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Asia USA Realty (Singapore) Pte Ltd  
Estate Agents Licence No. L3007306B
06 Mar 2011   
Focus:  We get for you affordable Singapore homes
Rent or Investment

Farrer Drive or Sommerville Estate Road (townhouses located here).
Completed: 1990 to 1992 (Phase 6).
Tranquil corner - Phase 6 maisonettes renting above $8,000
Image of Phase 6 maisonettes. Back has no balcony.
456 units, including 3 shop units.
Studio: 58 sq. m
2-bedroom: 99 sq. m
3-bedroom: 121 - 181 sq. m
Maisonette: 150 - 260 sq. m.  Phase 6 has bigger living and dining areas.
Townhouse: 285 - 398 sq. m (four levels, big balcony in living room, own car park) but still has 3+1 bedrooms.

Sommerville Park apartment with green tree views (4th floor) $5,000 rent.Interiors: Living and separate dining areas - usually ceramic. Dark grey marble tiles in Phase 6.  Bedroom floors are carpeted or parquet depending on renovation done by owners. Big balconies in all apartments,

Townhouses and maisonettes have big balconies too.


Swimming pool (Olympic-length), children's pool, tennis court, 24-hour security, clubhouse, mini-mart, café, playground, sauna, squash court, fitness track, gym, covered and open car park, barbecue area, hairdresser, female aerobics class.

Newer Condos like Sommerville Grandeur (96 units), The Merasaga (116 units) and Gallop Gables.   Older Condos like the Spanish Village (226 units) next door.

Sommerville Park's ceramic tiled areas and many apartments (with probable exception of Phase 6 maisonettes)  look dated. Some owners have replaced old ceramic floor tiles in the living area with marble and this makes the apartment look very good.  Others have added multi-coloured kitchen cabinets or black long baths which actually are not easy on the Caucasian tenants' eyes.

Investors to note: Freehold. Losing many Tenants to other new condos nearby.  Owners with renovated units and lower rentals still find tenants due to good location at Farrer Road, near Orchard Road.

Location near to Tanglin Mall, Orchard Road and Holland Village ( food and beverage joints for Caucasians).

Cheaper rental than newer condos. Easy to get taxis and buses to Orchard Road/Raffles Place/Shenton Way.

A tropical jungle green area ambience, with Botanic Gardens adjoining the site. Selling point by Owners is the "Olympic-length" swimming pool. This may be important for single expats who want serious training.

Dated bathrooms and dark kitchens is the common complaint. Some owners renovate the flooring but retain the worn out old long bath tub and older ceramic tiles. Such units take a long time getting rented.  Lift lobbies are  upgraded with ceramic tiles. Some units face the busy Farrer Road.

Occupancy Rate: Almost 90% as this Condo is near Orchard Road/Holland Village and favoured by expatriates.

Sommerville Park maisonettes - large balconies and space1.   Corner upper Maisonette 150 sq. m
Big balconies, bright, can see squirrels amongst the trees. Very quiet & tranquil.

2.  Phase 6 Maisonette. 100% Renovated corner upper Maisonette 260 sq. m, huge balcony of over 20 sq. m, spacious living, separate dining area, bright kitchen, long bath, facing Gallop Gables, quiet. 

3. Townhouse 2.5 storeys, 4,200 sq ft and apartments  for rent in March 2011.  For details, tel +65 9668-6468, e-mail 
Case Study:   Landlord, how to make Realtors give priority to your unit. Report written:  September 20, 1998.  Everything was right for this Costa Rhu, Livonia Condo.
  • full waterfront with sparkling clean waters of the Kallang River immediately seen on entering the living/dining room, the master bedroom and one other bedroom,
  • partial waterfront views from the other 2 bedrooms,
  • attached bathrooms in 2 bedrooms (not one),
  • balcony bigger than usual Costa Rhu Condo,
  • 4+1 (in demand from Caucasians),
  • 2,200 sq. ft (good size),
  • facing North (therefore no afternoon sun), thereby rooms are cooler and there are savings on air conditioning.
  • 8th floor ("8" is lucky for Cantonese Chinese),
  • unobstructed view of river, beach and green trees. The Merdeka bridge in the distance, Indoor Stadium on left hand side and no massive buildings of Suntec City city views as in the Oliva units,
  • no Benjamin Sheares bridge cutting the living room views in half or facing other apartments,
  • no expressway traffic noise,
  • no construction noise,
  • no immediate neighbours from the master bedroom which has corner window units with clear waterfront views,
  • 41 power and TV points, concealed and of great importance for Internet surfers.
  • air-conditioning in the kitchen, from the utility area (rarely if ever installed by any Landlord of Costa Rhu),
  • extra matching French kitchen cabinets which were sourced with great difficulty,
  • re-positioning of Singapore Cable Vision in master bedroom to take advantage of the waterfront view as the Developer has positioned the point such that the bed faces the walls,
  • electrical point fixed above the fluorescent light and mirror in the bathrooms (rarely if ever installed by any Landlord of Costa Rhu) for hair-dryers and shavers. The Developers of this Condo do not provide such points and it costs money to install them, away from the marble walls,
  • more storage space in cupboard along hall way with hidden compartment above shelving,
  • winter clothes storage possible in the cupboard mentioned above,
  • quality bathroom accessories like glass shelving not put in by the Developers,
  • bidet hoses in the bathrooms (uncommon in any new Condo in Singapore although older expensive ones have bidets).
  • mirrored wall in the private lift lobby,
  • brick-like flanking of the left and right sides of the above-mentioned mirror in the private lift lobby,
  • a real mariner's lamp in the balcony, now using electricity,
  • quality curtains,
  • cushions on bay windows provided for sitting and viewing water by Caucasian prospects,
  • prompt response from the Landlord to any realtor for viewing,
  • keys available for collection from Landlord's house,
  • good humour and personality of the Landlord working as a partner with the realtors,
  • "Owner" advertisements in the Straits Times, attracting all Singapore realtors.

Rental asked $6,000 in the last month but other Landlords have been renting from $4,000 to $6,000. Many offers of $5,000 and >3 offers of $6,000 within last few days. Differentiation by providing quality and more than value-for-money should attract offers higher than $6,000. Yet no closing for over 3 months. Why? It is a mystery.


"I don't like this brick-walled flanking of the mirror," said Mrs F when told by the Asia USA associate that it costs the Landlord a lot of money to install this and that no Landlord in Costa Rhu will do so for the private lift lobby wall.  The bricks make the wall look special.

"I do not use email or the Internet," said fifty-year old Mr F told the Landlord when shown the extra 41 power points and telephone points. "He deals with human only" as he is a human resource manager and has a personal secretary. Money spent on this points down the drain!

"The electrical points in the bathroom, absent in all Costa Rhu units since the Developer does not install them, will be good for your shaver, " said the Asia USA associate, referring to the beard and sideburns of Mr F. "Sorry, no use for me. I use scissors to trim them every 3 months!"

"Your wife could find the points useful when using the hair-dryer," suggested Asia USA associate. "She does not use any hair-dryer as she has cut her hair short" the husband replied.

"The air conditioner in the utility area will cool down the maid's area," said the Asia USA associate trying to sell the advantages. "We don't need maids," stated Mr F.  However, the kitchen could receive the air conditioning too, countered Asia USA associate. None of the expensive upgrading seems to be necessary.

"Will the bidets be of any use? " asked the Asia USA associate of Mr F. "We are British and we don't use bidets"

"The Landlord is a responsive and highly recommended. He is a professional, being a lawyer" said the Asia USA associate. "Look, love, we have the worst kind of Landlord - a lawyer" exclaimed Mr F to his wife.

Calling the Landlord to provide reinforcement, Asia USA associate said that the Landlord was not practising litigation which is a fact. "I am rusty in litigation, having specialised in international business" said the Landlord.

Some of the advantages mentioned above were acceptable though. It was high-pressure selling for this second viewing. The choice unit for Mrs F was the ground floor unit taken by another British.

Mr F wanted some private discussion with his wife. Both agreed and Mr F shook hands with the Landlord.  Rental was $6,000 without the refrigerator, washing machine and dryer.  The cheques arrived within 3 days and the lease was stamped. The Landlord felt he had a higher net income since he needed not supply the appliances. He was glad that the Tenants had no children, hence less wear and tear of the Condo.

On receipt of the cheques and lease, the Landlord paid the agency commission immediately, without the need to ask for invoice (which was given later). What better motivation for any realtor than prompt payment on signing of the lease agreement as agreed in the Letter of Intent? You can be sure that his properties get first priority as there is so little hassle getting payment, unlike most Landlords in Singapore!

Note:  All agents try not to deal with Landlords who delay payment or worst, disappears overseas for months.  This applies to all service providers.  In 2000, the Tenant renewed the lease for another two years as he had  a good relationship with the Landlord.  The Landlord had to decide whether to increase the rent or retain the existing tenant with no loss in rental income.  He chose the latter option.


Tips for Landlords to rent faster

Sommerville Park apartment: Master bathroomRenovate the whole bathroom

Master bathroom. New fiberglass type basin but the bath tub is worn out. You may need a new enamel coating sprayed on  if you don't want to replace with a new one. The floral wall tiles can't compete with the marble wall tiles of some new condos but if you have a well colour coordinated bathroom, you will still rent faster than your neighbours.

See  Great view but sore on eyes
Landlords who use black baths and bright yellow kitchen cabinets or strong colours will find it hard to rent their apartment faster to Caucasians.

Tips for Landlord to rent faster
Apartment with balcony, has spacious living and dining area (above).  Glossy ceramic tiles may be a bit too shiny. Use matted tiles or light brown homogeneous tiles which look like marble.


Subdivisions (condo & house details) has some of the details of the advertised condos.
Tel: +65 9668-6468, e-mail for viewings

©Asia USA Realty (Singapore) 
Pte Ltd.  Website:
Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lor 8, #01-1477, Singapore 319074, Republic of Singapore
Estate Agents Licence No. L3007306B
Salesperson Name/Registration No.  Sing Kong Yuen/R030822Z


Asia USA Realty (Singapore) Pte Ltd
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Feb 2011 rentals and sales

Singapore colonial townhouses 2bdrm $2200, 3 & 4 bdrms from $3000
S$4,500 - $5,800 for Townerville colonial houses for rent.  No condo facilities.

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