HOW much would you pay for somebody’s back garden?
A couple in their 70s are asking for S$9.8mil (RM22.2mil) for theirs.
Once carved out, the 39,000 square feet plot in the Seletar Hills area can be developed into about two dozen terrace houses.
It is up for sale because the couple feel they are too old to manage their garden but love their home too much to move away.
They bought their home, which is off Yio Chu Kang Road, for S$40,000 (RM90,600) in 1961.
The entire compound has an area of 71,000 square feet, about the size of a football field.
In land-scarce Singapore, where most people live in high-rise apartments, homes this size are rare.
After selling off their back garden, they will still be left with a 32,000 square feet plot on which their bungalow, maids’ quarters and an outhouse, stand.
The couple, Kathleen Chung and Dr Chou Sip King, said they bought their home from developer Bukit Sembawang Estates.
The company was responsible for most of the housing development in the Seletar Hills area in the 1950s and 1960s.
During the 1996 property boom, several developers offered to pay as much as S$400 (RM900) per square foot or S$28.4mil (RM64.3mil) for their land, much more than the S$250 (RM566) per square feet they are asking for now.
But the couple turned them down.
“We didn’t think about it because we still wanted to enjoy the garden,” said Chung.
And it is a garden to behold.
The undulating plot has durian and rambutan trees, a lily pond, rock paths and cement figurines of koalas, eagles, pandas, pigs, penguins, cows, cranes and even a mermaid.
Several of these figurines were made by Dr Chou, a retired doctor.
Quipped Chung: “It’s like a zoo in here.”
The couple, who do not have children, live in the bungalow with two Indonesian maids and two dogs.
Both used to take daily walks in the garden but hardly ever do so now as they have walking difficulties.
She added: “It’s too big to manage. Our gardener, who has been working with us for 20 years, is in his 60s. He cannot work forever.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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