Sunday, November 9, 2008

Perdana View

I haven't taken any proper photos of my condo since I got settled in... and at this point, I think I'll wait until after the housekeepers come before doing so. However, I did snap a few pictures when I first moved in, so these can give you an idea of the place in general. It's a fairly low-density 17-story development called Perdana View. There are two parts to it -- two blocks (buildings) are condos; that's where I live. The other two blocks are rather different -- they're called serviced apartments. From what I can gather, in these units most of the utilities are included in the rent, and typically, there are a number of shops and services within the development. I'm not really sure what the distinction is, though. There are numerous shops on the ground floor of my building as well (a florist, two cleaners, a café and bar, a convenience store, a salon, a boutique, some offices, etc.). Apparently, in the pecking order of KL's multifamily dwellings, flats are at the bottom of the heap, followed by apartments, and then topped off by condos and serviced apartments. We have a really nice pool here (about 65 x 20 ft., good for doing laps). I've already managed to use it a couple of times. It's odd to think that there's no "season" for swimming here. It's the same weather and temperature year-round!

My unit is rather small, but it's quite nice, and the area is fantastic. The shot below is one I took from the parking garage, looking south out over my small town of Damansara Perdana. I live about 900 meters from where I work, about a ten-minute walk, and almost anything I could need or want is within about 3-5 km from here...fantastic restaurants at every price point, some of the best shopping in the whole valley, grocery stores, movie theaters, service garages, gas stations, you name it. After a month here, I'm just starting to appreciate what a terrific area to live this is. The individual condo I rent has three bedrooms (small) and two nice bathrooms, a good-sized kitchen, and is very nicely finished out. When you buy a place in KL, you essentially get four bare walls and a floor... no kidding. How you trim it out is entirely up to you. You pay for individual electrical outlets, there are typically few or no light fixtures, and nothing... NOTHING in the way of furnishings. No built-in fixtures like closets or vanities, no kitchen cabinets, nothing. I looked at a couple of new units that had the walls, a toilet and showerhead in the bathroom (water heaters are extra), a cheap tiled floor, and a fluorescent light tube in each bedroom. And that's how an apartment or condo starts in KL. So in a single building, the inside of the individual condos will vary wildly from unit to unit.

The floor of my condo is done in these really nice 100-cm-square field stones, which are much better than ceramic tiles, both aesthetically and functionally. (I've been told they don't absorb and retain the day's heat as much as tiles do.) There are four A/C units (the dual-split types mentioned in an earlier blog entry) -- one in the living room and one in each bedroom. There is abundant cabinet space in the kitchen, and the cabinets are a rich-looking dark wood. There's a double-bowl sink (not common) and a smooth cooktop (two burners). In the so-called "wet kitchen" off to the side of the main kitchen, there's a gas cooktop, another sink, and more counter space and cabinets. There's also the space where my washer is and the floor drain under it is presumably what makes this part the "wet" kitchen. The bedrooms are fitted with spacious floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and storage cabinets. Speaking of which, this unit has 9-foot ceilings with crown molding throughout, which is a really nice touch.

I really don't have much of a view, although it's not terrible... I'm only on the third floor (level 2, but the first level is "ground" in KL buildings) and my windows face the massive Armanee Terrace condo across the street. It's the swankiest development in Damansara Perdana (there are only a handful of developments... five or six) and looms over everything else. The units are preposterously large, all two-story condos, 4+1 bedfrooms, and about 2,300 to 2,500 sq. ft. This is a relatively expensive area anyway, and the units at Armanee are the priciest around... about four times what I'm paying for my unit. So that building dominates my view, particularly from the master bedroom... mocking me, as if to say, "Look where you don't live! Ha ha ha."


One last thing... It's striking to me to realize how wild the area is. It's plain to see that, but for the hand of man, this would all be nothing but tropical jungle, pretty much like the rest of Malaysia. This is a shot from the end of my hallway, looking west. On any patch of land where there's not a road or a building, you see hills and heavy jungle vegetation. All around my building there are banana trees, palms, and plants and trees of all sorts. I see geckos, the occasional monkey, and hear the strangest sounds from some of the local birds. It's a treat being able to walk to work, and I have a reserved spot in the parking garage for my car when I drive. It's a really nice condo, so I feel pretty lucky to have found such a convenient place and have such a good landlord, too.

More later!

18 comments:

reddinkk said...

i really like ur kitchen altho the burners/stoves are too few to be of much use to me.

condos come bare coz asians are picky lots and they like to have a choice on how they furnish their house from floor tiles to small things like heaters. which means less costs for the developers too!

i love armanee terrace design too. u can get the same design in damansara damai for mroe than half the price now. coz it's a bit further off

p/s: serviced condos are not really on the top of the pecking order. it's just distinction btw condos thats on commercial land (serviced condos=pay more for elec,water etc) and residential land :D

Anonymous said...

good to know there are people who appreciate Damansara Perdana. It's still nice an quiet. We just got a place at Armanee II which faces the jungle and hope it will turn out well. Thanks for sounding so positive and open.

Steff said...

Hi,

I actually got informed that a unit is for sale on the 3rd floor. Just want to see how high is 3rd floor, and from what u write, it's apparently on the 4th floor when the ground floor is taken into consideration.

Thanks for putting up the pictures. We may just be neighbors :)

Linda said...

Hey Chad, I am planning to get a condo in Damansara Perdana. Do you like the place? May I know when Perdana View was completed? TO my understanding, the newest condo is the Metropolitan Square. Would appreciate if you could give some suggestions and opinions since I am a Malaysian who currently live in California but planning to buy a condo in Malaysia...:)

Chad M. said...

Perdana View is good -- pretty decent management, maintenance is handled well, and it's a relatively quiet area. MK Land are doing their level best, however, to ruin Damansara Perdana by overdeveloping it. It's still nice enough now, but at the pace things are going, it won't be the same in a couple of years' time.

A new condo is just about to open across from Metro Square, the Ritze Perdana 2. Nothing here is very old -- maybe 7-8 years or so. Metro Square may be newer than Perdana View, but it's also much, much more dense and right in the middle of the village so there's more traffic and noise.

Perdana View has two parts -- the condos (blocks A and B), and even less-dense serviced residences (blocks C and D). The condos are smaller units (mine is 3 bdrm and about 900 sq. ft.), the serviced residences are much larger.

Check out iproperty.com.my and you can get an idea of what units are selling and renting for.

Overall, yes, I'd recommend it, though. I've enjoyed living here for over a year and a half now. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chad,
I am keen to purchase a unit for my own stay. Went for a viewing today. The unit is decent, nice and I like it. The only drawback was the exterior part of the building and surroundings was kinda rundown. It doesn't looked like it has been well taken care of. How's the security? I appreciate your kind feedback on the management of the condo. Thank you.

Chad M. said...

I've always found the management to be polite and responsive when I've dealt with them. Security has been an ever-changing affair, though we seem to have stuck with the last company for awhile now. I would say that security is pretty average for KL. The guards are typically imported from surrounding countries with Nepalese guards considered the best (I have no idea why). Our guards tend to congregate around the guardhouse entry about 95% of the time, it seems, so I would say we have the most secure guardhouse in the area. I'd prefer to see them patrolling the corridors and stairwells, and occasionally they do. The ones I've interacted with have always appeared well-trained and courteous, but they'll almost never know more than a few words of English. In my 20 months of living here, we've not any security incidents or break-ins or anything like that -- notices would be posted in the lifts.

As for the exterior, yes, the upkeep could be better here. From my observations here, most buildings that are beyond about five years old will exhibit varying degrees of mold and such on the concrete superstructure. The place I stayed when I first moved to KL was actually a rather nice apartment building, and the units themselves were great... but you'd never know it by looking at the outside. It was in desperate need of a de-mildew treatment and maybe even a full repainting. Just part of living in such a wet climate, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chad,

Thanks for the detailed review on the condo.

Good to know that security has been well managed so far. Still concerned with the people managing the building though. Maintenance fee is not cheap. I think the agent told me was about RM0.20-0.21/sq f. I was expecting the building to be more well maintained.

I read in one blog site stating that it seemed the management co. is in debts. And had even utilised the sinking fund. I don't know how true that statement was though.

I really like the unit but serious consideration needed to be made since it's gonna be a home for me in a long run.

Sydney said...

Kuala Lumpur sounds really interesting!
If you like to go to great places, I recommend you Argentina. You can find an apartment rental Buenos Aires and stay there for at least two weeks.

4evermarie said...

Hi Chad, would appreciate if you can tell me whats the size,built-up area of the sitting room of your unit.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chad,

Nice review of Perdana View. I am planning on buying a unit there and was wondering which would be a better option, the standard condo or serviced residence. And what's the difference between the 2 unit types.

Additionally, what's the best way to go about getting an apartment. Is there a sales office onsite or should I use Iproperty.

Do advice. Thanks
Mark

Chad M. said...

Hi, I was living in an intermediate unit -- some of the floor plans are different. However, the area of the living room for my unit was roughly 3 x 3.5m, not quite 10 x 12 feet. Really small and narrow. It was the only real perceived negative for me of that unit -- the narrowness of the living room.

And to Mark, the difference between the units in blocks A and B and those in blocks C and D is pretty vast. The A/B units range from just under 800 to about 1100 square feet. The C/D units are presumably on commercial title (as serviced residences), and they are low, low density, only four units per floor, and it's just a midrise building, too. Each unit is substantial, about 1900 square feet. Units in A/B should sell for around RM310K, give or take 20% depending on renovation, furnishing, etc. The C/D units sell for much higher, around RM500K, and for me personally, if I were spending half a million on a condo, I'd want nicer facilities than those offered by Perdana View.

The management company for Perdana View changed in January 2011, and the new company seems to be doing a really good job. I was impressed by the improvement.

Before committing to buying any property in Damansara Perdana, I'd suggest reading my entry here: http://chadinkl.blogspot.com/2011/04/eating-my-way-through-kl-and-slow.html.

There is major construction going on directly across from blocks C/D, and though D'sara Perdana is a nice enough township now, I question whether it will be in a few years' time, as they are seriously overbuilding it without improving the roads or access points whatsoever. Buyer beware.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Chad, much appreciated.

Mark

Meg said...

Hi Chad!

Thinking of moving to Perdana View in a few weeks but haven't decided. Wonder what traffic is like going to and fro (KL) as I've heard it's always jammed in that area?

Thanks!

Chad M. said...

I never worked in the city itself, but when I worked at Midvalley, it wasn't bad at all. The Penchala Link, though expensive (RM2) makes driving into the city really convenient. Now I work in Bangsar and it's usually about 25-35 minutes to work (I leave at around 8:30), but would be faster if I took the Penchala Link... I take the LDP to save the RM2 toll. Hehe.

Adrin said...

Hi Chad,

I'm wondering if you're still living at Perdana View? I'm considering purchasing a unit at Block C or D and would like to hear the opinions of someone who has lived there for long. Your last reply was in 2012. Is Perdana View still a nice place?

Chad M. said...

I still live in Damansara Perdana, but not at the same place. I've been in Emerald for over two years now, so I'm not sure about Perdana View anymore. I can assure you, however, the "view" has been destroyed by the major jungle-eradicating construction that's been going on across the street for three years now.

See that post a ways up where someone over four years ago said they just got a condo at Armanee II facing the jungle and "hope it will turn out well"? It didn't. The jungle has been completely bulldozed and Armanee II is still nowhere near complete.

Consider the purchase is my advice but also consider that Damansara Perdana is getting seriously overdeveloped with no actual infrastructure improvement, so it may not be a good area to live in a couple of years from now.

Pkr said...

"So that building dominates my view, particularly from the master bedroom... mocking me "


This is hilarious. I actually laughed out when I read this.