Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ipoh's Sunway City Mont Bleu

Still on our escapades in Tambun, Ipoh... now we look at Sunway's projects. They are easily the biggest developer here and must be credited for uplifting the place from a sleepy pomelo town to an exciting township complete with a theme park and resort. If 3-star hotels here can get away with charging over RM200/night, you know it's not a cheap place.

The latest of Sunway's projects is the Mont Bleu townhouses. Personally, I am not so keen on townhouses because they are neither here nor there... Looks like landed but owners do not enjoy their own land title but rather share a strata title with others. Yet, they do not enjoy the high rise views, escalators and kind of lifestyle that condo dwellers have.  

Like the other townhouse project, Sommerset Close in KL's Jalan Loke Yew that I reviewed in 2012, Mont Bleu looks like a 3 storey link house but they are actually 2 units stacked up on top of one another. 

Each unit basically only have 1 and a half storeys or roughly about 2000sf of floor space. 

The unit below has direct access from the ground while the unit above has to endure this steep and narrow climb of stairs to get home each time. In my opinion, these stairs are too narrow and will pose a huge problem when moving heavy furniture. As pointed out earlier, townhouses lack lift facilities unlike an apartment.

The houses also share common back alleys such as the one below. 

Despite the disadvantage of having to climb up and down narrow stair case, the upper unit turns out to be more expensive than the lower unit by over RM30,000. This is because the upper unit is slightly larger in size and as it turns out, the price per sf is lower. The difference between the upper unit and lower one is the upper unit has an extra living room on the 2nd floor. Each unit is a duplex of sorts, with the living room, kitchen and dining room at the lower deck and bedrooms upstairs. With 3 bedrooms per unit, the lower house has to place their master bedroom on the lower floor as the upper deck can only manage 2 bedrooms. 

pic above: the extra living room on the 2nd floor of the upper unit

pic above: the staircase linking the upper and lower decks of the unit

With over 2000sf at play, the bedrooms are all quite spacious with at least 2 bedrooms having en-suite facilities. 

The duplex concept means the bedrooms need not compete for space with the living areas on the same floor. This allows the entire lower floor space to be devoted for living purposes while the upper deck provides privacy for the dwellers.

Compared with the lower unit, the upper unit, probably being larger has a more spacious feel especially in the living/dining area (above). This is compounded by the fact that the developer chose darker colours to design the interior of the lower unit (below).

Both unit have a larger dry kitchen and a smaller wet kitchen with a wet area for washing right at the rear.

As with the living area and bedrooms, you can see the upper unit (above) has a much brighter and airy feel compared with the lower unit's kitchen (below). 

Perhaps something Ipoh folks need to get used to is the extremely large bathroom. The Chinaman mentality of these folks will probably find that this is a gross waste of space.

This is in contrast with the bedroom size below, which although is quite spacious compared with bedrooms of most apartments, the ratio of the bedroom to bathroom size is almost 1 to 1.

 The 2nd bedroom however has a much more modest en-suite facility.

Upon vacant possession these coming months, the Mont Bleu townhouses are being transacted at about RM500k per pop. This is well over the bench mark of most Ipoh landed properties. However, Sunway City, where Mont Blue is located sets a new benchmark for Ipoh each time. The Sunway Villa cluster semi-Ds (they are called cluster semi-D because they are attached to the neighbouring unit at one side and the back) which originally were sold at launch at a Ipoh ground-breaking price of RM200k each almost 7 years ago, today is being transacted well over RM550k.  

So, for half a million RM, you can get a cluster semi-D at subsale or a strata-titled townhouse half the size. Obviously, if you want something new and trendy, go for the townhouse. Like the semi-Ds, they are gated. However, the semi-Ds do not have a clubhouse with gym and swimming pool. But having seen the club-house facilities with that little hole they call a swimming pool, I say they should not have bothered. 

Given a choice, I would pay for the older semi-D and renovate the interior according to my own tastes. I think I'll get more value with my own individual title and garden. But I might be wrong... people might be trending towards lifestyle properties these days.... In fact, smaller condo units at nearby The Haven costs even more.


Popoko said...

First phase was lunched at 180k for Gardenville.

Anonymous said...

Ipoh may start trending towards more condos. While I may be wrong but then if you look at the ever increasing number of condos, it may just be the tipping point? Main reason, everyone wants to stay at places everyone wants to stay, some wants to move out but still stay close to their parents. Of course a lot of buyers may be working in KL / Penang which meant that they understand the value of condos. Do read my article about Ipoh Condo Market here: