Condo Reviews A Resident’s Review Of The Skywoods At Dairy Farm: Here’s The Insider View On Living There
- July 4, 2022
- 12 min read
The Skywoods didn’t enjoy the best of launches, only selling 14 out of 420 units on its first day. Even by May 2014, it had only sold 78 units, and it took another two years before finally selling out in 2016.
While it didn’t enjoy the best of starts, since then things have looked up for this condo at Dairy Farm Heights. It has recorded 68 profitable transactions so far in the resale market, which is a good showing, all things considered. It has also registered 5 losses – but with the highest being a $34k loss this is minimal.
The Skywoods caters to individuals and families who want to be close to nature. You can be away from the hustle and bustle of the city but still within good proximity to the MRT and other necessary locations.
Possibly the greatest draw of the development is it has a great forest view, making its namesake of Skywoods very appropriate. Beyond the condo’s name, this is also where it has derived its charm.
And one of the most pleasant experiences in this condominium is that the new road leading to and from it is still devoid of heavy traffic. It only takes approximately a 7-minute drive to reach the Bukit Timah Expressway through Dairy Farm Road.
This kind of peaceful yet connected lifestyle is what Ben (*not his real name for privacy reasons) was looking for. He used to stay in a 4-room HDB flat in Admiralty but decided to upgrade his way of life for various reasons. The Skywoods met all his needs, which is why he moved into this estate with his elderly parents.
And so for those looking to live in the area and are considering The Skywoods, here’s a personal review directly from a resident currently living there.
Let’s hear how this estate fares from the inside.
How The Skywoods Condominium Compare to Other Estates
After some considerable study, Ben shortlisted two of the more suitable candidates aside from The Skywoods. “I considered these developments as I’m working in the western part of Singapore, giving priority to those that are close to work,” he said.
Parc Riviera offered a 990 square feet 3-bedroom unit + store room. And at this size, Ben said the unit’s cost would be within his budget. Another great thing is that Parc Riviera, a relatively new development with decent facilities, is close to his workplace.
“It’s also close to Pandan Reservoir for nature walks and jogs,” he said. The unit faces Twin VEW instead of Ayer Rajah Expressway, but he said that this development would most likely have to deal with the noise coming from AYE.
Ben noticed that the unit’s layout was very efficient. It has an enclosed kitchen and utility room with an attached WC located along the bedroom hallway. “This room can be used as a study nook or even a guest room,” he added.
However, there are some major drawbacks that prevented him from choosing Parc Riviera.
As Ben noted, the development is “away from amenities and MRT station and there’s white traffic noise coming from AYE.” He also mentioned that with over 700 units in two tower blocks, the condo is pretty dense. Plus he didn’t quite like that Parc Rivera was near an industrial area, so he had to drop it.
Blue Horizon also offers a unit that’s within budget. The unit sizes are spacious, and the floor plan is efficient and well-designed. “It comes with a proper yard for laundry,” Ben said, “and also in-unit HS for storage.”
Compared to Parc Rivera, this place is within walkable distance to West Coast for amenities. There’s also a shuttle bus service to the MRT station. Some of the stacks even have a scenic view of the sea and West Coast Par is just right across the development.
Unfortunately, these advantages are not good enough to shield the drawbacks for him.
There is great concern about lease decay, and since Blue Horizon is an older resale, it will require extensive renovation. He also didn’t quite like that most units lacked a balcony area. And while they offer a shuttle to the MRT station, the distance is still quite prohibitive. Finally, Ben said that heavy vehicles also frequent the West Coast Highway, so traffic noise would again be a concern.
What Made The Skywoods Stand Out From Other Choices
Ben said that both Parc Riviera and Blue Horizon satisfy his requirements of being a few minutes away from the workplace. “However, the West Coast area seems to be less conducive with heavy vehicles frequenting the roads nearby,” he immediately countered. This particular scenario raised legitimate concerns for his parents, who love to do walks around the neighbourhood.
Since his parents use public transportation to get around at times, the lack of easy and quick access to MRT made both condos less ideal for them.
“All in all, Dairy Farm ticks the boxes for a conducive environment to live in for my parents and myself,” Ben summarised.
Here is his list of considerations The Skywoods was able to fulfil:
- Ben works on the West side of Singapore, and he wanted his new home to be closer to his workplace.
- He wanted to experience a considerable upgrade in terms of lifestyle. As such, Ben said he wanted a full-fledged condo with facilities such as a proper pool, tennis court, and BBQ pits. Function rooms are also a great feature for gatherings.
- He was looking for a home of similar size to his previous one in Admiralty, which is in the 1,000 square feet range.
- Since his previous HDB lacked a balcony, he wanted his new one to have such a feature this time so he could enjoy either pool or nature view.
- Ben realised through research that most new launches lack store room. He specifically added a utility or store room as a requirement.
- He said that his mom loves to cook, so he wanted to have an enclosed kitchen with a ventilation window.
- He also specifically didn’t want an integrated development condo because it can get very busy, especially on weekends.
- Being close to MRT is another important requirement. Ben said he wanted a place within walkable distance to basic amenities and the MRT station. A maximum of 15 minutes walk or 2 to 4 bus stops away is what he prefers.
The units of Skywoods have a low-density count, so it’s not crowded. With just 420 units, it is considered a good size today to have a more affordable monthly maintenance along with a good range of facilities. He especially loves the distance of Skywoods to his workplace, which is “within 12 minutes drive as compared to 30 minutes back in Admiralty flat.”
The convenience the condo offers in terms of proximity to amenities is also a big plus. “Convenient access to BKE entrance, with Orchard Road less than 15 minutes drive,” he described. “And the place is right across Bukit Timah Hill which is great for trek and jogs.”
What A Typical Skywoods Day Looks Like
Ben said that his way of living in Skywoods was really an upgrade from his previous home. “My day typically starts with having my breakfast on my balcony, overlooking the greenery across,” he said. He also goes for a swim or works out at the gym whenever he has the time.
Weekends offer a lot of things for him to do as well. “I usually have some nice continental breakfast at HillV2 or Railway Mall which are just a stone’s throw away.” He also does his grocery shopping in either of those locations and “enjoys the ambiance of a lifestyle mall that is relatively quiet.”
“At times, me and my friends will go trekking right opposite at Dairy Farm nature park,” he shared. Rail Corridor and Bukit Timah Hill are also two of their other choices for outdoor activities.
A Look Behind The Skywoods Facade
Almost a year’s worth of stay at a condominium is usually more than enough time to observe and experience some of the downsides it has. These aren’t necessarily dealbreakers but are good-to-know things, especially for those considering getting a unit.
Ben said that his parents did lament on the upslope walk from Hillview MRT station, “but to be fair, it is mostly sheltered,” he added.
He shared that The Skywoods has an aesthetically welcoming pick-up/drop-off point. However, it’s open and not very practical in SG’s warm weather. “The waiting bench tends to get wet on rainy days.”
The condo has an interesting location for the guardhouse, which is quite strange. “The guardhouse is located on the left side than the driver’s side,” he said.
While basic shops are still within walkable distance, they are not so near per se. So Ben and his parents admitted that they’re looking forward to the opening of Dairy Farm Residences mall (which will have 40,000 square feet of retail).
The car park seemed to have collected most of the drawbacks. First, with more families staying in the condo compared to tenants, the car park is usually 70 to 80 per cent full. “I’m honestly glad that the car park ratio here is 1:1 car park lot per unit,” Ben said.
But then there’s the challenging drive through the car park. “Navigating through the narrow and winding car parks to get to my block requires some skill, especially with incoming cars.” He said that navigating through it seemed like a maze at first. It’s even more true for locating the southern blocks 1 and 3, which are on the deeper side of the development’s B1.
And while the surroundings of The Skywoods are much better in terms of tranquility than most parts of Singapore, the inside of it is really not as quiet as it could be. Ben disclosed that there are a number of families with children staying in the condo. So it’s pretty common to see kids running and playing around in the open lawn, playgrounds, and common areas, mostly in the late afternoons and evenings. With Ben’s stack situated close to the playground, it can get loud at times.
“During WFH, I would usually shut my windows full and turn on the air conditioner to somehow mute the noise which includes the noise coming from the road expansion right across,” Ben shared.
Finally, while the walkway from Hillview MRT is almost fully sheltered right up to the condo’s side gate, the rest of the walk to the respective blocks is not. Some developments will have lift/stairs near the side gate that leads to the basement parking for a sheltered walk, so this was a miss for him. Of course, it’s nothing an umbrella can’t solve – but it would definitely have been nice to have.
These inconveniences actually open up a number of opportunities for improvement. Some of these that Ben wished the management would work on improving include:
- A proper air-conditioned waiting lounge to offer proper protection from the elements
- Installation of fully sheltered walkways to fix the inconveniences, especially during rainy days
Consideration Potential Buyers Should Know
We asked Ben for some interesting details that only residents can provide. This information offers some specific considerations you should know if you’re on the verge of choosing The Skywoods for your new home.
Ben shared that The Skywoods is a nice and homely place with relatively low density. It means the pools and the gym are never overcrowded. “There are also a few outdoor cabanas and seating areas to enjoy the tranquility.”
With the development on an upslope hill, The Skywood sits at a higher elevation compared to the condo cluster over at Hillview. As such, you’ll enjoy the lush greenery of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. “However, do be mindful of the road construction noise along Dairy Farm Road,” he added.
Speaking of noise, Ben also said that with the recent GLS plot sold diagonally opposite The Skywood, stacks closer to it will have to endure the construction noise in the near future.
Staying At The Skywoods
The Skywoods has given Ben plenty of reasons to enjoy his flat. But there’s always something that stands out among all of these experiences. “The greenery view right from my balcony,” he emphasised, “and waking up to the fresh air.” He also enjoys the resort-like vibe that the condo facilities provide.
When current residents choose to stay longer at an estate, it usually means they’re satisfied. And it’s no different for Ben, who declared that he would continue staying at The Skywoods Condominium. Aside from the condo features, he treasures the fellowship he enjoys with his neighbours.
“This is a place that I can call home,” he said, “I’m grateful that my neighbours are nice and friendly.” He added that it “feels homely as they will always surprise and spoil me with lots of home-cooked foods.”
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