of land directly across from Seastrand (where the sales gallery currently stands) is probably slated to be sold for private housing development as well. So depending on how soon building works of these future projects get underway, buyers of Seastrand may have to be prepared to live near a multiple construction sites for awhile.

Our Verdict: The wife and I have nothing really negative to say about Seastrand, except probably the location (too far, which is again subjective). You are certainly getting value for money in the “quality” department, as compared to, say, Woodshaven. It is definitely a project we will consider, should we decide to move to Pasir Ris.

Having say that, a quick check on recent transacted prices at nearby Eastvale – a 13-year-old EC built by CapitaLand that is now fully privatised – reveal that units of 1,100 – 1,200sqft were sold at less than $750psf. And the wife and I actually think that Eastvale is the better located of the two projects (and much nearer to the MRT too!).

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2 comments:

Jones Morris said...

you may find that it is actually quite some distance away. Lakeside Condo

Anonymous said...

A new condo at Upper Serangoon View at a much lower price Kingsford Waterbay

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