Condo Reviews I’ve Lived At East Meadows In Tanah Merah For 5 Years: Here’s My Review Of What It’s Like For Families
- October 8, 2022
- 10 min read
While Tanah Merah has always been considered a bit of an underdog (or in more colloquial terms, ‘ulu’) in the East, there has been much noise going on within the district in recent times.
There are exciting plans to upgrade the Changi area, with new developments and other transportation improvements being introduced to the neighbourhood. It’s no wonder homeowners and property investors are thinking twice about the viability of the neighbourhood.
If you are considering living in the area, one of the condos that you may have looked at is East Meadows, a stalwart in the area since 2001.
And so, hearing what it’s like to live in the neighbourhood from existing residents would be greatly insightful (and could perhaps even change your perception of the place).
Ms S moved into East Meadows with her family of five in 2017. Of course, with almost five years of living on the estate, she would naturally be able to give a good personal account of what it’s really like to live there.
As a 99-year leasehold property with a decent mix of 482 units, East Meadows has been on the market for the past two decades. Its biggest selling points? The larger than average unit sizes and the convenience to Tanah Merah MRT station.
Before we explore the development, let’s first understand what convinced Ms S and her family to choose to reside at East Meadows.
Comparing Other Projects to East Meadows
Like most parents, Ms S and her husband prioritised the needs of their children when it boiled down to selecting their family home.
“We have three daughters, all reaching or already at adulthood. We really wanted each of them to be able to have their own room and privacy. This was our non-negotiable,” shared Ms S. As such, the main criteria for their apartment was that it needed to be big enough to accommodate all five of them and to have at least four bedrooms.
Ms S further elaborated that the safety of the neighbourhood, access to public transportation, surrounding amenities and of course, price point were crucial factors as well.
Despite Singapore being a very safe environment, it’s only natural for parents to still be very concerned about their children’s safety. “Our daughters have very active lifestyles and tend to come home late from their commitments. Safety of the neighbourhood and convenience to public transport systems would make us feel more assured of their well-being even when they are out really late at night. And course, our budget was something we needed to stick to”.
The couple did consider other projects in the Simei neighbourhood and even HDB flats in the Kaki Bukit, Lengkong Tiga and Simei areas but most of them were misses.
“It’s either too far from the MRT, or the neighbourhood felt a bit dark and dodgy especially after the sun has set. We felt that most of them were not big enough to home our family, either.”
What Made East Meadows Stand Out From Other Choices
Size and Configuration
Ms S shared that the configuration and size of her apartment were the main push towards their decision.
“Compared to other newer developments, we felt that East Meadows was much more spacious and suited our needs better. The initial layout came with three bedrooms and a study room.” Ms S further added that they were able to convert that study room to an additional bedroom, which made up four bedrooms – exactly what their family needed.
“The fact that we could convert the study room into another bedroom was a very big plus point”, Ms S reiterated.
Furthermore, the living areas were separated from the bedroom area, which gave the apartment a much better sense of privacy. For a family of five, that would definitely be an important consideration.
Neighbourhood, Transportation & Environment
Despite the neighbourhood being relatively quiet as compared to other hotspots in the East, Ms S felt that it was not that ulu.
“It’s a good balance between convenience and a quiet neighbourhood. Our home is near the Tanah Merah MRT station and bus stop, around a 2-minute walk away, but it’s not noisy at all. I really appreciate that.”
The area has several spots for dining and 2 supermarkets nearby. “It’s not directly at our doorstep, but getting to these spots is quite convenient by drive or by public transport”, shares Ms S.
As Ms S has previously mentioned, the security and safety of the neighbourhood and development were crucial to her. “The area feels very safe in general and I feel comfortable for my children to come back by themselves at night. I think security within the condo does a good job too”.
“The final push for us to go with East Meadows was because it was near my mother-in-law’s place. She stays nearby in the Eunos area, and it’ll be much more convenient for my husband to pop by her place if she needed any help”, shared Ms S.
Seeing that Singapore’s ageing population is increasing rapidly, this is certainly going to be a bigger consideration for more homebuyers when picking out their homes in the future.
A Typical Day at East Meadows
“I personally don’t use the condominium facilities that much to be honest. On days where I’m not working, I’ll usually just be home cleaning or watching my K-Dramas”, says Ms S.
Her daughter adds that she does see the gym and pool being used on a regular basis, though it might be just the same residents occupying the amenities.
The pool is situated in the middle of the development, with the residential blocks wrapped around it. Interestingly, the BBQ pits are placed on bridges in the middle of the pools, rather than the usual areas beside or around the pool.
For parents with kids, the playground is helpfully placed beside the kid’s pool, so it’s almost seamless play between the playground and the pool for the kids.
And if you noticed from the site plan, the driveway wraps around the development, so with the outdoor car park lots, it does get utilised in a different manner from what you might think. “The car park area is pretty extensive, so I see people jogging around there sometimes too.”
Out of most of the dining options, Ms S usually visits Changi City Point with her family, though they sometimes will visit Simpang Bedok. “We prefer to go to Changi City Point because Simpang Bedok is too crowded when we’re there. The food court there is also rather expensive.”
A Look Behind East Meadows Facade
Although the family agrees that their home is great for the entire family’s needs, Ms S does feel that there is some room for improvement within East Meadows.
Seeing that the development has passed 20 years since its TOP, some of the amenities have been subjected to wear and tear over the years.
“For one, the lifts are old and they have been facing problems quite frequently. It does get quite troublesome to deal with a lift breakdown especially when we’re rushing in the morning or just trying to get home after work,” Ms S shared.
Another minor reason that Ms S shared was the relatively thin walls and ceilings. This meant that for neighbours who are especially loud, the family can be disturbed at times. “Mix that up with the construction that is ongoing nearby, it can get frustrating to deal with creaking ceilings and constant dust in our apartment”.
Another concern that Ms S has is the development’s lack of proactiveness in promoting recycling. “Although there are recycling points in the estate, the bins are filled with rubbish and incorrectly used. I’d think it would be a great idea to put up signs and send flyers to all residents to educate them on how to use the recycling bins in a proper manner. If everyone does it properly, it’ll make a big difference in the long run”, she emphasised.
Last but not least, the function room is something that Ms S hopes the management can consider upgrading. “The function room is a little dated, so hosting parties or events in East Meadows is not as conducive as we’d like for it to be”.
Considerations Potential Buyers Should Know
One main thing that Ms S pointed out was that folks who are interested in living in the neighbourhood should read up on the future works in its vicinity. “For one, I know that a new condo development with retail outlets is coming up soon. That development is located just beside Tanah Merah MRT, so hopefully, the retail section could mean more convenience for us”. For those less familiar with the East, this would be the upcoming Sceneca Residence.
She adds that the area has been undergoing construction for a really long time.
“Tanah Merah MRT Station has had ongoing construction for the past few years and its expected to be completed in 2024. I’m particularly excited that the station will have four tracks and three platforms (that’s an additional track from the current arrangement) since that’ll mean shorter waiting times. I think it could make a difference for the neighbourhood”, she adds.
Staying at East Meadows
While Tanah Merah is known to be a residential-centric neighbourhood, Ms S shares that there are actually more neighbourhood amenities than one might expect. “There are eateries nearby and I can do my grocery shopping quite conveniently. Also, it’s the little things that count, and at East Meadows, we have Gardenia bread vending machines within our estate. I really like these small thoughtful details”, she shared.
Depending on the season, she added that it could get exceptionally windy. “Not that we are complaining, but especially throughout the months from November to March, our apartment can get very windy which is always a great point to combat Singapore’s humidity”.
Another thing that has not gone unappreciated is the responsiveness of the estate management.
Ms S shared that every time she gives feedback to them regarding most issues, she notices that they are mostly quick to respond and very helpful in resolving any of the problems that she’s brought up. On that same note, maintenance fees are quite reasonable for her, too.
And on the question of how long are they planning to stay at East Meadows, Ms S hopes that she can stay there as long as possible. “I don’t like the hassle of moving, renovating and cleaning. Perhaps when all my daughters are married and have a place of their own, then perhaps we might consider our options”.
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