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the lynx
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Post by the lynx » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 9:28 am

phoenixscienter wrote:I heard Reflections had 2 pools-- maybe I am mistaken? I've also heard it is a "stone's throw" away from the Harbourfront MRT Station, parks and vivocity (looks like a huge mall from what I can tell). I want to be able to have an "outdoorsy" lifestyle - bicycling, parks, etc. - so I'm hoping that is all within walking distance of the condo that we ultimately choose.
No it is not stone's throw away unfortunately. If you get a unit at the block that is the farthest from the gate/Telok Belangah road, you're gonna have a hard time trying to walk all the way to the gate unless you are contend with calling taxi from your lobby each time.

Even the one closest to the gate still requires decent walking. If you are a parent with young children, you will find that very difficult in Singapore's tropical climate.

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Post by colio » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 12:14 pm

Phoenixscienter:

I'd strongly recommend you look into schools first. It's unlike choosing schools in the US. You don't just find a place to live & then find the closest schools. Many of the International Schools are full or may not have places in the years your kids are in. I know a lot of expats that get stuck on a waiting list for the schools they want & have to home school their kids for months (one had to do it for 8 months before a place came up).

Stamford American International School has lots of places because it's newish but even they are filling up quickly... 150 new kids in the new semester!

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 5:20 pm

If the seaview made your list, I'd suggest the Aalto too. Better view than the seaview. They have 4-5bd units at 2000-2600 sqft. Lots of others in that area too. One of the property sites has a lot of nice photos of the view. I can't link to it though because its a competitor of this site.

Can link this one though:
http://condo.singaporeexpats.com/condo/2834/AALTO

If you get a car, less than 10 mins to CBD. 5 minute walk to beach. 24hr Starbucks, Teh Tarik, and Carl's Jr if that matters to you. :lol:

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Post by uscate » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 5:29 pm

Yes, Aalto is lovely, and it has some great amenities in the condos as well as the gym. I'm not sure of how kid-friendly it is, though....that was one of the buildings we were serious about, but when it came time to actually pull the trigger, there wasn't much to be had there....

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 6:14 pm

uscate wrote:Yes, Aalto is lovely, and it has some great amenities in the condos as well as the gym. I'm not sure of how kid-friendly it is, though....that was one of the buildings we were serious about, but when it came time to actually pull the trigger, there wasn't much to be had there....
I only glanced at the listings, but it looks like no PH units are renting right now. Some for sale, but i don't see rent. Probably still worth OP checking out. I don't recall how old the OP's kids are, but it's right across from Big Splash (which is how I noticed it, sitting outside sipping my afternoon latte) which has the beach and is one of the hubs of family entertainment along the East Coast Beach. And as I mentioned, coffee, crappy local breakfast food, and a Carl's Jr :P

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Post by thismyvoice » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 10:31 pm

I don't fancy Reflections. Most of the units I saw has small bedrooms with large pillars in the middle of nowhere. It could be quite a long walk to MRT. Should be ok if driving.

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Post by phoenixscienter » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:18 am

I'm frustrated since I don't seem to be able to find a condo (much less a few condos) that have the features we are looking for. I'm willing to compromise, of course, but it seems like we'll have to give one one or more of our priorities in any event.

Sounds like Reflections may be nice but its still far from the MRT. I'm still not sure whether I will be able to negotiate a driver or not.

Aalto seems nice from what others have written here, but (1) have you guys seen the reviews on the pg site about the condo? There are quite a few negative reviews about the condos materials and appliances -- things like the appliances going out early, the marble floors yellowing, things falling apart on the play ground, etc.; and (2) no penthouse units are available (so the units are smaller than what we need).

I like the idea of District 15 as I want to be close to the East Coast Park, I think. My family is big into bicycling, rollerblading, jet skiing, beaching, etc. and I'd like to be literally a stone's throw to the park and the beach even if we're not swimming there.

How far is Stamford International to District 15? I'm going to call the school this week to get the process started.

Thanks again to everyone for your input- I am indebted to all of you.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:40 am

phoenixscienter wrote:

I like the idea of District 15 as I want to be close to the East Coast Park, I think. My family is big into bicycling, rollerblading, jet skiing, beaching, etc. and I'd like to be literally a stone's throw to the park and the beach even if we're not swimming there.
I think D15 and that kind of lifestyle would fit more naturally together rather than the condos discussed down near Harbourfront.

Just my 2c!

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Post by phoenixscienter » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:44 am

And what about living on Sentosa Island? Is that too much of a hassle from a transportation standpoint into the business area (where my office will likely be) or for International Schools? How is it living on Sentosa itself? It looks like a gorgeous resort lifestyle, but I wasn't sure if it was practical or not (and whether I should be considering it at all).

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 1:22 am

phoenixscienter wrote:And what about living on Sentosa Island? Is that too much of a hassle from a transportation standpoint into the business area (where my office will likely be) or for International Schools? How is it living on Sentosa itself? It looks like a gorgeous resort lifestyle, but I wasn't sure if it was practical or not (and whether I should be considering it at all).

My personal feeling is that Sentosa is a real expedition to get to if you don't own your own car. In some ways to me it doesn't feel like Singapore really, more a sort of theme park island attached to Singapore proper. Like if Disneyland occupied a small but very expensive island. Little 'toy-town' trains ply the 'jungle' roads.

Indeed there is a book (The Lands of Charms and Cruelty, Stan Sesser), that has a chapter on Singapore. And it likens the political prisoner held for life on remand, on Sentosa, as 'The prisoner in the theme park'.

My feeling re: Sentosa is that to live there would be to physically live in Singapore, and yet not experience Singapore even half-way proper. Like going to bed with your clothes on :)

The water and sand are horrible, but of course anything official will play up how wonderful it all is. What they won't tell you is that the beaches on Sentosa are rebuilt every year with sand dredged from Indonesian waters ('eco-NOT!'), the water has max 0.5m vis. and the currents are so fierce there any usually multiple drownings each year.

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Post by phoenixscienter » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 1:40 am

Thanks JR8 - that is precisely the kind of intel and advice I need.

Looks like I'm back to East Coast (D15) and maybe D4... not ruling out D9/D10 until I visit Singapore, but it doesn't sound like that area suits our lifestyle (outdoorsy, cultural but with some shopping and dining within walking distance).

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 7:51 am

phoenixscienter wrote:Thanks JR8 - that is precisely the kind of intel and advice I need.

Looks like I'm back to East Coast (D15) and maybe D4... not ruling out D9/D10 until I visit Singapore, but it doesn't sound like that area suits our lifestyle (outdoorsy, cultural but with some shopping and dining within walking distance).
I can't link it, so sorry for being vague here:

Google "Singapore street maps". You'll get a Singapore specific map site that shows you the name of every building. Look for Aalto (or another building you fancy), and you can easily see the name of all of the other buildings around it. There are tons of buildings around Aalto, although most are older. Older probably doesn't matter, since the units themselves could be recently rehabbed. Look at the clusters of buildings around Tanjong Katong Rd and ECP and Fort Rd and ECP.

For your outdoor and cultural, D15 is the one of the places to go.

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Post by aster » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:06 am

phoenixscienter wrote:If you had my budget, would you be focused on D9 or D10? Or looking more at east coast?

The school I was looking at was Singapore American School - but that seems like an hour + drive from any of those 3 areas....

I welcome any more suggestions... and thanks to those of you who have been helpful to me. I greatly appreciate it.
With a budget like this I would be looking at something (very) central, possibly swapping ocean views for river views. It all depends on your preferences though... would you like to live in a mammoth building just for the views from the top floors? Would you still want your ocean view if it meant living in the middle of nowhere (Sentosa) where commuting would be a major PITA for yourself and your family?

If you like big buildings and would like to live in a nice place and have a great view not to mention a private pool on top, you might be tempted to look at Rivergate.

Personally I'm not a fan of living so many floors above street level, so I would go for The Pier as my choice of where to live in Singapore. Location-wise I don't think I'd prefer any other place.

You might also want to consider being close to your kids' school. The one you mentioned is way up north and is enormous. If it were me I would prefer something smaller, ISS International School would probably be my prime choice. There is a nice street there (Patterson Road - there are two, so you need to look at the one that links to Grange Road) with very pleasant condos if you wanted to be close to your kids' school.

St. Regis might also be an option, as would Cuscaden Road in general (nicely located close to Orchard).

Of course in your case you probably want to use up as much of that budget as possible, so maybe even The Marq (also close to ISS/Orchard) would have something nice with a private pool.

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Post by colio » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:47 pm

aster wrote: You might also want to consider being close to your kids' school. The one you mentioned is way up north and is enormous. If it were me I would prefer something smaller, ISS International School would probably be my prime choice. There is a nice street there (Patterson Road - there are two, so you need to look at the one that links to Grange Road) with very pleasant condos if you wanted to be close to your kids' school.

St. Regis might also be an option, as would Cuscaden Road in general (nicely located close to Orchard).
Stamford American International is not enormous. I think you are mixing it up with it's sister school: Australian International School, that school is enormous.

Once again, it's nice to think about all the different schools in Singapore but not all of them have availability for kids.

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Post by Addadude » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 3:23 pm

phoenixscienter, contrary to a lot of the comments here, Reflections and especially The Caribbean are hardly out in the boondocks. I am intimately familiar with the area as I live about 2 bus stops further west.

The Caribbean is literally one bus stop from Harbourfront MRT and Reflections is next door to The Caribbean. These are both large condominiums, so, depending on where your unit is positioned, there could be a fair walk to the condo gate.

Reflections is brand new and architecturally very striking. All those pillars inside bother me too. It is still pretty empty and I'm sure prices are very negotiable. To commute into town, you'll have to walk out the gate, do down to the Caribbean and cross at the traffic lights to the bus on the opposite side of the road. From there you can either take any bus to the MRT (1 stop) or simply bus it into wherever you are working in the CBD. Coming home would mean either getting off at the Caribbean bus stop and walk forwards or getting off one step later and walking backwards.

The Caribbean is about 10 years older and more 'old fashioned' in appearance. But the apartments overlooking the marina and the waterways are really nice. The swimming pool is friggin' huge and I believe there is a very active kids and moms social scene going on there. The bus stop into town or the MRT is across the road and the bus stop going home is right outside the side gate.

Both condos overlook the sea/Keppel Marina and Sentosa. There is a seafront boardwalk right in front of these developments that links to a park connector at Labrador Park. You can literally walk from your home at either of these two condos to Mount Faber and beyond. It really is a beautiful stroll and I make a point of wandering along it at least once a month.

As I said, I live just slightly further west and my commute time from my home to my office in Tanjong Pagar is less than 25 minutes door-to-door. (In peak traffic.) Add about 10 more minutes to get into Raffles Place.

For what it's worth, if I had the money I'd be living in the Caribbean right now.
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