Terrasse (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - June 19, 2011 6 Comments
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Project Name:   Terrasse
Tenure:   99-year Leasehold
Location:   Terrasse Lane
District:   19
Site Area:   325,024sqft
TOP (estimated):   1Q 2015
Total Units:   414
No. of Blocks/Storey:   8 Blocks of 5-Storey each
Car Park Lots:   450 (inclusive of handicapped lots)
Developer:   MCL Land

The wife and I finally managed to find time to visit the sales gallery of Terrasse on Thursday. This is a leasehold project by MCL Land, who had acquired the site via a GLS tender in May 2010 for $456psf ppr.

The site of Terrasse is located right smack at the junction of Hougang Ave 2 and Yio Chu Kang Road.

It is a rather massive plot of land, 300m long & almost rectangular in shape. We were told that the land slops downwards from East to West with an almost 2-storey drop in height.

The sales gallery is a distinctive 2-storey building located on the actual site that you can hardly miss.

Terrasse offers a mix of 1- to 4-bedroom apartments and 3- to 5-bedroom penthouses. Also available are 4-bedroom ‘Garden Duplex’ units. The various types and their approximate sizes are:

• 1-Bedroom Apartment (45 units):   550sqft
• 2-Bedroom Apartment (136 units):   730 – 900sqft
• 3-Bedroom Apartment (108 units):   1000 – 1250sqft
• 4-Bedroom Apartment (36 units):   1350 – 1450sqft
• 3-Bedroom Penthouses (34 units):   1450 – 1550sqft
• 4-Bedroom Penthouses (31 units):   1750 – 1900sqft
• 5-Bedroom Penthouses (9 units):   2100 -2250sqft
• 4-Bedroom Garden Duplex (15 units):   2500sqft

The Garden Duplexes occupy the ground and basement levels. The basement level is a self-contained ‘studio’ with its own kitchenette and bathroom, while the ground level has 3 other bedrooms (including the master). Each unit also comes with 2 dedicated parking lots.

In terms of facilities, Terrasse offers the full package (tennis and multi-purpose court inclusive) and probably a little more. Most of the facilities are located along the full length of the site at the centre of the development, with the apartment blocks lining on both sides. And given the slopping ground, one should get a rather spectacular view of the condo facilities while standing at either ends of the estate. The ones that are worth a mention include:

• 3 Clubhouses
• Firefly Creek – a pond with fibre-optic lights that recreate a firefly effect at night
• Castle Playscape – a playground designed in the shape of a castle

Parking lots are available in the basement and we were told that there will be approximately 450 lots in total (including handicapped lots). So balloting is probably the order of the day for home owners with more than 1 vehicle. The folks in the Garden Duplexes are exempted from such agony of course, since they get 2 dedicated lots each.

There are 4 showflat types on display at the sales gallery. These are:

• 1227sqft, 3-Bedroom Apartment (Type C2)
• 1819sqft, 4-Bedroom Apartment with PES (Type D1-P)
• 2,217sqft, 5-Bedroom Penthouse (Type D1-PH)
• 2,497sqft, 4-Bedroom Garden Duplex (Type C-GD)

For the purpose of this review, we will focus on the 3-bedder (Type C2)

As you enter the main door, you are in the rectangular-shaped living/dining area. We were pleasantly surprised by how spacious this area felt, especially given the actual interior size of the apartment (more on this later). However, our excitement was soon dampened by the type of flooring that is provided – the living/dining, kitchen and even the yard area come with what the marketing agent termed as “porcelain tile” floor. For the uninitiated, these are basically homogenous tiles with glossy finish. The wife and I had used the same sort of tiles in one of our previous apartment (because they are relatively cheap compared to other types of homogenous tiles) and it ended up as one of the biggest regrets that we had to put up with for almost 2 years!

The balcony is in a unique “Z” shape and almost 200sqft in size. It encompasses both the living and master bedroom, although this also means that the nett interior size of the apartment is only about 1,000sqft.

The kitchen is separated from the dining area by a glass partition. However, we were told that the actual unit comes with solid wall instead of glass. It is good-sized and comes with an L-shaped solid surfaced worktop and top/bottom kitchen cabinets. However, we weren’t overly impressed with the “Brandt” hood/hob/oven that is provided.

The “yard”, if you can call it that, is a small square-shaped space located behind the kitchen. It will be a tight squeeze if you intend to do your laundry chores here, but at least you get natural lighting and ventilation from the window provided.

The utility room and a small bathroom is opposite of each other, separated by the yard. If you intend to use the utility room to house your domestic helper, you will need to customize the bed for her – the utility room is tiny even by current standards. Only consolation is that it comes with a set of window inside, which makes it looked less like a holding cell.

The two common bedrooms are tucked at the opposite end of the apartment and across from the living/dining area. There is a stark contrast in size (although the floor plan seems to suggest that the two bedrooms are roughly of equal size). Bedroom 2 is decent-sized, which means you can actually fit a Queen bed in here quite comfortably. However, bedroom 3 is actually quite tiny – a single bed will take up most of the space in the room. All bedrooms come with laminated flooring (usually the cheaper option to solid timber strip), which is rather disappointing.

The common bathroom is quite spacious. It has homogenous-tile floors/walls and “Hansgrohe/Bravat” bathroom fittings and toilet. However, you only get the standard wall-mounted shower in the shower stall.

The master bedroom looks huge for an apartment of such size. You still get quite a lot of space after fitting in a King bed, but we suspect the glass partition-wall to the bathroom does help to make the room feels larger. Again the actual unit will have solid wall for the bathroom partition.

The master bathroom is also good-sized and comes with similar bathroom fittings as the common bathroom. But for some strange reason, the developer has decided to use a different type (read: uglier) of toilet bowl in here compared to the one outside. The master bathroom for the 3-bedder does not come with a bath tub (only 4-bedder and above gets such luxury) and those who expect at least “rain shower” system in the standing shower stall will be solely disappointed.

Price wise, a 1,227sqft unit on the 2nd floor of Block 33 will cost you $1,207,300 ($984psf). During the first phase of preview (where 4 blocks at both ends of the development were released), a similar unit were priced at $1,181,900 ($963psf).

As of Thursday, 208 of the 414-unit are sold and if you are looking at the 4-bedders in Terrasse, only one stack (#25 in Block 25) is left.

Monthly maintenance charges will set you back around $240 - $280 for the 3 and 4-bedders.

The project was officially launched yesterday (Saturday), so we should have a better idea on the latest sales status come early of next week.

What we like:
• All units in Terrase are of North-South orientation and largely unblocked on all sides (except the back, which faces some low-rise terrace houses). So it should be quite breezy in your apartment.

• We were quite impressed with the facilities provided in Terrasse, which should look quite stunning if the designs are materialized fully.

• Two primary schools are within 1-km of Terrase – The highly popular Rosyth School and Xinmin Primary (both co-ed).

What we dislike:
• Given that Terrasse is at the junction of two rather busy roads (Hougang Ave 2 and Yio Chu Kang Road), units near the main road can expect quite a bit of traffic noise. And it looks like the developer has also acknowledged the fact, as double-glazed windows will be provided for the apartments.

• Despite the supposed good access to expressways such as CTE/KPE and its proximity to amenities, nothing is really within walking distance. The nearest MRT (Serangoon) and mega mall (NEX mall) are 6 bus-stops away, while you will need to drive to Hougang Mall, Hougang Point and Chomp Chomp.

• We are rather disappointed with the quality seen at the showflat, which is akin to finding yourself in a budget flight after paying for a full-service airline ticket.

• The master bedroom for Type C2 is a tad too close to the living/dining area for our comfort, as this translates to some loss of privacy. Having said that, the 3-bedroom units come in different layouts, most of which have the master bedroom tucked further inside. 

• We feel that the showflats may not provide you with an accurate representation of  the actual apartments, especially in relation to how spacious the units actually are. Many of the walls in the showflats are blatantly replaced by glass partitions, even structural walls. When asked, we were told that the marketing approval for Terrasse was given before the new guidelines for showflats came into effect. So the developer was allowed to be "creative" with their showflat designs.


Our Verdict: One word summarizes it all - disappointing. The location of Terrasse is far from ideal, the quality of furnishing rather poor and the size of the 3-bedder is too small for our liking (unless you are a fan of big balcony and PES) . Even the delicious offering of facilities within the project is insufficient to compensate for the inadequacies.

Given the $456psf ppr price that MCL Land had paid for the site compared to the almost $1,000psf selling price for each unit, one would assume that the developer can afford to put more emphasis on quality. Then again, it is a "less than $1,000psf" project afterall, so we probably should not expect too much...

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6 comments to ''Terrasse (Review)"

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  1. and gotta remember that the price of 984 psf includes paying for 200 sq ft of balcony space.

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  2. If one were to consider Terrase, then i would advise to consider The Minton where the location is more central and walkable to NEX and Kovan Heartland Mall and the price is still the most reasonable in D19. Most are still below 900psf.

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  3. Hi, good and honest review.

    I would like to point out why I'm still buying terrasse.

    1) Resort like project which occupys a big plot of land. The only similar project of such a scale is Flamingo Valley.

    2) Within 1km to Roysth. This is a driving factor for parents who want to have their kids enrolled into a relatively good school. I would have more options to consider if I do not have a kid.

    3) Unique and non stardard balcony designs. This make the project different as compared to others.

    Thank you.

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  4. Hi Terrasse owners,

    A couple of us owners have have set up a Terrasse Facebook page for soon-to-be-residents.

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/322528331167719/

    See you there!

    Adrian

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  5. I cant afford Terrasse. But this a good location which u can access the Serangoon Market and Hougang Mkt near xingmin Sec. The radius distance is only 400m.

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  6. So far, this is the new Condo i see with Ratio of household vs land area is big and worth for buying! If i have the $$$, I would sure buy the biggest unit of the penhouse!!

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