Monday, December 10, 2012

Verde @ Ara Damansara

Developer Villamas (Who?) presents us Verde at a patch beside Ara Green Residences in "booming" Ara Damansara. There are 4 towers built in a diamond-shaped polygon.

The views of the units are not particularly fantastic. Those facing inside have the pool and the gardens to look at and at the same time units in the opposite tower also have a nice clear view of you in this very close formation of buildings. Those facing outside are facing the road, a petrol station, Ara Green Residences or a very muddy river or big drain whatever you want to call it with an industrial park in the horizons....

 Most parts of Ara Damansara is developed by Sime Darby, the former plantations lord. The whole area is freehold and both Verde and Ara Green sits on this patch of commercial plot.

One of my concerns, same as when I talked about Ara Green, is the commercial plot. There are additional costs associated with the upkeep of commercial lots as compared with residential. Although Villamas has assured that they managed to get TNB electricity rates at residential tariffs, there are others as well such as Indah Water (sewage), MBPJ (Council Tax) and Syabas (water). These are recurring costs. Nevertheless, maintenance fees are low at 26sen psf. Most condos in KL find it difficult to manage at such low rates so they have mostly increased maintenance fees to around 35sen to 40sen and some of the more luxurious ones are around 55sen to 60sen psf. So beware, the maintenance fees may be kept low or subsidized by the developer to give the impression of lower cost of ownership, however this may have to be increased when the JMB takes over and find they are in deficit.    
The thing that really got me impressed with Verde is the layout. Unlike Ara with a lot of weird corners and wasted space, Verde's internal layouts are very pragmatic, bright and airy. Although the units are particularly small as a family unit (circa 1500sf-ish), when you walk-in you have that feeling of space.

Most units have this Lanai which can be convertible into a bed-room, a utility or simply, a Lanai...

Perhaps the most surprising of all is the copy-cat design of the fetish-bathroom which I wrote about much much earlier when I visited projects in Bangkok - it seems Malaysians are now starting to catch-up...

I always hated bathrooms which have no windows... and Verde's architects have put them in the right corners where they get natural light. 

The kitchen is also well decked out. I like separate dry and wet kitchens which really suit our Asian life-styles. The bigger units incorporate a maid room with her own bath/toilet.

Perhaps the typical disappointment is the tiny bedrooms. They are really quite a squeeze.

 And some things are really not necessary such as the video intercomm system below. In a condominium, if the visitor has managed to get passed the main security at the entrance and again at the lobby, why is it necessary to have a video intercomm at the front door? This should be at the lift lobby. I think this is a waste and I'd prefer to have a RM5k discount to take this out.

The prices range from RM800k upwards to over a million. On average they are about RM900k. So is this do-able?

If you are buying for investments and to rent out, I beg the question, who wants to rent a condo out in the suburbs with rentals of RM6000/month upwards? Certainly locals who tend to live in the suburbs won't agree. There is a Japanese school close-by with a sizeable Japanese community, so you may target them but so are all those developments in the Saujana enclave.

If you are buying for own-stay, RM900k or much less can get you a nice 22x75sf landed link house in a gated community in the Ara Damansara area itself. I myself feel, condos such as Verde might not be appreciating in leaps and bounds as compared to landed houses and certainly, landed houses are cheaper to maintain with much lower maintenance fees - just without the swimming pool and other life-style facilities.... so go figure...

Nevertheless, both Tower A and D launched are 95% sold out. Are buyers bullish about this project? Or are they directors and staffs of Villamas getting their 1st pick with huge discounts? We'll see when they launch subsequent towers...


sh said...

Ara Damansara is a hot spot now . See Hoy Chan will be launching their condo their in Q1, behind Citta mall ..

Anonymous said...

Is it the land behind Citta Mall.
That land is Leasehold.

sinleong said...'s the land beside the petronas station deep inside ara damansara. this plot is freehold

Anonymous said...

I mean the land See Hoy Chan is leasehold.

Anonymous said...

Well these places are overpriced as mention if u buy this condo for 900k u probably need to rent out at $4k minimum to cover bank loan
There are only limited person or family who willing to rent at 4k as might as well they buy their own condo
Even in One Utama can get terrace house for rent at only 1.8k .. Also ara damansara Is not as prestigious as say mutiara damansara or bangsar .. Ara I'd say it's a slump trying to be an elite place hahaha

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can still buy 900k landed property around but you need to take out another 200k for the renovation, legal fees and etc.
If you say the landed property worth 900k now,it is best to buy now. When AraGreens,Verde and SHC all the condo come up you can get a higher profit from it.
Anyway every place there is a space for expanding, example like Kota Damansara, 3-5 years ago no people wants that place, Now you see KD even leasehold people also want that place.

Anonymous said...

Well to buy a terrace for a million dollars seems to make sense as we get the land title , the low maintenance and also the land price will go up
What is crazy I'd say is paying a million for a condo whereby u need to pay maintenance fee till forever and also as with all shared facility ppl may shit or urinate in the lift or staircase may be dirty etc
So unless it's in mont kiara , klcc or pavilion - paying so much for condo is crazy
Ppl lost their mind to some nicely dress sales girl which the developer Hire to lure those old goats with cash to buy something that really over priced

Anonymous said...

Well I have no doubt all those buyers are in fact the staff of the developer who can get up to 20-30 % discount
Rest of the buyers probably are just speculators and intend to flip the moment it's competed
Its crazy when the newer development are more expensive that those existing and already ready unit
Yes they can say they factor in future prices but who would buy from them when existingly there are already ready unit around for their takings
And what about rental yield ? It's impossible somebody pay $4k to rent this place
Even in the city u can rent whole condo for 2k and there are just too many choices and vacant unit
The tenant are few , good quality tenant are rare, real expats well I can say already extinct
Now ppl who rent are foreigners from those 3rd world countries where our government target
I suppose this wont help us achieving develop nation status by 2020 or even 2040 as u blend in a mix of predominantly lower skill , quality and class of ppl .. So how are we suppose to be world class if our goal is to introduce problems instead of solving them ? Haha
Except for KL , klang valley and perhaps Jb/Penang , rest of the states are way behind and property at other states remains boring and without meaningful transactions

sinleong said...

for 1500sf and up, there really arent any condos in the city center, even the lowest class ones, renting at RM2k like you mentioned

sinleong said...

Sorry, I have to repost your comment while deleting your racist remarks:

Anonymous said...
There are always choices my friend..if u see the advertised rental price on the newspaper many are letting go cheaply - lower than advertised
In the city areas such as sentul , wangsa maju , ampang u can easily rent for rm 2k
Msia is not like Tokyo or hong kong when there is no choice
Unless ur condo really located in the golden triangle like Marc residence, Dua , or binjai or pavilion - but even so normally ppl who live here are investors rather than tenant
Today if u want to find someone to rent for >$4k for a small place like 1-1.5sq ft is hard
As might as well they buy their own place or live abit further or at less futuristic prices
Quality professional have move to Kota damansara/mutiara damansara or desa parkcity

sinleong said...

... and btw, sentul , wangsa maju , ampang are not considered city center...

also, i have many quality tenants who are from the countries you mentioned in a derogatory manner.

please do not hide behind anonymity to make such remarks

sinleong said...

and indeed... they've launched Tower C...95% sold as well...

Anonymous said...

Well all this 95% sold could be a marketing gimmick
It's a well known trick
This is to create false demand
The other trick they teach agent when selling subsale unit is to tell buyer that there are 2 other buyer offering at x amount .. Cheque already send to owner.. So if u also Want hurry up .. Present your cheque before too late !!

Anonymous said...

It's funny ppl willing to pay 800 k for a condo
Are they thinking to flip later but who will buy
And the rental just doesn't cover and as an investment it's not wise