TREE HOUSE (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - May 19, 2010 3 Comments
treehouse_day

The wife and I must confess that we have left TREE HOUSE rather late, given our vacation and all. So when we finally show up at the sales gallery last Sunday, the project is already almost sold out – only about 10 units, comprising 3- and 3+Study, are left and on the low floors.

TREE HOUSE, as most of you know by now, is located at Chestnut Avenue, which is off Petir Road. It is surrounded by greenery, since it is build right next to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and in front of Zhenghua Park (popular trail for cyclist). So this is definitely the ideal project for all you friends of nature.
Location Map

Here’s the scope on TREE HOUSE

District: 23
Location: Chestnut Ave/Upper Bukit Timah
Address: 60 – 68 Chestnut Avenue
Developer: City Development Limited
Tenure: 99-year Leasehold
Estimated site area: 244,000sqft
Expected TOP: End-2014
Description: 4 Blocks of 24-storey each
Total number of units: 429
Total number of carpark lots: 469 (Basement)

Unit Types & Sizes:
• 2-Bedroom (48 units): 721 – 990sqft
• 2+Study (72 units): 807 – 1076sqft
• 3-Bedroom (119 units): 1152 – 1485sqft
• 3+Study (116 units): 1227 – 1636sqft
• 4-Bedroom (66 units): 1410 – 1959sqft
• Penthouses (8 units): 1927 – 2917sqft
*Note: The “bigger” 2 to 4-bedders usually denote ground-floor units

Facilities:
TREE HOUSE is a full-facility condominium, and one that is rather unique in terms of its offerings as opposed to the usual “plain vanilla” facilities found in most new projects these days. The wife and I are particularly impressed with the circular-shaped indoor gym and the chestnut tree houses with its tree-top walk linkage. The development also comes with TWO tennis courts (one is actually listed as “multi-purpose court” but you can also play tennis on it) – very generous for a project with only 429 units.
Site Plan
In addition, sky gardens are found on the 7th, 13th and 19th floor of each block, where residents can go to relax and enjoy the view (and breeze).

And to top it all off, there is the expansive vertical green wall that lined one side of Block 60 - this supposedly acts as a natural insulation to reduce the estate’s carbon footprint by filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air. It sloped design also creates a “bio-shelter”, aiding rainwater collection for landscape irrigation.

There are 2 showflats in the sales gallery:
• 1959sqft, 4-bedroom ground-floor unit (C1p) – the same layout on the upper floors are around 1410sqft
FP-13

• 1076sqft, 2+Study ground-floor unit (AS2p) – the same layout on the upper floors are around 807sqft
FP-3

The furnishing/fittings for both showflat are much the same, so we will just go through these generically.

Living/Dining – rectangular shape, although seemed a tad small especially for the 4-bedder. It comes with 60x60 homogenous tiles and 3.25m ceiling (ground floor)/2.9m ceiling (upper floors).

PES – rectangular shape and very functional.

Dry Kitchen (4-bedder) – effectively just a worktop with cabinets below, and it does not come with a sink.

Wet Kitchen – rectangular and rather small for both showflat types. Comes with solid surfaced worktop, top/bottom-tier cabinets, “Electrolux” brand hob/hood/oven and “Hansgrohe” kitchen faucets.

Yard – A squarish small area for the 4-bedder, which means separate washer and dryer will have to be stacked. No yard for the 2-bedder.

Utility/Maid’s Room – A longish narrow room for the 4-bedder. Bed will have to be custom-made. A small “Maid’s toilet” is located next door. No utility room or “Maid’s toilet” for 2-bedder.

Junior Suite (4-bedder) – Very good size, and comes with laminate flooring from Germany and generous wardrobe space. The attached bathroom is of decent size and comes with “Hansgrohe/Ideal Standard” bathroom and toilet fittings. However, no “rain shower” in the shower-stall.

Common Bedrooms – Squarish size and rather small. Comes with the same laminate flooring and wardrobe.

Common Bathroom – Almost mirror image of that found in the Junior Suite.

Master Bedroom – This is surprisingly huge for both the 2 and 4-bedder. There is also a 2 full-panel of wardrobes, which is more than what you find in many other new projects.

Master Bathroom – Again this is huge for both showflat types. The 4-bedder has both a long bath and standing shower, while the 2-bedder has only a standing shower stall.

What we like:
• TREE HOUSE is located pretty far away from the nearest housing estate, and thus can be considered unblocked on all sides. However, the wife and I understand that the plot of land opposite and next to TREE HOUSE is slated for future development.

• NO bay windows or planters for all unit layouts.

• The “atypical” set of facilities around the estate, which blend well with the “nature reserve” surrounding.

• Primary school wise, there is at least the choice of either CHIJ Our Lady Queen (for girls) or Bukit Panjang Primary (Co-ed) that is within 1-km of TREE HOUSE.

What we dislike:
• The quality of furnishings and fittings are rather inferior. Then again, maybe our expectation is too high. It is a “less than $1000psf” project after all…

• The colour scheme of tiles (all white) used for the bathroom is rather blend – it makes the whole area looked very pale and industrial.

• The location of TREE HOUSE is rather far and remote from the rest of the world. The nearest amenities are those found around the Zhenghua HDB estate, which is probably a good 10 – 15 minutes walk away. The nearest MRT Station (i.e. the unconstructed Cashew Station) is a good 20 – 25 minutes walk away. But the wife and I were told that there will be free shutter bus service from the development to the nearest MRT station for the first year. However, we reckon that a car (or two) is probably a necessity for potential buyers of this project.

Pricing wise, what the wife and I consider as the “best” of the remaining units, i.e. the pool facing 1249sqft, 3+Study (Block 66, #04-16) is selling at $1,016,800 or $814psf.

The monthly maintenance for the 3- and 4-bedroom units are around $350.

Overall, the wife and I feel that TREE HOUSE is really a niche taste, i.e. for those who like to live near greenery and love nature. Otherwise, it is quite out of the way and will remain so for quite awhile yet. It reminds us of areas like Punggol and Sengkang of the past before they were developed to their current states. We will probably consider buying a unit at TREE HOUSE if the location is not as remote. But given the extremely good take-up rate of this project, there are a lot of people out there who has no problem with its locality.

Click to view floor plans and showflat photos


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3 comments to ''TREE HOUSE (Review)"

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  1. TOP supposed to be last year Dec, Why till now still no news ?? Who can advise ....

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  2. Singapore Property price expecting to drop a lot(15% to 20%) this round. Interest rate confirmed going soon, after Mid Sept 2013...Hope that Tree House TOP soon... Too slow liao, what happened to CDL...Why dragged for more than 9 months DELAY ??????

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  3. Another sign Property Price is plunging...

    Heeton seeking single buyer for iLiv@Grange, it is seeking $2,200-$2,300 psf for an en bloc sale of the 16-storey tower,Wow great discount..Analysts believe Heeton's breakeven cost for the project could be around $2,000-2,200 psf. in the loss..

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