A slice of Paradise on Sentosa Cove

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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February 26, 2021 7:00 AM SGT
EDGEPROP (SINGAPORE) - Interior designer Hege Torgersen reckons that she and her family were among the earliest residents at Sentosa Cove back in 2007. Home then was a corner terraced house at Ocean 8, a row of eight terraced houses along Ocean Drive, developed by Malaysian developer IJM Land. “When we first moved to Sentosa Cove, it was just us and a few other expatriate families,” says Torgersen, a Norwegian who moved to Singapore two decades ago. “There was nothing but construction around us.”
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The swimming pool overlooks the waterway and the private berth (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
At that time, the only other completed developments were eight terraced houses at the neighbouring The Villas @ Sentosa Cove by Singapore-listed developer ACT Holdings; another eight terraced houses at The Berthside and the 200-unit The Berth by the Cove condominium — both by Singapore-listed Ho Bee Land, a first-mover at Sentosa Cove. All three were completed in 2006.
As more private detached houses and condominiums in the North Coast were completed in the subsequent years, namely the 116-unit The Azure by Frasers Property in 2008, Ho Bee Land’s 249-unit The Coast in 2009, and the 264-unit The Oceanfront by a joint venture between City Developments and TID in 2010, more residents started to move in.
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With three young children, Torgersen and her husband decided to look for another house in Sentosa Cove, which is more “more private”, she says.
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The living and dining area on the first level (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Search for a house at a cul-de-sac

The couple began to hunt for a house at a cul-de-sac, where there would be less traffic and safer for their young children to play outside. They narrowed down to three areas: the private villas along Lakeshore View as it is a dead-end street; and the waterfront houses on Coral Island or Paradise Island, both of which were developed by Ho Bee Land in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
They narrowed down to a house on Paradise Island, located on a quiet corner, which does not overlook other houses or private condominiums on the other side of the waterway. They liked the house they saw as it was newly completed and had never been lived in before. The previous owner had purchased the property off-plan from Ho Bee Land in April 2007 for $7.1 million ($1,010 psf) when the 29 houses on Paradise Island were launched for sale.
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Living and dining area as well as the dry kitchen (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Torgersen and her husband purchased the house in November 2009 for $10.8 million ($1,536 psf), according to a caveat lodged then. The family moved in sometime in February 2010. The house sits on a land area of 7,031 sq ft, and has a built-up area of about 8,202 sq ft. It has five en suite bedrooms, spacious living and dining room as well as a wet and dry kitchen, utility and store room as well as helpers’ rooms. The house has a private driveway in front, large enough to fit three cars. The living and dining rooms overlook an outdoor landscaped deck, swimming pool and a private berth on the waterway.
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“It is very private here,” says Torgersen. “But it has an amazing community. With only 29 houses on Paradise Island, the only people who drive in are the residents who live here. The children loved to bike around the fountain when they were young, and we didn’t have to worry about them as the drivers were very careful.”
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The dry kitchen (pictured) and adjoining dry kitchen (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
As Sentosa Cove is Singapore’s only gated community, security was not an issue either. “We leave our bikes outside, and there’s no gate in front of the house, yet we feel safe,” says Torgersen.

Evolving with lifestyle changes

The home has evolved with the family’s changing lifestyle over the years. For instance, the bedroom on the attic level was originally her husband’s study. It was then converted into a guest room. It subsequently became the bedroom of her eldest daughter, and after she went to the UK to study, the bedroom is now occupied by her son.
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The billiard room was previously her husband's study, and prior to that, the dining room (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Meanwhile, her son’s previous bedroom on the second level has been converted into Torgersen’s home office. Formerly an interior design consultant with Nikki Hunt, partner of Design Intervention, Torgersen is now a freelance interior designer who works on a project basis.
The billiard room on the first level was previously her husband’s study — after it was relocated from the attic level. Prior to that, it was the dining room.
Every room has a purpose, says Torgersen. “That’s why I don’t have a television set in the living room,” she adds. “Anyone who wants to watch television, will have to go upstairs to the family room.”
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The family room on the second level of the house (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
During the two month-long Covid-19 “circuit breaker”, Torgersen created a gym on the attic level of the house so the family could exercise. “We could live quite normally, and in fact, it was like we were on a holiday,” she says. “We could go for our daily walks with the dogs. Sentosa Cove was the perfect place to be during the circuit breaker.”
While others have lamented about the commute between Sentosa Cove and the mainland, Torgersen does not find it inconvenient at all. There is a Cold Storage and Jason’s, the gourmet grocer, at Sentosa Cove. “Before my 16-year-old left for the UK, we celebrated her birthday, and we had an amazing party with great food, flowers,” says Torgersen. “We didn’t even have to leave the island; we can find everything here. If we need something special, it takes just seven minutes to drive to VivoCity.”
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Torgersen's home office (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The perfect weekend for Torgersen and her family is “not having to leave the island”, she says. “You can go for your runs or bike around here on weekends. People from the mainland come to Sentosa Island to bike; the Quayside Isle is crowded on weekends with families, children and dogs. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Singapore.”
The house at Paradise Island has been “perfect for the family”, says Torgersen. “It’s very practical, and the quality of the materials used is of very good quality,” she adds. “I didn’t have to do any renovation when I moved in, and everything is original. I have only varnished the floor once, and painted the interiors twice, and now I’m repainting the exterior.”
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The master bathroom (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Simplifying life’

When the family first moved in 11 years ago, the three children were aged eight, six and three years’ old. Today, her children are aged 19, 17 and 14. The two older children are already studying in the UK, but they have returned to Singapore due the pandemic. “We will have our son with us for a few more years, and then he will be going abroad to study too,” says Torgersen. “Then it will be just my husband and me.”
To prepare for the next stage of their lives as empty-nesters, Torgersen and her husband are looking to sell their home on Paradise Island. “When you get older, you think about simplifying your life,” says Torgersen. “When we are allowed to travel again, I would love to travel between here and Europe. And I don’t want to leave the house vacant.”
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The master bedroom (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The property is on the market for $13.5 million ($1,920 psf). Torgersen has appointed Veniz Kwong, head of associate agency business at List Sotheby’s International Realty, as the exclusive marketing agent for their home. Since last December, Kwong has seen a spike in interest and home transactions in Sentosa Cove. “It’s not just interest from foreigners, but Singaporeans too,” she says. “They like the lifestyle offered at Sentosa Cove and feel that prices are attractive today.”

Returning interest

The majority of interested buyers at Sentosa Cove however, are still foreigners, particularly those from China, Indonesia, and increasingly from Myanmar and Thailand, observes Kwong. Many of these are already permanent residents in Singapore.
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One of the daughters' bedrooms (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Two other detached houses on Paradise Island changed hands over the past four months. The latest was for a house sitting on a 9,798 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site, on the other side of Paradise Island. It changed hands for $12.7 million ($1,296 psf), according to a caveat lodged in February. The buyer is believed to be a Myanmar national, while the sellers are Chinese nationals.
Meanwhile, a neighbouring detached house on Paradise Island changed hands for $9.18 million ($1,303 psf) last November. The property was a mortgagee sale. The latest owner of the house is Khoo Lin-Wein, Maybank’s head of private wealth, Malaysia.
“We are only selling because of practical lifestyle changes,” says Torgersen.
There are people who specifically want a house with a private berth, she adds. “And we have a private berth.”