World’s Most Desirable Address?

World’s Most Desirable Address?

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NOTE: All prices are quoted in US Dollars, which clearly don’t go far in Singapore, home to the world’s most millionaires per capita.

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Staying amongst the next generation über-rich was nothing short of indulgent.  Each morning I enjoyed a triple espresso overlooking the pool; which overlooked a canal to the sea.  It didn’t take me long to realize the developers of Sentosa Cove weren’t overreaching when they chose to market it as “the world’s most desirable address“.  After spending a year on the road, I decided this would be a great address to lay down roots.  I just needed to round up the $20,000,000 or so to buy a family home.

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Even if you can afford it, it’s hard to stand out in this neighborhood…

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This isn’t a neighborhood for keeping up with the Joneses, it’s about keeping up with the Lis, Yins, Mittals and sheiks. Who cares if Monaco has the history and a better F1 race?  You can’t get roti prata and chili crab there. Sure, this generation of rich will have some things in common with the barons of yesteryear such as Swiss bank accounts and 20-seater private Boeings that hold 200 of us proletariat, but they need a playground closer than Europe…with less strenuous banking regulations…

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To find out what makes this neighborhood special I went exploring.  Being part relative, part freeloader, and part dog-sitter of a resident, I headed out to walk the dogs. For investigative purposes I brought my camera.  Here are some of the things you’ll see behind the many gates of Sentosa Cove.

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Probably the toughest decision in a man’s life is to buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini.  It proved too difficult for this Sentosa Cove resident who simply dropped the $1.25 million for both.

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This neighborhood is and will be the home to the uber-rich for several reasons.  First, it is close to where the next generation of money is being made: China and India.  Secondly, it’s a safe haven.  The banks are secure, the legal system is corruption free, and citizenship is easy to obtain.  Thirdly, there are no taxes on foreign income.  How big of an incentive is this?  Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his US citizenship to obtain Singapore citizenship prior to facebook’s IPO in order to save hundreds of millions in US taxes.  Lastly, there are few places that can match the quality of life in Singapore, let alone Sentosa Cove.

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The homes’ architecture, touches and finishings are stunning.  Every living room should have a reflecting pool.

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Do such benefits come at a cost?  Certainly.  Slumming it here will set you back a minimum of $12,000,000 for a detached home.  This buys space for a small family and one or two domestic helpers.  Add to that the crazy cost of a car as the development is far from public transport.  FYI, a new VW Passat in Singapore exceeds the cost of the average home in the USA. Let’s be honest though, a Passat may be acceptable for your maid, but won’t get you invited to your neighbors solid platinum easter egg hunt.  Budget at least $400,000 for an acceptable ride.  I won’t even get into the cost of a Sentosa Country Club membership or a yacht, but you get the idea: fitting into this neighborhood requires more than suitcases of cash, it necessitates a private Airbus of cash.

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Only in Singapore is a Range Rover an “Environmentally Responsible” choice to help you get to shopping malls.  Pretty much a steal at $263,000 USD.

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While the streets of Sentosa Cove might not be gilded, surely some of the homes’ toilets are.  Living here may be expensive, but it’s a small price to pay for Singapore’s combination of security, world-class infrastructure and favorable tax laws.  It’s hard for me to call $20,000,000 a good value, but for the über-rich of the region, buying in Sentosa Cove is a sound decision.

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Too true…

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YOUR TURN: What neighborhoods of the super-rich have you visited?  Is Singapore doing a good thing by courting these people or harming itself?  Discuss in the comments below.

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Comments

» Lawrence Michaels :
Jul 13, 2012

Pretty nice house, although it doesn’t look like 10,000 sf based on the artists rendering. Only $20 million? I guess if you had the money to drop on a home like this then w/e, there is likely a lot more where that came from. But $20 million would go so much further in any one of the neighboring countries.
Read Lawrence Michaels’s awesome post Dangers of Phuket Beaches

LOCAVORista Reply:

Lawrence, I think it’s safe to say that money is no object for the buyers of real estate in Sentosa Cove.

» cindy :
Jul 23, 2012

Wow

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Jul 11, 2014

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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